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Life of a Jewelry Designer: Social Media Marketing

By Michelle Ecker on August 10, 2015

Serena Van Rensselaer was originally a student of Art History and Cultural Anthropology, but while studying abroad in San Miguel D’Allende, she discovered her untapped passion and aptitude for jewelry design. She is now an inspired creator, perceptive businesswomen and shrewd gallery manager in Manhattan’s picturesque Soho neighborhood. We recently visited Serena’s gallery and spent the afternoon speaking with her about the industry.

Here is part six of our series, “Life of a Jewelry Designer.”

Life of a Jewelry Designer: Social Media Marketing

Although every student enters our school equipped with creative vision and artistic flair, many struggle with the promotional aspect of the industry.

We understand how frustrating this can be from the perspective of someone who just wants to be an artist, not an ad agent. But without self-promotion, beautiful jewelry could go unnoticed. Hours spent wire wrapping, bead stringing and thread knotting could easily feel fruitless if the finished products then sit in a studio, unappreciated.

Considering this reality, successful stylists cannot allow themselves to end the artistic process as soon as they’ve finished creating their accessories. Ideally, a thorough designer’s work is only halfway finished at that point.

Life of a Jewelry Designer: Social Media Marketing

Before she became an instructor, Serena remembers her initial eagerness to work with our students on not only assembling their design visions, but establishing those promotional personas as well.

“I could see that NYIAD’s curriculum focused on display and photography from the beginning, and I thought that was so important,” she shared. “Other schools I looked at taught students how to make things, but never to sell them.”

Throughout our jewelry design course, students consistently practice portfolio development and photography. “Each unit has a photo assignment in which careful pictures are taken of the work we just created,” she explained.

But once that photography collection has been assembled, it’s important to learn the proper techniques for sharing it. Without a following of supporters, it’s difficult to create a recognizable name for the jewelry in those pictures.

Perhaps the easiest way to make those strides is to master the growing art of social media management.

Life of a Jewelry Designer: Social Media Marketing

728 million people go on Facebook every day. 100 million go on Twitter, and 75 million go on Instagram. It’s essential and arguably simple to capitalize on these figures. Social media promotion is completely free, and if done correctly, can fast-track a small business market to a pervasive level of global recognition.

Because of its relative newness, many people struggle to maintain an established presence on social media because they’re not completely familiar with the appropriate protocol. Inconsistent posting habits, poor content curation and lack of interactivity are all faults that can lead to said marketing failure. To prevent these errors, be mindful of the following guidelines:

  1. Be consistent.
    • a. Develop a routine of sharing. Regularity in posting gives followers an impression of stability and organization, which are important assets to demonstrate to prospective customers.
      • i. A practical way to ensure this is to create a simple schedule. With the development of tools such as Hootsuite, users can prematurely program content to be shared on the social media platforms of their choice throughout the week (or month, or year).
    • b. To start, try committing to a schedule of 2 Facebook posts, 3 tweets and 1 Instagram share per day. This is an achievable number to maintain and a wonderful starting point for growing designers. If you obligate this simple schedule, you’ll quickly begin to see more follower interaction and growth.
  2. Mix it up.
    • a. Don’t just share your own work! It can easily feel repetitive and monotonous for fans who may then unfollow you.
    • b. Browse the internet for a few minutes. Find relevant content, and share it in addition to your work to create a harmonious balance.
      • i. For example, you could post a fashion magazine’s editorial round-up of the best accessories seen at a certain Red Carpet event. Share your own opinion or an artistic review along with it. This shows fans that you’re actively involved in the industry and attentive to modern styles and trends.
    • c. As a ballpark recommendation, try sharing 70% personal work and 30% outside content. It’s important for followers to realize that your work is the primary feature of your social media (hence the skewed ratio), but that 30% inflection can effectively tip the scale towards a more linear balance overall.
  3. Include visuals.
    • a. Photography is extremely important, especially when you’re promoting creative work. If you don’t consistently include images with your posts, people will have no way of understanding the work you’re trying to discuss.
      • i. If you’re unsure how to begin this process, check out the previous installment of the series for some pointers.
  4. Interact.
    • a. If someone comments on one of your posts or messages you, respond to them!
      • i. Many people often forget to keep the ‘social’ in social media. Fans quickly lose interest when they feel overlooked or ignored.
  5. Know when to mediate.
    • a. Some page management may include arbitration and judgment on your part. If someone comments something offensive about your work, hide their post! At the end of the day, the page is yours. You don’t have to keep comments that reflect poorly on the hard work you’ve done.
  6. Expand your audience.
    • a. Remember, your shared content should relate to as many people as possible- not just existing fans who are already familiar with you and your work. Try putting yourself in the user’s shoes. Ask yourself, “If I saw this post on my Facebook feed, would I like it? Would I want to click on it and read more?”

Once you establish this routine and find a comfortable social media groove, online marketing will come easy to you. And once it does, remember to reach out to NYIAD! We’re constantly checking our social media and are always excited for the chance to help you grow by sharing your latest work.

Want to learn more? The New York Institute of Art and Design offers an online jewelry making course that can teach you how to create and sell your own unique line of jewelry. Request your free course catalog today!

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