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Marketing Your Work – Part 1

By Barry Gross / Arizona Silhouette  ©2014

How do you get started in selling your pens?

Barry's personal Cast Resin Clock Parts pen

Barry’s personal Cast Resin Clock Parts pen

The first step is to carry your OWN pen! This may sound silly but I cannot tell you how many pen turners do not advertise their own work by showing off a pen they have made! How do you expect to sell something if you do not have an example of your craftsmanship? Whenever I sign anything or write anything down I always use a pen that I made. By me using my own pen, it will lead a person to ask about the pen I am using, and if they don’t ask, I make sure that I show it to them and tell them about it. Be proud of your creations – show your work to anyone and everyone, and make sure they know that you made that pen. Hand someone your business card – always have them available to hand out!

The internet and bookstores are loaded with books and articles on how to market and sell your creations. (This very brief introduction is by no means going to give you all the answers to success. Please consider subscribing to my blog. I will be posting more marketing articles and tips in the future)

Finding a market for your work…

I was a sales manager with over 30 years experience training sales representatives on how to “sell,” the first objective for any good sales representative is to listen. We have two ears and one mouth, so why do we talk twice as much as we listen?
Listen to what your customer is telling you.

Every market is different, what sells in New England may not sell well in Texas, and conversely, what sells in California may not sell in Minnesota! So, take a moment and conduct your own market research. Visit local galleries, attend craft fairs and join a local woodturning club for ideas on what may sell in a particular area.

EMT Star of Life Laser Inlay Pen

Getting Established –

A fast way to establish yourself is to offer your work for local fundraising. The local ambulance squad was having a fundraiser and I offered to split the proceeds of the sales of my pens as a donation to the ambulance squad. This accomplished three things. First, it was good to give to the ambulance squad. Second, it established my work in the area and exposed me to many people. And third, as a result, many other orders were taken for special pens to be delivered at a later time.

Part 2 will be published early next week. Please subscribe to my blog so that you don’t miss any future articles – click here to subscribe