Category Archives: Jewellery Business Posts

Market Research- a few tips for selling at craft fairs

So I recently did my first craft fair. Scary stuff eh?, but whilst panicking that I may have nothing to sell I managed to pick up some helpful hints from around the jewellery school.

Helen told me to bear in mind the amount of money people would want to spend at the type of fair I was selling at, as it was in a pub, it would probably be less than or around £30. Annie’s titbit was to always leave enough time to set up, as it will take longer than you think. I asked Penny for advice on hallmarking when selling silver, items under 7.7g are ok without, however it’s best to check with the Assay office if in doubt and their downloadable regulations can be found on the website.

Sophie gave me her own top five:

1-bring scissors and a pen

2-make sure you pack your car/boxes/stock the night before so you can wake up and go

3-try and display a variety of things and price ranges, have cheaper (under £10 pieces) so that you have something for everyone

4- think about your display, place your best and most interesting pieces at eye level, then cheaper ‘add on’ stuff right at the front on the stall for impulse purchasing

5-stand up and engage with people, but don’t be creepy and too pushy

From reading previous posts-link to posts- practice runs, know what you have got, know how you want it to look, know any gaps in your product range. Be ready to learn from what happens on the day. Talk to any friends that sell in this way, they will all have different helpful experiences or they may even lend you a card machine.  Also don’t forget the value of the experience you will gain by giving this a go; it will give you more of idea about which pieces get interest if not sell like hot cakes. I learnt that it is essential not to file your nails down to nubs before needing to wrap items with little stickers, it’s an edge finding nightmare.

21985277_118651182137930_5863719691595284480_n

Lil Adams is the London Jewellery School Sundays Studio Manager. Lil studied Fine Art in Leeds and lived in Melbourne before travelling about and settling in London. She now works at the British Architectural Library and enjoys making jewellery with found and natural objects and is shamelessly addicted to casting.

Sac magique! – Bumbags to brighten your summer trading

So the summer is here and if you are thinking about taking the product of your jewellery making out and about to spread their joys to the punters at markets you had better get organised about it. Assuming that you have the nitty gritty sorted I have a top tip for a hands-free fun time as you vend.

Get yourself a great bumbag!

Earlier in the year I invested in a fabulous yellow number from Mika Bon Bon, with the excuse of travelling. Mr.Bum has the odd night out as well, and generally delights all that he meets. Others have found that these endearing characters deserve a name too, like jet setting jeweller Akiko Ban aka Mystic Forms. Her metallic companion Jeff Goldbum is often by her side as she models her own bold and bright jewels in various exotic locations.

london-jewellery-school-bumbags-Mika-Bon-Bon

Mika Bon Bon

london-jewellery-school-blog-mystic-forms

Mysticforms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, Brighton based Beksie’s boutique is rustling up spangly, tassled, themed bum bags that equip you for wild festival times or brighten any hall or field you are setting up your stand in.

BAMBI-Leather-tassel-pompom-bumbag-fanny-pack-Bananas-sequins-festival-burningman

Beksies Boutique

And not to put the trusty market traders’ pouch in the shadows, these practical belts can be customised for your brand or adorned with your own patch plethora or simple brooch. Needless to say, once you go fanny pack you’ll never go back.

Do tell us your tips for trading at fairs and markets.

Lil Adams is the London Jewellery School Sundays Studio Manager. Lil studied Fine Art in Leeds and lived in Melbourne before travelling about and settling in London. She now works at the British Architectural Library and enjoys making jewellery with found and natural objects and is shamelessly addicted to casting.

Five alternatives to selling at a craft fair

Selling at a craft market or fair is just one way to sell to the public. Think laterally; what other opportunities might there be in your local area?  Here are some ideas about alternative places you could sell your work!

london-jewellery-school-blog-jewelry-display-at-craft-fairs

  1. Gallery or jeweller

The most traditional route is to approach relevant galleries or jewellers. Research your options carefully by visiting the shop on more than one occasion to see how busy it gets. Also look at the types of jewellery they currently sell and their price range. You want to ensure your pieces will fit in with the products they already stock but still stand out.

 

things-british-logo-london-jewellery-school-blog-alternative-retailers

  1. Rent a shelf

Check out local options to rent a shelf in a cafe, hair salon etc. If they don’t have the option available why not make an appointment to speak to the manager about trying it out?

One shop that works on a rent a shelf basis is Things British who sell items (not just jewellery) designed and made in the UK. The company currently has three shops – in St Pancras station, London, Greenwich market, London and Chatham, Kent. You pay a weekly shelf rental charge and anything you sell is yours (minus any card transaction fees). You don’t need to be based in London to sell at Things British, you can send items in by post.

