Advertising Your Jewelry Busines

Advertising is a way to make known, inform the public, call attention to oneself or business, praise the good qualities of a product, business, or service — all in order to promote sales. This is done through an advertisement, which is a public notice or announcement, as in a newspaper or magazine, over the radio, or on television.

Unlike publicity which is free, ads will cost you. And depending on where, how often, and the size of your ad, this cost can range anywhere from $15 for a small classified to thousands of dollars for a full page, full colour display ad.

Expense or Investment?

In the short-term—advertising is an expense, but in the long-term— it's an investment. While it must be treated as part of the cost of creating new sales, it is also an investment in future sales. The more people see your name and associate your name with your work the more confident they will be to purchase your products in the future.

In the continuing success of your business, advertising should be consider a form of investment. If people don't know about you, then you most likely won't make any sales. And like any investment, it will bring return in direct proportion to the care with which the money was invested.

What Advertising Does...

The purpose of advertising is to inform current and prospective customers about your services and your products. Advertising enables you to:

  • let people know you are in business,
  • attract attention,
  • showcase your products and services,
  • enhance your company's image and acts a continuous calling card,
  • promote new products,
  • help to register your business name in the minds of potential customers,
  • stimulate a desire and motivates the buyer,
  • create a need or desire for your products,
  • attract new customers.

Many craftspeople feel that they don't sell enough at the retail level to pay the expense of advertising. This is true if you only do a few craft shows a year. But if you hold an open house in your studio or hold any holiday boutiques, craft shows, exhibits, etc., then you will want to have some advertising to bring people to your events.

As well as using advertising to attract customers for retail sales and events, you could also use it to attract wholesale buyers locally and outside your area — both through advertisements and direct mail.

For the craft entrepreneur there are three ways of advertising your business: Classified Ads, Display Ads, and Direct Mail. Let's look at each one in more detail.

Classified Advertising

We all see classified ads in the daily paper, they are generally placed under the appropriate headings such as cars, antiques, help wanted, houses for rent, etc. The cost for a classified ad is based on the number of words used and number of times the ad is run.

If used properly, classified advertising is the easiest and cheapest way to get started. The difference between having an ad in the newspaper or in a magazine, is that newspapers are thrown away daily. Where as a magazine is more lasting — it is usually saved and passed around for months after publication. And because magazines are usually specialized you are able to target your market.

Whether you have a classified ad in a newspaper, magazine or newsletter, you will be using what is called a one-step or two-step approach. The one-step approach tells you about a product and then asks you to send money to receive it. For example:

  • Handcrafted Bead Necklace. Designed
  • with hand blown glass beads, measures
  • about 24". Free matching earrings. Satisfaction
  • Guaranteed. $75. The Handcrafted Jeweler;
  • 1260 Little St, Toronto, Ont, K7K 5P8

This type of ad usually receives very little response. Who would send $75 for an item that they have never seen, made by someone they don't know, and from the description, really has no idea what the product looks like?

The one-step approach will work if the ad features a low-priced item, a simple-to-understand product requiring little explanation and can be so worded as to persuade prospects to send money immediately. Patterns, kits and supplies sell well through a one-step approach.

But, if the item is costly (over $50) and requires further explanation before a sale can be completed, then, the classified ad should be used to "whet the appetite" and arouse interest to the point that the prospects are prompted to inquire for further details. This is called a two-step approach. For example:

  • Designer Bead Necklaces. Created
  • with exotic hand blown glass beads by Bead
  • Artist, Elizabeth Spencer. Over 30 designs,
  • free catalogue. Elizabeth Spencer;
  • 1260 Little St, Toronto, Ont, K7K 5P8

This ad describes the product just enough to spark your interest in finding out more about it. If you were at all interested in bead necklaces, you probably would send away for the free catalogue to see what they actually look like. What have you got to lose? For the cost of a postage stamp you can get more information on these designer necklaces to see what is so special about them, and make up your mind at your leisure, with no obligation.

In using a two-step ad to sell your products you would mail out a complete description of your products to anyone who responds to your ad. The descriptive materials (which should include a sales letter, a brochure or catalogue describing you product(s) in more detail, and an order form asking for money), are your real selling tools. The classified ad is only used to get people who are mildly interested in your product to send for more information.

Display Advertising

Every time you open a magazine or newspaper, or drive down the street looking at billboards—you see advertisements of a product by showing a picture accompanied by a small amount of text. Candy ads, cigarette ads, liquor ads, car ads, perfume ads—all are display ads. These types of display ads are just reminders that the product has desirable features that you should sample the next time you are at the store, or why its better to pick their brand if you are shopping for a particular item.

Of course your advertising budget isn't going to afford such extravagant or lavish display ads as those of billion-dollar companies. But at the same time, your product, unknown to the general public, must be advertised boldly so that the casual reader will suddenly stop to admire the article as their eyes are arrested by a picture or a headline. They then read what is said about the product or event, become convinced that it will benefit them, and be persuaded to either order it, attend the event or visit your studio.

