Tag Archives: Jewellery Business Week

Mini-Adventures in Selling Jewellery on Etsy with Jessica Rose

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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! 

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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…

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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.

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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

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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

Building a jewellery brand

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

Working to Commission

 

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Tutor Anna Campbell has made jewellery on commission for celebrities. Here she gives some hints and tips on dealing with commissions

I have been fortunate to be commissioned to make jewellery for individual customers. It can be nerve wracking because usually they will have something specific in mind and you want to make sure you’ve understood what that is!

Here is some advice from my own experience on successfully working with customers on commissions.

 

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Cufflinks Anna was commissioned to make as a gift for actor and writer Nick Frost

1. Gallery of work

Whether you make multiples of pieces or one-off originals I recommend you have a gallery of photos of your work on your website, blog, facebook page etc. This helps ensure potential customers are attracted to your style of jewellery design and are not expecting you to recreate someone else’s style.

 

2. Have a clear commissions process

Working on a commission is usually more time consuming and costly than working on your core jewellery pieces. With that in mind, you need to know that you are going to be paid for the work you do.

I suggest the following structure:

  • Meet with/talk to the customer to discuss what they want. Agree a price for an initial design, a deposit for working on the piece and final price. Make sure you are also aware of the deadline. I’ve found people tend to want commissioned pieces on a quick turnaround!
  • Complete the initial design and pass this onto the customer who can suggest alterations. If at this point they decide not to take it further you will at least have been paid for your work so far
  • Make the piece, sending photos of work in progress if appropriate
  • Send the piece by recorded delivery (after all this work you don’t want it to get lost!). I have one customer who always sends a car to me to pick up the jewellery!

Ensure you include a business card with your contact details. Often commissions are gifts and you want the recipient to know where to get matching items if they want them!

 

3. How do I work out what to charge?

A difficult question! I suggest charging about £100 for the initial meeting/discussion and design. You will need to make an educated guess about how long the piece will take you to make. When you have done that add at least two hours! I had one commission that broke in the same place three times and took a lot more time than I had hoped.

Normally with pricing jewellery we suggest the following formula:

Cost of time + cost of materials x 2.25

Do this calculation and look at the number that comes out. Remember that if someone is asking for a one off commissioned piece they should be expecting a substantially higher price than you normally charge, in my experience it has been at least three times as much (but this, of course, depends on the size and complexity of the piece you have been commissioned to make).

I have made the mistake of charging too little and was fortunate that the customer that sent the car actually paid me £50 more than I had asked for as he was so pleased with my work!

 

4. How do I get customer commissions?

Make sure you let people know on your website, social media etc, that you are willing to work on commissioned jewellery and give a clear way for them to contact you about this (usually via email).

Ask the customer for their consent to put photographs of the piece on your website but don’t be too disappointed if they don’t want you to do so. The majority of commissions I’ve made are not on my website as they were private commissions and I was asked not to publicise that I’d worked on them.

 

 

Have you worked on jewellery commissions? We’d love to hear your stories, what were the pros and cons? What advice would you give our readers? Let us know in the comments below or share with us via our instagram, twitter or facebook pages.

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Jewellery Business Week: Five (mostly) free ways to promote your business

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We all know that it’s not enough to have our products for sale online, we have to actively promote them. But how do we do this without spending a fortune? Jewellery business tutor Anna Campbell proposes five ways to promote your business without spending money on advertising

  1. Using social media effectively

 

Social media is a great tool to promote your business but to drive your business forward you need to use it efficiently and effectively. Here are a couple of ways you can do this

 

Check what’s working

You can do this on your facebook business page by accessing your page and clicking on ‘insights’. This shows you, amongst other things, how many people saw your post and engaged with it. See if you can spot a pattern. Do you get more engagement when you share videos? When you ask questions? Is there a time of day that is better to post? You need to check and use this information to make your posts more effective.

Scheduling

Use a scheduling tool to set up posts to publish in advance. This allows you to be more strategic with your time. My favourite tool for this is buffer which allows you to schedule posts for facebook, twitter, linkedin and google+ for free. Buffer also allows you to check the stats of the effectiveness of your posts.