 

pop-up-shop-findra-london-jewellery-school-blog-alternative-retailers

 

  1. Pop up shops

A pop up shop is an empty shop that is used as a short term sales space. You can do this alone or share with other designers. Search for these in your area or check out We are Pop Up or Appear here which lists opportunities to rent and share.

 

  1. Hotels

Hotels have a lobby area where a display cabinet of jewellery for sale could be successful as they have a steady stream of different customers through their doors. Find out who the decision maker at the hotel is (by asking at reception) and make an appointment to see them.

 

  1. Museums

Many of the larger museums have a competitive application process for selling your work but a first step could be to consider smaller, local museums especially if you have a range that would fit in with an exhibition they have. They are often receptive to work from local artists and makers.

 

Have a think about where in your local area to approach and start doing some research. What other ideas can you share with us? Let us know in the comments below

Look out for a coming blog post ‘Step by step guide to successfully selling your jewellery range to a retailer’

If you’d like to be kept informed of our jewellery business courses, free articles and offers subscribe to our jewellery business list

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Step by step guide to successfully selling your jewellery range to a retailer

london-jewellery-school-jewellery-business-week-2017-4

 

In a previous blog post business tutor Anna Campbell outlined some places you can sell your jewellery. In this post she gives you a step by step guide to success when approaching retailers

Selling in your local area or for prestigious retailers can boost your income and ensure more potential customers know about your business. This step by step guide has been designed to make approaching retailers feel less daunting. The secret? Do your research and be prepared!

research-london-jewellery-school-blog

Research

It’s really important before you approach any retailers to do your research. Identifying retail outlets you think might be good for your products is your first step. Visit the retailer at different times of day to see how busy they get, the clientele type, types of jewellery they currently sell and their price range. You want to ensure your pieces will fit in with the products they already stock but still stand out. Be honest with yourself about whether you feel your jewellery will fit in and do well. There’s no point wasting your or the retailer’s time. If you think your work is a good fit then your next step is to find out who you need to speak to – the manager, buyer etc (just ask!).

 

preparation-london-jewellery-school-blog

Prepare

Before you approach the retailer you need to be fully prepared. Practice giving a short explanation of your business and get some samples of jewellery ready to take. Taking samples is best but if you can’t, do ensure you bring some good quality photos of your work (colour printed or on a smartphone/tablet/laptop).

 

pricing-london-jewellery-school-blog

Pricing

You will need to be ready to discuss pricing at your first meeting and the retailer will expect you to have done the number crunching already. For this you will need your wholesale item price and your retail item price. Check out this previous blog post by Melissa Hyland that goes into detail about how to calculate your prices and what percentage retailers will expect to make.

 

Get in touch

When you have done all your research and preparation contact them (either by phone or by going into the location) and ask if you can make an appointment. Some may be prepared to speak to you immediately so ensure you are ready to explain what you want and to show some example pieces of jewellery. If you can’t speak to someone immediately agree an appointment time and show up promptly. Prepare a brief few sentences about your business and get to the point. They are likely to be busy people and will appreciate this.

Show your prepared samples of jewellery and ask them to talk honestly about whether they will appeal to their customers. There’s no point in wasting your time if the location isn’t the right ‘fit’ for your products.

 

Contracts

If you both agree to give it a try ensure you check the arrangements for your work e.g. is it sale or return (where you take in the items and only make money from sales), is it insured or do you need to cover it on your policy, how to invoice for your sales etc. Get it all in writing and preferably agree a contract (many retailers will already have a standard contract and terms, smaller retailers may not).

Deliver the pieces agreed and get a signed delivery note of the pieces you have delivered to ensure there’s no argument later about what was received.

If you need to invoice for sales do so promptly in the correct format; you don’t want delays in payment because you haven’t followed the retailer’s procedure.

 

review-london-jewellery-school-blog

Regular reviews

Review how well your sales are going in the location periodically to ensure it is worth your while, whether you should change what you are selling, change your pricing etc.

We’d love to hear from you if you are selling in local retailers. Let us know how it’s going in the comments below.

Special Business Week offers

 

And don’t forget our special offers on business courses for this week only we are offering 25% off business day classes held here at the School using the code 23011701*.  This code can only be used over the phone so please call on 020 3176 0546 to book your place.   This discount is only available on bookings made during Jewellery Business Week 21-27 January 2016 inclusive.

Click here for more details of all the business courses included in this offer.

If you’d like to be kept informed of our jewellery business courses, free articles and offers subscribe to our jewellery business list

And our New 8-week Online Jewellery Business Bootcamp will be starting on 27th January so if you would like more help with your jewellery business we would love you to join us!  

