Now is the time of year to take a long hard look at your business and think about your marketing plan. Are you keeping up with the latest tips and tricks for attracting new customers and keeping your existing ones engaged and interested? There are some excellent articles in the GoJD archives written especially for independent jewellers, coupled with the latest marketing techniques it should give your business a kick-start for 2016! Follow our top tips for marketing your jewellery and building a business image that consumers will trust.
Read up on SEO
Understanding how potential customers search for custom jewellery and how search engines display the results will assist you in tailoring your website to attract a wider audience. This is all about making your site more user friendly and encompasses things like identifying target keywords and link building. Take a look at this excellent series of articles written for the GoJD by guild member Lesley H Phillips, providing a comprehensive guide for optimizing your website for search engines and attracting new clients to your online shop.
Whilst photographing your work may prove difficult, unleashing poorly lit, blurry images of your products online will only damage your business. This also includes good composition; no amount of advertising will help sell your handcrafted necklace if it is photographed in view of the sink and toilet in your bathroom. And that leather sofa or granite worktop that you thought would look so effective as a backdrop? Yup, they look as if you have just photographed your jewellery on your sofa or your worktop. However, do not fear, the world wide web is full of tips and tricks for photographing jewellery and it is essential you capture photos that really show off all of your hard work. Check out this article from GoJD member Dave Wallis on getting the most from your home photography set-up. If you find you have neither the equipment nor the time to take on such a task, it would not be a bad idea to hire a professional. Fotonic, Jewellery Photo Studio and Photography by Ward all specialise in helping independent jewellers get the best images for their jewellery and are very approachable (as well as offering a discount to guild gold members!) Jewellery Photo Studio can also tweak your own photos to improve the lighting, colour and correct imperfections. It is essential that you are providing customers with an accurate representation of your work: high quality jewellery that appeals to the eye.
Facebook is your Friend!
Digital marketing has been growing rapidly over the years and social networking sites can, when used correctly, provide a rich source of new clients. Take advantage of this free advertising and get yourself out there!
Maintaining a social media account can be time consuming, so ensure that you prioritise the best platforms for your business.
Instagram and Pinterest both rely on images as their primary means of communication which is where those great looking photos come into play!
Instagram is known for being relatively quick and easy to use – simply snap a picture and post it up! Interestingly, something like 85% of Instagram users access the site from their workplace, more than any other platform.
Pinterest, like Instagram, is known for being a relatively low maintenance marketing vehicle and is also acknowledged as being female-centric, with a whopping 92% of pins originating from women. If your clients are mostly female then it may be sensible to prioritise this platform.
Twitter is a dynamic, conversational style of social media platform that is great for getting news out quickly and engaging with a wide audience. Responses are typically fast and spontaneous, providing the opportunity to join conversations with a diverse range of other individuals and businesses.
Facebook is suitable for just about any business and is more about giving your brand a personality. You can more carefully tailor the content to your business needs and cultivate a place for your fans and followers to ‘hang-out’, although changes in Facebook’s policies of recent years show that they are actively making it harder for business pages to reach their audiences. Countered against this is the sheer size of the Facebook community. Simply put, Facebook is just too big to ignore.
LinkedIn and Google+ are great for business2business interactions and networking, but less effective when it comes to creating a conversation with your customers.
Youtube is an incredibly powerful platform with the ability to cultivate huge followings. If you know your audience and think that you could make a video that they would find interesting to watch, then have a go! Jewellers that include videos on their websites report that they have been a big draw and Google typically ranks videos from it's YouTube platform high up in searches.
Regardless of which platforms you choose to publicise your content, remember the golden rules for all social media:
- Remain responsive online and check in regularly
- If somebody has a query about your work, get back to them in a prompt and professional manner (Facebook now monitors how quickly your page responds to private messages)
- Post regularly and organically to build an authentic audience
Of course, one thing that’s sure to drive your social media content is…
Maintaining a blog or vlog (short for video log) may sound daunting to some, but jewellers and artists who maintain one tend to develop a real rapport with their customers! The content doesn’t have to be incredibly interesting or unique, just sharing your inspirations or working methods will be enough to captivate your customers, most of whom will view the concept of ‘handmade’ with fascination and awe.
Showcasing your products at trade fairs, craft shows and events is a great way to engage with shoppers and network with other artists. It is important to get to such events early and ensure you have enough time to set up and look around the venue. Take time planning your jewellery display; people are visual creatures and an appealing layout is key to drawing them in. However, do not be tempted to spend the rest of the day glued to your smartphone, this is a great opportunity to really sell your products, connect with the public and share your passion with others.
Try not to view such events as purely exercises in selling, they are mainly there for you to spread your message and your name and raise awareness of your work. Remember that most people won’t buy from you on the spot, especially if you sell higher priced pieces: they need time to think about their purchase and will usually make contact at a later date. Try to leave them with your card or marketing materials and let them know where else they can next see your work, whether at another event or online. Capturing the email addresses of potential customers is also a smart move. Being able to deliver your message directly to the inbox of your clients/potential clients is a highly effective marketing tool.
Practice what you preach
Wear your jewellery everywhere; everyone you see is a potential client. Upon receiving compliments regarding your work, be sure to have your business cards to hand and direct the admirer to your website. Once you get into the habit of constantly carrying your business cards around, you will be surprised that you had not been doing it sooner. Treat others the way you want to be treated yourself, if you admire a piece that someone else has created, compliment them on it! Smile and project positivity; if someone likes your work and finds you are approachable, they will feel more comfortable showing an interest in your jewellery.
All in all, expect to spend something like 50% of your time making your jewellery and 50% marketing it. Live and breathe your own personal brand, be authentic and others will see this in your efforts.