Carpet Artist a Case Study in Personal Branding

My main job this first full week living in Vietnam, while not locked away in a dark, maggot-infested hotel room with only 3 TV channels (none of which are ESPN), was to find a suitable office where I can do my work.

There’s nothing like a Craigslist here where people list office spaces for rent. We just walked into various businesses and asked if they have a room they’re not using that I can rent. One of the stores we walked into was a carpeting store. The owner is from Sri Lanka, and while he couldn’t help us personally he was very friendly and recommended a few places to check out.

The next day, Sana and I walked by his shop and saw he was in, so we stopped in to say hello and ended up having a very long conversation. It turns out he wants to up his game with the online presence and thought I might be of some help. While I politely declined his suggestion I help design his website (yuck) my ears perked up when he shared his passion for carpet.

For you and me, carpet is something you put on the floor to look nice, soak up sound, and we don’t give it much more thought.

For this man, it’s his obsession. He literally describes himself as an artist, and carpet is the means by which he expresses his art.

So I suggested he might want to start a podcast to get more into the online game.

A podcast to promote his carpet business? No way. A podcast to promote him. While he’s passionate about carpet, he’s also survived cancer, wrote two books and probably much more that we didn’t even get into.

How can this person not be thriving with his business? He’s doing okay, but he’s still basically getting by, meaning if he doesn’t sell carpet he goes under.

That’s no way for an artist to live.

If the gentleman takes me up on my offer to help him with a podcast, we’ll definitely focus on him. We may not even mention carpet unless it’s about how he’s fully sold-out on it as an art form. A sales pitch promoting his BOGO free sale? That’s for the HOBO’s who are only selling carpet.

If he does it right (with my expert guidance obviously) there won’t be anyone other than him people will want to buy carpet from. Who cares if they can’t feel it? He’ll build up that KLT factor so much that they’ll pull out their wallet at whatever he suggests.

And this is all from selling himself, not carpet.

Stay tuned, there may be more to report on this developing story in the near future.