Yesterday, I gave you my list of predictions for 2014. Those predictions were things that might happen whether you want them to or not. Today, as we start a New Year, I want to give you a list of things that would make good New Year's resolutions for jewelers. Any one of these alone would help improve your business if you stick with it all year long.
1. Resolve to Get Employees Involved With Content Creation
Train all your employees to help with the content creation process. Photos, reviews, blogs... Every employee can help manage a small piece of the project. Every small piece eventually builds up to a large effort.
Unless you hire a full time employee to manage it, content creation is not a one-man effort. Odds are that you can't afford to pay an agency to do it all for you either, so get everyone involved.
2. Resolve to Improve Your Tracking
Don't just publish your offline ads blindly; track them using different domain names. Upgrade your website to Google's Universal Analytics to improve the features and reporting you have access to in there too. Then hire someone to help you figure out how to make sense of all this collected data.
3. Resolve to Add Content to Your Website That Helps Close Sales
Add any content to your website that could support your sales process. Ask yourself the following questions:
How many times have you explained the 4C's of diamonds to customers?
How many times have you told anecdotal stories to help make the sale?
Wouldn't it be great to have a library of photos of all the custom jewelry pieces you've ever made?
All this content should be added to your website and then presented to customers while they are in your store. Invest in an iPad or tablet to make those in-store presentations possible.
4. Resolve to Use Google AdWords Remarketing
Using Google AdWords Remarketing you are able to specifically advertise to the people who have already been to your website. This is the ultimate target marketing, and it's inexpensive. It's certainly much less expensive than the cost of running weekly 1/2 page ads in your local newspaper.
5. Resolve to Improve Training for Your Employees
This isn't exactly related to the internet, but overall sales. As the jewelry store owner you need to consider how your employees are interacting with customers face-to-face and re-train them for anything they are doing wrong. This includes simple things like the best ways to great customers as soon as they walk in the store; how to maintain a friendly and non confrontational tone of voice; or even how to keep a smile on your face and always seem fully interested in what the customer is saying.
Other than training your employees for normal operational procedures, have you ever tried to teach them the full range of sales tactics that you've learned yourself? Ask yourself who the best salesman in your store is; if that's you, then you need to somehow teach your employees your best tricks.
Your employees could also be lacking important product knowledge. Make sure your employees know all there is to know about what's in your showcases. It doesn't matter how simple that information is; just make sure they know it without having to look it up or look at a tag.
6. Resolve to Learn the Basic SEO Stuff
I somehow wish Google and Bing would secretly de-index all the old search engine optimization information that's still available on the internet. I get very disheartened every Friday as I write my website reviews and find that jewelers are still using Meta Keywords on all the pages of their website.
The basics of keywords, page titles, and meta descriptions are so easy to learn. Sadly, there's so much out of date information online that most jewelers looking for a quick website fix are more likely to believe the massive outdated information they find than the latest truths that are difficult to spot diamonds in the rough.
With all that bad information out there, how can you learn what you need to know? Well, you could browse through the 2012 and 2013 Nuggets on jwag.biz, or call me. You could also hire an SEM Professional who keeps up to date with the latest information. You can look at the SEO communities on Google+ to find someone.
7. Resolve to Take Small Steps Towards E-commerce
For small independent retail jewelers, the difficulties of setting up e-commerce still outweigh the benefits, but if you are going to spend the time to set up an online product catalog you might as well use a content management system with e-commerce built in.
Taking this approach will allow you to make small steps towards actual e-commerce without needing to reinvent the wheel when you are ready.
8. Resolve to Join and Use Google+
There's a lot of opportunity on Google+ that you could utilize to improve your store's visibility in search results, and interact with customers in new ways.
To help you get started, I'm going to dedicate the Monday edition of the Daily Golden Nugget to using Google+. These special Nuggets will continue through January 2014, perhaps longer.
9. Resolve to Broaden Your Internet Usage to Reach Larger Audiences
There are so many facets of internet marketing that it's impossible to find out about it all from a trade show seminar or from one of your jewelry industry peers. I've noticed that many independent jewelers have focused on attempts of Facebook marketing to the exclusion of other types of marketing. Others have dabbled with email marketing.
I rarely see a local independent jeweler who has expanded out of the typical social media comfort zone and experimented with different social networks.
Through 2014, you could help your business grow if you experiment with 1 new online method per month. In January you could join Google+. In February you could implement an email marketing list. March might be a good time to learn to blog. April is for Pinterest. May might be the month you experiment with Instagram. As June comes around, you could seriously try Twitter.
By the time we enter June 2014, there might be something new that you should try.
There are so many ways to attract customers that you shouldn't concentrate your marketing efforts on a single endeavor; use several in order to reach a broader audience.
10. Resolve to Spread the Word
Resolve to become more interactive with jWAG.
Assuming everything goes as planned; on May 23, 2014 this Daily Golden Nugget series will reach its 1000th post. My personal wish, which you can help with, is that I can generate more feedback from my readers (that's you!) and get more jewelers to notice this philanthropic effort I started so long ago.
When you remember, please share the Nuggets you find interesting with members of your state jewelers associations, or others in the industry that you are friends with.
Please look for my name on in the speaker list whenever you attend a jewelry conference. Feel free to introduce yourself as one of my regular readers; I enjoy meeting readers in person and getting direct feedback.