Tag Archives: Setting up a Jewellery Business

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

 

Displaying your Jewellery at Craft Fairs and Market

If you are doing any summer craft fairs you’ve probably been preparing your stock and deciding your pricing. It’s now time to turn your attention to your display. Here are some ideas and advice from tutor Anna Campbell from her own experiences of selling at Spitalfields and Camden Lock markets in London, on attracting attention and making the most of your space.

 

1. Space

Firstly, check how much space you will have and what will be provided by the organisers. Do you need to bring your own table? Lighting (I have sold at a market where you had to bring your own lightbulbs!)? Table covering?

Once you have the full details, mark out the size of space you will have on a table at home and play around with displaying your work.

 

2. Preparation

Make a full list of what you need to bring with you, see the blog post craft market checklist, for help with this.

 

3. Labelling your products

Many customers don’t like to ask the price and worry you may be charging them more than others if you don’t display your pricing. I suggest either labelling each item clearly or, a technique I used was to bring slate tiles and chalk pens. That way I was able to change my pricing through the day if I decided to or to create offers e.g. buy two for £XX.

 

4. Innovative and eye catching displays

Having a theme for your display can help you stand out from the crowd. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about what could work for your jewellery.

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J Crew ice cream jewellery display

 

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Planting some seeds for the future pendant by Ornella Iannuzzi on display at Liberty

 

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Earring display from Buzzle

 

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Clipboard display from Swirl Marketing

 

5. Framing your jewellery

 

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Frame your earrings from Broke and Healthy

 

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Umbrella earring display from  Georgie Designs

 

6. Using height

Don’t forget to use height in your display to maximise the amount of space you have and so that people can see some of your work from a distance. Here are a few ideas to inspire you:

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Bracelet display riser from Uniq Display

 

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Jewellery display from Packaging World

 

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Branches display idea from Joana’s creative notes

 

We’d love to see photos of your jewellery displays. Please share them with us in the comments below or via our instagram, twitter or facebook pages.

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Craft Market Checklist

In preparation for the summer craft markets, tutor Anna Campbell provides a comprehensive checklist to help you prepare for bumper sales!

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Source: http://www.greertonvillage.org.nz/monthly-greerton-craft-market/

1. Arrangements

Make sure you know everything you need to know before the day

  • What time can you arrive from?
  • Can you park nearby? Nearest station, cost etc
  • What is provided and what do you need to bring?

 

2. Selling

It’s a good idea to have a variety of stock – different types of jewellery and price points. Ensure your stock is labelled with the price, many customers don’t like to ask the price and feel like you may be charging them more than others if you don’t display your pricing.

  • Stock
  • Price labels
  • Business cards/flyers
  • Packaging
  • Signage e.g. a sign with your business name and social media handles
  • Wheely suitcase (I travelled to markets by train so had to be able to fit everything in a suitcase!)

 

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Source: http://www.boiseweekly.com/boise/flying-m-coffeegarage-7th-annual-super-summer-craft-market/Event?oid=3804611

 

3. Display

  • Display items
  • Table cloth
  • Clear plastic sheeting (useful if you’re outside and it starts to rain!)
  • Market stall clips (excellent for clipping your table cloth etc to the table)

(we will have a blog post coming up on ideas for displaying your jewellery so keep an eye out for that!)

 

4. Payment

  • Secure change wallet
  • Change (go for round number prices as it makes giving change much easier!)
  • Card payment machine e.g. izettle
  • Fully charged mobile phone

 

5. Comfort

  • Layers of clothing
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Umbrella
  • Chair
  • Cardboard to stand on (if it’s a cold day and you’re outside it provides insulation!)
  • Flask of tea or coffee
  • Food
  • Helper who can take over when you need to toilet!

 

6. Miscellaneous

  • Pen
  • Cloths

What have we missed? Do you have any advice for people selling at craft markets for the first time? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

A Letter to Jewellers worried about how Britain Leaving the EU will affect Business…

London Jewellery School Blog_Jessica Rose_Brexit for Jewellers

Many jewellers and crafters running their own handmade jewellery businesses (and any small business owner for that matter) may be understandably worried about how the recent result that Britain will be leaving the EU, may impact their jewellery business.

