So it's no secret that I make my living selling spoons, blanks, burnishing tools (although that is much more a service to the community) and teaching spooncarving. This all accounts for a third of what I do. But it's definitely my most public side.
Sales have been good this last week, after a period when sales were slow that had me second-guessing if I was doing something wrong. It's ironic that sales have been so good this week because I feel like my social media engagement is way down, in that I haven't had anything go remotely popular, let alone viral (and if I'm being honest NOTHING I've done has gone viral) in several weeks. I'm not sure to make of that, if I should be worried, or changing what I do, or tweaking things more.
Or maybe I've gotten sloppy? Or maybe Instagram is changing? Or maybe the community is changing?
For sure everything is shifting, all the time, and it's incumbent on each of us to assess what might be working, make small changes, and try, try try until something starts to stick, and then do more of that thing.
On the other hand, that logic is how you get feeds that feel oddly bereft of any person, or that don't give you any sense of a life being lived.
It's nice to be reminded, in these moments when social media and self-promotion seems baffling, that sales of what I do are not tied so tightly to how many likes I get. It sure feels like they are, because they are, in a broader sense, connected. Of the 8000 people following me, fully 7500 don't see my stuff or engage or are even using their accounts. So you need to attract the new people, the ones exploring, but you also need to make it worthwhile for people to stick around, too. In the end, however, it is easy to panic when either social media or sales feel off, without recognizing that there is a disconnect between the two.
And it is easy to lose sight of what social media can be in the first place, how it can serve and enrich our lives, bringing us opportunities, community, and a way to document things we would like to remember and be known for.
I'd like to think if I can remember to do that, then the sales will take care of themselves.
My blog has evolved into a series of short essays on the nature of entrepreneurship, craftsmanship, and their overlap. If either of these topics is something you think about, you will probably like this.