Author Topic: Forum member services area.  (Read 11274 times)

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Offline Dovetail65

  • Posts: 4619
    • Rose Farm Floor Medallions and Inlays
Forum member services area.
« on: October 31, 2008, 02:52 PM »
To keep from having the worst month ever I am offering any person on the forum a special on my work. August and September were surprisingly good, October my worst sales in 5 years.

Can a forum services area help you drum up business  if you are in the same boat as me? Not just for woodworking, but any kind of work.

I would rather recommend someone here to a friend or associate than someone I have no common interests with at all.

Want to try it?
« Last Edit: October 31, 2008, 06:25 PM by nickao »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline Steve-CO

  • Posts: 787
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2008, 03:59 PM »
In good times and especially during these down times we should do anything we can to support each other.  Hope this gets you some leads.  Good luck and hopefully business will pick up for you soon.

Offline Rob McGilp

  • Posts: 430
  • Curmudgeon
    • Damn Fine Furniture
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2008, 04:27 PM »
If you're looking for bargains as far as finished items in Aussie timber are concerned, the A$ is now worth US$0.60c and will probably drop to US$0.40c in the near future. :) Just let me know.

Regards,

Rob
 

Offline Matthew Schenker

  • Posts: 2619
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2008, 04:51 PM »
Nick,
I think this would be a great idea.  I've always enjoyed being able to have the forum help people in any way possible.  During times like this, if we can find a professional way to assist those of us in business, I'm all for it.

I'd be happy to create a new section, perhaps called "Member Business Services" or something like that.

What do you think?

Thanks for the idea!

Stay in touch,
Matthew
FOG Designer and Creator

Offline Garry

  • Posts: 391
    • AVID
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2008, 08:40 PM »
I actually have a referral program where you get 2% of the gross sale on any referrals you send to me, and you qualify yourself for a 20% discount on anything you buy from me. 

I am in custom home electronics, and a link to my weak website is listed in my signature.

I use "you" in this post, as anyone willing to send a referral. 

I feel for Nickao, as I am having my largest volume month since I started my business 3 years ago.  I'm not bragging, and things are always cyclical.

I'm sure I'll be starving in 3 months... :o
http://www.avidhome.com  You're only young once, but you can be immature forever!

Offline Dovetail65

  • Posts: 4619
    • Rose Farm Floor Medallions and Inlays
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2008, 08:55 PM »
Maybe we should start a list for a FOG business network with listed discounts and referral fees and such. Networking here could not hurt, even if we have to link out of the FOG to another site to do it. Thanks for the the thoughts. Although October sales are low I have some positive indicators for my site.

Nick
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline Frank-Jan

  • Posts: 1278
  • Dutch Canadian living in Belgium
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2008, 07:55 PM »
Nick, I hope business picks up for you.
I liked your website, but since you removed the link because the special is over, I should mention the link in your profile doesn't work; I've seen other members with websites putting a link in their signature, that would give it more exposure.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2008, 07:55 PM by Frank-Jan »

Offline Dovetail65

  • Posts: 4619
    • Rose Farm Floor Medallions and Inlays
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2008, 08:21 PM »
I had to take the link to my site off the Festool forum.

It created WAY to many external links to my web site. Little did I know every time I made a post that google would link to my site off a Festool page where I posted, even though I had no link in any of the posts let alone the threads. 400 links from one place that is not really related to my web site topic instantly drew down my google rank and I do not mean the rank in the toolbar, I mean the actual page rank. Not that page rank is that important anymore but if I left it I eventually could of had thousands of back links to Festool which has nothing to do with floor medallions..

I found out that just putting my link in my profile somehow followed me wherever I posted. A few of my friends that are web designers have seen this happen before.Over 404 festool links compared to 100 web related links diluted the junk out of my related topic external links. I only had my web site in my Festool profile like a week too..

So I had to pull the link off my profile. If I had 5000 links and only 100 "on topic" links I am sure I would be penalized. As it is now I am always on the yahoo search first page(floormedallionsandinlays.com) and always on google first or second page(MajesticMedallions.com) NON PAID organic search, so I just do not want to take any chances. Google does some strange things.

I may just write the link in text so  people can cut and paste it if they want.

Nickao
« Last Edit: November 02, 2008, 08:35 PM by nickao »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline Dovetail65

  • Posts: 4619
    • Rose Farm Floor Medallions and Inlays
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2008, 08:39 PM »
I guess this idea really is not taking of very well. I think at least 100-200 or more would have to be interested to make it worthwhile for a national network. The idea has not even received  a 1% interest on this forum.

I am surprised as I thought there were about 3000 members, oh well could be people do not want to mix business with a hobby or maybe Festool purchasers and users are not hurting financially as much as some others.

Oh Frank-Jan the discounts for the FOG Forum members is always on, it's just not advertised to the general public.

