Marketing Woodturning Skills
1. IntroductionOnce they have become competent, and found out how much they enjoy their activity, some woodturners may think about transforming their hobby into a full-time career. It need hardly be said, however, that this is a big step, which should not be undertaken without considerable thought. In these notes I will look at the ways in which well-established marketing techniques may help prospective professional woodturners approach the problem of selling their skills.
There are a number of ways in which turners may use their skills to create an income. The chief of these are:
It may have been noted that a distinction can be made between the selling of turnery and the other activities. The first concerns a physical product; the latter are methods by which turners can augment their incomes by passing on their skills and knowledge to others. Because of this, and because pricing can be considered as a separate issue, it is convenient to split this document into three parts:
1. Marketing turnery
2. Marketing other woodturning skills
3. Pricing woodturning
In Part 1 I have concentrated on the way in which general marketing principles may be used to help prospective professionals sell their turnery. In Part 2, which I am currently writing, I will consider how marketing principles can be applied to the other four activities referred to in the second paragraph above. I will also provide detailed guidance on the planning and performance of these activities. Whilst pricing is dealt with as a separate topic in Part 3 it is important to recognise that a pricing strategy should be an integral part of a marketing plan.
Please note that I am writing from the viewpoint of a turner in the UK. However, I think that turners in North America and elsewhere will have no problem in relating these notes to their own circumstances. I should add that I believe there must be a lot more to say on these topics but I am offering these thoughts as a starting point.