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The Path to Jewelry Marketing Success

In episode #122 of the Joy Joya Jewelry Marketing Podcast, I was inspired by a Lifehacker podcast interview with marketing thought leader Seth Godin. He said, “The thing that looks like a shortcut is probably not the best way to get there. The best way to get there is to find a path that most people can’t handle.” What does it mean? How can you apply his wisdom to jewelry marketing? In this episode, I share my interpretation of Seth’s quote and provide some impromptu tips for jewelry marketing success.

This is the link to the Seth Godin interview if you’d like to listen. The transcript for my episode is below.

I really want to talk about this Seth Godin quote, let me repeat it again, to set the tone for this episode. “The thing that looks like a shortcut is probably not the best way to get there. The best way to get there is to find a path that most people can’t handle.” So what what does this mean for your jewelry business? What does it mean for marketing, I have a few thoughts.

So pretty frequently, when I consult with my clients, or I have zoom meetings with them, or whatever they’re talking to me, I’ll have a client come to me and say, so and so told me that I need to be doing this for my marketing, like, this is the thing that’s really going to help me grow, or I need to be posting more of this or like I need to be trying this new platform, whatever it is. And they asked me about these things as if they’re like the be all end all like these are going to finally solve all the challenges and problems that they’ve been having in their business, the challenges that they’ll the that they have reaching new customers, and 99% of the time, my response to these kinds of questions and comments are, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.

You’re probably not the first business owner who has like thought of this idea. Many people have probably thought of it and have even tried it, there is no one like be all end all solution to your marketing that’s going to unlock success. I’ve said it before. And I’ll say it again, marketing is a long game, it’s a long term pursuit. There’s no one size fits all answer for any brand. It is a strategy and a plan that needs to continue evolving as you grow. What works for you today may not necessarily work for you tomorrow, or next year and in five years. So if you see a potential like, quick fix solution, it’s probably too good to be true. I liken it to like weight loss pills or something. I mean, a lot of people like want to get fit, they want to make their goal weight, whatever it is. So they think this new diet is going to be the thing that will finally finally help them that this pill or supplement will be the thing that will finally help them. But as many people know, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping your body healthy. It’s not a one and done thing. It’s a long term commitment. And you may have to change and adjust as you age, as you reach new levels in your fitness or your health. It’s an ever evolving process. Marketing is kind of the same thing.

So if something looks like a short cut, like Seth says in the quote, it’s probably actually not the best way to get there. So if it feels like really exciting to you, that should ring an alarm bell in your head that, you know, I can be open minded to this thing. I can maybe try it, maybe it can be part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. But if it’s like getting you super excited, it actually might not be the thing you know, and it may end up actually distracting you from the things that you need to be doing. And I see that a lot. You know, people, business owners chasing like the shiny, be all end all marketing answer. And actually ignoring the things that they need to be doing the things that will, when implemented correctly and done for a long period of time will help them achieve success. So don’t let those like shiny things be distractions. Don’t let them pull you away from what is working or what is moving you forward. Ignore all those things as best as you can. And if you’re not sure, like email me and ask me and I will tell you the truth about it.

So in addition to that, to add another layer to all this and I think I’ve talked about this on the podcast as well. Checking all the boxes in marketing is also not really going to get you where you want to be, it may get you so far, it may help you kind of achieve a bare minimum of success. But it won’t necessarily help you reach your potential, achieve your dreams, and get to where you want to be in your jewelry business. And that’s kind of what I think the second part of Seth’s quote is referring to, when he says, the best way to get there, aka to reach your goals, find success, whatever that is to you, is to find a path that most people can’t handle. So let’s dive into that little further. Maybe it sounds intense, but it’s so resonates with me, and what I want to share with you. Checking all the boxes in marketing is something that pretty much all your competitors can do. If they’re not doing it already. Checking all the boxes in marketing is something everyone knows they should be doing all your competitors know they should be doing. So they’re either doing it or trying to do it themselves or hiring team members or outsource partners to do that.

