Jewelry Selling: How to Get Press After the Show

By Cathleen McCarthy

You're back from a craft and jewelry show. Hopefully, you have jewelry orders to fill, but perhaps you also have a few jewelry business cards from editors or bloggers. You're probably busy right now–but my advice is to follow up on those requests within two weeks, while visions of your jewelry are fresh in their heads. A few tips:

Follow up by email with images and captions attached. This is something artists rarely do, even when they say they will. Believe me, I know how easy it is to lose that pile of cards in the crush that follows a show. But remember: we just handed you a free pass.

If you bury an editor's card without checking out her site, you won't know she has a circulation of 40,000 collectors waiting to discover your jewelry business. If you toss mine without checking out my site, you'll never discover that I write for national magazines. How do you know your jewelry won't end up in one of them? Or that I'll feature it on my own site with a link to your site or shop? If a member of the press expresses interest in your work, follow up–and do it fast. We love your work, but we have short memories.

Invite bloggers to steal from your site. Those of us who came up in the age of clinging to copyrights and worrying about having our designs ripped off in China or by the no-talent newcomer–we have a habit of holding our cards close to the vest. In this brave new world, it actually can be a good thing to have someone clip an image of your jewelry and post it on their site, as long as they link back to your site when they do it.

Why? Because they have access to hundreds, possibly thousands of viewers who may not know about you and your jewelry handiwork–and now they will.

If a blogger asks for jewelry images you didn't have at the show, shoot that jewelry yourself. Your latest work is the most valuable to the press and to your own marketing efforts, but it's costly and time-consuming to have it shot professionally. A magazine may have time to wait, may even be able to help you arrange photography. But blogs and online publications move fast. It may not be as difficult as you think to get images good enough to post on the web. If you need some help, here are some tips from professional jewelry photographers.

Post your jewelry pictures to Flickr or YouSendIt if you have too many to email. Posting images to Flickr allows you to give the editor or blogger access to images of your work while allowing you to create a permanent gallery for specific jewelry lines you can point others to in the future. YouSendIt allows you to upload high-res images to their site so a specified recipient can download them–faster and with less hassle than sending huge files via email.

Yup, this kind of self-promotional follow-up is one more thing you have to deal with if you're trying to get a jewelry-making business off the ground. But the easier you make it for people to feature your work, the more free press you'll score for selling your jewelry–and the more potential customers will find you.

CATHLEEN MCCARTHY is a freelance writer whose stories on design, travel and business have appeared in Town & Country, AmericanStyle, Art & Antiques, Washington Post, and her own site, http://TheJewelryLoupe.com.  Her column, "Meet the Press at Craft Shows" appears in the August, 20011, issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist.

NET PROFITS appears regularly in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Learn more about promoting your jewelry in "Meet the Press at Craft Shows," August 2011.

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