It’s been far too long since I’ve posted an update here! I really need to get into this blogging thing a bit more.
As you might have gathered from the image at the top there, I did what I set out to do in my last post – i.e., I succeeded in clearing out all my old stock, created a new collection of higher quality pieces, and relaunched my entire business. It was a lot of work but I’m pleased with the results! The new collection is called Phoenixia, and it includes 16 pieces of wire wrapped jewellery with designs based on ancient cultures, as well as more modern historical periods. A lot of the designs feature semi-precious gemstones such as rough amethyst, citrine, kyanite, smoky quartz and even ruby. If you’re interested, you can check out the entire collection at either my Etsy store or my Storenvy store.
Despite being personally really happy with how these pieces turned out, however, the reception to them hasn’t been quite as good as I’d hoped. I’ve gotten a ton of really positive feedback on the pieces themselves, people seem to really like them. I did a lot of research on my new price points, and got a lot of advice from various people, and I think they are at just the right spot – not too expensive, reflecting the fact that I am relatively new at creating this particular style of jewellery, but also not too cheap because the materials I have used are much higher quality. However, since I launched the collection on March 3, I have yet to sell any of the pieces. This is disappointing not only because a lot of time and thought went into creating them, but also because until I sell at least some of the Phoenixia pieces, I cannot afford to buy the materials I need for my next collection. I’m the type of person who needs to be creating constantly, and so far this month all I have been doing is promoting Phoenixia and daydreaming about my next collection in my head. As well as “fake Etsy shopping” (i.e., browsing Etsy for hours picking out materials I want to use in the next collection & adding them to my shopping cart, heh) and doing sketches of the kinds of things I plan to make.
I’m learning a lot about how difficult promotion is, and have been religiously following several blogs and mailing lists that give lots of hints and tips on the best way to go about marketing products online, such as Epheriell’s Create & Thrive mailing list (which I mentioned in my last post) and the wealth of information provided by Leonie Dawson (another successful Australian creative). I bought a Facebook ad, but didn’t put much money on it so it didn’t generate many more likes for my Facebook page, but I have also started asking my followers questions on Facebook to increase my social interaction which has been semi-successful – and I’m also enjoying interacting with followers quite a bit. It’s all a bit of a hit-and-miss learning process, really.
Until I sell some of the Phoenixia pieces so I can buy materials for the next collection, the plan is to continue doing what I’m doing – learning more about various ways I can promote my business, keeping up with my Facebook page (I’ve been posting almost daily updates about the design inspiration for each of my pieces, which hopefully people like), and figuring out more & better ways to advertise my work. I’m also thinking of opening (yet another?) store on madeit.com.au, which from what I have read has the potential to give me a bit more business than Storenvy, as it’s more like an Australian Etsy. So I’m going to do that, and see how it goes.
Hopefully one day I’ll be able to look back on posts like this and remember how difficult it used to be, haha. If you happen to run your own small business, what are some of your best tips for promoting your business online?