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10 Money-Wasters in Jewelry Marketing

In episode #143 of the Joy Joya Jewelry Marketing Podcast, I share 10 of the top jewelry marketing money wasters, so you can avoid making the same mistakes that I see some jewelry brands make when it comes to their marketing budgets. You may be surprised by the things that are wasting your money, and my tips will probably save you from wasting money in the future. Definitely listen to or watch this episode and share with your jewelry-industry friends! The transcript is below.

Hi, I’m your host Laryssa Wirstiuk. Through this podcast I aim to empower and inspire jewelry entrepreneurs and innovators so they can thrive by doing what they love. I’m passionate about digital marketing for jewelry brands, and I’m excited to share my passion with you.

This is Episode 143, and today I’m going to be sharing 10 of the top jewelry marketing money wasters. So you can avoid making the same mistakes that I see some jewelry brands making when it comes to their marketing budgets and spends. You may be surprised by some of the things that are wasting your money. And I may even save you from spending needless dollars in the future. So listen up.

But before we get to today’s episode, I want to share some marketing related news and insights from the past week that caught my attention. So I talk a lot on this podcast about live streaming and how it is the future of e commerce shopping. And TechCrunch recently had a really great article about how live streaming is booming and driving a significant uptick in the creator economy.

A new forecast estimates that consumers will spend $6.78 billion in social apps in 2021. That seriously blows my mind. And that number is only expected to grow to $17.2 billion annually by 2023. In the first half of this year, $3 out of every $4 spent in the top 25 social apps came from apps that offered live streaming. So as live streaming is playing a major component in what is inspiring consumers to buy, they’re helping to drive demand for these social apps also in helping to boost other key engagement metrics, like time spent in the app. So live streaming can really help engage your customers in a way that no other form of digital communication really can. And if you want your customers to spend time with you with your products with your brand, then livestreaming can be a really great opportunity for you. Platforms like TikTok are investing heavily in new features to enhance their live streaming capabilities. In fact, last year, TikTok actually surpassed YouTube in the US and UK in terms of average monthly time spent per user. I would love to hear about your own experiences with live streaming, whether Instagram Live, YouTube Live, have you used these tools to reach your customers? And if so, how have they worked for you? Let me know. I’m really curious to hear about how jewelry brands are utilizing live streaming today.

Another article from Wired was just kind of interesting to me because I’m fascinated with Instagram, its role in social media marketing for jewelry brands and how Instagram has really evolved quickly, even in the past year or two with all the new features they’ve been introducing. So this article in particular is about what the author deems “Instagram’s identity crisis”. Ever since Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, the app has grown an estimated 1 billion monthly users and reportedly generates around $20 billion a year in advertising revenue which is great for Instagram. That’s amazing growth.

At the same time, it seems like that growth has coincided with a steady loss of autonomy for the platform. Bloomberg reporter Sarah fryer says that Instagram has gradually become less of a company within a company and more of a product division of Facebook. Several former Instagram employees who left Instagram after two years at the company have described this envy fueled relationship between Facebook and Instagram, where apparently Facebook’s paranoia of being uncool, while apps like TikTok are becoming more popular have resulted in a self imposed dominance on the other apps that it owns like Instagram. It’s really interesting to see how Instagram has evolved to keep up with TikTok. they’ve introduced Reels, they’re pushing video. And the older demographics who have loved Instagram used it since it it first became a social media platform. They feel kind of confused and abandoned by the release of all these new features. I am keeping a close watch on this because it fascinates me so many jewelry brands rely on Instagram as a way of engaging with consumers. And I think it’s important to pay attention to how Instagram continues to change and evolve and whether they actually are catering to their users and paying attention to the features that they want, rather than just like shoving new features down their throats.

