Marketing Tips from a Career Coach

By Cathleen McCarthy

Career coach Rebecca "Kiki" Weingarten helps creative entrepreneurs – including jewelry artists and designers – figure out a strategy for selling online, incorporating the necessary steps in ways that work for them individually. Here are a few of her tips for boosting your brand and taking your jewelry business to the next level.

• Break marketing and sales into steps. Figure out how many hours you need to devote to sales and marketing, starting with monthly goals, and divide those into weeks – in a way that works for you.

"Let's say you need to spend eight hours on something," she says. Some people don't want to move mindsets so quickly, or can't, so they'll table a day a month and devote an entire eight-hour day to the marketing and business mindset. Others say I'll do two hours a week. Some will need a break from the creative part and opt for hour increments.

"First thing you have to do is know your work style," she says. "Can you jump from project to project? Creative people can often do just that, but everyone is different."

• Hire a marketing pro – if you can scrape the money together. "You really do need a very focused marketing plan – especially people who are creating very unique jewelry," Weingarten says.

• Define your potential market. Figure out who your audience is. "Look at the numbers. Look at stats of what sold in the jewelry industry. Find out there where those people are, speak to them in a language they understand – a visual language, a literal language."

Set up a newsletter. A newsletter doesn't have to be a multi-article mini-magazine. It can be an email blast with a couple pictures with captions showing your latest designs. On your website, have a landing page where you make it simple for people to give you their email addresses by agreeing to receive your monthly newsletter. "You can get some useful information that way," she says. "What would they like to see more of – gold, gemstones, earrings, bracelets?"

• Do a small promotion. It may be worth your while to give away a piece of jewelry in order to build that mailing list. Part of entering the giveaway requires them to give you their contact info. Make sure to publicize it over multiple social media channels. One way to do that is to hold a "pin to win" contest.

You may prefer to use a coach in your area. Weingarten is based in NYC and works on a sliding scale, offering modest rates for artists on a budget and sometimes spreading sessions out over a long period so you can pay as you go. Find out more at Atypical Coaching or call her at 646-355-8759.

CATHLEEN MCCARTHY is a freelance writer whose stories appear in Town & Country, AmericanStyle, Art & Antiques, and her own site, The Jewelry Loupe. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

NET PROFITS is a regular feature about using the Internet for jewelry selling of special interest to those with a home-based jewelry business that appears in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Learn more coaching tips in "Creative Coaching."

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