Remember, if you are selling online you have the opportunity of a global marketplace so schedule some posts in the middle of the night to see if you get responses from other countries.

 

  1. Offer a freebie on a popular blog

There are a number of really popular blogs out there on fashion, make-up, lifestyle etc. Do some research about which your customers are most likely to be reading and approach the blog editor. See if you can provide a competition prize of a piece of jewellery or a set in return for a feature on the blog. OK, so technically not free, it is an affordable way to increase traffic to your website, facebook page etc.

 

  1. Pinning your work on pinterest

Pinterest is a great tool for collecting ideas and inspiration but you can also use it for promoting your products. People visit pinterest to buy and research in 2015 showed that pinners average spend is higher than other social media channels. Pinners often use pinterest to plan their buying and to save the items they want to buy so they can find them again.

You can capitalise on this by

  • making it easy for people to pin your products by having the pin it button on your website
  • pinning your own items on pinterest, ensuring that you are linking to a place the customer can buy from e.g. your website or a third party site like etsy or folksy. Make sure you include all the product information in the pin description

  1. Running a jewellery party

I spoke to a regular jewellery school student who ran one jewellery party before christmas and ended up with a large number of orders, including 90 pairs of stud earrings! Either organise it yourself or ask a friend with a lot of connections if they would be willing to host a party. Usually you provide some refreshments and have samples of your work for people to order from. Make sure you get organised and take all the details you need from your customers and be clear about when items can be ready by.

Image from Bling Rocks

  1. Approaching a local paper for a feature

I teach the PR for your jewellery business course and we discuss ways to be featured in the press. One of the first things I suggest is trying local papers and publications as they are always on the lookout for local interest stories. Find out who the editor is and prepare a short description of your business and your development, highlighting that you are local. Contact them directly by email if you can (phone the newspaper office to get the email address if it isn’t listed in the paper) and send through a couple of good quality shots of your work. If they are featuring you they will probably also want a photo of you!

 

What innovative ways have you found to promote your business? Please share what has worked for you by making a comment on this post or via our instagram, twitter or facebook pages.

Anna Campbell is a metal clay artist and tutor at the London Jewellery School and runs her own jewellery business Campbell Hall Designs.

Special Business Week offers

Don’t forget about our special offers on business courses for this week only.

These offers are only available on booking made during Jewellery Business Week 21-27 February 2016 inclusive. Call 020 3176 0546.

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

Jewellery Business Week: Spring clean your business

jewellery business weekTo show that good business advice is timeless, we have revived this blog by Clare Yarwood-White from the archives of the 2013 Jewellery Business Week.

Having sold her own jewellery business Clare now helps other creative businesses through her blog at createacraftbusiness.com and writes regularly on business issues.

In a special guest blog for LJS Jewellery Business Week, she offered advice on carrying out a business spring clean at the beginning of each year.

It’s time to take a big deep breath and work out exactly what you want from your jewellery business this year.  It’s often hard to plan ahead when you are snowed under with orders, admin and the day-to-day grind, but having a clear vision for the future and an action plan for achieving it will make every day calmer and more productive.

 1. Have a financial plan

Do you know how much profit you made last month? Or last year? Do you know what your best-selling ranges are and where you are losing money?

If you don’t have this information at the click of a button, you are not in control of your business. Simple accounting software can generate detailed reports which make fascinating reading, and save you time with invoicing and paying bills.   Don’t wait until the end of the year for your accountant to give you the facts.

Create a budget for the year, monitor it regularly against your actual profit & loss account, and react quickly if things aren’t going to plan. You can download a 2013 Budget Template here.

 2. Review your product range

Do an honest review of your product range.  Rate each item on it’s popularity and profitability.  Does it fit into your overall vision for your brand and the direction you want to take your business?

Sometimes it is hard to remove items from a website even if no-one is buying them, ‘just in case’.  But if it doesn’t fit with your brand or your price point, you may be confusing your customers.

