How To Sell Your Woodworking Customers More Stuff

In the previous post I talked about the importance of coming up with a custom Avatar. One of the reasons why happening a customer Avatar is so important is so that you can sell them more of your woodworking products.

This week we will look in more detail at how you can use cross sells and upsells to increase your woodworking profits.

Wood Craft Products

Credit: Jordan Hill School

What is an upsell or cross sell?

Upsells and cross sells aren’t as complicated as they might seem. Put simply selling the same customer more stuff. For example have you ever been to McDonald’s and have asked you:

“Would you like fries with that?”

Those simple few words are the most famous upsell in history. Just by adding that one sentence McDonald’s is able to make millions of dollars more each year.

If you have ever worked in that building trade like me then you may have even unwittingly upsold a customer. You know how it is, you’re working on a job when the customer finds something else that they need doing.

You turned up to do one thing but you also just upsold that customer on something else. As you probably also know it’s usually well worthwhile doing that extra little job because you have already laid out all your tools and you are already at the jobsite.

When you are running a woodworking business you need to be a little more conscious about your rock sells if you really want to maximise profits. As I mentioned in the introduction when you run a woodworking business you should understand who your ideal customer or custom Avatar is.

When you understand who this person is it easier to come up with other products that they might love. For example, my custom Avatar is Emma. She found my business because she wanted to buy one of my wooden toys. But, she is a homemaker so what’s the chance that she would also probably like to buy my wooden cutting board or wooden utensils. Probably not too bad if she is impressed with the quality of my work.

And remember, it doesn’t really costly anything at all the market to my existing customers like Emma. If I can sell them more stuff that they will love then it is much more profitable than selling to a new customer.

Work out what upsells and cross sells you can add to your woodworking business and see your profit margins increased significantly.

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Why Customer Avatars Are Key To Maximium Woodworking Profits

 

woodworking products

Credit: SNIJLAB Rotterdam

Went marketing any business it is important to focus on one person. This person is your ideal customer or your “Avatar”.

The fact is that if you are serving everyone with your woodworking business, then you’re really serving nobody in particular. It is hard to specialise, and charge premium prices, when you are a “jack of all trades.”

Marketing To “Emma”

Last time I talked about Emma. I imagined her to be the mother of two sons, living in the Midwest and working part-time job with a husband who works full-time. Emma is active on social media sites like Pinterest and in Facebook. She appreciates handcrafted goods and respects the work of artisans and woodworkers (she has an uncle in the trade). She wants the most for her two sons and is concerned about the low, quality plastic toys that are sold at Walmart.

So who is Emma? She is my wood toy company customer Avatar. She represents my ideal customer and the person that I talk to in my marketing. When I talk about authentic, handmade products and the value of craftsmanship, it is something that resonates with resonates with her.

When you understand who your ideal customers it is much easier to market to them. It’s also easier to decide what kind of products you are going to sell. If my Avatar is “Emma” then I can probably passed on producing a line of cigar boxes. But if my ideal customer is “Jack” a 40 something executive then maybe cigar boxes are a product they should look at making.

If you want to charge a premium prices for your wooden products then you have to make something that your customer is going to love. That’s difficult when you are trying to please everybody. Also by focusing on a crew or group of customers it is easier to design products which you can cross sell to them.

So how do you learn more about your ideal customer?

That part is not so hard. Talk to them and ask them a few questions about themselves. Even if you don’t want to go that her their purchasing details will tell you a lot about where they live, what gender they are and maybe even their age.

If you are just getting into your woodworking business in designing a customer Avatar is a great way of deciding what markets and products you are in a focus on, and which opportunities you will ignore.

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Do you know your LTV? The “secret sauce” to making more money from your woodworking business

Do you know your LTV?

It’s the secret sauce to making more money from your woodworking business

The average lifetime value (LTV) of your customers is one of the most important concepts that a woodworking entrepreneur needs to know. When you know you’re LTV you will know how much you can afford to spend on marketing to acquire a new customer.  understanding the principles of LTV can also work out how to increase the profitability of your business.

woodworking business

Credit: Christian Senger

What is your LTV?

