From what I have learned about marketing, one of the the first steps is being ready. Not ready to quit your day job or ready to sell a zillion widgets. But having a site that is ready to receive the traffic your marketing efforts will try to drive in. This means having a product that meets a need or is unique enough in some way for you to differentiate it from everything else out there flooding the market.
And it means having a website with a look that showcases your branding or style. And excellent photos. And well written text. The list goes on. I’m not saying you have to have everything perfect before you can open shop. You don’t. You do the best you can with what you know at the time and continually work on improving it.
I am writing this post because I’m having some problems in the area of being ready. I think I have a good product. I’ve worked hard to improve my jewelry and continue to work at it. Where I think I am having a problem is in setting the overall tone of my shop. I think this is because there is a lack of consistency in my photos.
I knew something wasn’t quite right but I couldn’t quite articulate it until I read this post by Sparrow Salvage – someone who’s work and blog I think a lot of. No matter what you sell, take the time to read it. It is just excellent. She divides photo backgrounds into four categories and I realized that some of my inconsistencies stem from the fact that I’m using three of them – all at once.
This happened because I was trying to take pictures that catered to the needs of each individual piece without knowing how to do that and also keep the consistency and mood of the overall shop the same. If I had a light piece of jewelry, I would use a dark background and vice versa for a dark piece. When that got too cluttered looking, I tried to shoot more pieces on white. After looking at the results of that, I came to the conclusion that unless you have a way to make all of the white backgrounds the same white and you have a product that doesn’t look sterile or cold on all white – avoid it. What her blog post did was help me see how to feature each piece and still have a cohesive whole. I cannot thank her enough. So, it’s back to working on photos for me. I plan to post “after” shots. And if anything I learn along the way helps someone else, I’m happy to pay it forward.