“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.”
With the myriad available options, venues, target markets, and price points out there, marketing can seem like a daunting task. Figuring out which avenue is most profitable and will give you the biggest bang for your buck (or as an accountant would say, the biggest “return on investment,” or ROI) is an important decision. There are just so many choices of where to spend your hard-earned cash and your valuable time (which is just as important); it makes marketing and branding your business a challenge.
However, a well-thought-out marketing plan can help you figure out what market you are going after, what the best venue to reach potential customers is, and what you can afford. As I have stated before in previous blogs: Marketing encompasses your entire approach to advertising, customer relations, marketing materials and branding. It is the large umbrella covering all the ways you are “out there” in front of the public. It includes everything from the message on your voicemail to deciding if you will be doing an ad in Vogue.
There are several advantages to investing time in creating a thoughtful marketing plan. First off, developing a tangible document will give you a realistic idea of the goals you want to accomplish and approximately how much you want to spend on them.
Important things to consider when creating a marketing plan:
- Who is your target market?
- How do you intend to reach your target market?
- Who is your competition?
- What is your differentiator in the marketplace? What service or product do you offer that is unique and special?
- What are the realistic goals you would like to achieve with your plan? It is a good idea to have a plan that will cover a year and can be re-thought or updated when needed.
- How will you keep track of the money you spend and the return you get on marketing efforts? Granted you probably won’t get a huge ROI on things like business cards, but they are a necessary part of your marketing efforts. Realistically, how much money do you have to spend on marketing?
- How will you track your schedule? Develop a marketing-specific calendar that details when things are due, what events you will be participating in, and when materials need to be updated.
- How will you define your brand, your logo, your look, your philosophy, and you artist’s statement?
- What are the realistic goals you want to achieve in a year’s time? Do you want to introduce a new collection of work? Do you want more coverage in the press? Do you want to increase your customer base?
Other items you might want to consider are:
- What are the current market conditions for jewelry?
- What trends are you seeing in the field?
- What trends are you seeing outside of the field that could be an influencing factor?
- Who are the key people you might want to bring in to help with parts of the plan?
- What are their skill sets and how do you plan to use them?
This is probably not going to be a plan that you whip out in a weekend; it might take a while to decide exactly what you want and to get suggestions and advice from others about how to best approach it.
This post is Part one in a larger series on successfully marketing your jewelry. Part two will delve more deeply into many of the points above. In the meantime, pull together your ideas, write down everything you think about and, most importantly, don’t edit yourself at this point! Just collect your ideas and you will be officially on your way to creating a marketing plan. This is the first small step in marketing yourself successfully.