Saturday, 29 September 2012

Competition to win a Gift Voucher

Here's an opportunity to win a gift voucher for Lesley H Phillips Jewellery
It's running on my facebook page - Handmade Contemporary Silver Jewellery

What am I?  You will need to search the website and follow the instructions on the status on facebook.  To join in there, click on the badge and it will take you to my 'links' page.

I am full of class,
I am also round.
Near your neck
Is where I'm found.
I could be old,
But this is a tease
I am very current
If you please!

Good Luck!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

What's New? Jewellery and Fashion

A change to my usual blog this week with an update of all things new.
Also, a refreshing piece of news that men are becoming more sophisticated - in the world of jewellery that is!

The first new feature on my website is the Gift Voucher Section.  A perfect present for someone who likes to choose their own jewellery or for the purchaser if you just keep getting it wrong!!!

Secondly, I am now an International Wholesaler following a Company in Hong Kong placing orders for their 3 retail outlets.

The news on men?  The tide is changing inasmuch that men are losing interest in leather jewellery, skulls and such like, preferring now to choose more sophisticated, styled jewellery.  This is perhaps supported by a recent commission for a pair of solid silver cufflinks, designed by the client and reflecting a lava trail on a mountain side.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Do you want to improve your business? - Handmade Workers

Every week I offer tips and hints to help handmade craftspeople improve their business.  There are so many quality items produced by the home workers, beavering away in their studios or spare room - but so often they just don't know how to market it.  There's only so much that can be made without the need to sell some of your wares - and this is where my handmade silver jewellery blog will help.

Listen to what your customers want
Why not ask your customers what they think about your products?  Try doing this every six months and ask them what they think are the good and bad points. You can contact them by email or at the events you attend.  Conduct market research to see what you should change.  Then take action!
Not only is this a good way of improving your products, but it makes your customers feel that their opinion is valued and they are more likely to want to do business with you.

All business is not necessarily good business!
Whilst you might want to please all the customers you have conducted market research with, you don't have to.  If a customer has stated that they would like something that will take hours and hours and hours to make, but they wouldn't be willing to pay the price for your time - then can you afford to do it?  If you're trying to turn your hobby into a business, then the answer must clearly be a resounding 'no'. 
Customers and projects which are causing you sleepless nights should be reviewed and you should decide if you want to put yourself under that pressure.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Handmade Saturday Showcase - Business Tip for crafters

What is it about handmade work that people like?  Most of all it's the individuality of each item - for genuine handmade craft no two pieces can ever be the same.  Secondly the buyer knows that much love and care has gone into it - Can money put a price on it?  In all honesty it's most likely priceless to the artist, but I have trawled the UK and found some exquisite items which ARE for sale and I have compiled a showcase of these items here today.
Does anyone want to try and guess my theme ?

1.  Bird cage tidy - Pin and Pen
2.  Hand dyed cotton art - Downland Originals
3.  Owl cushion - Charming Jewellery and Accessories
4.  Butterfly keepsake box - Kippers Keepsakes
5.  Cotton print handbag - Ann Chandler Originals
6.  Pin cushion - The Home Made Boutique
7.  Silver pendant - Handmade Silver Jewellery UK
8.  Bowl clock - Wonky Fox 
9.  Oak Tamper - Works-in-Wood
10.Hand thrown deep bowl - Epple Bay Ceramics

The designs for the items featured remain the intellectual property rights of the artists who have made them.  Any infringement of their rights could result action being taken.

Business Tip for Crafters
Donate your expertise
Your chosen skill probably has plenty of associations / organisations which distribute newsletters or have blogs. By offering your opinions and expertise  by writing an article or being a guest blogger is a great way to boost your business.  It will attract new customers and show that you are a leader in your field.
Articles offering hints and tips, best practices, questions and answers or case studes always prove interesting to the reader.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Do you have your own online shop? Then read on....

Do you have your own online shop?

If you do, then you'll want to read this.....

If you have your own website, are adding products to a shopping system, such as Etsy or Folksy or even advertising your online shop this is a blog for you

Tips to improve and to gain your customer's attention

Proof read what you have written

You know what it's like when you see typing errors on a website, an ad or an article - the author loses credibility.  Don't make this mistake! 
When you are writing, make sure it is grammatically correct and error-free.  Automatically read it back and often read it out loud to yourself to ensure it sounds correct too. 

Even a small mistake can cause mistrust and lose you a shopper.  If you take the extra bit of time to double check what you have written then your customers will have more trust in you.

Improve your SEO

If you don't know what SEO is, then you most definitely need to read this next tip!
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation.  You could have the best website / online shop in the world, but if no-one can find it then it's all a waste of your time.

Increase your chances of being found with potential customers search online by reviewing your page titles for every page of your website or shop.  Keep the following in mind:

  • When customers search, your page title appears in the first line of the search results, so make them interesting enough for customers to want to click.
  • Ensure the search engines can find them, by making them descriptive and including terms within them that you'd like to be found for
  • Write a different page title for every product in your online shop or for your own website

My experience of SEO stems from having my own website and online shop for my handmade silver jewellery and developing my knowledge over the last 6 or 7 years whilst I have been running it.