How to Market Your Jewelry to Qualified Customers

Especially at the beginning of their journey, many jewelry designers and stores are so excited to share their products with the world that they fail to identify their “dream” customer.

You’re probably thinking: but wouldn’t choosing a dream customer and only marketing to him/her limit my sales? Identifying your ideal customer has a number of advantages:

  • You can target your marketing in a specific way and, as a result, tailor your brand’s message.
  • Your rate of interactions with fun, enthusiastic, and excited customers will be much higher.
  • The “ideal” customers you attract will be much more likely to become brand evangelists and tell others about your brand.
  • Focusing on attracting your ideal customer will lead to a higher rate of conversion, and you’ll waste less time with fantasy shoppers who aren’t serious about buying from you.
  • Your jewelry will become synonymous with a certain group of people and will be more identifiable in the marketplace.

Look at it this way: you wouldn’t spend years in medical school to become a doctor simply to graduate with a medical degree and announce to everyone, “Hey, everyone, I’m a doctor now!” With that approach, you’d be hard pressed to find new patients. On the other hand, if you specialize in dermatology, patients with a specific need for skin care will look for you.

Now, perhaps it’s time for me to be more specific.

Choosing your ideal customer is one thing. But if your target market is high-school girls who don’t have any disposable income, and you’re selling jewelry outside of their price point, you might want to change “ideal” customer to “qualified” customer. Who would you love to service who can actually afford your products?

When I first started working as a sales associate for the largest jewelry retailer in the country, I used to get annoyed when the store manager (and our monthly quotas) required us to push credit on our customers. After a few months with the company and, in hindsight, I can see why qualifying the customer as soon as you possibly can is the ultimate sales/marketing strategy.

If you know what the customer can comfortably afford and how he/she can afford it, then you can help them find the perfect piece of jewelry and really sell it to your customer in a genuine, thoughtful way. If not, the customer will not likely approach you with a budget strapped to his/her forehead. Online, the budget guessing game is even more of an issue.

If you don’t offer credit or don’t have a way to financially qualify your customers, you need to tell your brand’s story in such a way that hints at your price points, even if the customer never sees your prices.

Not only do you need to speak in your ideal customer’s language and use imagery that appeals to your ideal customer, but you also need to communicate a message that the customer’s wallet will understand. Think of some of your favorite jewelry brands and their price points – in what ways do they hint at affordability or luxury?

In what ways can you better tailor your brand’s message to not only pre-qualify your customers but also attract better customers?

Featured photo by Sarah Reid

Encourage Fans to Create Content for Your Jewelry Brand

In his book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, marketing expert Seth Godin writes, “An individual artist needs only a thousand true fans in her tribe. It’s enough.”

That’s right: a jewelry store or jewelry designer needs only 1,000 tried and true fans to help inspire success.

How is that possible? 

Consider your own loyalties to your favorite brands and businesses. When you really like a local restaurant or bar, don’t you tell your friends about it? Maybe you even invite them to Happy Hour. Because of you, 10 new people will learn about the establishment and became fans themselves.

If you can convince just 1,000 people to become fans, those people will not only tell their friends and family members about your jewelry brand but they’ll also be more likely to create content that you can also share.

What do I mean? Here are five examples of how your loyal fans can create content that you can share and use as leverage for your awesome jewelry brand.

Encourage your fans to write Yelp reviews and then borrow review highlights for your own marketing efforts. Nudging someone to write a Yelp review is as easy as sending a follow-up e-mail or making a follow-up phone call to a happy customer. Most people don’t spend their days thinking about writing Yelp reviews, but a gentle reminder or even an incentive will prompt a satisfied customer to sing their praises. Once you’ve gathered some excellent Yelp reviews, share quotes from those reviews on your social media accounts.

Pro tip: I like to create “ready-to-share” graphics with solid-color backgrounds and text from the Yelp reviews.

Source guest bloggers (if you already maintain a blog). Some of your fans will love the opportunity to show others how they wear or style your jewelry. Maybe these fans already have fashion blogs or Instagram accounts of their own, and they’d like to gain more followers by leveraging your blog platform. Invite your fans to contribute guest blog posts that feature their tips for wearing your jewelry.

Cultivate the product reviews section on your e-commerce site, Etsy store, or even eBay page. Again, always encourage customers to leave product reviews. You may even want to consider providing a coupon code or contest entry as incentive for customers to write a review; after all, doesn’t a store with lots of product reviews (even lukewarm or negative reviews) appear to be more trustworthy and legitimate than a store without any cred? Share highlights from product reviews in your social media marketing.

Host a social-media-based contest that requires entrants to post something related to your brand. Maybe entrants must post a photo of themselves wearing your jewelry or submit a design idea for a future piece. Either way, they’ll be entering your contest but also sharing their creativity and your brand name with all their followers.

Host a blogger or influencer event. In a previous post, I discussed the advantages of hosting such an event and how an exciting event can encourage influencers to share their thoughts about your brand. The event can take place in your physical showroom/studio, or it can be completely virtual. Definitely make it worth your attendees’ while to attend.

