by Leslie Anger, Marketing Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®
You've decided to sell jewelry online. Great! Now what? Here are 8 tips, with some helpful links on related resources to have you selling like a pro online in no time.
1. Customer Service Be accommodating. Be present. Reply quickly to questions, concerns and even positive feedback on all your social platforms. People enjoy interacting with a person, not an anonymous brand, so make it personal and try to avoid jargon or technical terms that could make the customer feel as though you're talking down to them. Listen to what customers have to say and work to rectify any problems as quickly as possible. How you deal with problems that arise can actually end up boosting the reputation of your business if you handle them professionally and expeditiously.
2. Stand Out Do something fun, unique or entertaining. Think outside the box. One way Fire Mountain Gems has done this is by choosing to use our employees, or friends and family members, in our model shots. Customers love seeing everyday people wearing the gorgeous pieces. Offering a free gift is another way some businesses add a little something to the buying experience in order to keep their name in your mind. Find something that makes you stand out, whether that's how you present your products, what's in your designs or even something as simple as offering custom orders for customers.
3. Know Your Demographic Who are you selling to? Women? Men? Baby boomers? Generation X or younger? Narrowing down the core group of individuals you think your handmade jewelry will appeal to helps direct your marketing efforts. If you want to appeal to a younger crowd, you may want to use up-to-the-minute or pop culture references including emojis and memes. Think about who will be and is buying your products, then tailor the way you present yourself to be as welcoming as possible for that crowd. It's okay to not be universally appealing to everyone--no one can do that.
4. Build Your Brand Think of some brands you'd recognize anywhere from their logo or slogan. These nuances become as integral as the very name of your business. Especially online, it's best to make sure you're happy with your brand presentation from the get-go, and don't change the overall look and feel often, if at all. This also includes social media. Make sure your name, voice and images are the same from platform to platform. Include reciprocal links to make it easy for people to find your jewelry where it's easiest for them: Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Etsy, etc. Looking for a little info about social media? Try these handy resources:
5. Make Sure the Price is Right Pricing is the bane of existence for anyone who sells handmade goods. You don't want to sell yourself short and you don't want to price yourself out of the market. Compare and research pricing of similar businesses or products to start gauging where your prices might land. Be sure to remember your time as an artist is valuable, and include that thought process when deciding on the final price. In the article ''Pricing Your Jewelry Designs'', you'll find some more specific factors to consider as well as a downloadable PDF of a potential pricing structure.
6. The More Information the Better You want concise and descriptive information. People want to know what they're getting ahead of time and if anything is unclear, most won't take the time to ask. So provide the materials used in designs up front and even add why you love the piece. Does it have a story behind it? Were you struck by sudden inspiration? It's fun to read about the creative process--just keep it fairly brief, since we all know the Internet shortens attention spans pretty thoroughly. More information also includes making sure your policies are easy to find so there's no confusion about returns, exchanges, etc. later.
7. Professional Photos Take the absolute best photographs you can. Having an online business means customers can't root through bins or aisles to hold, flip around or try on items, so your pictures need to do your jewelry justice. And, if you've tried photographing jewelry before, you know it's not as easy as just laying it down and snapping the picture. Here are some helpful articles, and even a video put together by Fire Mountain Gems' own photographers, for getting the most impact out of your images:
8. It's a Business And finally, acknowledge you're stepping out of the hobby world and into business. If you treat your online business like a hobby, that's how prospective purchasers will see it--as just a hobby. Decide the online venue you're going to sell through; whether that's your own site or an online store like Etsy. Weigh the pros and cons in ''Etsy vs Your Own E-Commerce Site for Selling Jewelry''.
You may have to hire some help, depending how familiar you are with maintaining a website or how many social media platforms you want to manage. You'll want to make sure you still have time to create all your beautiful jewelry, too. So get out there, be creative and sell your handmade jewelry. We can't wait to see what you're making!
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