Paid Advertising

It's been something I've been contemplating for months now as it seems I get more and more lost in the sea of online jewelry sellers. I've read every online handbook, marketing blog, thread, website and tip sheet I can stand, have been doing as they preach and it hasn't made a difference. Views at both shops are low no matter how I massage my descriptions, keywords and tags or participate in the venue's SEO efforts. Direct emailing didn't work out. Optimizing the way this blog is seen by Google hasn't made a noticeable change, although that does take some time I'm told and I could be condemning it prematurely. Back when it was available to the individual, Google Base didn't work. Participating in online fashion and shopping communities hasn't made a dent. Tapping into online communities in which I am a member, but not as an artist hasn't worked either. Ditto my consignment efforts that I was so excited about.

Plus there's the whole time thing. Even unemployed and childfree I only have so much of it. Constantly updating content, editing photos and posting about listings has fast become drudgery. Not this blog so much, but a lot of the rest of it. I won't call out anything specifically because it's not the venue's fault and I still like some of the sites I call home, but I'm overwhelmed just the same. And the worst is while I'm making something at the bench, all I can think of is will it sell and how can I get people to see it. I spend more time thinking of those things than on new designs.

So what's a girl to do? While my belief in my own products is still on the plus side, I decided to take the plunge and pay for some ad space. Granted it isn't a ton of money (I found a coupon that saved me a chunk), but it's a start. Depending on how it works out I may continue to use it (It's Facebook) or even add others. There are a couple of blogs that I'd like to advertise on. Neither has anything to do with crafts, jewelry, handmade or the "artisan experience" which I think is key for reaching my audience.

Which is another thing altogether. Just who do I want to target? It sounds so bloodless, but I still think there are women out there who hate cutesy/"crafty" jewelry and want an alternative that doesn't cost the earth. They need, no they deserve to know the Wire Smith exists. So I made some attempt at ferreting out this elusive woman in putting my FB ad together. She's enough like me to be somewhat familiar, but not totally and thinking outside my own likes, dislikes and inclinations was a challenge. The ad is approved and will run for 1 week starting tomorrow.

Something has got to give. I can't keep pouring money, effort and emotion into this for so little return. So far I still believe that my product stands out. This isn't a weepy, fishing for compliments expedition, but the cold fact that it might not. My viewpoint might be too narrow or too short. How can I say I've never seen anything like my jewelry if I've only been making it for the lifespan of a dragonfly? I haven't really been on the inside track of "handmade" so what I do might just be so 2003. Maybe it's too late for a newcomer to succeed with all the overcrowding in jewelry. Maybe my relatively low skill level doesn't produce the kind of product people want. I don't really know, but I want it to work and I have to go for the brass ring while I still believe in myself, my vision, my ability and my product. This holiday season will be a big part of affirming or debunking this belief. But if I don't do everything I reasonably can to make it a success, can I say I really tried?

Comments

  1. Chin up girl! This post is so close to how I feel sometimes that I could have written it myself. I question all the time what the true measure of success is in this jewelry business. Of course it means that we want people to buy what we make!

    Have you considered doing a craft fair, or an in home jewelry party, invite all your friends, have them invite their friends, etc

    I did my first show at my church the past two days. I sold enough to inspire me to keep going. Internet sales for me have been non existent for the past couple of months.

    I've told you before not to change your style, it is what makes your jewelry YOUR jewelry. But have you considered taking classes to learn new techniques?

    Being child free and being able to make this your full time job is a blessing you need to take advantage of in all ways that you can! I remember the days when I could play with my beads all day, and then came the kids! I wouldn't give them up for the world, but now is the time for you to grow as an artist.

    I have contemplated doing a FB add too, I'll be curious to see how it works out for you! I keep telling my self I'll do it when I have over 75 items in my shop. I just work too slow, I haven't been able to do it yet.

    We also have to remember that success doesn't come easily, or overnight! Keep working at it ! If this is your dream, don't give up!!!!

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  2. Thanks hon. I really wasn't fishing, just getting things off my chest, but I appreciate the boost. Funnily enough, I had a sale in one of my shops last night and I practically danced around. Maybe it was the wine.

    I haven't thought about a show or a party or anything because I don't have enough inventory to do it without pulling listings from shops which I'm sort of hesitant to do. A friend said she would host one though, and maybe I should take her up on it anyway

    As far as the ad goes, I'll update as it runs. I'm not pinning all my hopes on it, but quite a few of them. I've also got a couple pieces featured in a 1KM promo w/Amazon so that might drive some traffic, too and give me some "legitimacy". It takes guts to order from a perfect stranger on the internet.

    Anyway...I'm babbling. Have photos to take of a couple of pendants I've decided to sell and some earrings. Thanks again for being a sweetie.

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  3. Oh yesterday I posted a comment asking if you tried FB. I must be stoned....you already said you are trying FB. Mannnn...I need to wake up. lol. Please ignore my earlier comment. I hope your FB ad will bring really good results!! Sometimes I have wondered about it too. Maybe I'll give it a try someday. But so far, just posting pictures on FB is working. Customers are not exactly pouring in, but this is what I can handle right now with 2 kids. Its just the right amount of orders for me for now.

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  4. No worries Swati - time stamps can be sort of confusing.

    No orders yet as a result of my FB ad, but I'm still hopeful and it's only been a day. Maxed out my daily budget yesterday and look to do it again today. Time will tell if it's a success.

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