So what do I mean, by checking all the boxes? Well, typically for a jewelry brand, that would be having a presence on Instagram and Facebook, doing regular email marketing campaigns, maybe engaging in some influence or marketing, doing live video, making sure your website’s optimized optimizing for search engines, maybe engaging in event marketing, especially when things start to open up again, post COVID. You know, all like the standard, I’m, I’m doing it, I’m checking off the boxes, marketing initiatives, your competitors are probably already doing a lot of them. Maybe some of them are, or most of them. But when you’re just checking the boxes, you’re really just keeping up with the Joneses, and you’re not doing anything really extraordinary or eye catching to your customers. And in a market or an industry that’s super saturated supersaturated, that’s only going to get you so far, it may help you achieve some success. If you’re really lucky, maybe one of those check boxes will help you take off. But for the most part for most brands, it’s a good place to start. And it’ll get you to kind of where you need to be. To go to the next level. Beyond that, you need to think beyond the check boxes. So relying too much on your Instagram presence, or your Facebook presence or your email marketing. putting too much emphasis on those things can actually be dangerous. Because, you know, Instagram may work for you now, but who knows what the future of Instagram is. Maybe it’ll fall out of favor with consumers. And there’ll be a new social media platform that pops up and then what you kind of have to start all over and check those boxes, which to me Just the thought of it feels super exhausting.

Relying on those platforms is not a good long term strategy. You don’t necessarily have those customers names and email addresses their customer journey, you have no information about them about their purchase intent about the things that they actually want to buy. It’s super limiting. Even if you do email marketing, which kind of gives you slightly more control and can help you distinguish yourself as a brand because you have the customer information. You can better tailor and personalize your content. Even that is kind of just another checkbox that basically every brand is doing any brand out there with a comprehensive comprehensive digital marketing strategy is 100% doing email marketing. And if you’re trying to target the customer who is an avid shopper who is the passionate follower of fashion accessories and jewelry brands, I can guarantee you their inbox is so flooded with promotional emails. I know actually earlier this week I went through and like really tried to be intentional about unsubscribing from things because I was getting so flooded with promo emails that things were getting lost. And I actually just as an exercise, subscribe to a lot of jewelry, emails. So there’s a certain point where I reached max attention capacity and I just can’t even look at anything anymore and delete, delete, delete. So you may have customers who are not even seeing your emails, not because they don’t like you not because you’re sending crappy emails, not because your jewelry sucks, but they just don’t have the bandwidth for that.

So checking the email box, yeah, that’s a good bare minimum, you should be doing it. But that will probably not be the thing that helps you get the success that you want to achieve. So what what is the thing? What does that mean, when he says, the best way to get there is to find a path that most people can’t handle? What the heck does that mean? It sounds really intense and kind of scary. I mean, I have some thoughts, I think I can’t tell you the answer that is right for your brand. because ideally, it will be something that doesn’t really exist yet. That’s totally unique to you. So this is going to be a process to figure out. But I think to truly succeed at marketing, you have to do that one thing that your competitors aren’t doing, that they can’t handle, because they’re not you, they wouldn’t be able to replicate this thing. They don’t have your talents, your vision, your creative direction, your team members, your collaborators, your products, what is the one thing that you can do, that your competitors can’t do? And that will really stop and stop your customers in their tracks and have them notice you and follow you and look forward to hearing from you in the future so that your email doesn’t get deleted, or they kind of skipped over you on social media. So I kind of put together some examples for you to make this a little more clear. So recently, I was listening to a podcast that I really liked called the glossy podcast and there was an interview with Kendall Glaser, who is the co founder of the accessories brands, Stoney clover lane, and they were talking about some really unique, I guess you would call them content marketing initiatives that they have implemented during COVID. Because they kind of evolved naturally and just made sense for their brand. Now granted, Stoney clover lane has been around for I think, like 10 years. So they’ve had time to evolve and think about these things. And I’m sure that they’ve tried a lot of different marketing initiatives fail that some succeeded at others. So they have learned and tried and come to this over time. But one thing they’re doing is a virtual book club.

