Selling Knives on Instagram

BrandantR

Well-Known Member
#1
I've heard several folks here on the forum mention that they get a lot of their sales from posting on Instagram. I've been considering ways to get more exposure to my work, so I though I would give it a try. I've had a blog over on Blogger going for a year or so where I have posted WIP's and the occasional knife for sale, but I'm a complete newbie when it comes to Instagram. I just created an account yesterday and I'm still bumbling around clicking likes and trying to figuring out how best to post pics. I hope some of you veterans out there wouldn't mind sharing some tips or pointers on how best to utilize this tool to increase your exposure and sell your wares.
 

Akritz

Active Member
#2
Brandant,
Can't say as I have found the key but I find other knife makers like to see work in progress pictures. Buyers like to see finished knives if they are not going to order something custom. For pre-order custom builds I like to post progress pictures to keep buyer excited. One of the issues is Instagram has changed what people see, to prioritize pictures that have gotten lots of likes. I have no idea how to get more people to follow and like your pictures other than make cool stuff and take great pictures of your knife doing stuff people wish they could be doing.

Not sure how the number of followers relates to sales but what I have seen is one sale for every 50 followers so far.
 

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
#3
Hey just started following you Brandant!
I have made a few sells on IG and could make a lot more if I would well ya know have time to make knives!
I think using # tags are a key to a lot of it. The more you use them the more ways people have a chance to see you. The more time your on it the more followers you get.
Make sure the pictures are good, nothing will be a more turn off to people than dull, out of focus crappy pics.

Good luck, I think its a great tool for knifemakers and if your not using it your not doing yourself any favors.
Also a lot of vendors selling wood, abrasives, handle material and all sorts of goodies.
 

BrandantR

Well-Known Member
#4
Thanks for the input, gentlemen. I'm starting to figure out how to navigate around and have found some really cool stuff being posted. The one thing that I've found annoying is that the photos you upload have to be square. Any way around that?
 

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
#5
BrandantR not that I know off, there are some other apps you can download like photogrid that allow you to make a collage of photos and post to Instagram. If I know I'm going to post a photo to IG I try to take the pic in the app so I know it fits, but if you are going to upload from your gallery of old pics it can be tricky to get it to fit in the square.
 

Self Made Knives

Well-Known Member
#6
Hey Brandant, I like making knives, but actually hate the "selling" part. I'm not a salesman. I have sold one knife through an Instagram contact and I have a few others on my waiting list that say they want one. Who knows how many will actually follow through though. The key is building a following and it takes time and effort.

I think the hard part for me at first were the hashtags. Justin helped me understand those in the beginning actually. Master the hashtags! That will get you in front of tons of people that do not know you. Follow someone that is very successful like Hinderer or Darrel Ralph or Jim Skelton (he is rated R though) and then look at the hashtags they use. Copy them and it will open your audience up a lot. Interact and comment on other big shot makers posts, their followers may get curious about you and follow you too.
 

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
#7
Very good points Anthony, I have done the same with commenting and interacting with other makers. People see you post on there account and like you said get curious and click on your profile.
 

BrandantR

Well-Known Member
#8
Thank, guys. I guess I better work on my hashtag skills and just get involved in the community. I appreciate you taking the time to reply.
 

J. ROSA

Well-Known Member
#9
I'm in a similar situation Brandan. I'm on IG with only a few followers and yeah totally forgot about the hastag thing. Not sure I even know how to use them properly. Good comments on wip vs finished product pics and action pics. I want to invest more time on IG since I see people make sales and doing auctions. I have a modest start on fb and was also clueless on IG. Out of curiousity do you guys also hashtag everywhere else loke fb? Thanks for starting the thread Brandan and sorry about the minor hijack.
 

wall e

Well-Known Member
#10
J. on some phones you can cross post to ig an fb at the same time.
As soon as I get the hang of IG they update and change part of it. So far is become easier. Lol
 

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
#12
I'm in a similar situation Brandan. I'm on IG with only a few followers and yeah totally forgot about the hastag thing. Not sure I even know how to use them properly. Good comments on wip vs finished product pics and action pics. I want to invest more time on IG since I see people make sales and doing auctions. I have a modest start on fb and was also clueless on IG. Out of curiousity do you guys also hashtag everywhere else loke fb? Thanks for starting the thread Brandan and sorry about the minor hijack.
The hastag (#) thing is pretty simple.

Let's say you just finished a drop point hunting knife in stag and want to sell it.

Here is what I would do. For example

Hey guys! I just finished this knife and it is up for sale. Here are the specs.

1084 high carbon steel
Stag handle
Copper pins
Hand rubbed satin finish
Hand tooled and stitched leather sheath

Asking $250 shipped in the US

#knifesale #forsale #sale #knife #customknife #huntingknife #hunting #skinner #stag #madeintheusa #handmade #missouriknifemaker

Your trying to catch anyone you can, that might like something about the knife. So if you used micarta for the handle #micarta because someone is probably searching for a knife to buy and has narrowed it down to micarta handle.
If you making a folding knife be sure to hash tag #folder #foldingknife #slipjoint #pocketknife #EDC

I hope that helps J.Rosa. what's your username?

Also remember if you reply to someone in your post you have to type @pressonknives for example for the other user to get notification that you have replyed to them.
 

BrandantR

Well-Known Member
#14
This is great info guys. I appreciate everyone taking the time to share their thoughts and experiences. I'm starting to get the hang of things a little better on Instagram. At least I've figured out how to post a few pics, add captions and add hashtags. I wish I could get all the spring yard work done so I can get some shop time to have something new to post.
 

wall e

Well-Known Member
#15
Don't feel bad Brendan, I'm in the same boat along with the trying to get all in order to move to our new home next month.
 

Akritz

Active Member
#16
Hi Guys,
Just wanted to let you know I took the advice of adding a bunch of hashtags to an Instagram post this weekend. Not sure if it was just luck or the hashtags but the knife sold in less than an hour. The number of comments and likes doubled from my normal posts so it looks like a lot more people viewed the post.
 

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
#17
Hi Guys,
Just wanted to let you know I took the advice of adding a bunch of hashtags to an Instagram post this weekend. Not sure if it was just luck or the hashtags but the knife sold in less than an hour. The number of comments and likes doubled from my normal posts so it looks like a lot more people viewed the post.
Nice, that's good to hear! I think the hash tags make all the difference.
 

Danae

Active Member
#19
Just post pictures regularely, and comment on things and people will see your comments and might check your page out... regular posts means they'll be more likely to see you, use good # hashtags. Best of luck

Danae.
 
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