by Wanda Mcphee.
(Miami, FLorida USA)
I have been designing jewelry for about 10 years and I totally love it.
My problem is, I had never had any success marketing online and as I am a Graphic Designer from 9-5 week days, I really think that selling online is the best alternative for me with my schedule.
My jewelry is made from all natural materials like seeds, shells, pods, beach glass, etc. and with people going “green” and becoming more conscious of our environment and how we can protect it, I know my products can be a success if properly marketed.
I feel lost though, am not sure how. I have made about 3 different attempts with a website, the latest, an Etsy site, is in progress as I write this.
I just can’t seem to find my target audience.
Does anyone have any suggestions? I really would appreciate any help at all.
It isn’t easy
It really isn’t easy to get people to go to your site. I spend a lot of my time looking for online magazines and different sites to link to, as well as sites that focus on writing articles about different designers.
I have some listed on my site at www.kkpwdesigns.com under “Our Story” as well as “Contact Us”.
Hope this helps a little!!
Ways to Connect Online with Your Most Likely Customers
Your work is beautiful and different – so if you can get it in front of the folks who are most likely to be interested in it, you shouldn’t have trouble getting your sales started.
You mentioned “green” / environmental people as potential customers. I think that’s a good place to start.
You could probably also target natural / outdoorsy folks, such as hikers and backpackers, canoers, campers, etc.
Do some Googling for online communities (social networking sites and forums) on topics like “sustainability”, “green”, “environmental”, “earth friendly”, “simple living”, “nature”, “backpacking”, “hiking”, etc.
Find online communities in your chosen niche that are active with several people posting every day, and join in.
However, DO NOT advertise your jewelry there.
Instead, build relationships there. Participate in the online communities where your chosen customers are – as a fellow member. Discuss what they discuss, and keep your posts on the main topics.
Then, in your forum signature on these sites, put a link to your online jewelry storefront – possibly something like:
www.(whatever your site is).com
Unique, earth-friendly jewelry and gifts – handmade from natural elements
(Or whatever wording suits your jewelry.)
Also, periodically change your forum signature to for upcoming seasons / gift-giving occasions – for example:
Earth-friendly Valentine gifts, handmade by Wanda
Unique Mother’s Day gifts and jewelry, handmade from natural elements
(etc. – whatever wording works for you.)
If you make your signature line sound interesting enough, and appealing to the niche of folks in the targeted online communities you participate in, you should start getting some interested traffic!
Hope this helps – please keep us posted on your progress! :o)
Forgot to mention
… that once you’ve got your jewelry online somewhere (Etsy, your own website, or wherever) – you must do your own promoting and marketing to attract people to it.
They won’t know your work is there if you don’t lead them to it!
So decide who would be most interested in the type of jewelry you make, and build online relationships with those folks! :o)
Thank you for your Help
Thank you so much for your advice! I really appreciate it and I will do and follow the suggestions you offered. It is such a great help to me.
Also a Designer…
by: Janine G.
Hi! I am also a graphic designer but more trained in the “Print” field. I love to make promotional products for my jewelry such as “Moo” cards with my pieces on the front and my contact info on the back (Moo.com) and vistaprint.com for cheap alternatives to earring cards (Business cards cut in half)and promotional postcards printed on the cheap!
I leave these printed pieces with my etsy or website info on them everywhere and give them out frequently. I also had a relative I am close to host a party -it was easy she put out chips and dips and some refreshments. I got e-mailed earlier in the month her guest list so I sent out some inexpensive printed postcards/invitations with the party info.
I put out a tablecloth made of black velvet I got from the fabric store that I hemmed with hem tape. and then set out my display on her dining room table. I got some bags and tissue for wrapping at the dollar store. I sold $400 and got 2 more parties booked out of it.
You can do this any way you like. I love that you have a “green” theme and you can really roll with that for packaging (brown recycled gift bags), displays, natural bamboo mats, and even printing on recycled materials for your promotion.
Hope these ideas help!
Thanks for your advice
Thanks Janine!, I am so grateful that you took the time to give me all of this information. I am currently working on new packaging and I am also implementing a lot of what I learned here through helpful advice like yours. I just sold a piece on my Etsy site and it felt sooooo good. To me this is a start, I had never made a sale online before so it was a turning point for me. I will definitely do the parties that you suggested, its a great idea. Thank you so much and all the best to you!
Design an add with your computer, place adds near jewelry shops or stores (ask permission). Place your adds a flea markets and around pawnshops (ask permission). Also, Place adds where it is free online, and a great place to build a free wwwsite is www.webs.com
Thank you so much for your suggestions!! I will do this for sure. I have a back ground in graphic design so its no problem at all. I just moved to North Carolina and have been calling different shops and galleries. I have a few appointments set up to meet with some of the store proprietors already so this will allow me to go a step further with my marketing. Thanks again and happy holidays.
Selling Art or Jewelry Without a Fee
I am an abtract artist in every medium and a gemstone cutter and now fine jewelry and wire wraps. But I don’t have the money to sell on Ebay or Esty. They charge us a sellers fee. I would like to try my own site or another site that doesn’t charge per piece, or the lot. Is there a site to sell jewelry or art where you don’t have a fee???
The only place I know of (and I could just be uninformed) to sell without a per-item fee is if you have your own personal website. There are varying shopping cart software programs out there in a range of prices. The one I use is ZenCart – since it’s on my own site I can change it whenever and no charges for listing something. The only thing is you have to pay monthly web hosting fees and for a domain name once a year. So there’s still a price. That ranges from $5 a month with some hosts and up.
Etsy really isn’t too bad as far as fees go. Personally, I use both Etsy and my own site.
I found a site that’s free (I haven’t gotten on Etsy yet, myself, for the same reason) and I’m going to give it a chance before I do got to Etsy. But it’s ArtFire.com. Check it out 🙂
Thanks for the site link
Thanks so much! I will definitely check this out.
this is my first time visiting this site. thanks for the info.I have been searching an by far this is the most and best Ive gotten so far thank u. love the natural designs. I work with clay an natural stones.looking forward to my time with etsy.
Thanks so much, this is such a great help. All the best to you and your business!
by: Rachel Corrine – Websites for Jewelers
I would also recommend that you try guest blogging on site that pertain to your niche. A lot of bloggers would love some quality free content from you in exchange for a mention of your site in a signature line or profile. Start reaching out to the those in your niche internet community and make some friends. This will certainly help get the word out 🙂
Regarding Jan’s question about a site that doesn’t charge a fee?
There is a site called www.handmadeartists.com. The site is owned and operated by a husband and wife team, who are handmade artists as well. I adore the site and all the extra perks as well (Forum, Blog) They currently charge $5.00 per month or $50.00 per year with NO Listing Fees. NO commission fees. NO hidden fees. All your questions can be answered here > http://handmadeartists.com/sell-info/
Hope this is what you are looking for, let me know if you do join and we can hook up. Good Luck Jan!
Thanks so much for leaving such invaluable information, I can’t wait to check out this site. I really appreciate and do hope to link up with you there when I join.