When Daniel Goode visits Derry~Londonderry next week to give a free masterclass to local crafters/makers as part of Legenderry August Craft Month, you may well give him a double take as he’s also a successful actor who has appeared in popular TV shows ‘The Bill’ and ‘Hustle’ as well as films including ‘Shadowlands’ with Sir Anthony Hopkins.
Goode will swap the stage and film set on Thursday, August 14, to give his Masterclass titled ‘Do What You Do Best’, organised by Derry City Council’s Craft Development Programme which is part-funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Development Fund under the Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.
Goode, of the London-based e-commerce site ‘Seek and Adore’, will outline the key things to get makers online so they can spend the necessary time making.
Deirdre Harte, Craft Development Officer for Derry City Council said: ‘We have organised this Masterclass by an expert in the field in response to demand from local crafters/makers who have identified support for selling online as a priority. It may also be of interest to the wider creative industry and business sectors.
‘The Masterclass will cover how to make first impressions count, how to make informed choices about choosing a selling website that suits your budget and ambitions, and most importantly, how to tell your unique story online to the best effect.
‘It is free and well worth attending. Dan’s Masterclass as part of August Craft Month in Belfast last year was very well received by makers.’
The main focus of the session, being held in The Sandwich Co, ‘The Bunker Room’, Bishop Street, at 3pm, will be on how makers can market and present themselves as cheaply and effectively as possible.
Dan Goode is a man of many talents. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London and works in film, theatre, television and radio.
He is also a ceramicist and painter and knows only too well the challenges of making a livelihood as both an actor and a maker, and that it can be, as he describes it, ‘feast or famine’.
‘Seek and Adore’, a niche website that hand-picked makers to market, champion and sell their products, operated for four years before sadly going out of business last month.
Goode, who was closely involved with the e-commerce site during its success, said he was proud of the work it accomplished. Funding issues arose and the founder made the decision to close based purely on the financial climate, he explained.
He said: ‘It had a wonderful reputation and it has allowed me to do this kind of work and makes me very proud of what we achieved.
‘I found from my own experience and work with ‘Seek and Adore’ and working with other organisations in the UK like the Design Trust, Arts Thread and many others, that makers are still struggling to get things right. Quite often they are under-selling themselves and their work so the talking started!’
Goode explained that the Masterclass is to help guide makers through the process of establishing the best selling website. With so many makers vying for attention, first impressions are everything so it’s vital to do yourself justice right from the start, he stressed.
‘A lot of makers present themselves very badly online, not meaning to. This will be a 45 minute talk and Q&A about things you definitely need to do; you need to spend money and there are things you can get for free.”
According to Goode, many makers do not want to be “selling themselves” as it makes them feel they are being commercialised, “but at the same time they need to sell things to make a living.’
‘It is about getting that balance and seeing it as an extension of your creative life rather than thinking, ‘this is an awful thing I have to do’, because it can be really fruitful for you and your making.’
Goode admits that he ‘evangelises’ about how makers can be helped to achieve their full potential with the right e-commerce support.
‘What I do now has really come out of a bit of frustration at seeing really wonderful people selling themselves terribly, which is so sad because they are so good. A lot of makers are trying to catch up.’
His mantra is: ‘Don’t forget that an online presence, whether it be your own or on a selling website, is your window on the world, so you should always look your best. Remember this is the first – and maybe only – opportunity some people will have to see you and your work so treat your internet presence as you would an open studio event or a fair.’
Goode’s whistle-stop visit to Belfast to give a Masterclass during August Craft Month last year was his first time in Ireland. He appears to have the emerging Derry creative scene fairly well sussed ahead of his trip here next week.
He said: ‘Derry is trying to create a scene at the moment and its own identity as a creative place so it is almost more crucial that everybody is on the same page. I don’t want anybody to miss out on any investment coming to Derry; it would be such a shame.’
The Masterclass will be held in The Sandwich Co, ‘The Bunker Room’, 6 Bishop Street, on Thursday, August 14, at 3pm. It is free but booking is required. Contact Rose McGrellis at Derry City Council by email toRose.McGrellis@derrycity.gov.