February 25, 2017

The Most Important Step When Launching a New Jewelry Business

In this SOS (Shop Owner Series) we will talk about the most important step when launching a new jewelry business. Too many people think about a product they want to sell, get super excited about it and just go for it without much thought or planning. The hope is that they will somehow go viral, be well known and make just enough to live comfortably for the remainder of their lives. This can happen but usually either by pure luck, doing the work or a little of both. Since luck is uncertain let's go with doing the work...

So what’s the very first step to a successful launch for your jewelry business? Above all of the other items, it is to define your target audience. This will help you define your brand, which is important when designing your logo, Etsy site, website, marketing presence and even your product line. 

Having a clear and defined path for these items really starts with who you are catering to. Who is your ideal customer? You need to know your target market first. It's much easier to cater to one audience than trying to catch everyone. If vintage jewelry is your thing and you've defined your audience, stay focused on vintage jewelry. Imagine how much work it would be to create completely different styles of jewelry like vintage, goth, simple and bold pieces.

Also, you don't want to confuse your audience. Your style should be reflected in your marketing and what one audience likes, another audience may not. Only then can you be relatively certain that the products you are designing for them will be something they will want to buy now and in the future. Your brand should be appealing to your target audience just as much as the jewelry you sell.

Next, build your following. Here are some ways to gain some traction online and build a following:
  1. Offer a discount, enter them in a drawing for a giveaway or offer sneak peeks in exchange for email sign up. 
  2. Offer people a chance to win one of your pieces before they can buy it. This can help build anticipation and increase your following on your social accounts and email list. 
  3. Tease your followers with behind the scenes shots and videos to get them excited about what's to come. Be sure to hashtag effectively (see 6 of the Best Ways to Use Pinterest to Sell Your Jewelry for help with hashtags and more). 
  4. As you get closer to your launch date consider a giveaway that you promote on Facebook and Instagram. You can include your email list but they are already in so probably better to focus on continuing to build your list. 
Next you will want to focus on:
  • Research your target audience.
  • Develop your brand, one that is appealing to your target audience.
  • Plan out your product line staying focused on your target audience.
  • Set up your email campaign(s).
  • Set up and optimize your social accounts (make sure your photos are on point, not blurry or cropped odd).
  • Photograph sneak peeks, something that tells your story and giveaway items.
  • Build out your Etsy store or website - be consistent with your branding.
  • Start your blog - this is one great way to perform better in searches.
  • Plan out and implement your photographs: Teasers, sneak peeks, giveaways, etc.
  • Do a giveaway - make sure you get something back on this, an email sign up, a share, something.
  • Launch your store!
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that most people don’t see until after launch happens.

This is why sometimes it can look like a brand new business opens up and is suddenly successful, and you’re left scratching your head and wondering how in the heck they’re getting sales but you’re not. Now you know why.

Though everyone is different, plan for about a three month period from start to launch. Hopefully this gives you an idea of how long it can take to get launched so you can plan accordingly.

Find out how to earn more business and continue repeat business.

Those of us who've made running a jewelry making business one of our top priorities have countless tasks that must be juggled each day.

If you think about your jewelry business as being an actual business rather than a mere hobby, you have to be strategic when deciding just where the majority of your efforts should be invested.

In order for your company to generate a substantial amount of revenue, you have to determine 1) Which strategies are capable of generating profits right now 2) Which strategies will start bringing in revenue with a little dedication and perseverance on your end 3) Which factors you'll never be willing to compromise on even if they don't have a lot of profit potential (if any at all).

After all, you didn't go into the jewelry making business in order to do what you hate.

A lot of business gurus are telling people that they should do whatever is bringing in the most money and to stop paying attention to everything else, but the approach I take is a far more diplomatic one.

In order to thrive in the jewelry making business and to maximize the amount of satisfaction it provides, you need this business to produce both cash and moments of sheer enjoyment.

1. Start by writing a list of things that you do in your jewelry making business that aren't generating any revenue or that simply don't generate as much revenue as your other endeavors. Then:

2. Get rid of all the tasks that you absolutely hate performing. Do you believe that having a twitter account is essential because you heard that all web-based businesses have to have active presences on this platform? If these efforts aren't directly generating income, then you can cut them out without feeling any guilt whatsoever.

3. Think about which actions might produce more money if you only give them more time. Some things require patience. Blogging is an excellent example of this, as is search engine optimization or SEO. If you have a hard time determining how to prioritize this list, take a few months to closely watch the numbers.

4. Last, find out which tasks you will retain regardless of their outcome. There are likely certain products that you simply love manufacturing or online marketing efforts that you enjoy, even if they aren't having the most positive impact on your bottom line. This is what my blog is to me. In fact, I am currently spending more on hosting services than I earn in ad revenue or ebook sales, so being in the jewelry making business actually winds up costing me money.

Although you may not be able to let these activities go, simply acknowledging that they're done for pleasure rather than profit can change your whole attitude about them. Make sure that you're enjoying them and making them lower in priority during times when more profitable activities are essential for getting your bills paid.

See more blogs for jewelry making business owners here.

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