Tag Archives: networking

Five offline ways to promote your jewellery business

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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.

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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!

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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

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Join us for a Supplier and Networking Evening

Would you like to meet a range of jewellery making suppliers, browse their wares, take advantage of exclusive discounts and network with other jewellers plus enjoy a glass or two of wine?

In that case we have good news for you.

The London Jewellery School Supplier and Networking Evening is back.

On the evening of Friday 18 March come along to meet and shop with suppliers including:

You’ll be able to chat about equipment, examine products up close and ensure you have exactly what you need for your jewellery making.

Last year’s event was packed out and we don’t want our members miss out, so reserve your place today by emailing info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk

Happy making

The LJS Team

Design expert completes line up for evening of jewellery talks

We have now completed the line-up for the Jewellery Talks Evening at London Jewellery School on Thursday 28 May from 6.30pm.

Our third speaker will be bespoke jewellery artist Ellie Stickland.

Ellie specialises in creating illustrations and technical drawings, as well as 3D models, of jewellery pieces, taking concepts for final designs and then works with jewellers to create the final pieces.

She will be talking about the design process, working with jewellers and how important drawings can be in communicating an idea.

Ellie Stickland designs

Examples of Ellie’s work

 

Ellie will join gemstone specialist Sarah-Jane Newland of Shangrila Gems and Sian Hamilton, editor of Making Jewellery magazine.

Sarah Jane, who have a great deal of experience in sourcing gemstones directly from producers, will be talking about finding the right stones for your jewellery.

Meanwhile Sian will give you an insight into submitting projects to jewellery magazines and getting your jewellery noticed. There will also be a chance to see Sian’s two new books Wirework Jewelry Workshop and Stringing and Linking Jewelry Workshop.

There will be opportunities to ask all our speakers questions and network with other jewellery makers.

Email info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk to confirm your place.

Jewellery Business Week: Building good business networks

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Don’t forget about our live jewellery business Q&A on Saturday afternoon – click here for all the details.

Sian Hamilton,  Making Jewellery magazine Editor and small business owner, offers her advice getting to know your community.

Networking! It’s that dreaded word that sends a spike of fear coursing through your veins. Everyone says you should but isn’t it all just awful self-promotion?

To start off with, if you do think it’s bad to self-promote when you are talking about your business then you need to do a quick 180 and accept that you really do NEED to talk about yourself and your business. Whether you are a shy and retiring type or the centre of attention in every room you visit, there is a way to get your message across that suits your personality. So don’t panic, as I’m here to say it’s not all about facing down the crowds to shout about your jewellery.

Let’s start with what I mean by networking. In brief, networking is a method of marketing your business to potential customers or business contacts, via face-to-face meetings or, more commonly now, through social media channels. It’s all about getting yourself seen and known by as many people as you can to increase the chance of meeting the right people at the right time. It’s also about support, both for yourself and for you to support others. The more active you are the wider your network will go.

It doesn’t have to be scary and can be as simple as having a nice chat with someone about your work and how much you enjoy it; hopefully from that chat the next time they meet someone who they think would like you or your product they recommend you. This adds an important personal touch that gives the potential customer/business contact confidence in you and your product.

You are doing what you do because you love it so just tell people that. If you are enthusiastic about your jewellery business and why you started it then people will want to listen.

 Social Media networking

Starting to build a network isn’t that hard as social media has taken it to a whole new level by allowing you the chance to network from the comfort of your armchair. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of social media networking.

Join relevant Facebook groups that appeal to you and post what you are making. If someone posts a question you can answer then do that and ask questions too. Everyone has a slightly different view on things so it’s a great way to get advice, alternative opinions and support for your business.

Join Instagram and post weekly with tantalizing images of what you are making. Everyone loves a behind-the-scenes shot. Follow other jewellery makers you like and search for people who you think could help you enlarge your circle of contacts.

Attach your social media channels together, so make your posts work as hard for you as they can. These days you can share posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more, so you only have to write one post. Don’t solely rely on this though as you need to be ‘seen’ as actively interacting with others in whatever social media channel you choose. So you can’t just stalk in the background posting the odd ‘I’ve got this for sale’ post, you really need to get involved. Don’t get personal or rude though as that’s counter productive, and don’t worry that the group you are in has lots of other similar artists in it. Networking is as much about spreading ideas and support as it is about pushing sales.

