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Alveprins

Bladesmith business + Facebook promotions?

34 posts in this topic

Interesting, I constantly see posts about and of blades on facebook......Makes me realise more deeply somthing I already know. The website is still an important doorway to the world. and with facebook and other avenues being fickle its worth keeping one up and up to date.

 

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I had something similar happen with facebook...I posted a picture of a large 13 1/2" bowie style knife on my facebook page (patriot leather and steel)

had no problems at all....I made a bunch of knife blanks from D2 tool steel with a serrated edge on the back spine with a 5 1/2" long blade and facebook repeatedly rejected that post until I finally took it down.  Yet to this day facebook has raised no issues about the huge knife I have posted there

 

Almost forgot there is also a group on face book called custom knives for sale that has people post in it from all over the world

Edited by JeffM

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I've read a number of articles suggesting that the paid promotion is generally a waste of money and often buys you relatively disinterested followers who end up diluting your reach to more interested followers. Facebook certainly won't last forever, if Myfriendsterspace is anything to go by. Owen's right, in the end, having a personal web page is foundational, and social media should try to drive people there. Almost none of my business happens directly off of Facebook, it seems to be more of a confirmation of legitimate existence as an artisan.

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Exactly.  I am not on Facebook, but I have recently been running into a really stupid thing some local restaurants are doing:  they only put their menus and hours on Facebook and have no actual website.  This loses well over half their potential customer base right off the bat.  I tried to explain that to one of these places, which is a great little local mircobrew-serving pub, and they refused to believe that anyone might not be on Facebook, myself included.  This is not a smart business plan, folks.  It seems everyone who is on Facebook assumes that all decent people are as well.  Those of us who are not know better, and there are far more of us than you might think.  Treat us like we don't matter and we'll do the same right back to you.

I know, slighty off on a tangent from the original intent, but still.  What Owen and Jul said is absolutely right.

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Ditto to what Alan said.  I sell on etsy and have lost many a potential costumer because I was traveling and didn't have a smart phone.  Take a day to answer and a lot of folks have already moved on.

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Etsy is good for my jewelry sales, not so much for blades.

 

They actually sent me a nasty-gram about the fokos axes, putting them in the same category as "num-chucks, brass knuckles or other weapons" so I was like, *&^% it. Etsy can just not have a cut of those sales then, which have been minimal in either case. For that reason I wouldn't recommend selling knives, even though I see plenty for sale there. Enforcement of the no "weapon" policy seems inconsistent but not worth the hassle.

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A good lot of successful bladesmiths have been basing their sales off email lists, using social media marketing to drive them to their site and so to the list. Boothill blades for instance sells largely by monthly email; make knives throughout the month, then send an email to the list, with the first to email in and claim a knife getting it. He figured out that system pretty well. Hoffman blacksmithing uses email for return customers only, which builds up loyalty; any new or special stuff he offers his email list first, before offering it publicly on his site. 

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I don't make knives for a living, but when I decide I need a new project I just post a couple pictures right on my personal facebook page with a little note. This last time I posted an unfinished katana, and a smaller tanto with just a few words "A blade for a freind, and the other will be done soon". Then BOOM! 4 people wanted knives. I PM them so as not to cause a scene. I don't want many customers, because I can't put them out fast enough. Just thought I might add that for beginners/hobbyists such as myself. There is such a thing as too much business, and it can be easy to get carried away with advertising. In my eyes, no customer willing to pay your price for a custom knife should ever be turned down, or made to wait. It's bad for your image. 

Edited by Zeb Camper
left stuff out

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