Your LTV is the average lifetime value of your customer. For example, imagine that you have a customer named Emma. Emma is the proud mother of two young boys. Emma loves the wooden toys that you make and consequently between the time her sons are 3 to 8 years old she buys five different wooden toys from you. Each of these wooden toys provide your average profit of about $15. So over the lifetime of Emma being your customer your profit $75.

Now why is this important?

One of the mistakes that many new woodworkers make is to miscalculate how much they can afford to acquire a new customer. When considering their marketing budget they will usually only take into account the $15 of the initial purchase by Emma. but Emma is worth much more to it than that initial $15. Even if we were to lose money on that first sale, we will make much more money because she is your customer. When you understand what your average LTV is of your customer you can afford to spend more to acquire those customers. So maybe those Google Ads are more affordable than you originally thought?

Why else is LTV important?

LTV is just as important for determining our marketing budget. Understanding that customers purchase from us multiple times is very important for woodworking entrepreneurs. Think about Emma once again. Imagine what is going through her mind before and after she has purchased one of the wooden toys.

Before she purchases that wooden toy she might be hesitant about the quality and taking a chance on this unknown woodworker that she is found on the Internet. After she has purchased and received the wooden toy and found out that it is great quality and her sons love it all of these apprehensions will have been dispelled.

So how hard is it to now sell Emma on another wooden toy?

The answer is not very difficult. If you are producing quality wooden products and run a solid business, then reselling more stuff to your existing customers is going to be much easier. And how much does it cost to acquire an “Emma” after she has purchased that initial product? That’s right – zero.

If you want to have a really profitable woodworking business then you need to understand what the lifetime value of your customers is. You also need to work actively on increasing this number. The higher you can get your LTV the bigger your profits and the more you will be able to spend on acquiring new customers.

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How To Use Storytelling To Sell Your Wood Products

The quality of your product descriptions for your wood products can be the difference between a sale and the customer buying somewhere else

Storytelling For Selling

Credit: Local Studies NSW

But many woodworkers struggle to write compelling descriptions for their products. Below you can learn more about the power of selling your wood products as a story teller.

Why does someone want to purchase a luxury vehicle late a Mercedes or a BMW, over a cheaper sedan? You might might suggest that the reason is because of the highest specifications of the luxury car.

But really that has more to do with the story that they are telling themselves in their mind. They imagine the way that they will feel and look when they are driving and the new vehicle. They might manner shouldn’t the admiration of their friends and family, or the comfort and pleasure they will enjoy inside the new car.

To write a compelling description that all make your customers take action you should try and create a similar story for your own products.

Include The Product Features

The quality of your product descriptions for your wood products can be the difference between a sale and the customer buying somewhere else.

But many woodworkers struggle to write compelling descriptions for their products. Below you can learn more about the power of selling your wood products as a story teller.

Why does someone want to purchase a luxury vehicle late a Mercedes or a BMW, over a cheaper sedan? You might might suggest that the reason is because of the highest specifications of the luxury car.

But really that has more to do with the story that they are telling themselves in their mind. They imagine the way that they will feel and look when they are driving and the new vehicle. They might manner shouldn’t the admiration of their friends and family, or the comfort and pleasure they will enjoy inside the new car.

To write a compelling description that all make your customers take action you should try and create a similar story for your own products.

Include The Product Features

First you should start with the main product features. These are the specifications such as the dimensions of the wood product. These can be displayed in bullet point form to get the information across in the shortest possible is both.

While these features are important they are not going to sell the product by themselves. They are there more for customers who have questions about the product details and who would only scan product description.

Find Your Voice

The product description itself is a story. It is an opportunity to you to establish a personal voice and a brand for your products. You could tell the story of the inspiration for this product. Perhaps you were inspired by the 19th century German artisans and incorporated that into the toy products. You could describe the process and the level of craft that goes into making wood product.