Finally, an article from Social Media Today is about a new feature, speaking of features from Instagram that I think is actually kind of cool and useful. It hasn’t been released in the United States yet. So let me tell you about it. Instagram recently launched a live test of a new feature called Map Search. And they’ve only released it so far in Australia and New Zealand. So this Map Search features enables users to discover businesses and locations of interest on a map that’s in the Instagram app, they can find information about each listed business, as well as any public posts that have been tagged with that location. I love this idea. I hope it comes to the United States into other countries, it will be especially useful for jewelry businesses that have a brick and mortar storefront location, and want to get discovered by maybe people exploring their own cities or towns or even travelers who are looking to find unique jewelry stores. I know I was recently traveling to New York City, and I wanted to know where all the jewelry stores were. I wanted to see see them all. And I feel like this feature would have been really useful to me if it had been available. So I’m looking forward to seeing it come to the US.

If you want to get the links to the articles I share in this segment of the podcast, you can sign up for my email newsletter by visiting, and you’ll get a digest with the links whenever a new episode drops. Okay, let’s talk about the top 10 marketing money wasters for jewelry brands.

So number one on this list, something I see very often usually done out of desperation out of jewelry, entrepreneurs, leaders, marketing managers who just feel so frustrated with social media marketing are making this mistake, they’re spending money on advertising without really having a sound comprehensive strategy, or plan behind the advertising or the ad buying. And if you don’t have goals, if you don’t fully know what you’re doing, it’s unfortunately just going to be a waste of money. I have to say, as someone who is pretty well versed in social media, advertising and pay per click advertising, I see the ways that platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google market themselves to small business owners, and they really create an illusion that advertising is fairly easy. There’s a small learning curve, that it’s affordable, that it’s accessible, that it’s kind of easy to get results when you pay to play. But the reality is, as someone who has run ad campaigns and has seen results or non results firsthand, who understands how budgets work, and what kind of budgets are needed to achieve certain results, it’s a lot more difficult to be successful at advertising, then these advertising platforms would would let you you know, see behind the scenes. Yeah, of course, you can sign up for an account today and start advertising and have your ads out there. But are they going to be effective. That’s a whole other story. If you are not an advertising expert, I suggest you tread carefully because it’s so easy to waste money on advertising. If advertising is something you seriously would like to pursue. I suggest either you yourself, like getting more education in that or even better partnering with someone who specializes in advertising because even though that may be an extra investment or expense to pay for that person, you’ll probably end up evening out by spending those ad dollars in a smart way while rather than just like throwing your money and not fully knowing what you’re doing. So that’s number one.

Number two, one of the biggest marketing money wasters is spending on marketing but really micromanaging every dollar that’s going out the door. So what do I mean by that? Marketing and really any investment that you make in your business, I would say there are few business investments that you can track the return dollar for dollar. You kind of have to see it as an investment in your Future, of course, you need to have a budget you need to spend in an intelligent way. But if you are literally trying to track the return on investment for every marketing dollar that you spend and expecting to see like a one to one return on investment, then you probably shouldn’t be spending on marketing anyway, because you don’t fully understand that it’s an investment in your future. And that you may not be able to, to reap the rewards of that, or see the tangible results of that until a few months from now, a few years from now. So if you’re spending in a micromanaging kind of way, I would say you’re really wasting your money because you just have too much anxiety around it, maybe you don’t understand what it means to invest in a business, I would say rethink your goals and thoughts about what it means to be an entrepreneur and the tiny risks that you do have to take when you when you run a business.

