It all started six years ago; that's right, we're celebrating the jWAG's 6th anniversary today with the ambitious and philanthropic mission to surface our research about the internet and how the jewelry industry could best use technology to improve their business.
When my business partner and I launched the Jeweler Website Advisory Group (jWAG), we never expected it to blossom into the resource that is now referenced by so many people, even outside the jewelry industry. Originally, we expected a vast production of videos, eBooks, and seminars would be the main resource made available through jWAG, but it turned out that these Daily Golden Nuggets were far easier to produce, and better received anyway.
I'm continually humbled by each thank you email we receive and am flattered by the interview requests that come in from trade publications like JCK, Instore Magazine, and Centurion Network News. With permission, Centurion sometimes republishes one of these Nuggets, and I was extremely honored to be included in Rob Bates' list of 45 of the Year's Best Jewelry Reads That Didn't Appear on JCKonline.
Speaking of Rob Bates, he and I were both given honorary inclusion in Andreas Hill's prestigious list of "Women With Pens" in her post Content is the New Branding and #WomenWithPens.
It was an exciting 2015!
I've focused on the jewelry industry since 2003, and I've watched it shrink quite a bit in that time. We can point fingers at plenty of reasons for the industry contractions like the economy and changes in the average marriage age, and a plethora of other reasons, or should I say excuses.
Some people will complain about losing customers and eventually close their doors while others will pay attention and figure out where their customers went and put their marketing message back in front of them. The jWAG mission is to provide some insights as to where the customers are going and what technology they are using so a jeweler can continue to thrive no matter what the economy is doing.
I've studied a lot of different jewelry marketing techniques since 2003, compared them to techniques from decades ago, and come up with ways to apply the working techniques on new technology. I feel pretty strongly that the emotional triggers that convince people to buy jewelry haven't changed in a very long time; only the method of delivery has changed with technology.
Naturally, I keep track of the most popular Daily Golden Nuggets on this website. The two most popular posts with more than 300,000 views, are Reasons Why HTML 3 is Better than HTML 5 and Examples of Link Building and Bad Blog Comments. Several posts about link building are in the top 10 list of most popular post, and to my surprise, my first post way back on Jul 26, 2010 titled Google Maps can drive visitors directly to your doorstep, literally maintains as the 10th most popular Nugget I've ever written.
The most popular Nuggets are either technical or have specific how-to steps that anyone from any industry can follow. It's obvious to me that more than just the jewelry industry is reading.
My team and I are also sharing the Nuggets to friends and family who need help with their website but are looking to do it themselves. I realized this early on, which is why I'm always so careful to specify that my data specifically applies to the jewelry industry. Nevertheless, the techniques and concepts do apply to all businesses.
Cathi Wilson, one of my associates, has the unending task of sharing each of these Nuggets to social media for me. She recently told me that she's always referring her own non-jewelry friends to this resource, and one in particular used jWAG to help guide the opening of her website in December 2015.
As I said, the underlying emotional triggers that power a good marketing campaign have not changed in decades; only the method of delivery has changed. Every time I sit down to write a new Daily Golden Nugget, I ask myself if the topic is worth writing about, and if it will help whoever reads it.
I'd like to hear from those of you who have read and employed he topics found on jWAG. I'd like to know if something worked or not, and how you changed it to meet your specific needs. If you've benefited, please reach out.
Where We've Come From
The Jeweler Website Advisory Group was born during the Great Recession as a way to offer new marketing methods for those who were willing to try whatever it took to rescue their business. Some took the knowledge, and some just shrugged it off. I do my best to only write about specific experiences, scientific observations, and results that I've been able to reproduce.
Although the original mission was to write about website technology, the Internet of Things has erased the line between your website and the rest of your business, and so we've been able to extend what we write about to include business topics, profit control, product and inventory management, and customer relations.
Our own customer experiences are a big driving force behind many of the Daily Nuggets now. As we all know, the jewelry industry is a little slow to adopt new ideas and new technology. Whenever I have one of those moments where I scratch-my-head-wondering-why-things-are-still-done-the-old-fashion-way, I know I've found a new topic to write about.
Where We're Going
Honestly, I don't know where all this is going. At the moment, Google pretty much controls the internet. Every time a Google engineer sneezes, we all worry if our website house of cards will come crashing down. Website ranking is so delicate, yet I've also come to realize that what we do online needs to be more than just a house of cards.
As a business owner, you know that you need to find a great way to get your message in front of potential customers, and you're willing to take short cuts to do that. Those shortcuts come in the form of a quick email campaign or a one-off advertisement without any long term planning. Those shortcuts are your proverbial house of two-dimensional cards. While they might look good from the front, there's no long term sustenance that build a relationship between your business and your customers.
Not only can your business be disrupted by a Google sneeze, but it can be disrupted by every one of your competitors that dreams up a similar one-off advertisement.
So where are we going? The internet has already become the new vehicle that drives your brand loyalty. How you use your website, what you publish online, and the customer service you provide through social methods are all part of your new brand building and customer loyalty process. Google is working on ways to measure your efforts and will highly rank everyone who figured out how to make their customer happy by using the Internet of Things.
Stay tuned; I'll keep reporting on every little aspect that will help you achieve your local customer loyalty via internet usage.
Specific Thank Yous
There are times when this writing and research process really takes a toll on me. Every time I hit a low point someone unexpected provides encouragement, or I get a thank you, or an unexpected accolade that reminds me I'm not shouting to an empty room. I really need to thank a number of people who have provided their love and support over the last 12 months, without whom I might have quit by now. In no particular order I extend my very special thanks to: Peggy Jo Donahue, Cindy Edelstein, Hedda Schupak, Andrea Hill, Barbara Palumbo, Caroline Stanley, Michael Coan, Eugene Brill, Diane Warga-Arias, Susan Thea Posnock, Kristin Kopaz, Corrie Silvia Berry, Rod Worley, and last, but certainly not least, Mike Michalowicz. I'm sure I've forgotten to mention other specific industry peers, but know that I appreciate your support.
Speaking of support, I've heard from a lot of readers over the last year, and I've received a lot of good questions that because source material for Daily Nuggets. I'd like to specifically thank Jocelyn P., David L., Bob M., Steve K., Caroline T., and Carlos G.
A BIG THANK YOU goes out to my business partner George Blair IV for always providing valuable feedback and editing every one of these Daily Golden Nuggets.
Let's continue the jWAG journey...