As you are telling the story you are connecting with the customer. But you’re also building value. You are explaining why your product is exceptional and why it is worth a premium price over what they would pay in the store.

Talk To One Person

One trick is to imagine that your customer is standing right in front of you. Explaining your wood product to them as you would to work a stranger. Tell them the story that will actually treat them and make them want to listen to learn more. Woodworkers are invariably passionate about their craft, you just need to get this passion into your description.

Make Your Sales Copy Readable

Remember that your description will be read by your customers. Make sure that it is easy to read, Use short sentences and proper punctuation. Avoid using all caps and more than one exclamation mark. When you’re finished description run it through spell check using a word processing program such as OpenOffice, Google Docs or Microsoft Word.

People love a an intriguing product story as it is something that they can tell their friends when they show them the wood product that you have designed.

What is the story you want to tell about your wood product?

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5 Tips For Increasing Your Woodworking Sales On Etsy, Amazon and eBay

Many woodworking businesses maintain an online store on sites such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy. But in order to be successful and stand out you need to take steps to optimize your online store.

Wood Products On eBay

Credit: JustGrimes

Below you can then how to increase sales of your woodworking profits products on these popular online marketplaces.

Tip #1: Give first-class customer service

Your customer ratings will be one of the main determinants as to whether your wood working business succeeds or fails in the online marketplace. Make sure that you not only meet the expectations for shipping times that you exceed them.

Ensure that your woodworking products are well wrapped and packaged. If customers ask for a refund or an exchange give it promptly without any questions asked. If you have customer enquiries when you need to respond quickly and hours and not taking days. You may feel that it’s the weekend and see you don’t need to reply until Monday but your customers are unlikely to agree.

You have to do what it takes to make sure that your customer stays happy. In the short term this can sometimes mean sucking it up and even taking a loss on sale. We all have difficult customers can sometimes have unreasonable expectations. But keeping these customers happy is still important. Think of this as an opportunity to market to future customers.

Tip#2: Match your product to the market

You want to make sure that you are selling products that match the marketplace. For example, Etsy is often a popular website with younger mothers. On the site wooden toys and home utensils often perform well. This is also a site which is focused on the craft market and soap products with an interesting back story are popular. On another site such as eBay wooden cigar boxes might be a better seller. Make sure that you are choosing products that it can be competitive in the marketplace that your son.

Tip#4: Optimize your listings

It is important to optimize your listings for your woodworking products. This means creating good quality and accurate descriptions. For example, if you’re selling wooden toys would want to include the size, specifications, safe use information, the wood used, and any other information that a buyer is likely to want to know.

It can also be a good idea to conclude a little bit of a background story about why you created this particular product. Making a product more personal can help you to connect with your customer. Make sure to include a number of different images of the product so that the customer feels comfortable purchasing.

You should also focus on optimizing your headlines make them enticing to encourage that customer to click on the link to find out more. The only thing sure that your pricing and shipping options are accurate and up-to-date.

Tip #5 Manage your inventory

Many woodworking products that you sell may have a limited inventory. You want to make sure that you are managing your inventory accurately and keeping up-to-date. Receiving too many orders may seem like a good problem to have. But, if the end up exceeding your inventory and you need to cancel the orders which can really damage your customer ratings.

 

 

 

 

 

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8 Tips For Selling Woodworking Products On Etsy

One of the best woodworking opportunities currently available is selling on the craft website Etsy. Many older woodworkers may be unfamiliar with this hip young upstart which is a competitor to sites such as eBay and Amazon.

Selling Wood Products On Etsy

Credit: Gary Denham

While Etsy may not be as well known as some of these larger online marketplaces it still does some serious business.

In the month of October 2013 alone there were $115.2 million in sales sold by businesses on the website. That was a rise of 40.7% since since October 2012 (http://www.etsy.com/blog/news/2013/etsy-statistics-october-2013-weather-report/).