So number three, spending marketing dollars on event marketing: events, trade shows, trunk shows, pop ups, whatever kind of in person, or even virtual event without really testing those waters for yourself or understanding the audience. So for example, if you’re thinking about signing up for a trade show that you want to do, it’s kind of a dream in a vanity way to be proud to have a presence at this trade show. But maybe you’ve never walked to that trade show floor. Or maybe you’ve never done research about the types of consumers, buyers, other vendors who attend or exhibit at this trade show, then that’s really going to be a waste of your marketing dollars, because you can’t set any goals around that. And you really don’t have any idea of what to expect. So also, before you invest in event marketing, you want to know is your brand identity in place is the rest of your marketing sound. You don’t want to put your best foot forward if like your marketing foundation is crumbling, or you won’t be able to put your best foot forward. Will your customers even be there? Will they be in a state of mind to buy? And if not, are you prepared to see this as an investment in the beginning of the buyers journey, if they’re not ready to buy now, maybe you have to look at that event as the first step in getting someone interested. But having realistic expectations around that, never letting events be a vanity thing. I think it’s really easy for small business owners to say, Oh, I got accepted into this event or they want me at this event or I got invited to be at this event. And it’s exciting to be seen to be noticed to be recognized to be acknowledged. But at the end of the day, it has to be a business decision for you. Unless you have money to burn, is this gonna be a smart marketing investment? And can I justify it based on my customer personas based on my goals based on where I am with my business?

Number four, another really common marketing money waster that I see. And this is actually usually a result of someone trying to save money or in their mind trying to cut corners, hiring a variety of freelancers or service providers who do a lot of small piecemeal things for your business, again, in that effort to save money, so you think, Oh, I’m gonna go on Fiverr, I’m gonna go on Upwork I’m gonna hire this person to help me optimize this part of my website, I’m gonna hire this person to do some copywriting. For me, I’m gonna hire this person to do some graphic design. For me. It’s rare, very rare that I see that approach work unless you already have like a very sound marketing Foundation, and very clear goals and ideas about where you’re headed as a brand and a business. Typically, that disjointedness just means you’re probably going to have to do things over you won’t be happy with the results, there will be a type of inconsistency in your brand, you’re just going to be frustrated because there is a lack of communication among all the service providers. So trying your best to consolidate that work is usually the best route even if that ends up being a little bit more expensive. Because you’ll have more consistency overall. Finding that one person those two people you can really trust for a marketing support. usually ends up being better even if it’s an initial hire, spend up front.

Number five, one common money waster in marketing that I see is the creating really complex marketing collateral, whether that’s printed collateral, or digital collateral, or a really complex e commerce website, before you’ve really proven your messaging, proven your products, and feel confident that all those things are resonating with your customers. I’m a big fan of beta versions of things. I like my clients to kind of start more simple or start with a test. So maybe there are two versions of something that they’re testing as a start to get their feet wet, to better understand how these things will perform. If you think you know, right out of the gate, what’s going to work nine times out of 10, it’s probably going to be wrong, because it’s really hard to anticipate how consumers will react to something, what will resonate with them, you could have a really good idea and make a great educated guess. But most times, I would say it’s not worth creating the most complex version of your marketing, when you aren’t sure that it’s going to work. Trust me, when I say you will be able to evolve your marketing, you will be able to make tweaks to it, you don’t have to get it perfect right out of the gate. It never happens like that. Even the biggest brands in the world are constantly making tweaks changes, improving, growing, taking the data and then creating new versions of something. So don’t spend all your money on some like, bang out full blown marketing effort when you haven’t tested some kind of beta version of it first.

Number six, if you are an up and coming brand, if you have a fairly new website, and or if you haven’t really been paying much attention to your website data to your website traffic. If you haven’t really paid any mind to basic search engine optimization or content, or really big marketing money waster is paying for help with full blown search engine optimization or SEO services. When you’re just starting out. I definitely offer my clients who I just begin working with some basic SEO. But this is stuff like they don’t have meta descriptions in place, or they’ve never thought about their meta descriptions. They’ve never thought about a blog strategy. They’ve never considered adding sprinkling keywords to their website, they’ve never even looked at their website traffic. There are really basic grassroots ways that you can start with SEO before you go full force and hire an SEO agency because you’re desperate to get traffic to your website. The thing is, if your website hasn’t been around that long, they’re not really going to have the SEO agency is not going to have a lot of data to begin with. So a lot of what they’re going to do his preliminary anyway. And the thing with SEO is it needs to keep evolving and growing with you. SEO is never a one and done job. So even if you hire an SEO agency now to kind of optimize you get you up to speed. This is going to be a lifelong thing as long as you want to run a business online. So I just find it’s better to cover the minimum SEO bases yourself, get a more baseline idea of where your web traffic is. And then over time depending on your goals, depending on who’s visiting your website, depending on how your customers are discovering you maybe down the line that the full blown SEO strategy is something to invest in. But at the beginning it typically ends up being a waste of money in my opinion.