Nickao
« Last Edit: November 02, 2008, 08:52 PM by nickao »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline quietguy

  • Posts: 491
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2008, 09:16 PM »
Don't give up on this so easily.  I think you have a golden idea, it just may need a little time to take root. 

Offline Colo timber

  • Posts: 35
    • qualitycustomcraftsman.com
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2008, 10:24 AM »
I am also interested, as a matter of fact I am just down the road from Garry in Littleton. I work with two electronics gentlemen in the Denver area doing custom work for their clients. 

I also have found very recently that business has slowed immensely and it has been a sharp drop off as in one week to the next.  Where I use to have a month back log of work we are now working almost day to day. 

I fortunately had a client (not for them) that had a broken toilet in their home while they were gone which gave us almost two weeks of work.  I hate to wish for others bad events but it did help out for a little while. 

I have gone back and emailed all of my clients and designers to let them know that we are available.  I think that when things are really busy, that when you tell clients that we are busy, that maybe they are hesitant to bother us because we are so busy, I don't think that it hurts to let them know that we are available. 

There was an article in the Sunday paper about networking  in finding jobs and that is a under utilized avenue that needs to be utilized again.  Nick I will forward your name on to the hardwood guys that I work with and let them know.  It's funny, I didn't even think about referring you until this thread, I know that is dumb but once again I think that it is a matter of asking.  Possibly the occasional thread reminding others and new members that we are all looking for business and can help each other.

Dan
qualitycustomcraftsman.com

Offline Matthew Schenker

  • Posts: 2619
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2008, 10:40 AM »
Nick,
It seems that this is getting a good response.  You can't expect the majority of members to actively comment (certainly not all 5,000 members).  Judging from the percentage of positive responses among the people who have commented, this looks like something people do want.

We just need to work out the details...
How do you think something like this should be set up?
Where should it go?
How can I help bring attention to it?

Let's keep this discussion going, because I think it's a good idea that is worth the effort.

Thanks again,
Matthew
FOG Designer and Creator

Offline Barry Londrigan

  • Posts: 180
  • Newark, Ohio
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2008, 12:36 PM »
I think this is a great idea....it might take a little while for the fire to start but I feel it will...

Offline Dovetail65

  • Posts: 4619
    • Rose Farm Floor Medallions and Inlays
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2008, 01:21 PM »

We just need to work out the details...
How do you think something like this should be set up?
Where should it go?
How can I help bring attention to it?

Let's keep this discussion going, because I think it's a good idea that is worth the effort.

Thanks again,
Matthew


I'll think about that in more detail.

Maybe  someone else who has experience putting together networking groups and meetings can chime in along with someone else that may belong to or run an online web site networking group can give us some directions, or even take the lead. This is a first for me.

If I had a list of guys and what they do all in one place every time I sold an inlay I could call an installer on the list in that state. Installing these is more money than I make selling them, but I rarely sell any(actually only once) in IL.

Anyone can install them and making a template or using a jig is simple. I have had guys charge up to 1500.00 to install an inlay for 4 hours work. Now that's for a very intricate free form design and finishing, usually from 250.00 to 750.00 for two hours work is the norm. Many flooring installers will not touch the inlays as weird as that sounds.

Now I do not sell loads, but if we had a group of hundreds or even thousands of people and we all used each other as a first choice eventually it may add up to some nice jobs. If we  emphasize the no dust element of the tools we use it could sell a lot pf people too. So many do not sand floors anymore because of the dust so that's where Festool ties in. The people who use Festools are clean, organized and professional, I hope.

As far as organizing the whole thing I will read up on it, I am no expert.

I think it should just be a nice compliment service for the forum members and not take away from the site as it is now. You are right it may take months to get it going and even longer for the benefits to be realized.

I would like to hear form the no voters so we can minimize their fears and address the things they are concerned about. If the no votes do not speak up we can not accommodate their wants and needs. I would like the chance to get a no voter to change to a yes voter by changing up things based on the their comments.

Nickao



« Last Edit: November 03, 2008, 01:32 PM by nickao »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline Dovetail65

  • Posts: 4619
    • Rose Farm Floor Medallions and Inlays
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2008, 02:38 PM »
Who ever gave me a referral from this forum thanks for the sale! I am not sure if it is a member or not, but I made a nice sale a few minutes ago and they said they were referred through someone who frequents the FOG forum.

Nickao
« Last Edit: November 03, 2008, 02:39 PM by nickao »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline Matthew Schenker

  • Posts: 2619
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2008, 12:19 PM »
Good Afternoon,
I was just thinking... we need to develop new header images for the forum.  Maybe this is a good opportunity for people with businesses?

People with businesses could submit photos of their shops, stores, or their work, and it would appear in the forum header.  For example, Nick is submitting images of his inlays.  Do other people have similar images to submit for the headers?

If you are not sure what I'm talking about, click here for more information.

Thanks,
Matthew
FOG Designer and Creator

Offline Dovetail65

  • Posts: 4619
    • Rose Farm Floor Medallions and Inlays
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2008, 01:45 PM »
A simple way to help anyone in members service area that has a web site is to use stumbleupon and give a thumbs up rating. I gave one to this FOG forum long ago.