Etsy restricts its businesses are those that produce handmade and craft goods. Therefore it is the perfect place to sell your handmade woodworking products.

Check out this success story of Little Saplings Toys to see how people are making the most of Etsy and building thriving wood products businesses.

You can find out more about how you can become a success selling the woodworking products on Etsy.

Tip #1 – Developing a brand

The importance of having a personal brand identity can’t be overstated. If you are a baby boomer older male you may find it a little bit off putting at first marketing on Etsy given the popularity of the site with the younger female demographic.

But actually this can be a major selling point if people want to purchase for someone who understands their craft. If you spent the last two decades woodworking when you want to include this information on your personal profile. Branding is about setting yourself apart from the competition so think about what makes you and your products unique.

Tip #2 – Have quality photos

The importance of this point cannot be overstated. If you want to sell well on Etsy then you need to have good quality photos and you need to have antioxidant. If a young mother is going to purchase a wooden toy for her child she wants to know exactly what it is, look like feeling like and whether it is going to be safe. This means taking very detailed photos from multiple angles. You want have at least five photos to each item that you’re selling on the website.

Tip #3 – Get your pricing right

When you sell on Etsy you need to know how to price your items properly.. This includes understanding how much time you are really putting into producing your wood products. Your labour is a cost and needs to be accounted for. This is particularly important when you’re creating handcrafted products like you will be selling on Etsy.

Tip # 5 – Consider guest posting

Guest posting is when you write an article and contribute it to someone else’s blogs. This is a great way to get exposure for your woodworking business for free. When you write your blog post you will include a link back to your Etsy store. You will tap into the audience of that person’s blog. In order to take advantage of this posting you need to understand your customer demographic.

Who is buying your product? Once you answer this question you can look for blogs which have a similar audience. Find the contact details of the blog owner and send them an email asking if you can contribute a post to this website. You are more likely to get a favourable response on websites that are already read accepting this post. The other advantage of this posting is what are called back links. Because you are linking from the guest post to your listing, in the eyes of search engines such as Google the importance of your store can become elevated.

Tip #6 – Answer questions, politely and promptly

As with most online marketplaces you need to make sure that your answering questions promptly and politely. This can be sometimes a little frustrating when it is the 20th time you have been asked the same question, but it is an important part of success on the site. Your customers are your most valuable asset and so you need to be sure that your nurturing them. You may want to include a list of FAQs on your listing to cut down on unnecessary questions.

Tip #7 – Thank your customers when they order

The moment that you receive an order in the mouth and email saying thank you and telling them when you plan to post the there would products. They will receive correspondence from Etsy but many people do not check these emails. A personal email from you can go a long way to increasing customer satisfaction.

Tip #8 – Create a comprehensive listing

You need to make sure that you would products feel listings are as comprehensive as possible. Think about how your customer is likely to use your wood product. Give advice about how it can be used. Make sure to include the dimensions including the size and inches and centimeters. Explain how it will be packaged and why it is going to arrive at their home safely. Also make sure to fill out the tags comprehensively as this can help to increase the chance that your products will be found.

Etsy is a great opportunity for the woodworkers to sell the cross. Make sure that you into making the most of this opportunity and growing your business using this thriving online marketplace.

 

 

 

 

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Using Local Online Directories To Market Your Woodworking Business

Many woodworking business owners underestimate the benefits of having their woodworking business listed in local online directory. Listing in online directories is free and can be a great source of customers.

Below you can learn more about why you need to have your business listed in a local online very directories.

What is a local online directory?

Start A Woodworking Business

Credit: Opacity

 

A local online directory is somewhere that businesses can list their business for free. Below you can find a list of some of the more popular local online directories:

  • Yellow Pages
  • City Search
  • Yelp
  • Yahoo! local listings
  • Craigslist
  • Local.com
  • Bing local

Gaining exposure for your business

The primary reason that you want to be listed in local online directories as so that it is easier for customers to find your business. If someone is looking for information for a local carpenter or wood worker then you want to be sure that you are listed here. One of the good things that many woodworkers are unaware of the likely potential of these online directories and so you may not face much competition in the local area.