Author: Anna Campbell

anna-campbell-london-jewellery-school-blog

Five offline ways to promote your jewellery business

london-jewellery-school-jewellery-business-week-2017-4

There’s a lot of focus on promoting your business online and for good reason – it takes time but it can be done for free and can yield great results. However, there are also ‘offline’ real world things you can do to promote your business. LJS tutor Anna Campbell suggests five strategies.

london-jewellery-school-blog-offline-promotion-jewellery-business

Wear your jewellery (and get others to!)

You should be a walking advertisement for your work and when people ask you what you do it helps to be able to show them! It may sound basic but wearing your jewellery shows confidence in your own work.

Think creatively about how you get your work out there. Where will your customers come across your work? Why not give some rings to nail technicians as one of our business students did? Their clients would see the rings when they were having a manicure and asked about them so it was a beneficial partnership.

For bonus points and lots of publicity try to get a famous person to wear your jewellery! If you have famous friends that may be easy otherwise, consider sending some freebies to celebrities that your customers identify with.

 

Business cards

Having a good and memorable logo and business card will help people remember your business name when they want you. Make sure you have some with you at all times, you never know when you’ll want to reach for one!

There are many companies out there that can print your cards – check our Moo for a different photo on each card or Printed for a stack of the same cards.

london-jewellery-school-blog-Innovative-Jewellery-Packaging

Packaging

Receiving a piece of jewellery beautifully packaged and wrapped is part of the buying experience and will help cement your brand in the mind of the receiver. Take a look at some innovative jewellery packaging ideas on this blog post for inspiration.  

In addition, one of the things I found when I first started selling was that many of the pieces I sold were gifts. Having packaging with your logo, website, contact information etc is really helpful if items are a gift as the receiver knows where to get matching items from you! It’s also a great reminder for those that have bought for themselves and makes receiving the items a pleasure.

 

Attending networking events

Networking events can introduce you to potential customers and partnerships in your local area and are particularly useful if you feel you don’t currently have the contacts you need to grow your business.

Take a look at the networking events in your area by using a google search and using the terms‘ networking’ and your area to find groups. You can also find networking groups just for women. Do a little research to find out the types of people that will be in attendance to ensure it will be worth your while.

Before you attend prepare a short (few sentences) introduction to your business and take along your business cards. When you take a card from someone else make a note on the back of anything that stood out about them to you to help you remember them; these events can feel like a whirlwind and a stack of business cards may not remind you who was who!

craft-fair-jewellery-london-school-offline-promotion-blog

 

Face to face sales

Selling at craft fairs, schools or markets are a great way to get immediate feedback on your product range and pricing. You can see what people look at, what sells well, ask customers questions about who they’re buying for etc. Don’t be too downhearted if you don’t make the sales that you wanted. Ensure you have some business cards for people to take, you never know what sales you’ll get from this. One tutor had a market stall where sales were disappointing but a customer with pieces for repair found her there and she has had a lot of repeat business from her so you never know!

Do always encourage those that are showing interest in your stall to subscribe to your mailing list by giving their email address to you. This means you can contact them again with new product ranges and offers.

What has worked well for you? We’d love to hear your experiences and advice in the comments below.

Special Business Week offers

Our founder, Jessica Rose is hosting a FREE webinar masterclass on 26th January at 6.30pm on Boosting your Online Sales.  Grab your spot on the webinar here.

And don’t forget our special offers on business courses for this week only we are offering 25% off business day classes held here at the School using the code 23011701*.  This code can only be used over the phone so please call on 020 3176 0546 to book your place.   This discount is only available on bookings made during Jewellery Business Week 21-27 January 2016 inclusive.

Click here for more details of all the business courses included in this offer.

And our New 8-week Online Jewellery Business Bootcamp will be starting on 27th January so if you would like more help with your jewellery business we would love you to join us!  

Author: Anna Campbell

anna-campbell-london-jewellery-school-blog

Mini-Adventures in Selling Jewellery on Etsy with Jessica Rose

london-jewellery-school-jewellery-business-week-2017-4

Our Founder, Jessica Rose, has sold jewellery for many years in boutiques and galleries, but recently set up her first Etsy Shop and started selling online in the name of research.  And today she shares with you everything she has learned about successfully selling on Etsy! 

