by Rena Klingenberg.
The camera in your phone can be a handy tool for your jewelry business.
(Aside from using it to take pictures of your jewelry!)
Here are 8 ways I’ve used mine:
1. Keep People’s Business Card Info
Whenever you receive someone’s business card that you plan to keep, snap a photo of it.
That way you’ll always have their info with you, on your phone, while leaving the business cards you’ve collected at home.
2. Keep a Photo of Your Booth Layout
It’s incredibly handy to have photos of your jewelry displays and booth, completely set up. For example:
- When you set up a practice run of your jewelry displays at home, take photos showing the way you’ve set up your entire booth. Now when you’re setting up for real at the show you can refer to the photos on your phone to see exactly where you had everything.
- Also take photos of your booth at every jewelry event you do. This comes in handy when show promoters ask for a recent booth photo along with your application. And the photos are good content for your jewelry blog or social media, enhancing your “street cred” with your customers.
- Have someone use your camera phone to take photos of you in action in your booth at each event you do.
3. Photograph Artistic Inspirations
Use your camera to make a “design journal” on your phone – making a quick record of visual inspirations you see when you’re out and about, such as:
- An inspiring way you see jewelry displayed in a store.
- New fashions such as clothes, shoes, purses, etc. that you’d like to design jewelry for.
- Any scene or color scheme that gives you a creative idea.
4. Photograph Documents
Use your camera instead of photocopier, to take pics of papers and documents such as:
- Application forms you’ve filled out for art shows.
- Your business license or reseller’s license.
- Your notification of acceptance into an art show – and any other paperwork related to the show.
5. Use it as a Notepad
Save paper by taking a photo of information, instead of jotting things down or printing them out from your computer. For example:
- Photograph your checklist of things to bring to jewelry shows / home parties.
- Instead of writing down the info for a book or product you’re interested in, take a picture of the book’s cover or the product’s packaging.
- Snap a photo of the front of a shop or gallery you’d like to contact about carrying your jewelry (be sure you get the store name in the photo).
- Take a pic of phone numbers, website URL’s or email addresses you see that you’d like to remember for later.
6. Get Quick Shots of Your Charity / Community Events
It’s good idea to have photos of any charity or community activities your jewelry business participates in.
These photos are valuable for use in your press releases, marketing materials, your “press page”, your jewelry website / blog, etc.
7. Take Photos of Your Jewelry Workshops and Jewelry Parties
These shots are a great record for yourself, as well as for content you can use in your marketing materials, website, and blog.
Consider getting photos of:
- You teaching the jewelry workshop.
- Your students working on their projects.
- Your students’ finished projects.
- At the end of beading birthday parties, take a photo of all the girls’ arms with their newly braceleted wrists together in a circle. This is a lovely shot to email to the birthday girl’s parents!
8. Take Reference Photos
If you need to be able to see a specific grouping of jewelry or supplies later, take a quick shot of them with your camera. For example:
- A collection of jewelry supplies you’d like to match when you go to a bead or gem show.
- A batch of jewelry you’re consigning to a shop or gallery.
- Photos of your happy customers wearing your creations (photographed with their permission, of course – and get their written permission if you plan to use the photos anywhere).
How Do You Use Your Camera for Your Jewelry Business?
Please share your creative uses! 🙂
Great hints. I love your newsletter. I always learn so much from you and the other contributors. Even though right now I’m not selling jewelry , a lot of your info helps in my business which is crochet and patterns. I bought your “Sell your jewelry everyday” and “Social Media” e books and they were FANTASTIC! and great advice for many businesses. I highly recommend them. Thanks for all your hard work (which I know it must be) and all your fabulous jewelry ideas.
Great suggestions here.
I just did this on Saturday: Instead of writing out detailed notes of the colours and having to later decipher what on earth my scribbles meant, I photographed my customer’s existing anklet on a ruler to show the precise length and how I’d finished it last year and which clasp I’d used, as well as putting the bracelet my customer chose to show exactly the new colour combo. It’s only after you get home that you realise, uh oh, I have FIVE green colours… or pinks, or purples… which one was it she wanted???
Nicole Green says:
I had this idea to set up my laptop at an event with a slideshow of my creations, jewelry I especially want to get noticed. Maybe even show the process I use when creating embossed cuffs, for example. Many photo programs have a slideshow function. However, it didn’t work for me because of the glare outdoors. If I ever do an indoor show, I plan to try it.
Mary Wong says:
I don’t have a cellphone with that quality (eventually – I hate complicated devices) but I use your tips with my camera. Some neat and practical ideas here! Thanks!
cebette murphy says:
I now use my phone instead of carbons when doing “on the spot” invoices. If I take my work to a retailer I fill out an invoice of the items they choose and then snap a picture of it for my records.
Angela Robison says:
Great tips, thanks for sharing! I use both my cell phone camera and digital camera very regularly. I often work on custom bridal jewelry orders, where the bride gives me her wedding colors and asks me what colors would work best with her bridesmaids and flower girls dresses, so I will string together various designs of pearls and crystals, then take pictures to send to my customers. This goes on and on until she is completely happy with the design. I also send pics of the completed jewelry set before shipping it out, just to make sure she is 100% satisfied. It can be time consuming and tedious work, but I love the reactions of my very happy bridal jewelry customers, especially when they write me to tell me how much they appreciate all my work and great customer service, and how much they love their new handmade bridal jewelry! 🙂
Ann Nolen says:
Great ideas! I use most of these since I love my smart phone and how it helps my jewelry business. One of the first tips Rena shared when I joined this site was to take a photo of every piece I make. I have used this to create a virtual catalog & price list on my phone/computer using the app Evernote. I title each entry with the short description and the retail price, and then attach the photo. It has been a great sales tool for both retail & wholesale customers, I get many orders at shows by having this info with me for alternative colors or items sold out. The search feature has also helped me to answer specific questions from customers like “do you have…”
Thanks for theese tips!!!
I’m not a fan of technology and never take pictures with my phone, but I will start now 🙂
You absolutely had me with your first tip 😉
Maria Georgiou says:
I love reading your newsletter and sharing ideas with other people all over the world. I feel so inspired, as well as more confident in selling my work. Thankyou so much.. much appreciated Maria Georgiou
Jacqueline D. says:
Nicole Green- I like your idea of displaying a slideshow of the designs that you have previously made (and presumably sold) which are not physically present at your booth, but can provide a further example of your creativity and design process. If I may suggest, though, that rather than having your laptop on the table (which can take up valuable table space in your booth, as well as possibly being stolen when you are tending to customers and transactions), you could instead buy a much less expensive Digital Photo Frame to which you could upload your pics and play as a slideshow. This would require less space on your table, giving more room for the pieces that are being physically displayed, as well as being less of a risk or temptation for theft… and if it does happen to be “lifted” by an ill-intentioned passerby, you wouldn’t be losing your expensive computer, and all of your other personal data therein.
Emily Wilke says:
It is silly how simple these suggestions are and that I NEVER thought of some of them! Thank you for opening my eyes. I always lose track of my resale number. You’re awesome Rena!
Nicole Green says:
Jacqueline D., you are so right. I’ll do that.
Rena, This is a cool article. I do use my camera a lot but you gave me more ideas. When some one wears my jewelry and comes to show me I say, Shall I take a picture? This kind of makes the person happy I have seen, kind of flattered and then I can use it to show how it looks on person. I do ask them if I could use them for that purpose as permission… And I found my smart phone takes pretty good pics. But I am going to remember all the other tips you’ve shared.