How to Sell Jewelry: Promotion
Now that you have read most of our guide on how to sell jewelry, you should feel much more prepared to sell your own. In our other sections, we talked about where you can sell your work online and offline, how to price your jewelry, and how to come up with shipping and returns policies that will protect you as a seller. We also discussed best business practices, how to offer top-notch customer service, and how to interact with fellow jewelers. Our previous section covered commissions. Now let’s talk about how to promote your jewelry business.
It is a nice thought that you could simply get online, post your work for sale, and wait. You may think that since you are offering value, customers will find you. But in reality, getting online and trying to sell your work is quite hard, because you are just one of thousands of other jewelers who also make beautiful, high-quality work. To add to the challenge, many jewelers under-price their work because they are scared of not selling anything. This makes it all the more difficult to make it if you do price your work within a reasonable range. Trying to be heard online is the equivalent of walking into a huge stadium, the stands overflowing with crowds, and shouting. You are going to have a very hard time being heard by anybody, even those who are standing right next to you. That’s why you have to be prepared to do a lot of marketing and promotion to sell your work. And even with all that hard work, you are still going to be relying at least partly on luck to help you get notice. Here’s what you can do to get started.
Sell On a Recognizable, Trustworthy Site
This all by itself can be a huge help. It may be tempting to start your own store on your own site, and in the long run, this may work out great. But at least while you are starting out, it is wise to cultivate a presence on Etsy, Ebay, or another venue which many people are familiar with. Trust is still pretty low with online purchasing, and a lot of customers will feel safer buying from you on Etsy than they will from checking out on your site’even if you use PayPal or another third party payment vendor. Make it as easy as humanly possible to buy your products. Do everything you can to make shopping effortless and secure. You will have a much easier time driving traffic to a site’which users already trust than you will trying to send traffic to one that they do not recognize.
Join Social Networks and Community Sites
Your next step is to choose a number of different social networking sites, forums, and other types of online communities to join. Think carefully before you start joining sites. Ask yourself the following helpful questions before you decide which sites to join and put energy and time into:
- How much time do I realistically have each day to spend keeping up with communities’
- What is my audience? Does the audience on a given site match with the demographic of buyers I am trying to sell to? Are these the right people? Do they have money to spend on ‘unnecessary? items’
You probably are not going to be able to post on dozens of sites and participate actively on the communities you join, unless you have no day job and nothing else to do with your time other than interact online. It is smarter to choose just a few communities which you know are likely to be responsive to your efforts. That way you can focus on interacting more closely with the people you do meet, and making more of a positive impression.
Social networking is not just about constantly putting your work out there and hoping that it will convert. You also have to post in an intelligent fashion which draws buyers to your store. That means, for example, that one single post which has a great photograph of jewelry and a link in the description leading to your store is going to do you more good than twenty poorly photographed posts without links in the descriptions. You always want to strive for excellence when you post, and you never want to miss an opportunity to send people to your site. On the internet, most users have short attention spans and are easily distracted. They need to be reminded over and over again that you have a store and you sell beautiful jewelry for reasonable prices.
Use Promotions to Drive Sales
Everybody loves a deal. There is something addicting about hunting for bargains. Many people will happily spend more money if they believe they have taken advantage of a limited opportunity to save money. Every grocery store which prints coupons in the Sunday paper knows this. A savvy seller online will take full advantage of this aspect of human nature, and will market to it directly. Come up with regular promotions for your merchandise. Holiday sales are very popular, especially during the winter. As a jeweler, you also probably want to plan for sales on Valentine ‘s Day. In fact, it is a great idea to plan to run sales periodically throughout the year. Once again, people online often have short attention spans, and each time you run a sale will feel like the only time to numerous potential buyers (who will have forgotten your previous sale a month ago already). This can boost their sense of urgency and send them to your storefront. You can also use coupons to encourage repeat customers. One easy practice is to send out a coupon automatically to buyers after they make a purchase. That way they will be tempted to come back again and spend it on something else, especially if you put a time limit on the coupon’s use.
It is also important to seek reviews from your customers. You may think that this will happen automatically, but more often than not, you need to be prepared to ask for reviews. There is nothing wrong with asking for honest testimonials. Once again, make this as easy as possible. Send a link, and offer a coupon in thanks. Many people will be happy to leave you a review if you ask, but will forget if you do not remind them. You can also feel free to ask people to share your store page on their social networks, but make sure you do not spam them with this request. Always offer something like a coupon. Promoting a jewelry business online takes a lot of work, and even with time and daily attention, it may take you a long time to get noticed on the internet. There is a lot of competition out there, and you will be competing with talented jewelers with lower prices. Spend your energy where it seems most productive, regularly check your statistics to see how you can improve your campaign, and leverage your business relationships and the networks of friends you make to reach out to new potential buyers. And always remember: be polite, generous, and friendly to everyone you meet. It makes a difference, and can generate sales all on its own!