There are so many ways we can market our handmade business – and different methods will work more effectively depending on your business model.

For Aidan Mackinnon of Cut Throat Knives, PR has been, by far, the most successful marketing avenue.

In this episode, we discuss why this is, as well as chatting about various other lessons Aidan has learnt since he turned his knife-making hobby into a successful boutique business – with a couple of employees and a loyal customer base. 

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Quotes and highlights from this episode:

 

  • Aidan’s journey started with a knife making class and spent six months in his workshop building up his skill level and learning techniques. 
  • “Running your own business becomes all consuming – it’s positive because it allows you to build your business in the way it should be built but it’s negative because it has detrimental effects on all other parts of your life.” {Aidan}
  • Aidan’s products feature a core range, collectable items and custom items with varying price points.
  • Paid advertising hasn’t worked well for Aidan’s Cut Throat Knives so public relations is the focus of their marketing approach.
  • “I would rather spend $2000 of my time on writing a better press release and getting my story out there than spending it on advertising dollars.” {Aidan}
  • Cut Throat Knives reaches out to media contacts every two or three months to get the word out and build relationships.
  • “Those of us who haven’t had formal training in our craft can often fall into the imposter syndrome trap and therefore not feel comfortable talking about what you do and not feel good enough.” {Jess} 
  • Cut Throat Knives in primarily online but visits a small number of markets each year. Customers will often take time to consider a knife and will purchase a piece 6 or 12 months later.
  • “You can be a really disorganised sole trader and do fine. As soon as you start employing other people that goes out the window.” {Aidan}
  • Figure out where your strength lies and outsource your weaknesses to other people.
  • “Collaboration over competition – there is no reason why there is not enough customers for everybody.” {Jess}
  • Aidan’s top tip for creative entrepreneurs: “be kind to yourself because you are going to be making a lot of errors.” 
  • Check out Aidan’s business – Cut Throat Knives

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