Sunday, January 02, 2011

Eye Candy (with a bit of business plan help)

Today I'm showing off a bit of eye candy I'll be uploading to my web site, the first jewelry of 2011.  Some earrings, a few bracelets.  Right now it's raining, so no more pictures are in the near future.

I wonder how many jewelry designers out there are frustrated that their beautiful, gorgeous jewelry isn't selling?  I've read enough blogs to know there are plenty in my circle of friends and colleagues.  Let me tell you -- the easiest way to step forward into this new year is to Have a Plan.  

What things will you focus on making?  

I dropped making watches, lanyards, and hair ornaments when I realized I was spreading myself too thin (and more importantly, that those things weren't selling for me.)  Pick a few things, your best sellers, the things you like to make the most, and work 'em, baby.


How do you get your customers?  

Do you list on Etsy and hope people will find you in their convoluted search, wasting money relisting so often you end up paying as much as your item is worth?  

There are better ways.  Show your beauties on your blog and on Facebook -- that's the easy one.  Then consider doing craft shows or home shows.  I LOVE doing craft shows because I can engage with customers, explain what things are made of, and at the point of sale, ask for their email or mailing address for future sales and promotions.


Yes, you're liable to meet resistance -- in the day and age of spam (you want me to buy WHAT to stick WHERE and chat with WHOM about WHAT?) people don't part with emails readily.  I always let them know I don't sell it, it gives them 10% off at future shows, and they get notification of secret sales on my web site.  If they opt to get just the postcard, they'll be notified when I do another show in their area, still get 10% off when they bring the card to the show, but they won't know about the secret sales.  That usually gives me one of their addresses.  
Then, MARKET to your customers.

Once you have their information, save it in a database, an Excel spreadsheet, or some organized fashion.  I separate my people into demographic regions since I do shows in various states.  When it's time to do a show, I print postcards at VistaPrint and mail them out with the show information and the 10% discount plainly shown.  This WORKS.  But you need to know -- a 2% return is considered a SUCCESS.  Just 2%.  This sounds horrible, but it will grow as time goes by and as word of mouth continues.  Mine started out at 2 out of 100, and now it's about 40 out of 100.  And as you guide your customers to your web site, your monthly sales, when you DON'T do shows, will increase.  So don't give up.


Show off your store.

Once you have a customer base, THEN you can concentrate on pointing them to your online store, be it your own site, Etsy, ArtFire, or the like.  Be sure to have a web presence BEFORE you start selling at craft shows, though -- you'll constantly be asked if you sell online and you want to be able to see those people who don't buy that day come back in a few months (believe me -- they do).  Etsy is a pretty, inexpensive place to start, but for jewelry, it's imperative you have a following and market to your own shop front. In fact, go someplace like GoDaddy and register your own domain name, and have that name point to your Etsy store so you can tell your customers, "Visit www.MyShop.com" rather than "www.MyShop.etsy.com".


I hope this has helped in some way.  My email is always open to anyone with questions.  I have a background in marketing and sales and have learned a lot along the way.  Selling jewelry is my full-time job, and it's a joy that I love to pass on to others.  

I hope your 2011 is a happy, prosperous one!  Happy Beading!


Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrtoe the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene.

28 comments:

  1. Great tips, Lori. I do a lot of this already but haven't gotten the hang of Facebook. Maybe I'll be seeking your help! Lovely items, BTW.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great tips, Lori. I do a lot of this already but haven't gotten the hang of Facebook. Maybe I'll be seeking your help! Lovely items, BTW.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the tips!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the helpful post, Lori. My goal for 2011 is to really build my customer base. I've got a blog and a FB page and an ArtFire shop with my own URL that points to it. Now I just need more customers!!! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Excellent tips Lori! You are a fountain of knowledge :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is an awesome post! with awesome pictures and advice! I love the wirewrapping on the first photo!

    I would like to second your notion to promote yourself on Facebook. At first, I felt guilty about posting my items from Etsy all the time....but it has lead to consistent sales and steadfast customers from friends. People love to support people they know who have something to sell. Many of my Facebook customers are friends from childhood who tell me, "you always were so creative, I'm so glad to see you pursuing your dream!"