Don’t be afraid to streamline your collection to offer your customers only your very best designs, and have a clear creative vision for your new designs.

 3. Get to grips with marketing

Try and get more strategic with your marketing this year.  Decide well in advance what products you will be promoting and when, and what marketing activity you want to undertake around key purchasing dates such as Mother’s day and Christmas.

Plan your advertising, exhibitions, PR and email marketing for the year, and add a cost for this to the budget you have created.  Glossy monthly magazines work around 3 months in advance, so planning ahead is key to getting coverage.  It also means your customers will see a more cohesive marketing message from you than with reactive ‘knee-jerk’ marketing.

Stick your plans on the wall to inspire you.  If you can do all of the above, you will have given yourself a really strong competitive advantage, and a super-strong start to the year.  Good luck!

During business week, London Jewellery School is offering 20% off all day and taster business courses plus the Business Bookcamp if you book between 2 and 9 February 2014. To get your discount call 020 3176 0345 and book your class quoting BIZWEEK20. Find out more here.

Jewellery Business Week: Learn from other people’s experience

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“There are no such things as mistakes – only learning experiences”.

Every jewellery business will face setbacks and have things go wrong, it is part of life but you can prepare yourself by learning from other people’s experiences.

With this in mind London Jewellery School asked some of the designers it works with to share their “learning experiences” (anonymously).

Spent all my money on stock

When I was starting my first Etsy shop and booking my first stalls at craft fairs, I thought I should make as much stock as possible so that I would have lots of options for my designs in different colours and finishes. So I spent a lot of money on materials and made masses of jewellery without any idea what would sell.

Of course some items didn’t sell much and even the popular ones didn’t sell out all at once or had some colours that didn’t do so well. This meant that my money was tied up in unsold stock and I very little cash to make more of more of the items that did sell.

London Jewellery School beads

Be careful not to spend all your budget on materials before you know what will sell

Now I know to test items with my Facebook followers and to research what I’m likely to sell at a particular fair, so I can plan what I’ll make and have better cashflow. Also I know now to tell customers they can order something in a different colour or with different beads rather than have every possible variation in stock.

Shop rent ate all my earnings

My biggest jewellery business mistake was signing up to sell in a shop for six months. Very quickly I realised that my type of jewellery was not going to sell well in that location and I ended up with a costly rental bill which wasn’t covered by the sales I made.

And what I learnt was to negotiate to try somewhere for one or two months first (even if signing up for a longer period is cheaper month on month) so that I can see if the location is viable for me before committing to a longer term agreement

Advertising needn’t always cost the earth

One of my biggest mistakes has been assuming that I have to spend a lot of money on advertising and PR. This is fine and necessary once you are more established and have a decent budget for it, but as a small and new business it can end up being crippling.

Once your name starts to get out there you will be consistently approached by sales agents for various platforms, publications and shows who are very good at boosting your ego in order to convince you to buy exposure.

It looks glossy and slick and as a result costs rather a lot of money. However it very often doesn’t yield the results that you had expected.

advertising jewellery

Think about how much money you need to make back before spending a lot on advertising

I found that I gained more exposure by attending free networking events and being proactive in contacting stylists, journalists, make-up artists and photographers and by building a data base of all these contacts.

And of course creating a similar network of contacts on my social media pages [link] and actively communicating with them has been incredibly rewarding too, as it is direct contact, they reach a wider audience and it’s FREE.

My website took all my time

I got very excited about having my own website so registered a site name from one of the companies that advertise quite widely. That part went well but I also signed up for a package to build a number of pages for the site using templates and the company’s design tool. I didn’t take the time to explore exactly what that gave me or how easy it was to customise the pages.

So although I did have a website that people could find, it didn’t look the way I wanted and it was very difficult to upload and work with pictures – very bad news for a jewellery business. Working with the site soaked up lots of my time – which meant I wasn’t making or selling. So in the end I had to bite the bullet and spend money starting again with another service.