 

Having sold my jewellery on and off for the past 9 years, alongside setting up the London Jewellery School, Jewellery School Online and various other, yes you guessed it, jewellery related ventures! I decided to have a go at setting up my own Etsy shop.  One thing I love about running a jewellery business is there are always new things to try, new things to learn about and new mini-adventures to go on. Here is what I have learnt so far from my mini-Etsy adventure. To anyone who has an Etsy shop or is considering starting one – I highly recommend it, there is so much opportunity there, once you know how to access it…

I started out by quizzing everyone I know at the jewellery school about the pros and cons of selling on Etsy and learnt that it is really important to have a strong and extensive collection…

Tip 1: Aim for 100 items! 

sell-jewellery-on-etsy-jessica-rose-copyJessica Rose Jewellery Etsy Shop

Ok, maybe not all in one go, but a few colleagues mentioned that their shop really increased in activity once they had passed this magic 100 mark.  I would not have guessed that.  Traditionally when selling jewellery, less is more and we don’t want to over-crowd our stalls or fill our collections up with ‘jumble-sale approach’ pieces.  However it does make sense that more-is-more from a ‘being seen’ point-of-view in the Etsy Search Engine.  The more items we have, the more pages we have and the more chance of showing up in the Etsy search results. So build your collections as you go.

The next lesson shared with me, which is one I’m always banging on about anyway, is of course, the importance of killer images.

Tip 2: Images that make customers fall in love! 

london-jewellery-school-blog-jewellery-business-week-karenyoungjewellery-aquamarine-solitaires

Photo credit: Karen Young Jewellery 

If you want some examples of this, look no further than our very own Karen Young’s lovely etsy page. It is not enough anymore to just have beautiful jewellery on a white background (although of course that is nice). We need ‘lifestyle’ pictures, showing customers how the jewellery looks in relation to other things, be it a nice piece of wood, shells, teacups, vintage books, a pretty flower, some gemstones – the world is your oyster.  The important thing is to show different angles and, through your images, speak to the customer about how this jewellery will make them feel inside.

What about the process of setting up an Etsy shop? – Well its pretty straight forward but I would dedicate some time to it.  A day or two for photography and writing descriptions and a day or two to upload everything, depending on how large your collection is. Make sure you have at least one item, photographed and ready to go as you are creating your shop. You can’t activate your shop without an active listing.

And Etsy offer a lot of help!  They are actually running a special email series to help you get your shop up and running called the Etsy Resolution which starts on 27th Jan – you can find out more here.

That brings us on to product descriptions…

Tip 3: Informative, engaging and compelling product descriptions

Whether you are new to Etsy/ selling online or have done it for many years, we can always do with improving our descriptions. Of course they need to be informative – to include all the info a customer needs to buy, exact materials, lengths, any variations such as different gemstones, gold or silver, is it plated, filled or solid?  The more you can say the better. Alongside the information don’t forget your brands tone-of-voice. Let your personality come across.

Tip 4: The people want to know about YOU Yup, it took me a while when starting my business to work this one out, that anyone buying handmade wants to know about the designer behind the work, the entrepreneur behind the business. And why not? You are awesome after all….

Jokes aside, it is important to fill out all of the sections in your etsy shop with a little about you, your values, why you are selling your jewellery, your process, what materials you work with etc…

london-jewellery-school-blog-jewellery-business-week-jessica-rose-sell-on-etsy-profile-copy

All of that is well and good but what about some practical action we can take to improve sales in our etsy shop today? 

Tip 5: Be sure to post regularly;

  • On Facebook, and it may be a good idea to ‘boost’ posts relating to selling your jewellery on Etsy so that a wider audience can see it. Or set up a Facebook ad for yourself in Ads Manager.
  • Post on Etsy itself in the ‘Updates section’ it helps communicate with your customers and helps your shop to look up-to-date and active.
  • Also you can post on your blog if you have one, start one if you don’t; or select your favourite social platforms, such as instagram, twitter, pinterest… the list goes on.

And another practical tip for those more technically minded…

Tip 6: Match your Tags, Titles and Materials 

SEO, search engine optimisation, is key on Etsy to get your items seen. We can help that along a bit by;

  1. Listing items regularly (each time you list an item it goes towards the top of the results)
  2. Using all the characters in your product titles, include keywords in there
  3. Match your tags to the titles, include all those words in the ‘tag’ section too
  4. And be as detailed as you can on the ‘materials’ section. List every material used to make that piece

Phew! That’s quite a lot to get through. Like anything that is worthwhile, in business (and in life) building a strong sales base and following on Etsy takes time. And effort. No uploading a bunch of items and then leaving it and hoping for the best (that is how we get disheartened!). But what Etsy has shown to me over the past few weeks of experimenting, is that it can work, and it can work really well. If you are prepared to put the time and effort in. Which of course we are ☺

On to my final tip (for now)

Tip 7: Quality is essential 

It goes without saying, but building your skills as a jeweller and business owner so that you are confident in the quality of your work, your processes and your business knowledge is essential. None of us are perfect but we usually want our jewellery to be, so investing in your training and your skills, in my opinion, is always a worthwhile investment. Make sure each piece you send out is of the highest quality and is something you would love to receive.

jessica-rose-jewellery-pink-cluster-necklace-with-white-flower

If you would like to learn more about setting up and running your own successful, profitable and sustainable jewellery business then it’s not too late to join me for our brand new comprehensive 8-week online intensive course: The Jewellery Business Bootcamp, find out more and enrol for a spot here > (http://learn.jewelleryschoolonline.com/p/the-jewellery-business-bootcamp

We start this Friday 27th January and I would love to have you join me and our lovely community of budding and growing jewellers. Everyone is welcome. 