Search engine benefits of being listed in local online directories

Search engines such as Google tend to award local businesses that are listed in local online directories. When you are listed in the local online directory there will be a link from that listing back to your website. This shows Google that you are a real business in your local area. This can help your website to rank higher in the search engines.

Which local online directories to list you woodworking business

There are many different online directories we could potentially list your website. You want to make sure that you focus your attention on the ones that are most likely to lead to customers. The way to do this is to perform a Google search and see which local directory appears first in the search engines.

For example if you lived in Fort Worth you might enter into Google search terms either “Fort Worth Carpenter” or “Fort Worth Woodworking”. On the first page of Google you should notice that there is at least one local directory. Make sure that your business is listed in this local directory first. You want to have a complete listing and include photos reviews or video where possible.

The more information that you fill in for your listing the more likely that you are to rank highly in that directory. When someone searches using Google they will click through and usually check out the first results in that directory. You want to make sure that you have this premium position.

 

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6 Common Mistakes Made When Starting A Woodworking Business

It is no surprise that many woodworkers want to start their own woodworking business.

Woodworking Business Strategy

Credit: The Crucible

The freedom of being your own boss and doing what you love can sound irresistible.

But there are some common mistakes that was caused woodworkers to fail before they can start. Here are five common mistakes that entrepreneurs make when starting your own small woodworking business.

Mistake #1 – Not accounting for your labor

One common mistake that woodworkers make is not including the cost of the labor when producing the product. It is easy to think of your time as being free. After all woodworking is something that you love to do and would be doing anyway even if you were getting paid for.

But not including your cost of labor into your final product price will mean that there will be limitations on how fast you can grow your business. If you want to bring in new employees you will need to sharply increase your prices and ordered to cover them. If you want to create a sustainable business start by including your labor costs.

Mistake #2 – Not researching the market

Another common mistake made by woodworkers is not researching the market. There is no point in producing wood products that there is no demand for. See what customers are already purchasing and start start with this. There is a saying that pioneers get arrows on the back. You can innovate but don’t get too far ahead of what customers expect.

Mistake #3 – Not finding a niche

If you want to profit you need to specialize. If someone can buy exactly the same with product that you are producing from Asia at half the price then you will have trouble competing. Find a niche and become the best in this area. Then you will be able to charge premium prices for your product.

Mistake #4 – Not treating it like a real business

If you want to start a woodworking business, then start a business not of a hobby. This means keeping an accurate record of your accounts including your costs and your annual revenue. If you treat your woodworking business like a real enterprise you are far more likely to produce a sustainable profit.

Mistake #5 – Failing to market your business

If you build it they will come might have worked for Kevin Costner, but it doesn’t work for woodworking business owners. Before you even begin your business you should have a marketing plan. This is the exact strategy that you can follow to get customers to your business. This might include online strategies such as Google Adwords, blogging, Facebook marketing, classified advertising and leveraging online marketplaces. It may also include off-line methods such as advertising your local paper, distributing flyers and networking with local businesses.

Mistake #6 – Thinking you already know everything

As the owner a small woodworking business you shouldn’t be afraid to ask the help. There are many resources both on the Internet and in the real world where you can receive help. Joining a local small business mastermind group is a great way to leverage other people’s knowledge. You can also join one of the many woodworking forums online and post your questions. There are also online courses which layout step-by-step how to establish a profitable woodworking business.

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Why Blogging Can Increase Your Woodworking Business Sales

Very few woodworking owners blog on a regular basis. But, more should consider adding this to their promotional strategy for their woodworking business. In fact, that few woodworkers use blogging makes a strategy all the more powerful because it’s easier to stand out. Read on and then some of the benefits of blogging for your woodworking business.