Now I think much more like a big business before I invest in a web tool or other items. I think carefully about what I need from the tool or service and research all my options – including asking other people – until I find something that I know I can use, that will give me what I need and that I can afford. And I always take the free trial if it’s on offer.

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Battling the code for your website could use up valuable time from making and selling

More orders than I could handle

When I was still working from home my work started to become popular and I was delighted to get an order from a high profile outlet. I delivered the first order which was a big success. So just two weeks later I found myself with too many orders and very little space to work in, let alone the time to get it all done. I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to deliver.

But it actually meant I had to change my business set up. I was lucky enough to find a studio I could move into and to bring people in to help. It was big change and a stressful time, but it allowed me to develop my business.

What about you?

If you have a learning experience to share – please comment below.

During business week, London Jewellery School is offering 20% off all day and taster business courses plus the Business Bookcamp if you book between 2 and 9 February 2014. To get your discount call 020 3176 0345 and book your class quoting BIZWEEK20. Find out more here.

Jewellery Business Week: Ask Jessica Rose

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Make sure you take your chance to get business advice directly from multi-award winning business woman and London Jewellery School founder Jessica Rose as part of Jewellery Business Week.

Jessica will be answering your questions live on our Facebook page between 6 and 8pm on Thursday 6 February. All you have to do is click on the Facebook link, here, and add your question to the post for the event.

And then join in the chat.

020413-3.028

Jessica founded London Jewellery School aged just 21 in 2009 with only one class a month from a community hall in South London. Now it is a huge success having trained over 7,000 students with over 50 fun and professional jewellery classes running of per month.

Jessica fell in love with jewellery making after leaving school and enrolling on her first ever jewellery making class. With original plans to set up and run her own label, selling her handmade jewellery, Jessica left her university course and part-time job to pursue her dreams. She began teaching others how to make their own jewellery as a sideline to her business initially, but enjoyed teaching so much that it wasn’t long before she had launched her own jewellery school.

A few short years later and the London Jewellery School is a huge success attracting 1000s of students and visitors from London, the UK and abroad. It offers over 80 different types of jewellery making class, has a thriving membership scheme and offers distance learning courses.

And in 2014 Jessica has already launched JewelryFromHome.com, bringing LJS-style courses to a wider audience through online tutorials.

Building LJS to be the successful business it is today hasn’t always been easy. Jessica has faced huge personal as well as professional difficulties along the journey resulting in the threat of bankruptcy early on. However these adversities have only made Jessica and her team all the more determined and resilient to challenges, making her a great mentor and source advice for other growing businesses.

During business week, London Jewellery School is offering 20% off all day and taster business courses plus the Business Bookcamp if you book between 2 and 9 February 2014. To get your discount call 020 3176 0345 and book your class quoting BIZWEEK20. Find out more here.

Jewellery Business Week: Get to know your customers via social media

jewellery business week

London Jewellery School tutor and jewellery designer Anna Campbell reveals how social media can help you know more about what your customers think and get them to help you make decisions.

As a designer/maker I can feel a little isolated. I’m sure there are times when you feel the same.

Often I am working alone and don’t have people around to use as a sounding board. This can make decision-making feel hard at times. Which colour shall I choose for my new logo? What theme should I choose for my new summer range? Sometimes I feel the weight of those decisions on my shoulders.

But, I want to remind you that there are some people out there who are interested and will give you an opinion if you ask. They are those people who have clicked ‘like’ on Facebook page or who have followed your blog or Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest profiles. Why not ask them for an opinion?

Social networking is not just about you shouting ‘buy my jewellery’.

If that is all you are saying you may be turning some potential customers, stockists and collaborators off.

So, why not try:

Asking a question

For example, if you are trying to write a tagline for your business, give people your shortlist and ask which is their favourite and why.

Sharing photos

Have you got two design variations and you can’t decide which one you prefer? Put a photo of them both up and ask people to tell you which they prefer and why. The answers might surprise you and prompt new ideas.

Asking for advice

Not sure whether to try selling at a particular craft market? Ask your followers and see what they say

Of course you don’t have to take their advice. But you could benefit from the wisdom of the crowd. Or a comment could prompt another new idea or validate a tentative one.

