So you want to start making some extra money from your jewelry creation, but you don’t know where to start? It’s okay – you’re not alone!
As a creative, business strategies don’t always come naturally. Maybe you’ve been selling or giving your jewelry to friends and family but you’re stuck with where to go from there. There are a lot of ways to take your jewelry design from a hobby to a profitable side project, though!
Go beyond friends and family to make jewelry sales
Friends and family are great supporters, but they aren’t necessarily your target market. We all know that the people who love us will sometimes admire and even buy our jewelry even if they have no intention of ever wearing it. They want to make us feel like a million bucks, which is great, but if you’re ready to make more sales, it’s hard to gauge your success based on friends-and-family sales! Here are some things you can do to increase your jewelry sales:
Ask questions to determine who would wear your jewelry
Pick out a few friends and family members who you know will be honest with you if you ask them. Find out who they can think of who wears jewelry similar to the styles you make. They don’t need to give you names, just descriptions of the person’s overall style, their personality, their interests, and anything else that can help you find common themes.
As you get more and more suggestions of the types of people who would wear your jewelry, start piecing together those common threads. Maybe your jewelry appeals to professional business women or maybe it’s a boho style that flows with a beachy outfit. Whatever those common themes are, make note of them because they will help you target your marketing later on.
Figure out where those people are
Now that you’re finding what these folks have in common, you can start thinking about them as an aggregate. Your jewelry may appeal to more than one type of person, so don’t be afraid to create different segments of your potential customers. You can even group common attributes into a fictional person so that you can pretend like you’re speaking to them when you create marketing materials.
You’ll also want to figure out where the people who would be interested in your jewelry hang out. I don’t mean coffee shops, either, though that is a possibility. You need to go a bit outside the box.
Look at where your jewelry audience may be going online. Are they more of a Facebook crowd or do they pop in and out of Twitter? Do they put together their outfit and accessory inspiration on Pinterest? Wherever they are online, that’s where you’ll need to be too.
Along the same lines, you should find out where these folks are in person too. Are there local events that they attend? Organizations they’re a member of? Where do they shop? Get specific with these things so that you can meet them where they’re at, both figuratively and literally!
Think about a referral program to expand your jewelry audience
If you already have folks wearing your jewelry, think about creating a referral program. This could be as simple as “refer a friend and get 10% off your next piece of jewelry if they buy something” or you could get a bit more involved and do something like “refer five friends who purchase at least $X of jewelry and get a piece worth up to $X for free.” Whatever you’re comfortable with and is also worth it for your customers is a win-win for everyone!
How to start marketing your jewelry
Okay, so now you know WHO the audience for your jewelry is and you have a good idea of WHERE they are, both online and offline. Maybe you’ve implemented a referral program and you’re ready to start raking in those jewelry sales! So… how do you get started? Let’s get some marketing basics started!
1 | What words describe your jewelry?
Remember when you asked friends and family to describe the people they know who would wear your jewelry? You can do the same thing to get a description of your jewelry itself! Ask friends, family, and current and past customers what they love about your jewelry and what words they would use to tell someone about it. Make note of those words, especially the ones that multiple people mention, and use those in your marketing materials.
2 | What words would someone search for and find your jewelry?
Now that you know how to describe your jewelry, you need to know how people can FIND your jewelry. You can do this research at the same time as getting the descriptors of your jewelry. After they’ve described your jewelry, just ask those same people what they might search for online to find that type of jewelry. These are the search terms that you can use to get found in Google, Etsy, and wherever else people may be searching for jewelry!
3 | How much will people pay for this type of handcrafted jewelry?
This is key to making a profit and moving beyond jewelry as a hobby. Don’t base your pricing off of someone else’s pricing, either! Your jewelry is not the same as someone else’s jewelry and you don’t know if they’re making a profit when they make jewelry sales. Instead, you need to determine what YOUR audience can and will pay. After all, if someone else is marketing to broke college kids and you’ve found that your audience is mostly career women, your audience probably has more disposable income and expects higher quality than broke college kids.
That said, if you can’t sell your pieces for enough money to make a profit, you’ll need to adjust accordingly. Maybe you need to work with materials that don’t cost as much or you could adjust your styles to be a bit more minimalist and thus use fewer materials. Or you could go the opposite way and tailor your style to reach a market that has a bigger wallet! There are a lot of ways to approach a problem like this, so you need to make sure that you’re comfortable with whichever method you choose.
4 | Look for online AND offline marketing opportunities
We talked about figuring out where your audience is both online and offline, right? Now’s the time to put it into practice! Create a social media marketing strategy to reach them online. Talk to the boutiques and stores that your audience shops at and see if you can become a vendor so you can display and sell your jewelry there. Get out there and meet your audience at the locations and events that they attend. If you’re creative with how you reach your audience, you can start making the jewelry sales that you’re looking for.
When you’re getting serious about selling your jewelry, it can be both scary and exciting! Don’t let the fear stop you, though. That nervous excitement is a great motivator. Just make sure that you’re clear about who you’re selling your jewelry to, where they are, and what they’re looking for. Get the right words from OTHERS rather than making your own guesses. And once you know where you should sell your jewelry and who will buy it, make a marketing plan! It’s not as scary as you may think.
Leave a comment with your thoughts on selling jewelry! Here are some ideas:
What scares you most about selling your jewelry?
What questions do you have about selling your jewelry?
Do you have any tips of your own to help others sell more jewelry?