My company has put up several videos on Youtube showing what we do.
One we did 4 years ago seems to have become fairly popular for people
trying to learn lost wax casting. That is all well and good, but I
didn't really intend it as giving online lessons as much as I was
hoping to just inform and entertain potential customers with a sort
of "How its Made" kind of thing. The point mainly was to demonstrate
that we do indeed really make this stuff ourselves and this is how.
As a craftsman, I like to see how things are made. What tools and
techniques are used and all that. But how useful is this really for
marketing? I am not selling to other craftsmen most of the time. Now
I have two apprentices that really like to take pictures and make
They like it even better when they can get paid to do it on company
They are having fun with it and so am I. Is it good for business?
Are there subjects that would be more likely to generate sales?
Anyone in Orchidland care to share some experience?
We've done a couple of "How to fix/tweak etc" videos for Knew
Concepts. I do notice that they've cut down on the number of phone
calls we get about those particular issues.
We've also done, or been featured in a bunch of videos, either
product reviews by others, or passing mentions of the saws in
somebody else's videos. It's hard to quantify what those have done,
but we do see it. We really saw it early on. We wouldn't have
survived without some very positive early blog reviews/videos.
For example: I ended up doing a quickie 'history of' video with Adam
Savage a few months ago, and Oh-Boy do I hear about that at shows.
But that video started because we were seeing weird sales numbers on
the 8" saws. Selling more of them than we really thought we should
have been. (For those who need a deep saw like that, they *really*
need it, but almost nobody does.) So why selling so many? Traced it
back to Adam having done a previous video about making dovetail
joints in wood, using one of our 8" saws. (Turns out *he* picked up
the 8 because of another video done by someone else who really has a
thing for 8's, regardless of whether or not there's a better
So I stopped by his shop to drop off the *right* saw, on the theory
that eventually it'd turn up in another video, and all would be
well. He had the video guys there already for something else, so we
winged a quickie interview. Turned out pretty well, I think, given
that I was winging it.
I can't say that we saw any *direct* impact from that, but what we
did see was our site metrics go through the roof. About 40X normal,
on the day it hit, and a consistent small improvement from there on,
as well as about every 5th guy through the booth at shows this
summer mentioning it.
KC is a small company, and it's largely personality driven.
Everybody knows it's just the small bunch of us, mostly Lee and I.
In that situation, play up the personality. One of my lines at shows
is "Made in the US, by people you know. Namely me!" The videos help
get that across by humanizing us, and giving the buyers someone to
connect with. Jewelry is similar. (or, at the pricepoints we're
selling the saws at, we're similar to jewelry.)
As far as doing shop tours/tool talks on video, we try not to. For a
couple of reasons: (A) the shop normally looks like it's inhabited
by big bears with a thing for oil and grease. and (B) it's very
cramped. It's very functional, but you *really* have to know what
you're looking at before it makes sense, and stops looking like an
episode of "hoarders" in a boiler room.
Since we're in commercial production, we also don't want the
competition to know exactly what we've got by way of equipment, as
that gives them a window on what we're doing now, and what we could
For the same sort of reason, I haven't done a video (beyond the
quickie with Adam) on the origins of the birdcage saw designs.
Initially, because we didn't want to tip our hand. Now that the
patent's nailed down, and the saw's on the market, I do plan to do a
"Where'd this weird thing come from??" video, explaining the whole
thing. In my copious free time. Maybe before next christmas. Maybe.
For you? Definitely. Explain how you do things, and where the ideas
come from. It gives the customer an entry point to making a
connection with the work, and that's never bad from a sales
standpoint. The whole Celtic thing is romantic as hell. Play it up.
For whatever any of that was worth.
(A) the shop normally looks like it's inhabited by big bears with a
thing for oil and grease.
Brian, this is so hilarious, because I can immediately picture
videos and studio tours in pictures that I have seen that look
exactly like that!