Which one of these ideas would best work for your jewelry brand? How will you begin to implement these strategies? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Featured photo by Graeme Maclean

The Importance of Watermarking Your Jewelry Photographs

Jewelry can be so easy to copy; some swindling entrepreneurs attend trade shows just to peep other designers’ works. Then, they decide how they can manufacture the designs with cheaper materials. Ultimately, they try to sell their knock-off pieces at lower prices.

Even worse, many consumers don’t understand the true value of diamonds, precious metals, and skilled craftsmanship, so they can’t comprehend why one skilled designer who sources high-quality materials charges so much more money than a shady pop-up shop that’s making the same style in base metal and glass stones.

The more time I spend on Instagram, the more I realize that many accounts simply steal photos from true jewelry designers’ accounts without giving proper attribution. Overall, I don’t support reposting content on Instagram – not only is reposted content boring, but it also demonstrates a lack of creativity. Even worse, when the original poster isn’t credited, the practice of reposting is downright despicable and ultimately won’t help the reposter’s reputation.

So how can you, as a talented and creative jewelry designer or retailer, ensure that no one steals your photos? Surely, you don’t have time to monitor who’s copying or ripping off your work. Well, you can watermark your photographs and/or make sure that your name or logo is incorporated into every image.

What’s a watermark? It’s an image or text on your photograph that deters other people from copying your photo and claiming it as their own. If you position the watermark effectively, someone will have to do more Photoshop work that it’s worth to remove a watermark.

Not only will a watermark protect your designs and beautiful photographs (though it’s not a foolproof method of protection), it will also build brand awareness. Your current followers and new potential customers who are discovering your website and/or social media accounts will begin to associate your images with your logo and name.

How can you add watermarks to your photos without ruining the integrity of your image?

  • Hire your original logo designer to create a watermark version of your logo and ask him or her to teach your how to add the watermark to your images. If you designed your own logo, read how to make a transparent version of it, which you’ll be able to add as a new layer to any image.
  • Download a watermarking app like iWatermark for iPhone and iPad or check out this list of the seven best watermark apps for Android.
  • If you don’t like the idea of adding a watermark to your images, consider posting photos of your jewelry alongside or in packaging that has your logo or name on it.

Have your images or designs ever been stolen by a shady jewelry-related social media account or even a cheap copy-cat manufacturer? What actions did you take to remedy the situation? Do you currently use watermarks or other identifiers in your images? Please share in the comments below.

Featured photo by John Goode

5 Tips for Marketing Your Etsy Jewelry Store

I love Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade goods. When I’m looking for something unique at an affordable price point, I know I’ll be able to find the perfect item, made with love, on Etsy.

I’ve purchased lots of jewelry and findings on Etsy: a custom copper pendant that I incorporated into a bracelet; a faceted tourmaline stone; mint green glass stud earrings; a sterling silver locket; and a small silver charm.

As a jewelry marketing specialist who also loves and admires Etsy, I have many ideas about how jewelry designers and artisans can increase their presence on Etsy and direct customers to their Etsy pages. Are you an Etsy vendor who’s struggling to get their jewelry products seen by ideal customers?

Below are five suggestions that will help you distinguish yourself from the competition, establish you as a professional, and boost visibility for your jewelry.

1. Experiment with new versions of product photography. If you take your own photos, try taking different versions for the same product: different color/texture background, new angles, and various types of light.

Then, conduct your own marketing focus group and ask a trusted group of friend or loyal customers which photos they like the best and think are the most effective for selling the product. The photos that you like the best might not be the best ones for attracting customers.

2. Showcase your items on your own proprietary website. Don’t only showcase your items on your Etsy store page! Establish yourself as a true professional by embedding your Etsy store into your own proprietary website with a branded URL address like “YourStoreName.com.”

If you already have a website but aren’t technically savvy, you can consult a web developer for assistance regarding Etsy integration. If use WordPress or want to use WordPress to create your own website, you’ll find lots of help online. Check out “Building Your Own Etsy Store with WordPress” and “How to Integrate Your Etsy Shop into Your WordPress Website….”

3. Don’t autotweet your listings! I’m always rolling eyes at the number of Twitter accounts run that are simply a collection of automated tweets about new Etsy product listings. The tweets lack imagination and engagement – they’re basically bland advertisements for every product, and very few customers are going to be motivated by a canned promotion.

Instead, say something creative about your products. Feature them in a new way or offer some exclusive content (a video, a new photo) that isn’t already located on the Etsy product description page. Interact with your followers and play down the attachment to Etsy. Etsy should simply be the engine running your business, not the focus of it.

4. Keep in touch with past and potential customers. Opt your customers into an e-mail marketing list and send out regular updates about your shop like special promotions, new products, product spotlights, in-person events and appearances, etc. Note: you can’t simply add your customers to your e-mail list – they have to agree to be there! But you can let people know about your e-mail list by writing about it on your website or blog or adding a link to it on your seller “about” page. Here are some additional tips.

5. Partner with fashion/accessory bloggers and influencers. Find the bloggers and social media influencers you think would most enjoy your products and reach out to them. Tell them about your product and ask them if they’d appreciate a complimentary gift. You can also trade with other fashion/accessories Etsy vendors and feature their work on your social media accounts and/or blog. This way, your potential customers can see your products featured on real people and, in turn, imagine themselves wearing the jewelry.

Are you a successful Etsy jewelry seller? What techniques have you used to boost your Etsy business?