A couple in the hill country of Texas and I have a mutual friend in the tv business. The tv personality, who lives near the couple, had me do one of these bottles last Christmas as a gift for the couple.
Of course, I always hang my little card around the neck of every bottle I engrave. I have an idea the card got lifted before the couple got the bottle because when the guy called me, after emailing his request, my first question was to inquire how he knew my work. He told me the bottle had a signature on the back. He Googled Ken Brown and easily found me. The lesson here, for you wine bottle engravers out there…sign your name LEGIBLY so they can track you down. If you’ve done your personal promotion the right way, you have at least a small presence on the web. A single page validates that you’re there.
Of course your own business card should accompany every item you engrave for the customer. Granted, like mine was lifted, yours may be too. In that case give them a signature and, in time, your name will be ‘branded’ by the exposure in your business cards, the website, and whatever else you can do to raise awareness of you and your work. As you know, I’ve resorted to some unusual tactics….all perfectly legal and tasteful…to help brand my own name. You gotta do it!
Here’s the backstory…. The guy emailed me first and told me the bottles he wanted. Then, we talked to discuss details to be sure. I bought the bottles at Market Street, engraved them, packaged them, rolled in the price of the bottles to my engraving and shipping fees, and he texted me his credit card. Insanely easy. He never had to leave his easy chair. Bottles shipped yesterday. He has them by now, the next day, via FedEx Ground.
The engraving….was done with a #6 round carbide bur for all on the front. A #4 round carbide was used for the line on the left side of each bottle. Each bottle took almost exactly 10 minutes. Each bottle @ $7. per word for sparkling and $10. for color, was $66. That calculates to a rate of 6 bottles an hour or $396. per hour.
That’s a typical rate for bottles…sometimes more. Sometimes less, but a good average.
I sent these very photos to the customer, along with the FedEx tracking number when they were on the way. He called and was thrilled with the photos. Promised me more, “for sure” as he said.
BOTTOM LINE: Personalized gifts the way we engravers do them make tremendously positive impressions on all who see them. The pay is great. The repeat business is almost guaranteed, to some degree, by everyone who gets a bottle like this guy did. When he sees and hears the reactions from the recipients, he will definitely do it again.
Tomorrow…one day only…there is a terrific deal for anyone wanting to come to the September Class. A good chunk of your hotel bill is on us.
Christmas is coming! You should be getting in on this where you are.
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