Professional jeweller’s recent article talks about 90% of designer businesses voting remain http://www.professionaljeweller.com/bfc-survey-reveals-90-of-designer-businesses-against-brexit/ which is no surprise given the business impacts.

We can’t change what has happened, whether we want to or not, but there are some practical steps we can take to protect and improve our businesses (babies!) for the time-being…

 

  1. The pound is low – so it is a great time to be selling overseas 

Americans, Europe and most places in the world can buy your jewellery at a significant discount to them (without you charging any less at the moment) due to exchange rates and the low value of the pound.

To capitalise on this, why not use this time to promote your business more overseas? Target customers in other countries who fit your target audience, Facebook and Social Media Ads can be a great way to reach a specific demographic looking at their interests and location. If they love handmade jewellery and live overseas, now may be the time to reach out to them with a great offer?

In order for this to work you need to keep an eye on the market as it changes. If you go to http://www.xe.com/currency/gbp-british-pound you can see verified up-to-date information on what the exchange rate is each day.

 

  1. Don’t panic!

We don’t know what is going to happen, and that can be scary! However you feel about the vote, for your business it is important that you keep calm and carry on as usual.  There will always be ups and downs in business and now is the time to look at the things you can control (e.g. your spending, your prices, your marketing, your brand messages) and those that you can’t (e.g. the global market, the economy, the results of the referendum).

 

  1. Utilise the materials you have in stock.

I know most jewellers don’t keep a huge amount of stock, especially when we are making to order. As the cost of raw materials may have increased for those of us in the UK (and this is likely to be a temporary reaction to uncertainty) it is a great time to use up any old materials, beads, silver, gold or scrap you have in the workshop. Why? Because you brought these before the pound value dropped so effectively they were cheaper. Of course we will all have to buy new materials and accept price increases for that too which leads me on to my next point…

 

  1. We are all in the same boat, let’s help each other out 🙂

Small businesses in Britain are struggling a bit at the moment, mainly out of fear and then the reality of changes. So let’s come together and help each other out. Don’t forget we are all in the same boat, if prices of goods increase that will be the same across the board, so remember whatever you are going through, you are not alone.

Let’s help each other out today – let us know your top tip for getting through any difficult times in business (can be anything) in the comments below. Whatever it is may really help someone else struggling.

 

  1. Be open in your business and flexible to changes

This one applies in any circumstance – the businesses most open minded and adaptable to change are the ones that survive through difficulties and change. If a certain line isn’t working for you, look at alternatives. If you feel that selling your work is going to be tough with cost increases, can you work with more affordable materials? If sales are low, what can you do in your marketing to reach your customers? How can you diversify your income? There is always a way and you can do it, keep an open mind and give it some thought as to how you can adapt as the next few years play out.

 

  1. Remember your overarching vision – why you are doing this! 

Remember why you started your business in the first place, or if you are just starting out, remember why you want to do this. Think of your vision for your business, what you want it to be in 3 years, 5 years, 10 years time. We are in this for the long-run. Whatever business you are in or whatever job you are in, no one has 100% security.  Most jewellers choose this line of work out of a love and a passion for it, for design, for the materials, for the freedom of working for yourself, for the look on the customers face when you had over a bespoke piece, knowing that you are helping to make others feel happy, loved and appreciated in the world.

 

  1. Don’t give up!

There is a lot of mixed messages and fear around at the moment which is completely understandable. But businesses face ups and downs. This just happens. Since starting the London Jewellery School we have faced at least 10 business crises that threatened our future over the past 7-8 years but you keep going, work hard and get through them. There will still be jewellery in the future and someones got to make it, so why not make that person you.

I don’t know if times will be hard or if they will be good, but I do know that there are things we can all do to make them better, in our businesses. I mentioned I would love to hear any of your top positive tips on how you plan to deal with changes in your business, even if it’s as simple as ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’.

Thinking of you all and wishing you the best of success and longevity in your jewellery businesses for this year and many more to come.

 

Jessica x

 

Jessica Rose, Founder, London Jewellery School & Jewellery School Online

Twitter: @jessicaroseldn

Working to Commission

 

London Jewellery School Blog_Anna Campbell_Working to Commission

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

Join Jessica for her FREE 3-Part Jewellery Business Video Series!