Plus when customers are engaged with you as a business they are loyal – when they want to buy they will look to you first.

So, how could asking your followers help you with something today?

Anna Campbell Smartie Jewellery

Anna’s Smartie bracelet, part of her range of jewellery based on sweets

Anna  runs her own jewellery business and teaches many of our business classes including Business Bootcamp, PR for Your Jewellery Business, Building a Website, Social Media and Getting Your Business Seen on Google – of which are available at a 20% discount if you book during Jewellery Business Week, click here for details.

You can find out more about her and her work at www.acampbell.info

Jewellery Business Week: Make your brand work for you

jewellery business week

It’s said that your brand is what people say about you or your business when you are not in the room.

So whatever you choose in terms of logos, colours, packaging etc, the name of your business and your online presence, it needs to reflect what you want said about your business.all

Here are a few ideas to help you build your brand.

Brainstorm

Before you do anything with your branding, sit down with a large sheet of paper and coloured pens and brainstorm what you want your business to stand for. Think carefully about the message you want to send out and what types of customer you want to attract.

Ask others to help too and test your branding ideas on friends and family.

branding mind map

Create a mind map for your brand to help you gather all your ideas

Find your style

Choice of colours or fonts communicates certain things to potential customers – do you want to be seen as classic, funky and modern or ecofriendly? So think long and hard about what that message it is. You may love red but does that send the right message to your customers and even then different shades may make people think differently about your business.

You then need a logo, some beautiful images of your work and usually a basic flyer or printed material to promote your work with. A great way to get your logo designed is using an online marketing place such as DesignCrowd and Concept Cupboard  where you post up what you are looking for and designers compete for the chance to win your project.

You also need to remember that once you have chosen colours, a font, a logo and so on they are going to be part of everything you do. An essential for any brand if that there is consistency so that customers come to recognise and associate it with your jewellery.

brand blog

London Jewellery School and now Jewelry From Home have distinctive colours and logos, and rules to ensure these and the brand colours are used consistently

So you want your logo on everything – packaging, price labels and so on – but you also want your boxes, bags and tissue paper to tie in with that. So source them to match your brand colours.

Printing

For labels, stickers and business cards have look at what online providers such as Moo.com, Solopress and Vistaprint have on offer. You may find that one is better value for stickers and another for business cards.

It is always cheaper per item to order large amounts of cards and labels but be realistic about how many you expect to use. And remember you may want to change your branding a bit if early on you discover something doesn’t work.

Online

Social media is crucial for developing and growing your jewellery business (come back tomorrow for advice on this aspect of business). Make sure you use the same colours, logos and images on your social media pages as you do in real life and on your blog, website and/or Etsy shop.

This is all hugely important for your business, particularly for the marketing of your jewellery as it is this consistency and quality-control checking, as well as a clear communication of why you are unique, that will make you stand out as a professional and trustworthy business.

During business week, London Jewellery School is offering 20% off all day and taster business courses plus the Business Bookcamp if you book between 2 and 9 February 2014. To get your discount call 020 3176 0345 and book your class quoting BIZWEEK20. Find out more here.

Next week is Jewellery Business Week

Business-week-banner-2014

For the second year London Jewellery School is running a week on online business advice and tips.

The event will feature  daily blogs about starting and growing jewellery making businesses, tips and discussions via social media, guest experts including The Design Trust’s Patricia van den Akker, and a live Q&A advice session with award-winning entrepreneur and LJS director Jessica Rose.

It is designed to inspire and support anyone starting or building their jewellery business.

There will also be opportunities for readers to comment and share their own experiences and advice with other members of our jewellery community.

And to help would-be jewellery entrepreneurs there will be 20% off all London Jewellery School business courses booked between 2 and 9 February inclusive. Look out for more information during business week.

You can follow the event at http://blog.londonjewelleryschool.co.uk, by keeping an eye on the Facebook page and through the Twitter hashtag #jewellerybusinessweek.