Number seven money waster: I think everyone listening to this will agree with me skimping on your product and lifestyle photography. And in addition to that, the editing of that photography, so you may think that you are saving money by like hiring your friend or a friend a friend or hiring the cheapest person to do your photography. But if you mostly communicate with customers digitally rather than in person, photography should be your number one investment it is the ultimate way that customers are going to experience your jewelry and in addition to that, adding video to the mix as well to bring that jewelry to life. So if you think you’re saving money by skimping on your photography, you are actually wasting money because in my opinion, those like cut corner pictures that you put up on your website are gonna be kind of worthless, or they definitely could be better. And you could be losing a lot of customers without even realizing it because you thought you were keeping your budget in mind.

Number eight, one thing I see a lot, especially solopreneurs, who have their own jewelry businesses, they get a little bit have trouble making decisions about their branding. So even if they have like a brand identity person, a graphic designer, visual identity expert, helping them with color palette logo, overall look and feel. Because they’re the entrepreneurs mood is always kind of changing and shifting, and they have different creative visions, which is great as a creative person. But then they keep wanting to change their Look, they don’t think it quite matches what they’re going for. That’s really hard re-branding constantly, is not only going to cause confusion among your customers and make you look a little bit unsure about your vision as a business owner, but it’s also going to just end up making you waste money on designers. And then you have to change all your collateral. And if you already had packaging made, you might have to update logos on your packaging or colors on your packaging. So I know it’s difficult to commit sometimes. But if you’re going through a rebranding, I would say do your best to find something that is classic and that you will be happy with in the long run. Because constantly changing your mind about those things is going to end up being a costly and just not so professional looking endeavor. Like you can’t make up your mind.

Along with the whole photography and rebranding thing, I would say number nine, a big marketing money waster is skimping on copywriting and content cost. So again, usually this is done as a way to cut corners as an effort to save money. And so you might go on Fiverr, or just another freelancing site or like your friend’s daughter in college studying creative writing, asking these people to do your copy for you. You could be missing a lot of opportunities and telling the right specific, interesting, compelling message for your brand. And you could actually be losing money by doing that. So I would say definitely invest in copywriting as much as you invest in photography, or at least find someone who can help you get the initial messaging and language right. And then make sure all the copying content created is in line with that initial direction that that expert creates for you.

And then finally, number 10. A big marketing money waster that I see a lot is spending a lot of money on product development or materials or putting in the time to create new products and just continually expanding expanding the product assortment without actually testing that direction, testing those products on customers, or proving that there’s a market for them. So I think a lot of creative entrepreneurs have the tendency, of course to just create first and then figure it out later. But I would suggest I would recommend getting in the habit of trying to at least figure it out a little bit first. So have a strategy behind your product development behind how you build out your assortment. And then try to be creative within those confines expanding and growing within this kind of within these bounds that you create for yourself. Otherwise, I find that it becomes a waste of money if you’re just creating a lot of products that you’re not sure anyone wants. So those are my top 10 jewelry marketing, money wasters.

Are you guilty of any of these? Have you been guilty of these in the past? Don’t be shy. I want to know, I want to help you. I want to prevent you from making these mistakes in the future. I’m also curious if you disagree with me on any of them. Feel free to challenge me. You can if you listen to this podcast on iTunes or Spotify. Always remember there’s a video version on YouTube and you can leave comments there.

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