Taking A Risk On A Platform
Using social media for creative businesses seems like a given now, but when we started we were ahead of the game, using Instagram as a way to market our welding shop. A welding shop on Instagram didn't make sense at the time.
When we opened Wayward Machine Co we were "competing" with other local shops that had 50+ years in the industry. We found our customer base where they were already hanging out, Instagram. Remember this was years ago and Instagram wasn't what it is now. This was before stories, before you could have a url in your profile and possibly before you could even have a business page.
We found a way to use a platform that was built for photographers and retrofit it as a portfolio and a sneak peak behind the scenes. We allowed our potential customers to meet the fabricators, get to know our shop (and our dogs). We put faces to the people creating the furniture that you see in Chicago restaurants.
It seemed like every time we posted a finished project we were then contacted by another interior designer who was inspired by what we made and had an idea for a new project. Instagram allowed us to show what was possible. We get asked often where we find our customers and answer has always been Instagram.
Taking a platform seriously (especially a new one that you arn't sure you can count on) is an investment. It is an investment in your time and when you decide to run advertising, it is an financial investment.
We took a risk on investing our time and money in Instagram and it paid off.
Honestly it could have just as likely flopped if Instagram never took off.
As the algorithms change and the platforms are flooded with content, awareness decreases. If you have a worthwhile presence on Instagram you are most likely feeling the decline. While the landscape changes on Instagram, other platforms are taking off.
What is the moral of this story?
You have to take risks on the platforms. You have to invest your time. You will never know which one takes off and while you might not see how a platform can benefit your business, you have no idea what it may evolve into.
Wayward Machine Co is a custom metal fabrication shop based in Chicago, IL. We are able to ship nationwide, contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like us to quote/discuss a job.