Facebook groups are a great place to meet other makers

Facebook groups are a great place to meet other makers

Think of it as being about keeping you inspired and proactive in your business, as well as giving you the chance to make a sale.

So on those down days when it all seems like really hard work and you are wondering why you do it, reach out to your network and get a few virtual hugs, it’s surprising how much they help.

Face to face

In the real world, networking can be a little harder to achieve but don’t let that stop you. If you are a woman working for yourself then look out for Ladies who Latte. They have groups all around the country that meet up for coffee and just to chat about everything and anything.

Do a bit of research in your local area and see if there are any jewellery groups to join. That’s still networking in a relaxed and fun environment. If there isn’t a local group, then think about starting one, you may not be the only person who wishes there was one (and if you already run one why not share the details in the comments below). Just meeting like-minded people for a coffee at the local café can be rewarding if you spend most of your business time alone working from home.

Whatever you do, networking is all about being yourself and simply sharing your story. Remember, you don’t have to build this network overnight; it takes time to build trust and confidence. Oh and if someone recommends you, always follow it up. You never know where that might take you.

Making Jewellery have a Facebook group too so come along and join in.

Get 20% all jewellery business classes booked between 22 and 28 February 2015 – offer includes all business day classes and tasters, Business Bootcamp, and the 6-day Jewellery Business Intensive. For details of included classes click here

Call 020 3176 0546 to book – this offer is not available online

Make your business card work for your jewellery business

During our last Business Bootcamp week, there was an interesting discussion about business cards.

It grew out of a session about elevator pitches and how if you do get the opportunity to pitch to someone in the lift, at an event or anywhere else, it is important to be able to hand over a business card as a call to action.

We then took a look at our own business cards and those of other people we had collected and came up with some interesting points that we thought would be useful with other jewellery makers.

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Having the right business card can make a big difference to your jewellery business

On the face of it, it is obvious what a business card should do:

  • Say who you are and what you do
  • Provide a web address or other means of finding more information
  • Provide contact details
  • Be consistent with your other branding in terms of colours, logos and fonts.

But when we looked at some of the cards, they didn’t always achieve all these points – especially as a business card needs to work weeks after you meet someone not just when you and your business are fresh in their mind.

One of the biggest failings was point one – or rather the second half of it. We looked at some super smart cards for jewellery businesses that didn’t include the word “jewellery” or similar. For example a card with a smart logo, the person’s names and the job title “creative director”. It looked lovely but once that card had kicked about in my bag for a week, would I still remember this was the card for the lady who designs beautiful pendants?

There was one card which included a name, email, web contacts and an arty black and white image. Unfortunately it gave no clue as to what the person did or why we would check the website. Not surprisingly, the person who had found the card in their wallet, had no idea why they had it or where it had come from.

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Think carefully about the information you need to include on your card

Other cards didn’t include a web address. Because jewellery relies on great visuals, it is a lost opportunity not to include a link to an online gallery or shop as an opportunity for people to follow up and find out more about your work.

And if you have great images of your work, you could also think about including theses on your cards. Online printing companies such as Moo.com now allow you to have photographs on one side of your card and logos and information of the other. You can even have selection of different images which means you can offer someone a choice of card which can help them remember you.

That said, don’t over complicate your cards. You want them to be clear and help someone remember you, prompting action in the future. So look take a critical look at your cards and decide whether a stranger would be able to glean the critical information about you and what you do from it. If they couldn’t it may be time to bite the bullet and redesign.

If you do need to redesign your card, take a look through that pile of other people’s you have on a shelf somewhere and pick out the one’s that really work – ie, you still remember why you have them – as well as browsing the design templates on Moo and Vistaprint etc. Then think about the key information you need on the card and stick with that.

Then make sure you never leave home without a stack of cards, you never know when you might get an opportunity to market yourself and the beast card in the world is no use if it hasn’t reached someone else’s pocket