And another thing they are doing is called Stoney Clover Lane University. So in this podcast episode, Kendall was saying that during COVID times, they actually started a virtual book club, in office among their employees, just as a way to stay connected. And I guess they were sharing some of that on social media and talking about the books they were reading in their office.

And then the followers were really interested and they thought it was super cool. So So Stoney clover lane listened to their customers, and they said, hey, let’s try this. Like, let’s open this up to customers use it as a community building initiative. And it’s just grown from there and been really successful. Now this brand is accessories, not super connected to book clubs, or books are reading but like they’ve been able to create a community of loyal followers and really bring people closer together in a way that can be associated with the brand. And then Stoney clover lane University also was born out of a need that they saw where the co founders share it in like a teaching kind of setting on zoom, I believe all the lessons that they’ve learned as business owners just from trial and error, because they want to give back to other small business owners. So they meet on a virtual platform, they they share all their thoughts about what it’s like to own a business and tips and they freely share these things with generosity. And I think that’s a huge key to this. You have to go forward with the thing that’s going to make you unique with a generous spirit, with the goal of connecting with the goal of showing the humanity of your brand. I think that needs to be the motivation behind it. Otherwise Customers will see through it.

Another example that I I’ve brought up a few times is the UK based jewelry brand Alex Monroe jewelry. And they recently started a podcast a few months ago. It’s all about connection. It’s all about storytelling. They do a lot of interviews, they talk about the stories behind their pieces and designs. But it’s not necessarily about selling. It’s just about connecting and about communicating a story about letting customers feel like they have access to the brand. Another great example you may know about it, Rebecca Minkoff, and her super women podcast where she interviews successful female entrepreneurs, sort of related to the brand, I think that a lot of her target audience is like really ambitious, women empowered females, and they’re attracted to this podcast, and they connect to it, and it helps them feel more connected to the brand. If you are personally really good at networking, then maybe pursuing collaborations with other brands is the thing that’s gonna set you apart.

If you are personally good at making videos, or about being in front of a camera, consider making a series of YouTube videos maybe about styling, your jewelry, or even just talking a little bit behind the scenes about your brand telling stories about your brand, looking for ways to authentically connect with your customers. You really want to think in this exercise like what besides making jewelry, designing jewelry, are you good at Are you a good writer? Maybe you want to be blogging more? Are you good in front of the camera? Do more video? Are you naturally good at connecting and networking, find a way to pursue that through collaborations or through interviews? You know, find your other talent or tap into whoever you work with on your team? What are their talents?

How can we take the really unique things that make our business thrive? beyond just our product? Because your brand is more than your product? And how can we make those things front and center in a way that your competitors could never copy? Because they are not you and they are not your team, and they don’t have your brand. If you haven’t really ever figured that out? I think it’s time for you to put some time on your calendar, where you’re gonna sit with a notebook and you’re gonna brainstorm this. And like, have a serious heart to heart with yourself about your brand. What makes it unique? Why do your customers come to you besides your products? What else do you have to offer? Where else can you be connecting beyond like the check boxes that everyone else is doing because those things are going to be a grind. And those things are not going to help you see progress. They’re just going to continue to feel like a chore and a grind because they kind of are I mean posting on Instagram every day.

I think it’s necessary. I think it’s important to have a presence there. But if you’re relying on that solely, that’s when it really feels like a grind. So those are my thoughts. Let me read that quote again, because I love it so much. The thing that looks like a shortcut is probably not the best way to get there. The best way to get there is to find a path that most people can’t handle. I’m curious to know your thoughts. How do you interpret that quote? What are some ways that you are really pushing yourself to do the thing that your competitors can’t handle? Because that’s what’s gonna make your customers notice to you and be impressed by you and connect with you and want to follow you and be loyal and be long term customers and tell their friends about you. Those are all the things I want to know what do you what do you have to think about that?

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