London Jewellery School Online_FREE Start a Jewellery Business 3 part video course out now!

Happy Bank Holiday weekend! Hooray!

And the best news is that it’s not too late to join Jessica Rose for her FREE 3-part video series – ‘Start a Jewellery Business’!!!

What better way to spend the long weekend than joining Jessica to learn all about building the business and future of your dreams. Doing something that you love for a living takes time and hard work but it is 100% worth it and completely possible. 

Which is why we have put together a FREE video series for you to develop your skills in ‘the business side’ of making jewellery. Wether you are a complete beginner or seasoned jeweller this course and complimentary downloadable Jewellery Start-Up Guide’ will give you and your business the ‘Umph’ you need to move to the next level.

Be prepared for motivation, tips, planning tools, and actionable resources to get to moving with your jewellery business straight away.

What’s more… you have nothing to loose, this course is completely FREE and available for you to access anytime, anywhere 24/7 starting this Weekend.

Sound good? If you haven’t already, you can enrol here!

The first part of the course course is already live and you will be able to access it straight away.

So what does the course cover I hear you ask… 

Great question! It is a three week course designed to get you started in pushing your business to the next level and to build a creative career that you love. 

Week 1: Jessica’s Top Tips for Building a Jewellery Business: This lesson is full of essential top tips to get you set for success! We will be thinking about the foundations and building blocks to starting or growing a solid jewellery business and get you ready to start building your jewellery business model in Video 2!

Week 2: Business Planning for Jewellers: Jessica will guide you though an amazing business planning tool ‘The Jewellery Business Model’. Looking at; your vision, customers, pricing, collections, suppliers and much more from a strategy viewpoint (sounds very formal but is super fun!). Download your handy Business Start-up Guide’ and work along with her to create a model for your dream handmade jewellery business.

Week 3: Building a Brand for Your Jewellery Business: It’s all about branding your jewellery and your business looking at your ethos, your copy and your visuals so that the people who want to buy from you, are not only aware of your brand, but they covet and desire what you have to offer! 

Over the course of the 3 weeks you will learn all the basics about how to build a profitable and productive handmade jewellery business!

Click on the link below to enroll now…

http://learn.jewelleryschoolonline.com/courses/starting-a-jewellery-business

You will have access to video 1, and the handy ‘Jewellery Business Start-up Guide’ to work along-side Jessica in building your DREAM Jewellery Business.

And that’s not all – Following the video series Jessica will be inviting you to a FREE live webinar on one of the hottest topics – Pricing your Jewellery for Profit! So stay signed up to hear details about that when it drops!

Have a wonderful weekend and hope to see you on the course!

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.

Exciting new jewellery business classes at the London Jewellery School

We are very excited to announce the creation of four new jewellery business classes.

One of the benefits of a truly global online marketplace is that you can sell jewellery to countries you have never been to, and all while you sleep!

However, many other jewellery makers have had the same idea so how do you ensure that you are well represented and promoted online? Following on from our successful PR for your jewellery business taster class our experienced tutor, Anna Campbell, has designed some new classes to help jewellery and craft business owners get online.

Why have you decided to run these new classes?
The PR for your Jewellery business class continues to be a popular and successful taster class. The Jewellery School has grown and our students have grown and many are now looking to sell their jewellery and craft online. The PR class is excellent for those who are already familiar with social networking sites but feedback from our students is that many would like some more practical help with setting up a website, on social networking sites as well as advice on search engine optimisation.

How will the classes be taught?

You will be taught in groups of no more than eight students, as with all our classes. Each student will be provided with a laptop with an internet connection for the duration of the class and your tutor will talk you through the process step by step, giving support and advice on what to say and how to say it and help you feel confident in using your website or social networking sites at home.

web blog copy

Designing Your Own Website  (10am-5pm)

In this one day intensive class you will set up your own website using the free and simple to use website creation tool weebly.com.

