Getting the Word Out
Marketing tips and selling online
1. Post your work on an online marketplace like etsy.com or artfire.com. Both feature handmade and vintage products and supplies for crafters. The fees for listing your items are very reasonable and both sites offer help and advice. Etsy offers a huge amount of help for the novice and hosts a vibrant artist community that generously shares tips and tricks for success.
2. Make YouTube videos to showcase jewelry on Etsy or your website. Show your jewelry on real people. Include tips of how to wear the latest styles. Be sure to also include popular and provocative words that increase the chances that your videos will pop up as people search for other trendy topics.
3. Donate an item to a nonprofit organization's silent auction. Unique pieces of jewelry are usually hot items at these fundraisers and, especially if the organization's supporters are affluent, it's a great way to get your name out to your potential audience while contributing to a Worthy cause. Participation in craft shows to benefit nonprofits (especially around the holidays) can be a good entree into the craft market world. These shows usually provide basic set-up stuff like tables, so you don't have to invest in too much of booth infrastructure.
4. Start your own blog. Talk about your creative process and show off your work. Comment on and like to other people's blogs. There are many blog hosting sites out there. check out blogger.com or wordpress.com.
5. Offer a sample of your jewelry to popular bloggers to use as a giveaway. You'll get a lot of free promotion and probably some new fans. don't forget to include your website or blog, a description of the piece, and its retail value.
6. Be sure to wear your jewelry when you go out. It's smart when you're at a formal event, but anytime you're out beautiful jewelry can catch someones eye. Keep your business cards handy. They should have your web address, the addresses of shops that carry your pieces, and/or a calendar of the shows you're doing.
7. Give jewelry to friends and family - #6 - and be sure they have your cards also. If you know anyone that appears on TV, especially regularly - like a news anchor - be sure they have access to your best pieces.
8. Submit your work to beading magazines as projects or for their reader galleries. Bead style has an online subscriber's gallery that anyone can view. Visit the Bead Room at BeadStyleMag.com for guidelines.
9. Sell your work on consignment at local boutiques. The profit margin may be smaller but it's a great way to develop a following and benefit from a built-it marketing team.
10. Home parties are also a good way to get your feet wet. Ask a friend to host and give her a cut of the profits, plus offer something extra to help defray the cost of refreshments, etc. (A gift of jewelry is a nice gesture, too.) If you have a crafter friend - ideally not a jewelry maker - consider teaming up; you can potentially double the mailing list for invites. Have a frank conversation with the host about expectations. Is she inviting all of the guests? May you invite some? Keep in mind the number of invitations sent does not equal the number of attendees. Who is providing snacks and beverages (if any)?
Some other things to think about:
* Know your audience - don't have a show with all your jewelry priced over $100 if the crowd will max out at $50.
* Know what you can use to set up at your host's, or be prepared to punt. You may have to bring tables, tablecloths, clip lights, etc.
* Don't let the setup at the show be your first time in the space; do a dry run at home to make sure your layout is attractive and well organized.
* If you do commissions, have a sign with rates and details handy. Bring fliers to put in bags with purchases.