Tag Archives: Craft Business

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

Can you make a living selling jewellery?

Today on our beloved blog we are tackling the ultimate question… can you make a living selling jewellery or running your own jewellery business?

Well the short answer to this is yes but like anything it takes lots of hard work and determination so take a look below for a quick run down on some of the main aspects to consider…

Picture from Grace and Firefly (Jewellery business)

– Demand: Like any other business, you can only sell something if people want it. Luckily many of us love jewellery so there is a proven demand for it but there is also plenty of competition from the 100’s of other jewelers and companies out there. So if you are setting up your own business the key is to find something unique about your jewellery (or business) that sets you apart from everyone else. It may be that you use an unusual combination of materials, have an exceptionally good customer service for your customers, have exclusive, exquisite designs or that you have access to selling at events or in shops where there is a high level of demand for handmade jewellery.

It can be difficult before you start to be sure what the level of demand will be for your jewellery but one excellent source of information are the people around you. Show your work to friends, family, friends-of-friends and so on and ask them for their honest feedback. This is often a great way of recognizing trends of what people like to wear which can help you bucket-loads in terms of your designing and how to meet demand in your business.

If something you are selling isn’t working or there is a lack of demand it is also important to recognize this and try something else, don’t spend too long flogging a dead horse as they say!

– Keeping costs down: One thing I can’t stress enough is the need when you are starting out to be economical with what you spend on the business. Try to buy things as you go instead of going on a massive shopping trip and getting everything you think you will ever need for your business. New businesses are very changeable and what you originally plan to do could end up being something completely different. For example if you decide you want to make silver jewellery and go out and buy all the tools and materials to last you the year then one month in, realize that you prefer beaded work your money could be wasted and you may need to buy a whole new lot of equipment. Try things for a while before making big investments.  Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.

– Believing in yourself, confidence and determination: I regularly meet lots of students interested in settingup their own business but who are under-confident or don’t feel they will be able to make it successful.  When you are running your own business there is no one there to tell you what to do or which direction to go in which can be very daunting but it is essential to believe not only in yourself but your work and your ideas, this will come with time and experience. I am always very encouraging of anyone interested in setting up a jewellery business, as I believe if I can do it anyone can. Its not easy but it is certainly possible however you do need to be fairly thick-skinned, determined and able to bounce back from setbacks, as they happen to us all. I know it’s a cliché but don’t be afraid to make mistakes as they are an excellent learning opportunity.

– Work hard: To be successful at running your own business it is essential to put the hours in and work hard. Although, I must say, working hard at something you love is hugely rewarding and lots of fun – not like doing algebra!  Try and do at least one thing everyday to move your business forward, whether it be designing a new collection, working on the website, writing to the press or exhibiting at a craft show it is all great experience and will surely contribute to making your business a success.

– The Nitty Gritty – Time and Money: Setting up a new business takes time. Time to develop your skills, design and create your jewellery and set up the ‘business’ side of operations so it is important to have another source of income at least initially. Most business don’t make anything in their first year as all ‘profits’ need to go straight back into investing in new tools, materials etc… It is better to know this from the outset that way you can plan for it. Ideally you would have some money to invest in the business, a way of providing for yourself whilst the business is setting up and as much time as possible to put into it. These are all a balancing act and most of us don’t have them all in abundance but a bit of both time and money is required to set up a jewellery business.

– Consider combos: Sometimes a combination of things works best and many jewellers make and sell jewellery alongside other related avenues such as teaching jewellery making, hosting jewellery parties, working for other jewellers, organizing fairs or events, running parties or sessions for children and young people or selling craft or jewellery making supplies – the list is endless. They are not all for everyone but you may find that one other thing can help to keep money coming in during dry periods.

– Enjoy yourself and give credit where it’s due: On a final note, don’t forget to enjoy yourself, making jewellery is an extremely rewarding job and I for one wouldn’t change it for the world. Don’t forget to stop every now and then and congratulate yourself on how well you are doing as it is not easy but is greatly rewarding and certainly a possible and fulfilling career.

If you would like to learn more about how to set up your own jewellery business, regular classes are held at the London Jewellery School including the ‘Jewellery Business Day‘ and ‘5 Day Jewellery Business Intensive’. We also offer business mentoring sessions for help  and support at every stage of your business and will soon be offering an online, distance learning jewellery business course that can be completed from the comfort of your own home. More info to follow – watch this space.

Until next time,

Happy Making

LJS x

(written by Jessica Rose)