Connect to your buyers

There is an important concept and marketing witches that customers buy from people that they know, like and trust. In my building Woodworking Business Bloggingdays I would get a lot of repeat work because people had come to know me in respect of the work that I did. So how do you develop this kind of relationship when you haven’t yet sold anything to your customer. One way to do this is blogging.

Simply by talking about yourself, your family, your interests, your business and the products that you make people will get to know and trust it. They will see that you are a real person that they can relate to. Think about it. Who do you think the customer is more likely to purchase from a particular wood product from. A complete stranger or someone who slog that it been reading the past six months.

Get visitors to your website

The other reason that blogging is so important is because it gets more visitors to your website. Think about each blog piece that you write as a little salesperson. This little salesperson doesn’t need to be paid and will continue to bring in Leeds for your woodworking business as long as it remains indexed by the search engines like Google.

To see how this works imagine that you have woodworking business that focuses on making wooden products for men 30 years and older. One of your products as a wooden cigar box. So you write the definitive blog post on how to choose a wooden cigar box and what to look for. How many other people would know more about wooden cigar boxes then you.? I’m guessing not that many and very few of them if any will bother to write a blog post on this topic. As a consequence there is a very good chance that your blog post will become the definitive work on how to choose a wooden cigar box.

Flash forward, now every time that someone is looking for information on how to choose a wooden cigar box your blog entry appears in the Google search entry. Because you write such a great blog post on this topic it appears near the top of the search results. That means that a lot of people that search for information on this particular topic end up on your website.

Then low and behold…

You also sell wooden cigar boxes. Exactly what this person was looking to buy. What a

Woodworking Cigar Box

Credit: David

great coincidence! What’s more by writing such a great blog post on how to choose a wooden cigar box you’re obviously an expert in the subject. Having established your expertise you can find it much easier selling to that customer.

As you can see adding blog content to your website as one of the best ways of getting more customers and building the trust required to make sales. Yes blogging is a long term strategy. It won’t deliver sales as fast as placing an ad in your local newspaper. But its a long term strategy and it doesn’t cost you anything but you time. Very few woodworkers take advantage of this tactic to grow the business, don’t be one of the ones that misses out.

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Why You Should Start a Part Time Woodworking Business

Starting a successful woodworking business is not something you simply wake up one morning and decide you want to do. It requires planning if it is to be financially successful. The major reason that people are unable to take their love of woodworking from a hobby to a business is because they have not educated themselves on how to do so. Here you will discover how to get started with your own woodworking business.

The major reason that people start a part time woodworking business is because they want to make more money each week and do so doing something that they love. Many people are trying to get by on a very tight budget and there is nothing left over at the end of the week for extras such as medical bills, saving for your children’s college, a vacation or even a few toys.

Having a part time woodworking business is great because it is something that fits easily around the hours you are working in your full time job. You can work on your woodworking business in the evening or on the weekends. And the business can be as large or as small as you want it to be. It really is up to you to decide how much work and much income you would like to earn from it.

Starting a woodworking business does not require a lot of equipment or even a lot of space. Provided that you have somewhere to work like a shed or a garage and a few simple tools you can get started. It does not even require a lot of technical skill because if you are selling wood crafts such as benches, jewellery boxes or walking canes the skills can be easily learned.

Another reason that people like to have their own part time woodworking business is the fact that it allows them to do work that they actually enjoy. Most people who start a woodworking business are already woodworking hobbyists. The opportunity to get paid for something that they already enjoy doing for free is difficult to resist. Few jobs are as rewarding creatively as they are financially as woodworking is.

Finally selling wood crafts is something that you can do from anywhere. Thanks to the internet it is now possible to reach customers all over the world. In 2011 the number of eBay million dollar businesses increased by 25% and this was lead by the home and garden section. Now is the perfect time to be growing an online woodworking business.

If you want to learn everything you need to know about starting your own Six Figure Woodworking Business pickup your free “Start Your Own Woodworking Business” Click here for your How to Start a Woodworking Business Guide

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