All that is left to say is best of luck for anyone trying out Etsy for the first time, I’m with ya! And for all the Etsy old-timers, we would love to hear more of your knowledge and wisdom, so do share a comment or two below about what works for you.

Until next time, Happy Making

Jessica x

 

Author: Jessica Rose

london-jewellery-school-blog-selling-on-etsy-jessicarosejewellery-1

 

 

Special Business Week offers

Our founder, Jessica Rose is hosting a FREE webinar masterclass on 26th January at 6.30pm on Boosting your Online Sales.  Grab your spot on the webinar here.

And don’t forget our special offers on business courses for this week only we are offering 25% off business day classes held here at the School using the code 23011701.  This code can only be used over the phone so please call on 020 3176 0546 to book your place.   This discount is only available on bookings made during Jewellery Business Week 21-27 January 2016 inclusive.

Click here for more details of all the business courses included in this offer.

If you’d like to be kept informed of our jewellery business courses, free articles and offers subscribe to our jewellery business list

Creating a marketing and PR strategy for your business

london-jewellery-school-jewellery-business-week-2017-4

Whether you’re just starting out or your business is established it’s important to invest some time into planning your business focus and actions. Business people often prioritise writing a business plan, but for success a marketing plan should also be a priority. Business tutor Anna Campbell gives you a step by step guide to help you write your marketing strategy.

A marketing plan or pr strategy is a blueprint for your marketing and advertising goals within a timeframe. It is helpful to spend some focussed time working on this as it will help direct your marketing actions for the year.

marketing-planning-lightbulb-imm-uk-london-jewellery-school-blog

Identify your current situation

Your first step is to honestly identify your current situation in terms of sales and marketing. What activities have you done up until now to promote sales? What has worked well? What hasn’t worked? Why do you think it worked or didn’t work?

Block out half a day to work on your plan and start with a SWOT analysis and look at:

Strengths – what is working well for your business? What advantages do you have e.g. contacts that have been helpful, social media following etc

Weaknesses – what hasn’t worked so well? What gaps do you have? What do you want to prioritise?

Opportunities – look to your strengths and weaknesses and consider how you can capitalise on the strengths and overcome the weaknesses

Threats – threats can be external issues that you have little control over e.g. economic issues, amount of time you have to work on your business etc. Think creatively about how these can be turned into opportunities for example, if there is an economic downturn in the area you sell in consider the types of product you are selling and work on a more affordable range.

swot-analysis-london-jewellery-school-blog-marketing-planning

For your SWOTs think about the ‘w’ questions to give you as many ideas as possible. These are –

Who – about you, your business, your customers, your outlets

Where – online, markets, craft fairs, shops, galleries etc

Why – what is your focus? Why are you building your business?

What – focussing on product, packaging etc

When – set targets and goals (see below)

How – think about how you are going to prioritise your time in your business

Goal setting

Once you have spent some time thinking about the status quo your focus should move to what you want to achieve with your marketing. Is it to create sales, build awareness of your brand, get repeat sales, sell at prestigious locations? This may sound obvious to you but your goals may be different to someone else.

Be specific about your goals and set a time limit to help you focus.

Your customers

You also need to consider carefully your current customers and your ideal customer. When deciding where to market your product – online or offline – you need to ensure you are targeting sites and publications that your customer will read.

Also, you will have different types of customers – some that don’t know about you yet, some that know about you but haven’t bought, some that have bought once and some that are regular customers. Have a look at this previous blog post for more detail on how to address these different types of customer with your marketing.

Restrictions

You may have restrictions such as the amount of time you have to devote to marketing in your working week or financial restrictions on paying for advertising. Plan a budget for both your time and money and try to ensure you focus your marketing actions on those things that will bring you closer to your goal.

Also ensure you set some time limits on your goals e.g. I’d like to be selling in three different shops by December 2017. This helps you focus on the important goals when you are caught up in the day to day.

It may seem like a big task to plan your Marketing and PR but it will save you time in the long run as it will be clear what activities do and fit within the plan which can save you both time and money.

What other tips do you have for making the most out of your time dedicated to Marketing and PR?  Tell us in the comments below!