Traffic will increase on your site dramatically if you can get a lot of forum members to give you a thumbs up either for a blog or web site..

stumble

Once stumble is installed into your browser just go to any website and then give it a thumbs up or down.

Of course I will take any thumbs up I can get for my site!

Nick
« Last Edit: November 05, 2008, 01:59 PM by nickao »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline Dovetail65

  • Posts: 4619
    • Rose Farm Floor Medallions and Inlays
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2008, 01:59 PM »
Matthew maybe we can just start by making a list of all the web companies and their emails that people have already submitted in their profile and then ask for more to be added. We can put them all on one page under "Forum member services". There can be both a company list and a blog list. That way anyone can go to one page and see all the companies that forum members are affiliated

Festool dealers maybe should be separate? Unless the Festool dealers can commit to recommending  us for local work I think they may have enough exposure on the list they are on now. I know I have recommended Bob and Festool junkie, McFeelys and Ace Tool loads of times, I would appreciate the same from them. Any my referrals turned into 100% sales for them. I k know the dealers value this forum and get referrals and such.

To the no voters on this idea, why not help the members as well as the dealers?

If we can get everyone's blogs and web companies on one page on the FOG forum with a decent page rank it definitley could not hurt either.

I think if one person here gets a nice job from a forum members business list they will take it upon themselves to get more involved and come up with more ideas. Seeing this can work may get more involved and it can grow from there.

Bumping this thread once a week is probably a good idea too.

Nickao
« Last Edit: November 05, 2008, 02:05 PM by nickao »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline Dovetail65

  • Posts: 4619
    • Rose Farm Floor Medallions and Inlays
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2008, 07:22 PM »
bump
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline Matthew Schenker

  • Posts: 2619
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2008, 01:13 PM »
Nick,
I'm still trying to figure out how this would look and where it should go.  We have to be cautious about creating new boards.

For now, I'd be interested in hearing from all the people who voted "Yes" in your poll.  What do you think this should look like?

Thanks,
Matthew
FOG Designer and Creator

Offline Frank-Jan

  • Posts: 1278
  • Dutch Canadian living in Belgium
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2008, 03:12 AM »
Matthew, just a suggestion: you could just make a sticky thread in this board (because it's sales related) and just wait and see. If it becomes so popular it will need its own board you'll see it coming.

(Just my 2cts)

Offline Matthew Schenker

  • Posts: 2619
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2008, 07:26 AM »
Matthew, just a suggestion: you could just make a sticky thread in this board (because it's sales related) and just wait and see. If it becomes so popular it will need its own board you'll see it coming.

(Just my 2cts)

Frank,
Yes, that's what I'm trying to see -- how many people would actually utilize this idea.
I've made this discussion a sticky topic.  Now let's see what happens.
If enough people respond saying they want it, I'll create a new board.
Thanks,
Matthew
FOG Designer and Creator

Offline Dave Ronyak

  • Posts: 2234
  • Flyin' from NE Ohio
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2008, 06:44 PM »
All, I'm not a professional woodworker or in any way associated professionally with the building or construction trades.  Woodworking and DIY projects are my hobby.

Nevertheless, if and when I will need professional help because the tasks are too big or beyond my skills level, I would definitely want to have available a listing of FOG members who contract their service and who sell products (as does Nick).  As others have said, wouldn't you rather work with someone whose work and perhaps more you know than someone you know nothing about?

I'd like the member services participants listings to be arranged or to be searchable like the Yellow Pages are.  I would like to be able to identify potential service providers by specialty and geographic availability.

Dave R.
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline Matthew Schenker

  • Posts: 2619
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2009, 04:45 PM »
Good Afternoon,
Just to pick up on this again... I am still working out a way to have a member service area in the forum.  Just trying to think of the best way to put this together.

I hope to put it together in the next couple of days.

In the meantime, suggestions or ideas are welcomed!

Stay in touch,
Matthew
FOG Designer and Creator

Offline Tom Bellemare

  • Inactive Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5148
  • Festool demo's & personal service in Central Texas
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2009, 05:13 PM »
Matthew:

It might make sense to set up something similar to building an e-commerce site. You could get all of the functionality you need and much more just by using the off-the-shelf version of osCommerce.

It already has the coding to structure menus by category and manufacturer. You could just map that to skill and region (or something like that). The service provider could build their own webpage and that could be the equivalent of the product pages that osCommerce has.

It would be an (almost) out-of-the-box solution that could be implemented really easily. It runs on php and MySQL, plus it's free.


Tom

Offline Eli

  • Posts: 2503
  • A Yankee in Kangaroo Court
Re: Forum member services area.
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2009, 08:50 PM »
My USD$.02

I think it's a good idea.



My AUD$0.031

I'm pretty far away from most, I'll help however I can.
Do nothing, stay ahead.