Whenever someone tells me about a jewellery business my first point of call is to Google it and take a look at their website. These days if you are not online then you practically don’t exist and it is such an effective way to engage customers and promote and sell your work that its vital we get it right.
Building a website: DIY
If you can build your own website is a great option as it is affordable, easy to change and best of all, you are in control. You don’t need to be a computer wiz to make a successful website. With modern programmes such as Create.net and Mr. Site anyone can make a simple and effective website to sell their work on. There are lots of packages out their but Create.net is my favorite, as it is very simple to use (but read the instructions if you get stuck) the websites created on it are of an excellent quality and perhaps best of all you can try it for free for 30 days. After that its affordable at packages from £2.99- £19.00 per month all inclusive. Like most packages it links to Paypal and has a ‘shop’ feature allowing you to sell your work – very important.
However doing your own website does take time and try not to be too impatient, it is a good idea to put aside a few days if not weeks to perfect your design before going live.
Using a web designer
The obvious downside to using a designer is that the budget will need to be significantly larger, however it does give you much more freedom design-wise as you are not working from a template. Here are the main things to agree with your designer before embarking on a website project:
– Working to a budget – make sure it is clear what you are paying and what this will include, you don’t want to be caught out with unexpected costs.
– Timing – when will the website be finished? They will usually need quite a bit of time and from my experience aren’t ever finished by the due date so expect it to take a little longer to avoid frustration.
– CMS – This stands for content management system and basically means a website that you can update yourself, if possible this is the best option as you can make updates as and when required.
Whether you love it or hate it social networking is here to stay and is a hugely successful way of promoting your jewellery business.
The two most important sites to be on are Facebook and Twitter and they are fairly simple to use after some playing around. If you have never used them before, you are bound to have friends who have so ask them to give you a quick demo and get on your way. Here are a few pointers to get you started on each;
Open a business profile and aim to get as many people to ‘Like’ you as possible. Be sure to upload plenty of lovely pictures and update your info regularly. Competitions and free giveaways always go down a treat.
Set up and account and get tweeting, that is writing a short sentence a few times a week on what you are up to and related topics of interest. Also be sure to follow lots of jewellers etc… to get in with the community.
You can start by sending me a message and I will be sure to tell as many people as I can about your business:
Some of the other sites you might want a profile on include; forums, blogs, you tube videos, Google +1 and Flickr. It’s addictive but also great for your business.
SEO and Online Advertising
Once you have a website the main task is getting people to find you online, this is referred to as SEO which stands for Search Engine Optimization. The main areas of SEO include; building a website with high-quality, relevant content such as text, images and video but also social networking and paid adverts.
The two main paid advert providers are Google Adwords and Facebook Ads. They can be great for getting new customers to find your site but make sure you are very specific with your advert, make it targeted and stick to a budget.
Finally, once you have a website you will want to sign up for Google Analytics and Google Alerts which tracks who is using your site when and also when other sites mention you – very useful information for your business.
Using Online selling Platforms
If you don’t have a website (or even if you do) then online selling platforms such as Etsy and Folksy are a great way of promoting and selling your work whilst also providing an online presence for your business. Take a look at these sites for more info www.etsy.com, www.folksy.com, www.misi.co.uk