by Sue Graham.
Promoting your jewelry business is essential if you want to sell your work and build a base of customers who love what you do. Here are the basics:
Word of Mouth
I’m sure you’ve heard lots of people saying that “Word of Mouth” is the best publicity you can get, and they are absolutely correct of course.
For one thing it’s free, and there’s no better way of spreading the word about your wonderful jewelry, than by a happy customer telling their friends about you.
However, Word of Mouth promotion doesn’t necessarily come only from happy customers who have purchased from you. It can also come from people who have seen your product, liked the way you treated them, maybe didn”t buy anything on that particular occasion, but still tell their friends, family and acquaintances about you.
To achieve this, you need to set up a stall / booth, create a website, or make pieces that will resonate with consumers. If something strikes a chord with one person, they will potentially share it with others.
It is also extremely wise practice to be interested in the customer and show that you are interested. Nothing should be too much trouble, within reason of course.
Let me tell you straight away, that one of the best ways to get potential customers to buy anything is to let them handle the goods.
Who cares if you have to re-arrange items regularly, who cares if you have to polish things a bit more often?
As long as people can touch, they are more likely to buy, and while they’re holding that necklace, you can be showing that bit of interest in them, having a friendly conversation with them, asking them if they would like to try the piece on, treating them like a person and showing an interest in them.
Don”t just tell them what you do, find out what they like too.
I know it can be easy to get frustrated with customers who finger the items on sale, messing them up, maybe leaving fingerprints on them and so on, but please don”t show that frustration.
I once knew someone who used to do a lot of “tut-tutting” and even tied the doors of the display cabinets together with elastic bands to prevent clients from opening the doors and handling the items on display. Can you imagine a better turn-off than that?
To prove my point, some research was carried out with undergraduate students in America. Half were shown two items to look at and decide whether they would be prepared to buy them or not, and the other half were shown the same two items, but were allowed to handle them. The second group not only said they would buy, but were even prepared to pay more for the items.
So always remember, that to be thought of in a good light and so receive that famous “Word of Mouth” publicity, you need more than just nice items.
You see, part of the overall product is you and the way you treat your customers.
People promote people they like.
It is absolutely essential to have a business card.
You have just gone to all that trouble to make something, someone likes it, buys it, you sell it to them and then – let them go? Of course not!
You want them to come back – and to come back, they have to remember who you are. When you have sold something a business card should always be popped into the bag with the item.
A business card is an item that’s always picked up at shows, even by those people who don”t buy from you on that day. (And what if they are one of those people who might tell someone else about your lovely stuff, even if they don”t buy themselves? You don”t want them to forget who you are, do you?).
Very often business cards are slung on a pile with others, or left on the side. If you”re lucky, your business card might be pinned to a notice board. The point is that you have to make your business card stand out from the others.
You can design one yourself or pay a graphic artist to do their magic for you. It should, of course, represent you and your business. The more professional it looks, the better.
People promote people they remember.
Your Jewelry Stall / Booth
Most craft shows have lots of stalls selling handcrafted jewelry. You need to stand out from the rest, in your work, your manner, and your display.
Your display should reflect your artistic sensibilities and provide an appealing backdrop for your work.
For fabrics, choose solid colors or subtle patterns that complement your jewelry. Even better if you can afford it, would be to invest in one of those professional table covers, like they use at conferences.
Texture is also an important element, and can be used in a variety of ways. Try using natural materials such as wood, stone and even flowers.
Add height to your display to create visual interest. Use stands, shelves, or boxes draped in fabric to break up the level of your table displays.
Another very important thing to remember is light. Your jewelry will stand out so much better if you have spotlights directed onto it. The more the better. (Remember to take a couple of extension leads with you, since you may be a bit of a distance from the sockets.)
If you are on a tight budget, hardware stores are a great place to shop for your display material.
Baskets, ceramic plates, bowls, or vintage books can be used as displays.
Picture frames are another great find. Replace the glass with fabric and use to display your eye catching pieces like little works of art. Be inspired by found objects, start looking at things that catch your eye and try to imagine ways to use them in your display.
Your display should say something about your work before customers even step up to your tables. Go for originality, be creative, and always professional and pleasant.
People buy from people they like.
Author Sue Graham of Amazing Beads runs an Internet shop selling a large selection of unusual loose beads, including semi-precious gemstones, vintage, and handcrafted lampwork beads by bead artist Norma Murray.
Sue’s designer jewellery is also sold on the site, and she is a freelance writer. Shipping is free of charge, for anything, to anywhere.
In her spare time, Sue runs an Animal Sanctuary.