Boost web sales, establish your brand & grow your knife business

(without becoming just one more advertisement)

The only online marketing website devoted to knifemakers

Write a blog. Make videos. Learn this. Do that. It’s simple once you get into it. Right? Nope.

Lots of internet advice says malarkey like that.

The thing is, there are 100’s and 100’s of talented smiths out there with neglected websites. They put in all this time, got a handful of hits a day, and a few emails. But no sales.

Not because they’re lazy, but from not knowing where to focus.

Time is limited. Don’t waste it on hard work that does jack for you.

3 things you’ll get from this website:

  • Successful marketing examples, made relevant to the knife industry
  • Help promoting your knife business online, without crossing over into exaggeration
  • How to do the right stuff first, and then, when you get results, how to ramp up your efforts

So what’s the “right stuff” to do?

By experimenting with your marketing you find out what’s right for you.

Some things will work. Some may not.

As long as you’re trying something (anything) you’ll outpace those who do nothing; who think “brick and mortar” is the only way to sell knives.

It’s time for the old guys to keep an eye on the new young guns.

What’s next?

> Your online story. Here’s an effective template for your knifemaking backstory. The price for you? Zero dollars and zero cents. Woot.

> Get on the list. What’s public is popular. But the stuff that gives you a first-mover advantage, that comes from these private emails.

About Me

Tim in the Bunker Hirtle

If you care to discover a little more, read my backstory below. It’s an unusual read. It involves geek-fantasy and a wacky vision for the web-future of knifemakers.

(Just a little warning: Some of the language is “colorful”, should that type of thing upset you.)

Knife Marketing Forge
A couple of my firsts. My “stir-fry” wok forge; my bolt knife; and my thread-rod tongs… which I did finish, but man they were some hard to get right.

Why not change the f*ucking industry…

I write marketing content for adventure travel companies. They pay me to make them look good. It takes weeks of analysis and strategy. And hours of playing Day R Survival on my phone to keep my sanity.

I know. Adventure travel doesn’t have much to do with knives. But I’ll get to it.

About a year ago The History Channel and social media sealed my fixation for knives.

As a teenager I binged on sword & sorcery. Dragon Lance, Conan the Barbarian – that sort of stuff. I never really got over my knife attraction, but as a functional adult I’d downgraded it to wishful glances at the House of Knives as I walked past.

That changed when I started watching Forged in Fire. On that show it wasn’t Griswold from Tristram smithing a Level 24 cleaver to slay Lazarus. It was regular guys using fire to make knives.

My interest in knives had come back to claim me again, only this time I didn’t run from it.

I started following knifemakers and knifemaking groups online. Tips on building a forge and photos of Damascus steel dominated my online feeds.

(your knives on Facebook and Instagram are fantastic by the way)

But when I dug back to these knifemakers’ websites, what I saw frustrated me. Amazing knives; sketchy websites. Are you f*cking with me?

75% of consumers admit to making judgments on a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design. 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout are unattractive

I work my butt off to transform run-of-the-mill travel bookings into something enticing, something companies drop hundreds of dollars on.

So yeah, I’m frustrated when I see nearly every knifemaker out there creating knives that are amazing. Yet they’re struggling with outdated business websites that hold them back.

I get that marketing and technology isn’t a craftsman’s focus. But a poor web experience still pains me.

Even so. What to do about it?

I’m not in the knife industry. I’m just a travel guy that writes.

For a month that was my lame attitude.

Lame man

Have you ever read anything by Seth Godin?

He’s is the author of 18 international bestsellers, his books are translated into 35 languages, and he pretty much changes the way people think about work. At least that’s what happened to me when I read his book, Tribes.

I’ll paraphrase a concept of Seth’s that grabbed me by the ‘nads.

To change an industry, you only need 3 things:

  • A connected community of people
  • A clear definition of where you are now, and the future you’re trying to build
  • And to support the group toward positive change

That notion was a punch-in-the-gut challenge to me.

Helping knife companies to look good, now that would be worth putting my phone down for.

Because really, I didn’t like seeing knifemakers struggling with their online knife stuff (like websites).

And (while I’m a rank-amateur at knifemaking) my marketing knowledge and digital skillset is above-average.

My options were, ONE, meekly accept that the knife community would never meet my expectations of the web.

Or TWO… change the online look of an industry.

(it can’t be that hard)

Not content to wallow in a plethora of AOL-era knife websites, I created

You see, I suspect there are some knifemakers ready to up their online efforts. But just haven’t had the right resources.

If I’m wrong, then this website disappears.

Things stay the same.

The typical knifemaker doesn’t modernize. Web buyers see that it’s been years since an update. They question how ‘in touch’ the business is. They seek another maker who seems more qualified.

Marketing help for knifemakers stays buried. The rare few struggle, piecing together random help from the usual knife forums. They study business advice meant for other industries. Because of their effort they stand out when others don’t.

But if people are ready, imagine this:

The knife community (as a whole) gets its digital shit together.

Successful knifemakers have sleek, impressive websites. New buyers are attracted. They start collecting handmade & custom knives. They tell their friends to check out these websites. More people start buying knives and telling their friends, and on and on.

Knifemakers easily discover other like-minded knifemakers through their websites, and their collaborations earn the market’s attention.

Marketing (the kind that actually helps people) keeps online sales stable and predicable and knifemakers earn a steady income. Buyers are loyal. Knifemakers reach new customers, their reputations grow.

I still remember telling my wife,

“Hey, I’m going to cut back on travel writing. And spend a wack of time helping knifemakers. Yup. Like those guys on Forged in Fire. It’s awesome, I’m so looking forward to this.”

I’m not so sure she liked the idea.

But minutes later she was okay.

(she’s good like that)

If this website was a giant waste of time, then at least I had fun.

And if not, I found something I enjoy that makes a positive difference.

Tim and Heather Hirtle

~ Tim (& Heather) Hirtle

P.S. – Your response can really help me steer this website. Let me know in this single-question survey, here:

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