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Special Business Week offers

Our founder, Jessica Rose is hosting a FREE webinar masterclass on 26th January at 6.30pm on Boosting your Online Sales.  Grab your spot on the webinar here.

And don’t forget our special offers on business courses for this week only we are offering 25% off business day classes held here at the School using the code 23011701.  This code can only be used over the phone so please call on 020 3176 0546 to book your place.   This discount is only available on bookings made during Jewellery Business Week 21-27 January 2016 inclusive.

Click here for more details of all the business courses included in this offer.

And our New 8-week Online Jewellery Business Bootcamp will be starting on 27th January so if you would like more help with your jewellery business we would love you to join us!  

If you’d like to be kept informed of our jewellery business courses, free articles and offers subscribe to our jewellery business list

Author: Anna Campbell

anna-campbell-london-jewellery-school-blog

Building a jewellery brand

london-jewellery-school-jewellery-business-week-2017-4

Launching a strong brand is easier said than done and requires a little bit of planning, soul searching and research.  Jeweller, Karen Young, outlines the four key elements you need to consider when developing your jewellery brand. 

A good way of approaching the development of your brand is to come from the point of view that everything is connected, and you need to work on the entire brand experience if you want to build a brand that grows your business.

Your branding is a visual indicator of what your company offers as a whole, and goes beyond just your jewellery. It is just as much about your design process and materials used, customer service, perceived value, visual identity, and market differentiation as it is about the necklaces, bracelets, and earrings that you sell.

Your branding can be broken down into 4 areas that you can work on to develop your jewellery branding ‘package’:

  1. Your Story
  2. Your Visual Identity
  3. Customer Perception, and
  4. Your Market Differentiation.

london-jewellery-school-blog-jewellery-business-week-building-a-jewellery-brand

The four key elements to build a powerful jewellery brand

 

1. Your Story

Your story is almost as important as the jewellery itself in terms of creating a connection with customers.  In the handmade marketplace, you and your story is what encourages customers to buy. By making that connection, they’ll be more likely to remember your work and return.

Your customers and potential customers are interested in how you craft your pieces and how you transform raw materials into something creative and unique.  They want to know about you, your skills, the tools you use, the reason you started on your creative journey and ultimately why you do what you do.  There is an emotional connection and when they buy a piece of your jewellery they purchase a little bit of the ‘magic’ that is you and your creations.

london-jewellery-school-blog-jewellery-business-week-2017-artists-statement-brand-story

A great way of starting to build the customer connection is by writing an artist statement.  Your artist statement will summarise your story, what your values are, what drives you, and why you make jewellery.  You can then weave the essence your of artist statement into your branding including your tag line, your website and your about page, your business cards and other printed marketing materials, social media and your face to face sales pitch.

2. Your Visual Identity

A strong visual identity goes far beyond a snazzy logo (which is a great start by the way!).  You need to really understand your customers and what their motivations and needs are in order to start building a powerful visual identify.  It demonstrates that you are able to relate to your customers lives and their style on a personal level.  You will do this through many elements such as colour, fonts, vectors, your tag line, and by keeping these consistent across every touchpoint with your customer.  Each of these things should ‘speak’ to your target customer and create an emotional connection over time.

Your photography is another critical aspect of your visual identity – you want to really show off the detail of your beautifully handcrafted pieces.  If you don’t have clear photos that make your customer believe they are seeing the piece in person, then no amount of social media, Facebook ads or email promotion will sell your jewellery.

Also think about the style of photography that best represents your brand.  Do you want to create a vintage feel to your photographs or does a simple, modern and sharp photographic style represent your brand best?  You will want to keep your signature photography ‘style’ consistent across your website, social media and printed materials.

london-jewellery-school-blog-jewellery-business-week-2017-jewellery-photography

An example of a lifestyle photograph incorporating jewellery

A key area where your visual identity really comes together is through your printed materials such as tags, jewellery boxes, business cards, other inserts for your packages and even your jewellery displays at craft fairs and events. Your branding should be consistent across every touchpoint with the customer both virtually and in person.

london-jewellery-school-blog-jewelry-business-week-2017-jewellery-packaging

By creating a strong visual identify you effectively create a visual language that you use to present and promote your jewellery brand to the world that will create a connection and will be remembered.

3. Customer Perception

What do you want your customers to think of you, feel about you and remember about you?

Remember no one needs jewellery!  And so perception of you and how your brand makes them feel is essential in motivating people to buy.  Those thoughts and feelings are directly influenced by the way you communicate your business message, and how you treat prospects and customers.

You can create a beautiful logo and sophisticated marketing materials, but if your customer service is inconsistent and below parr, your brand will not have the best  reputation it could do, and will put people off buying.

