Do you make your own unique jewellery and want to sell it online? Becoming an online retailer today is as easy as signing into eBay or Shopify. However, to become a successful businessperson online, you need a little more time, effort, and know-how. Starting your own jewellery business online can be a very fulfilling and lucrative venture if you follow the right steps. Here are ten to get you started
1: Create or find awesome products
Have a great product. It might seem like a no-brainer, but in order to sell a hit product, you have to make or find awesome products to sell. Try taking a survey of friends or family to see which products you make will have appeal to the largest audience. You could also set up a free survey through a site like Surveymonkey and link to it on your Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus pages. Get as much feedback on your work as possible before you embark on the steps below. Make sure you iron out the manufacturing problems, design flaws and issues before selling tot he public. Paying customers will not be as happy as your friends and family if they pay for a sub-standard product.
2: Create an audience - find your niche
Figure out who your target consumer is. The surveys that you made earlier may come in handy here. You need to know who you are trying to market to. You may think everyone likes jewellery, but what, exactly, is it about your line of jewellery that makes it unique? What person is likely to want to enjoy those unique elements? The internet is a huge place and it will be easy for your product to get lost if you are not targeting specific people. Follow trends, fashions and blogs that sell similar products. Research your market to understand exactly what people are buying. Use tools like Google Trends to research popular internet searches, market trends and search volumes. Does your product have a market to reach out to?
3: Set up a place to work:
Set up a home office. In order to work efficiently from home, you need to make sure you have a space that is free from distraction and conducive to work. Not only do you need a workstation to make your jewellery, you also need an office where you can manage your website, deal with customers, payments, and shipments. You’ll need a comfortable desk and chair, a computer with a reliable internet connection, and a phone line that won’t be used for personal calls. You can set up a separate phone line through your internet for a reasonable price if your home or mobile line will be too busy. This also means telling kids and significant others that when you are at work, you are inaccessible. Try setting office hours, so they know your schedule and won’t try to bother you. Sounds like a simple step but from experience this is a very important and creates a physical and phycological break from your home life to your work life. If you can't work from home try looking around for shared office spaces or contact your local business link that may offer advice on space to work. You may also find some great incubation centres around for startups or emerging small companies that offer great value office or workshop space amongst like minded people.
4: Take great pictures
If you've read our previous article; Pictures make a difference to selling Jewellery. We talk at length on the power of good product images. I think this is an important step to capture a customer's attention and allow them to connect with your products. You can hire a photographer to take pictures. You can do this step yourself if you have a quality camera and an area to display your jewellery that will look professional. You may want to have someone who has experience modeling accessories come out and model your jewellery for some pictures. When selling online, it’s important to have quality images of your product including close-ups of small details. While it might sell in person, the internet shopper needs to be able to see the quality and creativity of the piece in a picture. If you need help with your Jewellery Photography contact us and we'll certainly provide you some advice.
5: Design a website
You can design your own website through free services like Weebly or Shopify as mentioned above if you're looking to sell lots of products. These sites make it easy to upload pictures and create forms. If you’re not comfortable with this option, hire someone to design it for you. Our own designers at www.sorbetmedia.com can offer the right advice if you are just starting out. You’ll need to get a domain name. You can do this cheaply through Fasthosts or others. If you don’t want to go this route, you can use an online retail service like eBay or Etsy that make it that much easier and hassle free.
6: Choose a simple way for customers to pay
Set up a shopping cart through PayPal, Worldpay or Google Checkout. they are free to use, although they charge a percentage of every transaction to use their service.These services will make payments easier and safer for your customers, who may be wary of online shopping. A little tip, make sure you set it up as soon as possible and make steps to lift your account limits. Once you are verified you will be able to make unlimited transactions through your account. If you forget this your account could get blocked whilst waiting for the limits to be lifted.
7: Use the Power of Social Media - Spread the word!
Utilize social media and contact friends and family. Make a Facebook business page for your jewellery and encourage your Facebook followers to “like” it. This page should contain pictures of your product, as well as a link to the site where they can purchase it. You can use this site to host contests and other promotional events as well, such as a free give away to one of the people who “like” the page. Emailing friends and family with the link and pictures can also be an effective way to start spreading the word. Other great tools for delivering your products to thousands of people include Instagram, Pinterest, G+ and Twitter. Work hard with these, build friends, interact with your audience and you'll reap the benefits. Stay clear of companies trying to sell you likes or page hits. Although they can look good for your page numbers they are effectively empty visitors and will never increase your sales.
8: Start a blog
Start a blog. This can help to start a following of clients and other jewellery makers. Most sites, like WordPress and Tumblr, are free to use. You can, not only post pictures there, but also write about your artistic process, day-to-day life, or other things that may build a following. If you set up your website with the services listed above they generally have blogs integrated into the build. Post often, with good, relevant, quality content that your audience will find engaging, interesting and most likely share with their friends and colleagues. Give them a reason to come back and read more.
9 : Create a Newsletters or regular emailer
Think about utilizing an e-blast service, such as MailChimp. This is a service that will allow you to setup and send emails to your clients or followers. You can keep people up to date about new products or sales. Regular promotions will help drive buyers to your site. They make it easy to add Newsletter sign-up forms to your website to capture passing visitors. Offer free incentives such as discounts or free products to increase your signups.
10: Get legal
Lastly, make sure you follow any policies and procedures before you open your online business. Check your countries or state tax laws to see if you will need to register or license your online business or get a tax ID number. You can usually find this information online, and many states and/or localities have the forms available on their websites, as well. Paying tax is unavoidable and although many people moan about it, be proud of every payment you make as it shows you've worked hard to earn a living and people have paid you to do so.
Getting started with your online jewellery business can be a very exciting venture. If you plan ahead and follow these steps, it can also be a lucrative one. As you grow your business, remember to keep being creative, keep making great jewellery, and--most importantly--have fun!