    Also, it is always important to put your eggs in different baskets. I know a lot of artisans who put there items online as a first step and become discouraged because they don't sell right away. It takes a lot of time and research. I've learned this past year how important it is to branch out and explore different options! You never know until you put yourself out there!

    ReplyDelete
  7. my bad! that isn't wirewrapping at all! that's a bit of slight chainmail...you sly she-devil you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the tips Lori - yes, I guess I have to give Facebook a try - a web site too. I'll have to wait until my daughter has time off work to set it up for me.
    Your bracelets are gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lori, this is very generous of you to post this information. What you say about Etsy is so true. While I don't sell jewelry there, I do sell handmade components and the most effective way I have found to market is through blogging and paid advertising. And like it or not, you do have to market to sell, especially online. I love your approach to craft markets and you've some very good ideas. Thank you, I'm paying attention.

    Your photos are stunning and really show off your beautiful jewelry. I know we've heard it over and over again, but photos are key for online selling. You have to make people want to reach out and touch it!

    BTW, I don't know if I told you on your last post, but I love your blog and I think your content is fantastic. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

    ReplyDelete
  10. These are gorgeous. I will head over to your shop now! I've updated my blog look, so head over and check it out if you get a chance. Let me know what you think! Kori xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  11. Lori,
    You're a true gem! Thank you so much for the advice and help. Your jewelry looks absolutely beautiful!

    Kell

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh Lori if and when I decide to sell I will review this post for sure! That was a lot of information, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lori, Great tips! thank you so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks, Lori! Very good information. Your photography is amazing. You are a very generous person.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Very helpful tips. Especially about securing a domain name. I'm just starting out and am picking up all the advice I can get. Your pieces are gorgeous, and so is the photography. That has been my biggest hurdle thus far.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Beautfiful jewelry and great advice. Thanks so much for sharing. Happy New Year!!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Happy new year, Lori! And thank you for sharing your insights. I always love to read your advice!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Lori, these pieces (and the photography of them) are beautiful! I love the staging you do with the photos.

    I have found facebook to be an excellent place to share new listings. It is interesting to see the difference in hits on items that have been posted on facebook vs. those that have not....major difference! Another thing that I have started to do is when naming my pieces, I try to think of names which will evoke emotion in persons. For instance, I named a piece after a locally owned orchard, posted it on facebook, and within hours it was bought by the orchard owner! LOL Best wishes to you in the new year!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post!

    Please drop by and share a link to it on my Creative Monday. I think folks would really enjoy what you have to say.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great tips Lori! Ironically, I'm starting to do shows this year and this is the biggest thing I'll be focusing on! Good timing!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks for the tips. I sell jewely online so I can totally relate to what you have said here.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Great advice, Lori, for those that truly want to make a business out of selling and not create for the fun of it(like me). I know 2011 will be a successful year for you - as you always have a great PLAN!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Great post Lori! I would love to sell more jewellery but I lack your drive...I hit a small brick wall and shrug my shoulders and give up! But perhaps 2011 is the year I should try and jump over at least a couple of brick walls! Beautiful pictures by the way, your jewellery really shines here.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I love this--it's much more detailed than my blog of making a plan! I love how you broke everything down in simple, easy steps!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks Lori, You are sucha kind soul ans so generious. Be blessed
    SandysColoringBox.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks for the advice! I certainly need the help. Or willpower. Or dedication. :) And for business cards, I love moo.com.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Lori, This was a great post, so full of great information that I printed it out & put it in my "marketing" folder and also bookmarked it in a similarly named folder. You are so helpful and generous. I really appreciate it! Thanks. --Sally

    ReplyDelete
  28. Excellent tips Lori! You really packed that post full of advice! So true, Etsy is a hard sell without a customer base. And getting emails is like pulling teeth, but your right, selling them on the discount usually does it!
    Love the lime, melon & Bali bracelet! Such pretty colors!

    ReplyDelete

Comments are like a hug to my heart. Thank you! :)

DESIGN BY: THE BLOG DECORATOR