Have a look at your tutor’s website that was created using weebly http://www.acampbell.info/

Techniques covered in this class include:

  • Setting up your own website with your choice of colours and layout
  • Setting up different pages so you can showcase photos of your work, create a ‘contact me’ form, about me section etc
  • Editing and adding to your pages so that you are confident in doing this at home
  • Purchasing a domain name (a website address) and attach it to your website
  • Setting up a sliding gallery of your images
  • Advice on selling online through the website (see below), online marketplace e.g. etsy, folksy etc

This class has been designed for new or existing jewellery business owners who would like to set up a website – whether to showcase their work or to sell from alternative sites e.g. etsy, folksy etc

Please note, if you want to set up a merchandised website you will need to purchase a professional weebly account (this is not covered in the course fee). Advice will be given on this and the costs involved and it is simple to do with weebly via google checkout or a paypal business account.

twitter

Social Media for Your Jewellery Business  (10am-5pm)

To actively promote your jewellery business you need to utilise the free social media that is out there to connect with potential customers. On this course you will set up business accounts and learn how to effectively promote your business on

  • twitter
  • facebook
  • pinterest

You will learn how to brand your business so that you link your social media together and have a coherent look to your business and get advice on how to use these effectively and efficiently so you can get on with making jewellery!

This course is designed for beginners with no knowledge or experience of social media.

Creating Your Own Jewellery Blog  (6.30pm-9.00pm)

Handmade jewellery is more popular than ever but how do you get your story across? Many people looking to buy unique and handmade items want to know the story behind them and the maker. A blog (short for weblog – a type of online diary)  is an excellent way of telling your story and connecting with buyers.

Techniques covered in this class include:

  • Setting up a free blog using google’s blogger.com service
  • Formatting your blog to make it look attractive to readers
  • Learning how to write a blog post, include images etc
  • How to link other social media you may already have to your blog e.g. twitter, facebook, pinterest
  • What to write and how often

Getting your business seen on Google (6.30pm-9.00pm)

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is important as it is the way you ensure your website, blog etc appear higher up the google search.

  • Techniques covered in this class:
  • Learn what people search for
  • How to ensure your website/blog etc can be optimised
  • Understand keywords and how to use them

About the tutor – Anna Campbell

My background is quite unusual but ideal for these classes! I am a qualified teacher and have previously worked in IT for a university teaching the professors how to use online services. I have developed my jewellery business and teaching to a point where I have given up that job in order to concentrate more on my business and jewellery designs. I have successfully used social media and my website to generate sales from all over the world.

Join us for an An Evening with Jessica Rose

Entrepreneurship in the Creative Sector 

An Evening with Jessica Rose

Wednesday 29 May       7pm-9pm

Jessica Rose doesn’t just talk about growing a business, she puts what she says into practice every day growing London Jewellery School from a few classes to an expanding internationally recognised brand in just four years.

Now, in a a special LJS networking event, Jessica will talk about developing a company in the creative sector and answer your questions.

Starting with £15k and a few jewellery classes in south London, LJS is now the UK’s largest independent jewellery training centre attracting students from all over the world.

But it hasn’t all been plain sailing and now Jessica draws on her experiences good and bad to teach other people founding their own businesses. She is an inspirational role model to other budding entrepreneurs, as well as continuing to develop her own business.

She was recently recognised for her achievements, winning the Artemis Award for businesswomen under 25 at the prestigious NatWest everywoman Awards.

In this special LJS event Jessica will share lessons on growing a successful business in the creative sector to inspire other people to build their own creative enterprises.

In this exclusive event Jessica will discuss:
·       Entrepreneurship
·       The importance of inspiration and innovation
·       Growing a company rather than a business
·       Overcoming challenges
·       And working out your role in your own business.

Jessica’s talk will be followed by a Q&A session and then informal networking over drinks as well as an opportunity to find out more about the LJS franchise scheme, business courses and see the new LJS studio.

This event is of interest to anyone with or considering starting a jewellery business or one in another creative field.

To book your place please email info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk.

Your 11 business week steps for your jewellery venture

JBW banner

As part of Jewellery Business Week we’ve been bringing you top business tips all week on Facebook. Now here they all are in one place as handy guide.

1.   Identify what makes you special/ unique

USP –Unique Selling Point – every business needs to have something special about it that makes it stand out from the competition and offers that WOW factor. Think about what you offer that others don’t such as using unique materials in your work, offering excellent customer service or being based in an excellent location. Or it could be a mixture of things.

