The most important part of growing your business is marketing. We’ll take a look at some pointers for getting the word out about the craft jewelry you make. Today let’s start with marketing online.
The more people that know about your jewelry, the more you can sell. Get noticed.
That’s marketing. Now with that out of the way, let’s move on: How do you make people aware of the stuff you’re selling? You could have a yard sale, but since you’re reading my advice through the Internet, let’s go right to the most sensible idea…
Be easily found. Online.
This means two related things. Have an online store. (If you don’t, how are people going to give you money?) And make sure people go there. (If they don’t, how are you going to have a business at all?) Luckily, both are simple to do nowadays. Read on.
Where to sell online
Here’s a short list of suggestions, but hang out on any crafts or jewelry discussion site and you’ll hear other valuable recommendations!
- Etsy: The best-known shopping site for handmade stuff. Etsy offers you a ton of help, it doesn’t cost very much, it’s not hard to create a beautiful-looking store of your own, and there’s an existing community of fiercely loyal Etsians.
- ArtFire: “Sell without fees. Create without limits.”
- 1000 Markets: A newer site that works like Etsy: their home page features an ever-rotating selection of members’ stores and products. There’s lots of good buzz about this site.
- Crafty Nation: Even newer, and full of enthusiasm and original ideas. (They had a “site-warming party”. You can submit your items to be reviewed. You can find people to collaborate with.) Worth checking out!
How to get noticed
Hang out where the people are. Yes, here too it’s all about community. And the more you hang out, the more you’ll hear of other places people like. Very serious advice: it may surprise you, but the single best way to attract eyeballs ‘n’ wallets online is to be a valued part of people’s lives. Better not stand around shouting, “Ooh ooh, I’ve got this for sale! And this! C’mon and buy something from me!!” Don’t lose your cool–connect with people. If you’ll take the time to show interest in what others are saying, naturally they’re going to spend more time paying attention to you. And to your wares!
Again there’s a very short list of obvious places to be:
Twitter: The fastest-growing, liveliest place to network with people whose interests relate to yours. It’s fun, too–you have to put your thoughts into 140 characters (letters) or less. A neat way to learn to express yourself clearly and reach many, many hearts and minds. You can include links to your store, or to any web pages you think are worth sharing. (Be sure to follow Rings_Things there, that’s us!)
Facebook or MySpace: These two are the biggest, best-known sites for reaching out to folks who might want to hear you. An advantage that both have over Twitter: you can personalize your page with pictures, music, or just about anything you want. Drawback: those hefty pages can take a long time to load on your visitors’ screens, and they may annoy people over 30.
Jewelry / craft blogs: Start one of your own. Use WordPress, or Live Journal, or Xanga, or whatever. (Google “how to start a blog” for all the guidance you’ll need.) And hang out reading & making comments at other people’s blogs of related interest. They’re likely to start conversations with you, quote you, and link to your blog or your store. Again, have something to say that’s useful, interesting and to the point. And in blog world, you need to be a regular…if people enjoy what you say, they’ll come back looking for you. Don’t be a stranger!
Discussion forums: Similar to blog land, you can join a few favorite discussion boards about jewelry making, beads, etc. They’re everywhere. (For an example, see Rings & Things’ Forum.) Usually when you join, you can set up your profile to link to your online store, blog, or both. Here too, be helpful and friendly, and attract good attention.
There are tons more of advice to share about particular ways of using the Internet for your business. But what you just read is the bare basics that’ll get you up and going. There’s time to learn more after you take those first steps.
Have some hard-won advice on what’s worked or not worked for you in selling jewelry? Share it in a comment below!
Exciting news: every month, we’re going to hold a lottery right here on the Rings & Things blog. Here’s how it will work:
*At the beginning of each month, I’ll announce a new lottery.
*You enter by leaving Replies, also known as blog comments. Comment on any post(s) this month.
*At the end of the month, I’ll randomly draw 2 names to receive surprise goodie packs!
*Dollar-bill image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons