There’s no doubt that the jewellery industry is highly competitive. So even if you have the most perfect range of jewellery, you will have to work hard to market it.
The problem is, it’s so difficult to know where to start, you do exactly what others do.
What do jewellery businesses typically think of when it comes to marketing their business?
Jewellery business owners – especially those just starting out – typically focus their marketing efforts on two main areas:
- markets and craft fairs
- Instagram or TikTok
There’s nothing wrong with these two areas, but they each have their limitations. Their main appeal is, quite simply, they’re cheap.
But low cost doesn’t mean no investment.
With social media, you have to invest a lot of time to see results, and you won’t see results right away. Going viral doesn’t happen every day and even when it does happen, it doesn’t always convert into sales. For most people, growing an audience on social media is a much slower process which gradually builds up over time.
Craft fairs can be a relatively low-priced way to market your jewellery business, but there are often hidden costs to consider, such as leaflets and flyers, banners and display materials. They’re an excellent way to get yourself out there, but be careful that the costs don’t creep up.
The main issue is, both social media and craft fairs don’t provide any ONGOING benefit to your sales. Meaning that you have to keep doing them to see results. Once your social media posts are a couple of days old, nobody will see them. And if you spend all week preparing for an outside craft fair and it rains all day, you won’t get very much marketing benefit from posting.
You’d have to keep churning out new content for social media, and showing up to craft fairs every week, to keep making sales.
But there is another way. A way that goes beyond these two approaches. In this blog post, I’m going to tell you about three specific areas of marketing that jewellery business owners should focus on to see ongoing benefits.
If you focus on these areas first, you will improve your marketing in more sustainable ways, and your sales over social media and craft stalls as well.
I know this because I have over 200 makers, artists and jewellery designers in my membership, Makers’ Momentum Club! When they join us, they’re exhausted by their marketing, but we show them ways to get a lasting benefit from the time they spend on marketing so that it gets easier and easier over time.
What are the three essentials jewellery owners need to market their business?
1. Everything starts with good photography
If you’re selling your jewellery online (which, let’s face it, you probably are!), your product photography is the single most important thing for you to work on.
It doesn’t matter if you have a perfect website, fantastic product descriptions, or even the most beautiful jewellery in the world, if your photography isn’t good, it won’t sell.
But luckily, you don’t have to hire a professional photographer to take photos of your jewellery. Once you start selling more and making a good profit, you can decide to invest in professional photography but, initially, you can do it yourself.
If you’re doing it yourself, here are some tips to help you!
Don’t just have shots of your jewellery against a white or plain background
This gives your audience no sense of scale, i.e. how big or small your product is! Ever bought something which turns out to be a lot bigger or smaller than you think? That’s usually because the photographs didn’t give a sense of scale. Make sure you show someone actually wearing your jewellery both to show scale and where earrings and necklaces fall.
When I see advertisements of people wearing jewellery, I’m often confused about what this person is selling. Could it be the dress the woman is wearing? Something to do with hair? Makeup? There are just too many distractions!
That’s why it’s best to crop photographs and zoom in on one area, for example an ear with an earring. You only see those two things, and your jewellery is in the spotlight.
Make sure your jewellery is the focus
Our eyes are drawn to brightness, and in an image, we’ll always notice the areas of greatest brightness first.
Make sure there are no bright sections on your photograph to take your audience’s eyes away from your product. No shafts of light, unless, of course, it’s over your jewellery!
2. Your website
It’s essential that you have your own website and don’t just rely on places like Etsy or Not on the High Street to sell your jewellery.
When you have your own website, people will remember you. They won’t just think, ‘Oh, I got this beautiful piece of jewellery off Etsy.’ Instead, they’ll remember they got it from you, which means they’re more likely to return directly to you and recommend you to their friends.
Plus, when you’re at craft fairs, you’ve probably been asked, ‘Do you have a website?’ So rather than send someone to Etsy – where they could get distracted by other products – send them to your website, where they can only view YOUR jewellery (and nobody else’s!).
The same applies to social media too. If you’re putting all this effort into Instagram or TikTok, it’s a waste to send that traffic to a website that isn’t yours, where they could potentially buy other products.
You need to drive your audience to your website, and your website alone!
But how do you set up a website without paying thousands for a website designer?
After following my tips above, you should have some beautiful photographs of your jewellery, which will make your website look amazing.
Here are some other tips you can follow to set up a beautiful-looking website without paying a fortune.
Pick a website builder and a theme
Squarespace is a great choice for jewellery websites as their “drag and drop” software makes it really easy (i.e. you don’t need to know how to code!)
They also cater to more “creative” businesses and have templates aimed at jewellery designers and makers.
Stick within the parameters of the theme
We’re creative people, and when it comes to our websites, we like to tinker. But knowing what looks good on a website is difficult unless you’re a website designer. If you try to change too much, without the tech skills to back it up, your site can end up looking amateurish.
Choose a theme you really like and then try to stick as closely as possible to the original look, making only simple customisations.
3. Building your email list
Having an email list means you have a list of people who love your jewellery, who you can market to at any time.
Yes, a social media following is also good, but you don’t own Facebook (unless you’re Mark Zuckerberg). In which case, you can’t control how many people see your messages. So you could end up working really hard to gather followers and then find that you can’t reach them with your posts.
When someone is on your email list, they’ve invited you directly into their inbox – you’re not competing with everyone else on a social media platform.
Here are some tips to help you get started with email marketing.
Offer a freebie
To get people onto your email list, you could offer a lead magnet (AKA a freebie) on your website and over social media. This could be anything from a guide to pairing the right earrings with the right outfit to a jewellery gift guide.
Try to relate it to what you sell specifically. If you sell engagement rings, your freebie will be completely different to someone who sells fashion jewellery.
Promote this freebie regularly over social media and on your website.
Don’t try to sound “professional”. Your email subscribers want to connect with the person behind the business, so don’t create distance by writing in the third person or using art jargon.
You can be you. You can share personal stories and the behind-the-scenes shenanigans of your business. In fact, if you do this, you’re more likely to build a base of loyal fans who love what you do.
You’re actually at an advantage as a micro-business owner, because you can build a real connection with your email subscribers. So make sure you do!
Don’t be afraid to sell!
Finally, email is not a time to be coy. You should regularly promote your jewellery and add links to your website so your email subscribers can buy. Try to send promotional emails in mini campaigns. For example, if you’re releasing a new line of jewellery, focus on promoting that for a few weeks.
Plan emails ahead of Christmas, Mother’s Day/Father’s Day and Black Friday. Try to build a picture of your entire year and carve out what you’re going to sell at different points in time.
Remember, you need to build marketing into the cost of your jewellery
I hear it a lot – I don’t have the budget for marketing.
But marketing is an essential activity for business success, so the cost of marketing needs to be built into the price of your jewellery – both the time and the money you spend on it.
Marketing will allow you to sell your jewellery and make more of it. You need it to survive and prosper. Think of it the same way you would your raw materials – an essential part of your business and product delivery.
The above marketing strategies aren’t expensive, and in Makers’ Momentum Club, you can learn much more about how to implement and build a marketing strategy that will help you to sell more of your jewellery with less work.