If you have a business or are thinking of starting one, think about two key things that you think make you and your business special.

2.   Make sure you have excellent photographs to show of your pieces

Pictures need to be of outstanding quality especially when selling online as they are all your customers have to go from.

If you need some help with taking your own pictures you might want to take a look at the LJS photograph jewellery 1-day class.  http://www.londonjewelleryschool.co.uk/jewellery-business/photograph-your-jewellery/

3.   Make a plan and work really hard to achieve it

I can’t stress enough the importance of writing your business plan, it will help guide you through the process of setting up and building a successful business.

Click on the link to see a very useful video in how to write your own business plan and what to include https://www.gov.uk/write-business-plan

finance-20114.   Keep a keen eye on your finances

Without money you don’t have a business so you need to make sure that from the get-go you have a good handle on your finances.

Keep all receipts and invoices, update your accounts at least monthly and track how well you are doing year on year so that you can compare and see your progress.

5 – Build your social network – facebook, twitter, pinterest, blogs

It is crucial these days to be promoting yourself online and particularly through social networks, it is such an excellent opportunity to engage potential customers, send out your key messages and generally promote your brand.

6 – Learn from your mistakes

Mistakes are fine as long as you learn from them. ooopsEvery business owner in history has made mistakes but the key is to recognise them before its too late and make changes in your business to head back towards success.

One mistake I made early on was not creating a business plan, so I was effectively going in to business blindly. Luckily I realized I really did need one after abut 9 months in business and once I had created it, it made such an impact to the direction of my business, not to mention giving me some much needed confidence.

7 – Take advantage of the resources on offer to you as a small business owner/ start-up.

There are plenty of resources that can help you on your way, see some of out favorites below and if you have any of your own you would like to share, then please leave a link to their website below:
British Library and IP centre – http://www.bl.uk/bipc/
Business link – https://www.gov.uk/browse/business
The guardian small business network –http://www.guardian.co.uk/small-business-network
Creative choices – http://www.creative-choices.co.uk/
Get mentoring – http://getmentoring.org/
Smata – http://www.smarta.com/
LJS blog posts (of course!) –https://blog.londonjewelleryschool.co.uk/
Jewellery Business Distance Learning Course –http://www.londonjewelleryschool.co.uk/distance-learning/jewellery-business-distance-learning-course/

package8 – Make packaging part of the experience.

We all know from buying jewellery that the packaging can be almost as important as the actual piece. When your customers open their intricate hand-made order for the first time the way it is packaged is all part of the experience. So consider your packaging carefully and make sure it is suited to the jewellery you are selling.

9. Build a mailing list of customers and potential customers and send out a newsletter a few times a year to remind them of what shows you are doing, info on your new collections, sales and discounts available or exciting new developments that would interest them.

Always remember to get permission before adding anyone to a mailing list.

A great programme to use for doing professional mailouts is mailchimp and whats more is free to start, check it out – http://mailchimp.com/

10. Get practical! Make sure you fulfill all of the legal requirements of setting up and running a business includingfiling copy
– Registering as a sole trader or limited company with HMRC
– Setting up a professional business bank account
– Making sure you get the basic insurance needed to cover all your activities
– Registering for hallmarking if you are selling precious metals
– Register for VAT once turnover has exceeded the limit
– Complete your annual accounts on time and submit to HMRC or companies house

Sorting all of these out early on will really help to put your mind at ease that you are on top of everything.

11. Share your business story

A great way to give your business meaning and stand out in peoples mind is to share your story, why you got in to jewellery making, what is special about the type of jewellery you make, what does it mean to you, what things have you had to overcome in your personal/ business life to get to the stage you are at now?

All these things give your business a real-life, personal touch that customers can relate to.

Don’t forget there is still time to get the special jewellery week 15% discount on our distance learning jewellery business course which covers all aspects of running a successful jewellery business from legal and tax issues, to budgets, selling and pricing and marketing your products.  The course includes over a hour of videos, a workbook and case studies of successful jewellers, as well as including a year’s membership of LJS which gives you discounts from suppliers and a listing on the LJS Members’ Directory.

To get your discount buy the course before midnight on Sunday 20 January 2013 and enter the code LJSDL13 at the check out. Please note the discount is restricted to one per person.