Designing Display Ads

As you can attest when you open up any newspaper or magazine, there are many ads throughout and the competition to attract the readers attention is plenty. It is important, therefore, that your ad stands out and catches the viewer's eye.

Your first step in designing an ad is to start collecting and studying other ads from various publications. Pay special attention to ads that have been running issue after issue — because you know the advertiser is making money, or else they wouldn't be putting out big bucks for advertising space.

Advertising rates will depend on the publication itself and on the size and quality of its circulation audience. In general, advertising is much more expensive than most people realize. For example, a full-page, full-colour magazine ad might run you $40,000 while an eighth of a page in a large daily newspaper might run you $200. In most cases, you will want to start out running small ads of about one-twelfth to one-sixth of a black and white page, this is about the cheapest you can get, next to a classified ad.

What Constitutes a Good Ad?

Your display ad must sell. To entice people to buy or react, you must create an exciting visual image for your readers. You must let them know how they can benefit from owning your product or attending your event. Your display ad should suggest that your merchandise will give pleasure, comfort, improved appearance, prestige, convenience or some other addition to the consumer's life. For an event, your ad should suggest the event will give the customer a memorable experience, they will find products and services there that are of superior quality, unique and different. A good display ad for a product should convey the message "Buy Me"; and for an event "Come on Out". This can be accomplished most effectively by leading the customer through the five steps of a sale with your advertisement copy. These five steps are:

  1. Attract attention - with a headline or picture to get the reader's attention.
  2. Arouse interest - by containing information to make your reader think, to appeal to their emotions, and to persuade them to buy or attend.
  3. Create desire - inform your readers of the qualities and benefits of your product, why they should have or need this item. Don't just list feature after feature about your product. Your reader wants to know how they can benefit from having or owning it, not just what it can do or what it looks like, but what it can do for them. Be dynamic, exciting and specific. For an event, inform them of benefits of attending, let them feel that it will be an experience they won't want to miss. Use key words and keep your copy easy to read in short words, sentences and paragraphs.
  4. Win confidence - by presenting logical facts showing that the reader will benefit by the purchase of a product or the attendance of an event. Mention quality, the workmanship, qualifications, testimonials, free parking, babysitting services, etc. Build your credibility.
  5. Close - or get the reader to act. This is a very important part of your ad. You must tell the reader where and how they can either order the merchandise or send for more information. You must get them to act NOW, by including incentives, a limited time offer or available quantities, or a discount coupon. If you are sending out direct mail pieces always include an order form suggesting that they "act now" or "send today". If it's an event give the dates and times it will be happening.

Look at your product critically and analyze its benefits and weak selling points. It's not enough to say "Here's what I offer, folks, and it's just great! Now send me your order." All you are doing here is telling them about the features. You must stress how the prospect can benefit from having this product or why he needs it. Your prospects are going to read your ad or your other printed materials looking for the "what's-in-it-for-me benefits."

In preparing an advertisement, its your job to figure out how your product or event will benefit the readers, then translate those benefits into words or key phrases.

Composition of a Display Ad

  • The Headline

    The most important part of your ad is the headline. The purpose of the headline is to get the reader's attention and arouse curiosity to lead him or her into the more detailed information. In many cases, the headline may merely be the name of the product where the name is self-explanatory. Or, if your company is well known for quality crafts, you could have your company name for the headline, then the reader will read on to see what new products you are offering. Remember if you can't get the reader's attention, the rest of the ad will not be read— no matter how good it is. The headline should be in bold print, a larger and different typestyle than the rest of the ad.

    To better gain your reader's attention use your headline to illustrate or emphasize the ultimate benefit of the product, pose a question, or use an attention grabbing statement. Look through any consumer magazine that contains display ads and you'll notice that several headlines use such action verbs as Get, Be, Save, Make, Win, or Start. All these words suggest benefits of one kind or another.

  • Detailed Information

    This is the smaller print in your ad, but still important. Here you describe the item and all the product information the customer should have and where they can get it. If it is an ad for a mail order product then include such information as size, material, colour, workmanship, and it's price. For an event, tell them what they will find there, where it is, and when. Clearly explain the main benefits and then the features of the product or event, and tell the reader where he or she can send away for it or how to get there. Remember, just to say you have a new product or a special event isn't enough — you have to let your prospects know how they can benefit from it, why your product or event is better, and persuade them to feel that they need it or that they should come out.

  • Pictures and Drawings

    Your ad should always have a picture or drawing of your product because, unlike a retailer who is selling the actual physical product giving the customer a chance to examine it, you are selling the picture or drawing. If you are advertising an event you may want to use a logo or some kind of graphic just to add a little pizzazz to your ad. You should also use a complementing border around your whole ad, this helps in getting the readers attention as well as distinguishing or separating your ad from all the other ones on the page.

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