If customers perceive your jewellery to indicate a certain lifestyle, emotion or ideal, then they will be willing to pay for a little piece of it.  A diamond for example is essentially a lump of carbon!  But through clever marketing people see them as a luxury item that will last forever and will pay a lot of money for it.  So it is worth spending a little bit of time brainstorming how you want your customers to ‘feel’ about you and your jewellery as this will underpin all of your branding decisions including your photography and product descriptions.

4. Your Market Differentiation

Why should people buy from you and not another designer? 

What makes you and your brand different from the competition?  Is your finish better?  Do you make particular use of a technique or material?  Do you package your jewellery more beautifully that the competition?  Do you offer an extra personal touch with your customer service? It is these small details that create differentiation between you and the next designer so really try and drill down into quite a low level about these little details so that you can succinctly articulate the end-to-end customer experience to your customers and how you will meet their needs better than anyone else.  Buying jewellery is a considered purchase for most people and an experience, so it is your job to make sure it is a good one, as this is what encourages people not only to buy but to come back again and again.

Building a strong and memorable brand does take time and patience, but by considering these four elements of your brand from the outset you can start creating emotional connections with your customers that mean you will be seen and remembered in a busy marketplace.

What are your top tips when it comes to branding your business – tell us in the comments below!

Special Business Week offers

Our founder, Jessica Rose is hosting a FREE webinar masterclass on 26th January at 6.30pm on Boosting your Online Sales.  Grab your spot on the webinar here.

And don’t forget our special offers on business courses for this week only we are offering 25% off business day classes held here at the School using the code 23011701.  This code can only be used over the phone so please call on 020 3176 0546 to book your place.   This discount is only available on bookings made during Jewellery Business Week 21-27 January 2016 inclusive.

Click here for more details of all the business courses included in this offer.

And our New 8-week Online Jewellery Business Bootcamp will be starting on 27th January so if you would like more help with your jewellery business we would love you to join us!  

 

Author: Karen Young

London Jewellery School Blog_Karen Young Bio

 

The secret to staying motivated and growing your business

When it comes to running a jewellery business – big or small – it can be difficult to build the momentum you need to get to the next stage, whether that is increasing sales, getting press coverage, employing staff etc. LJS tutor Anna Campbell is also a Psychology lecturer and she brings together her knowledge of running a business and psychology to give you some ideas for making 2017 the best yet.

 

to-do-list-hubspot-london-jewellery-school-blogWe are forever looking forward to the next thing we need to do. We cross things off our to-do list and write on new items – it doesn’t end. But you have achieved your current success by doing just this – looking at the horizon and focussing on what you want next. If you are feeling a little stale or stuck then you need to have a little look back over your shoulder. Here’s how to do it

 

Look at how far you’ve come

  1. Take yourself off to somewhere that feels indulgent to go on your own. One year I went to the Haagen Daz cafe and I ordered the chocolate fondue (you can find a photo of one here if you feel the need). Now I admit, the chocolate fondue is for two people and I was there on my own! It was also more than I would normally spend on a treat for myself and I couldn’t finish it all (but I did have a damn good go!). The point was that I was treating myself to something incredibly indulgent and was valuing myself. (By the way, I do know that unhealthy treats can make you feel worse in the end so by all means treat yourself to something indulgent that will make you feel good afterwards!)
  2. Turn your phone off and take out a special notebook (we are all addicted to stationery right?!) and write down the things you have achieved thus far in your business. I mean everything. Here is a list of prompts because I guarantee you won’t remember it all:
  • You weren’t born knowing how to make jewellery, what skills have you learnt?
  • How have you developed the products you currently sell?
  • What events have you sold at?
  • Where do you sell online?
  • What has worked well for your business?
  • What courses have you attended and what did you learn?
  • What positive feedback have you had?

Be specific and write down every. little. thing. Give yourself the right to brag in your special gorgeous notebook. It will help you focus on the cans rather than the can’ts.

Write it down as it happens

london-jewellery-school-achievements-jar-happy-herbivoreI can guarantee that many people will find that exercise really hard because we’re not used to thinking about achievements; we focus all our time on what we want to learn and accomplish next. I found the same thing so here is something to do from now on. Every time you achieve something that gives you a feeling of pride write it down. You can do that in a number of ways but the key is to make it as easy as possible for you. I have a giant post-it note on the wall just above my laptop screen. Every time I’ve felt proud of an achievement I have written one line about what it was and the month it happened in. It’s been easy for me because it is just there in my eye line. It’s also motivating to see it there. And, looking at it now, I definitely would have forgotten some of the things on the list.

Some people will prefer an online solution, a document on your computer to update. You could also try the jar method – write each achievement as it happens on a piece of paper and put it in a jar that you keep on your desk.

