Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Selling Your Hand Made Items On Line

     As a seller of hand made jewelry, it has been extremely hard for me to figure out just how to get my items seen online. There are literally millions of web sites, pages, and listings all over the net dedicated to selling hand made goods, a lot of which are jewelry. So how do we get our items in front of people? We read and read about our *target audience* ....but....who is that and how do we find them? Well...here are some tips that seem to have worked for me and these ideas just started coming to me last year, and so far....sales have been steadily increasing.

1. Numbers
2. Targeting

     Lets look at the *Numbers*.....last year my new husband started telling me things that he has read over the years. Things about the *numbers* ...the math that plays in to selling anything. It doesn't matter WHAT you are selling...it all boils down to the numbers. Big companies know this, and they use it to their advantage every single day. There are only so many personality types in the world....big companies know this as well, which is why the choose to *do the math*. The fact is the bigger number of people that see your items, the more you will sell. Every time you increase the number of people that see your creations, that is that many more sales you will make.
     A lot of you out there have thrown a party of whatever kind, and ....a lot of you have heard the old saying...of all the people you invite, you should probably plan on about 1/3 showing up...right? Well...the same basic idea should be thought about when selling.....of all the people who see your items...you can count on the following to happen......of the number of people who see your items, *X* will take a closer look, of the number that took a closer look, *X* will actually go too your page for another look, of the number of people who went to your page, *X* will want it but cant afford it, or will make it them selves....and the break down goes even further, until you finally reach the 1 person who will hit the *check out* button, and buy your item. Now...this is not my *idea*....I did not just pull this out of thin air some where....these are the hard cold facts of selling anything....and big companies use it every day. They know that they need vast numbers of people to see what they are selling in order to sell it....if they show it to enough people, someone will buy it. This is what is known as the law of averages...and ..it's a fact. They use TV ads, newspaper ads magazine ads, bill boards....you name it, and they use it. And....it works...

     Now lets look at HOW you get those vast numbers to see your items. It starts with your willingness to spend time and energy doing something that sometimes gets monotonous. The repeated...over and over again...daunting task of posting, linking and net working. But.....are you posting...and linking..in  the right places? and how much of it are you doing? If you are posting something on face book...say once a day.....is it enough? Probably not....more than likely there are not enough people on line at the same time you are, and they just wont see it. And now that face book has changed everything up for pages, even if you have 3,000+ fans like we do...only a small number of those people actually get to see what you post, unless they go directly to your page every day just to see what you are posting. And again the law of averages will play a factor in that only a certain number of people will do that....so....
     My personal favorite sites to share on ...and every single new item I list gets shared immediately on these sites
These have proven to be the best sharing sites for me, and what I make.

Targeting how to:
     So...now you know you NEED to get your items in front of more people in order to sell them, right? So ...how do you target the right audience? This is something new for me...but I started thinking about WHO would buy my items....who are these people? For me....they are rock hounds...plain and simple...I sell items made from rocks....and most of the people who buy my items love rocks as well.....so this is who I target....by doing simple things like creating a Pinterest board dedicated to, and titled.....rock hound gifts. I am also connected to a lot of rock lovers forums & groups. You don't want to spam your audience by any means, but you most certainly want them to know you are there.  I try to post something to these places about once a day....I could do more I suppose....which would give me higher numbers...but again..spamming is not something I am personally interested in doing. The BEST way to figure out who your target audience is....simple.....describe yourself.....who are you? What is it that makes you love the items you create? Are you old fashioned, so you create more traditional older style items? Or are you bold and more fashion minded...so you create what is in style today? What makes you....YOU.....once you figure out who YOU are and why you like this style of item...you will have your target audience....because more than likely, the people who will buy what you love will buy them for the same reasons you created them....they will think similar to you, like a lot of the same things.....
     As for tagging your items with the right key words....well...try to think of what YOU would type in to search for that item....would you type in copper bracelet...copper cuff.....copper jewelry? Try to use the same words YOU would use to find a particular item.....

Sunday, January 6, 2013

How To Make Wire Jewelry

About 4 years ago, I had never even heard of Wire Wrapped Jewelry......and when I discovered it, it was by complete accident. The journey from "How in the world do they do THAT" to now, has been extraordinary, fun, enlightening, and.....a lot of times very frustrating. There are so many different techniques, and styles, that coming up with something all your own is almost impossible.

I get a lot of questions about how to start, where to begin, and what I use in my work......so to help answer some of those questions, I decided to write a few things down. Make Wire jewelry can be so rewarding, once you get the hang of it, and, over time you develop your own style, your own way of doing things.

Choosing the right stones for a beginner:

When I first started, I purchased some cabochons from an online supply to play with. After of course, trying to wrap a tumbled stone, and days and days of frustrations!! The purchased cabs were pretty small, and had very little girdle to them. For me, a person with bigger hands, a complete beginner, and, at the time, a bit clumsy.....these cabs made it difficult for me to do anything with. I didn't realize at the time, that practicing would have been so much easier if the cab were bigger, and the girdle on the cab would have been thicker. The small stones were so hard for me to hang on to, and the wire kept slipping off the girdle of the cab, causing me to kink the wire, and , in the end, become very frustrated with it all. Then someone sent me, as a gift, a cabochon with some size, and a thicker girdle....WOW...what a difference that made!!

MY SUGGESTION: a 40mm cab, with a girdle of 3mm makes things much much easier for a beginner
I do NOT suggest a round or oval cab for a beginner...these are harder to wrap


In the beginning of my journey, I tried using round wire....what a mess!! If you are doing a standard wire wrap, SQUARE wire is much easier to use. It will lay flat against the cabochon, and not roll off the cab every time you try to do something, like swirls or curls, bindings etc. I personally started with 22 gauge dead soft, but, 22 gauge is a very tiny wire for a beginner. If I had to do it all over again, I would start with 20 gauge, it's not a lot bigger, it will give the same look to the piece, but it is a bit easier to manage and hang on to.

I Always use dead soft wire to do a wrap, even to this day. 1/2 hard wire will kink and bend, when you need it to be smooth, even sweeps, and swirls. It's a bit harder to work with too, and your hands will get tired after just a short time of trying to work with it.

My style has changed a lot over the past 4 years, but the things that have not changed are these:

My work must be TIGHT, the wire must be so secure against the stone, it takes wire cutters or pliers to get them apart. They must be neat, and clean, with neatly laid bindings, side by side, even bails, even weaves....so everything comes together in a completely secure setting that provides beauty as well.

I have a free tutorial listed on my facebook page, as well as pay tutorials in my Etsy shop. We will discuss some more in the next posting about how to get started once you have the right supplies.