Book Review
Making beautiful jewelry is one thing but selling it is quite another. Promotion is key. Most jewelry artisans do not possess large marketing budgets so social networking is a vital form of cost-effective advertising.

Getting new contacts via your own local social network is a good start. Last week, I blogged about a social networking event we took part in where a group of different local businesses pooled their individual customer bases and created opportunities to meet potential new clients.

Social networking online however, requires new approaches. You'd think with the internet, a vast ocean of customers would be stumbling over a jewelry website or blog, but the reality is, they won't because they don't know it exists.

If you're new at this game and wondering how and where you should get started, wonder no more! A new book just published by Rena Klingenberg of Home Jewelry Business Success Tips (link no longer available)  addresses those issues specifically for jewelry artisans. Rena contacted me recently and asked me to review it : Social Networking : Sell Your Jewelry Online the New Way(link no longer available) .

The book does cover a lot of ground - from niche marketing, to social sites, linking (social bookmarks), forums, blogs as an important social marketing tool and even satellite sites like Squidoo. Rena pretty well covers the major sites to target. She also includes invaluable tips and the dos and don'ts when social marketing. A couple of bonus sections are also part of the book - Guide to Setting Up Your Successful Online Jewelry Business and a Social Marketing checklist. Bear in mind, doing social networking online does require a certain comfort level with using computers and being on the internet.

This 190 page book is a culmination of a lot of time spent not just writing it (3 months) but doing the research which took her a few years. It took me over a year of online research and social networking to figure out on my own how to promote my blog. Yet, Rena still had tips I didn't know about. And I am pretty sure I don't have the circulation Rena has for her website!

So I do recommend it and you will see my positive verdict on the book's promotional page. It is very useful for anyone who hasn't a clue what to do or is still very new at it and can't afford the time to research it all. The book is available either electronically or in printed form (plus shipping) and has been priced at $39. This is a lot more than most pdf books I have seen. But that has to be balanced against the time you are willing to spare learning how to do online social networking on your own. Would you rather make jewelry instead of spending hours and hours on the computer?

That said, online social marketing is in itself time-consuming. Rena's book is a comprehensive guide but remember, it is not possible to do everything because it can be overwhelming. My advice is to concentrate on the most effective social marketing techniques for you and the ones you enjoy doing most. Also remember that even with the best social marketing efforts, unless the website is attractive and inviting with good photos of gorgeous jewelry, the visitors will not stay to buy.

Note : Although I got to read her book, I did not receive payment for doing the review nor will I benefit from any book sales.
The Beading Gem's Journal