Celebrate

Once you’ve noted down your achievements to date it’s time to celebrate (as if the chocolate fondue wasn’t enough!). Speak to your loved ones. Thank people that have helped you. Feel proud of where you are right now.

Taking it from here – know yourself

Hopefully doing this every six months or so will give you a sense of self-worth, a feeling that your business is growing even if it sometimes feels like that growth is very slow.

The next secret is to know yourself.

Have you ever read a business or self-help book and really wanted to implement the things you’ve learnt there but been frustrated because for some reason you can’t? Me too. And I think I’ve found the answer.

 

We are not all the same.

 

Does that sound obvious?! I think these books are well-meaning and outline how one person has been able to find success. Unfortunately, unless we are like the writer, we may struggle to follow in their footsteps.

One book I read in 2016 that made a big difference to me was Gretchen Rubin’s ‘Better than Before’. It’s about forming positive habits and the key difference from other books is that she identifies four different personality types or tendencies first and then gives specific advice for each type.

Rubin suggests the four tendencies distinguish how people tend to respond to expectations: outer expectations (e.g. a deadline from your boss) and inner expectations (write a novel in your free time, keep a New Year’s resolution).

The four tendencies are:

  • Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations
  • Questioners question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense–essentially, they make all expectations into inner expectations
  • Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves
  • Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike

 

If you’d like to find out more or do the free quiz to find out your tendency then check out this link.

four-tendencies-gretchen-rubin-london-jewellery-school-blog

Knowledge is power

There is specific advice for each tendency above (see the links). If you are an upholder you likely find it pretty easy to stick to your own deadlines and are very self motivated (sigh, the rest of us envy you!).

If you are a questioner you will need to research your options before determining a course of action. I would suggest that you set a limit on that though – you could end up researching for ever and not make any decisions or move your business forward (does that sound familiar? Did you spend six months trying to choose the perfect colour for your logo?).

I can’t give a rebel any advice – even if what I advised was what they wanted to do they would then not do it out of spite!

If you’re an obliger (like me) you need to find ways to set up outer accountability for things you want to achieve. Obligers work best with others counting on them so perhaps consider a partnership or find some other obligers and keep each other accountable. Or rashly announce your plans online, that way you’ll have to follow through.

Knowing yourself is one of the key ways to move forward. We may want to be different than we are but that just wastes your time. Learn what works for you and you’ll learn the key to your own success.

 

anna-campbell-london-jewellery-school-blog

Make 2017 the year your jewellery business shines!

london-jewellery-school-blog-the-design-trust-kickstarter-dream-plan-do

Our founder Jessica Rose teaches all of our jewellery business students that spending a little bit of your valuable time creating a plan for your business and reviewing progress regularly is fundamental to building a successful business and getting you to where you want to be.  Doing at least one thing each day for your business can pay dividends, and just think that doing at least one thing each day (more is great of course if you can manage!) then after a year that is at least 365 things you have done to build your business!

But where do you start?  What tools do you use to structure your ideas, thoughts and priorities?  How can you make sense of the 100s of balls you have to juggle as a business owner?  Running a creative business is hard work and there aren’t always enough hours in the day!   Plus you have a creative mind – let’s face it, we didn’t really start our creative businesses to spend our time creating cash flow forecasts and tax returns!

That’s why we are so excited to share this fab new monthly planner aimed at aimed at creative product-based businesses such as jewellery businesses that recently launched its Kickstarter campaign!  DREAM, PLAN, DO is the brainchild of our good friend Patricia Van Den Akker of The Design Trust.

dream-plan-do-monthly-planner

Patricia is an extremely knowledgeable business coach, trainer and advisor with over 15 years experience and she has channelled all her knowledge into DREAM PLAN DO to help creatives run successful businesses doing what they love!

This monthly planner will help you plan strategically for your business, prioritise your time, and help you take practical actions each month to get you there in a simple yet structured way. Each month will have a theme that builds on the previous month meaning you are focusing on the right things at the right time of year making it easy for you to focus on what matters the most.

LJS-Blog-DREAM-PLAN-DO-kickstarter-1-1

london-jewellery-school-dream-plan-do-monthly-business-planner-kickstarter-2

kickstarter-3-copy

DREAM PLAN DO Monthly Planner – photographs by Yeshen Venema

Do check out the Kickstarter campaign here and learn more about how this monthly planner might be the tool that helps you lift your business to the next level in 2017!

We are proud to be an affiliate partner of Dream, Plan, Do which means that we get a small commission if you decide to support the Kickstarter Campaign. We only recommend products and courses that we think are practical and useful for our audience of jewellery designers and creatives, and having worked closely with Patricia over the years know how amazing this tool is going to be for you and your business!