Today marks the 1st anniversary of starting this blog.
After one year and 213 posts (Wow, has it been that many?) it's time to declare: Happy Anniversary to "Musings of a Furniture Maker"!
In addition to this blog I have also made a few other changes in the past year with respect to my marketing efforts via social media. I have also joined Linkedin, Custommade and Twitter, and started a Facebook fan page for Wiggers Custom Furniture Ltd. Recently I have also started a parallel blog at Wordpress.
If I've learned anything in the past year regarding blogging and social media, it's that the efforts involved can be very time consuming. While my work days are typically spent dealing with the nuts and bolts of running a custom furniture business, my evenings now seem to be focussed on blogging and digital marketing.
My biggest motivator for making these efforts has been to market my work more effectively. Markets today are transforming rapidly, and in recent years it has become painfully apparent that many of the old ways of doing business are obsolete and falling to the wayside. Traditional "mortar and bricks" showrooms have seen sales declines that have literally fallen off a cliff. Virtual showrooms and other forms of marketing via social media, meanwhile, have generated results that I never could have foreseen as recently as 5 years ago.
Is all of this extra effort paying off? At this stage it's difficult to tell, but I can say that my shop is busier now than it was at this time last year - so something must be working.
Probably the biggest thing I've learned is that although social media can be an effective tool for marketing it is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to generating sales. If I could somehow manage to create a Facebook fan page that had 1,000,000 fans, for example - so what? From a business standpoint what good is it to have a million fans if not one of them is doing a lick of business with you?
When it comes to transacting actual business it seems that the paradigm is fundamentally no different than it has ever been: namely delivering quality and service to your customer. Yes, social media has changed the means by which we can now REACH our customers, but the basics of quality and service still rule.
In addition to celebrating the first anniversary of this blog tonight, there is one other anniversary taking place in my world today. Namely, it was exactly 28 years ago tonight that my wife and I went out on our first date.
And, so, while I am now sipping a Guinness and tapping out the 213th post to my "Musings of a Furniture Maker" blog, it was 28 years ago tonight that I was sitting in a cinema with my date - watching "War Games"; starring Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy.
Happy 28th first date anniversary to Teresa, and Happy 1st blog post anniversary to "Musings of a Furniture Maker" !