Artisans and personal branding

What is the difference between my job and what my father did years ago? Yesterday's craftsman had to juggle a thousand fears and uncertainties, he was completely alone, and he struggled to reach his customers. So he chose to work "for third parties", creating products and accessories on which another brand affixed a trademark. 

Today, for the new artisans, regaining possession of that brand has been a real fortune.
I'll tell you about the digital craftsman.

The new generation of artisans found the tools at home, as happened to me. I was lucky enough to find a ready-made laboratory, there waiting for me. What was missing, however, was the market. When I started this adventure, the crisis had transformed one of the most prosperous Italian manufacturing districts into a gray and sad swamp. 

But I decided to try it anyway, together with my brother Gian Luca. We developed the brand, drew up a business plan, devised a strategy and embarked on the path of social media (of which I did not know anything) to tell our work. Initially I just wanted to show my shoes.

I always thought: who cares to hear what I say? 

Then I realized that I was very wrong. I started receiving personal stories from my customers, collecting product feedback, personalized requests that helped me improve subsequent collections. 
At that moment I realized that I was not using a valuable tool, which my father did not have.

I was lucky enough to get straight to my clients, and I wasn't doing it. 

So I started working on myself, working on what marketers would call "personal branding". Obviously, my way. The rule was and is only one: be authentic. I would never have told anything that was not true, I would never have shared a post just because it is in "trend", and I would have surrounded myself only with professionals who are able to understand this need. 

Beautiful yes, but how difficult it is.

That's right. Because communicating our work on social media is itself a job, which requires time and attention, the same time that we already savor with the dropper. 

The real difficulty lies in organizing my days: I move from contacting a supplier to cutting an upper, then posting a story on Instagram and then going back to researching the new collection. And in this, the craftsman is once again alone.

But as tiring as it is, the digital artisan has taken revenge. He cut off all the middlemen, without waiting to have a banquet in a big flea market to reach his customers. The social networks put us in direct contact with those who love our products, they allowed us to tell them and tell our stories, that showcase that previously overlooked a small town square now overlooks the whole world.

As difficult as it is, it's really worth it, isn't it?

About personal branding. They interviewed me on Business Celebrity together with two amazing craftswomen: Alice by Exseatbag and Daniela alias The Marchigiana. The article is titled “GIVING VOICE TO THE CRAFTSMANSHIP BY BEING A TEAM, THE PROJECT OF THREE ENTREPRENEURS MARCHIGIANE”. 
Do you want to read it? Click here.