October 6, 2016

How to Grow Your Jewelry Business with Kiva O% Interest Loans

Have you ever had to wait to purchase more inventory, or delay working on a new order, because you were waiting for a payment to come through? Cash-flow is always a challenge for entrepreneurs, and Kiva is here to help.

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WHO IS KIVA?

Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through funding to alleviate poverty. Kiva U.S. provides 0% interest loans to small business owners all over the United States. The loans are crowdfunded on the Kiva website by lenders from all over the world. It was originally launched as a pilot in November 2011 under the name Kiva Zip, and was integrated with the main Kiva platform in June 2016. To date, Kiva has lent over $850 million dollars to over 1.5 million entrepreneurs around the world through a global network of over a million lenders.  Learn more about Kiva here.

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WHO IS ELIGIBLE for a KIVA LOAN?

Kiva is for any entrepreneur who can use a 0% interest loan to help take his or her business to the next level.  “Because we don’t look at extensive financial data about you or your business, it’s our hope that we accept everyone that’s serious about their business and our crowdfunding program.”  Whether you’re in the idea phase, start-up mode, or an established business, Kiva could be a great option for you. Entrepreneurs can raise money for any business purpose — working capital, equipment, inventory, marketing, or project-based investments are all ways you can leverage Kiva to help your business grow.”

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WHY might KIVA be right for YOU?

This is your opportunity to grow your business by accessing this great source of capital at 0% Interest and NO Fees! Get in on the ground floor of this exciting new domestic program.

So what are you waiting for? Apply Today!

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July 8, 2016

Building Community, Bead and Button Shines a Spotlight on Nina Designs

Nina Designs is honored to be featured in one of our favorite jewelry making publications, Bead and Button Magazine. The profile, “Building Community, Nina Cooper strives to make the world a better place, one finding at a time,” is beautifully written by Julia Gerlach and can be found in the “Spotlight” section of August 2016 Issue of Bead and Buttonwhich is available on newsstands now! It focuses on Nina’s efforts to create a supportive work environment, lessen our carbon footprint as a business, and help women entrepreneurs and artisans through microloans.

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It is a fascinating read that we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss because this isn’t just a shout out for Nina Designs, it’s also about you. When you purchase from Nina Designs, you aren’t just getting the best quality jewelry components and top notch customer service – you are also helping us to make the world a better place! Honestly, we couldn’t do it without you!

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So, if you haven’t read Bead and Button Magazine, we encourage you to check it out! It is published 6 times a year and features amazing “How To” projects as well as wonderful articles that remind us that maybe we can “make the world a better place, one finding at a time.”

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January 19, 2015

Launch Your Jewelry Business: Live Webinar with Nina!

Wondering how you can turn all of your fabulous jewelry designs and ideas into an actual business? Look no further, Nina has all of the tips and steps you need to take your love for jewelry to the next level. Follow along during a live web seminar to hear ten tips on how to take the next step in making your jewelry dreams a reality.

Nina has over 30 years of experience in running her own business, and wants to share her tips for success with you! During this web seminar you will learn:

  • If you could and should launch your own jewelry business.
  • A detailed jewelry business plan, from book keeping to pricing, branding and marketing
  • How to have the confidence you need for successfully starting a jewelry business & more!

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Sign up here to register for this exciting web seminar hosted by Nina. There will also be a live question and answer period at the end of her presentation, so have questions ready to ask to get an expert’s opinion!

April 10, 2014

Facebook for Jewelry :: Advertising :: Step 5 of 5

Filed under: Jewelry Business Tips — Tags: , , @ 10:00 am

Facebook advertising sometimes gets a bad rap, but we have found it extremely helpful in building our fan base.  Facebook ads are really easy to set up!

We like to run two ads simultaneously with only one small difference and see which version is most successful. Then we take that version and test a new change.  This is called A B Testing, and it’s very effective. An ad for our silver wing had almost 1,000 more page likes than our ad for a gold tree. Guess which one we kept?

Popular wisdom is that photos of smiling women get the most clicks but we have found that a close up beauty shot of one of our most popular charms is most effective.  You only have 135 characters of text, so get right to the point and always include a call to action.

With ads, you can target specific groups of people, including people who already like some of your successful competitors. This feature helps ensure that people who see your ad might really be interested in your jewelry. You will have a choice of pay per impression, or pay per click. We chose per click.

We recently used Facebook Insights to refine our advertising strategy. We were able to see that while many younger women view our posts, most of our engagement is from women 25-64, so we decided to restrict our Facebook Ads to that demographic.

You can also limit the geographic scope of who sees your ads. Interestingly, we found we got many more likes when we increased our range from just the US to include Canada, Europe and Asia.

The timing of when you start an ad campaign is also important. We found that if we launched on a Friday, we got terrible results because the ads just sit over the weekend and there is no momentum built. If we launch on a Tuesday, we get dramatically more traction.

Promoting Posts is another way to amplify your message. Facebook only shows routine posts to a fraction of your fan base but you can pay to promote a post, which means more people will see it. You can choose your budget and who you want to promote to. We are very selective about which posts we promote. Usually, we only promote posts that directly impact our revenue like messages about special sales or new products.

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I know the numerous facets of Facebook can seem like a lot to tackle at first, but you’ll be a Facebook professional before you know it! I hope this series gave you some insight on where to start, and what works best.

April 7, 2014

Facebook for Jewelry :: Attract Fans :: Step 4 of 5

Filed under: Jewelry Business Tips — Tags: , , @ 10:00 am

It can be tricky to build a fan base when you first launch your site. Reach out to your existing customers and ask them to like your page! Make it easy for them to like you by adding Facebook “Follow Us” buttons to your website.

We did a sweepstakes and gave away an iPad within the first few months of launching our site and the campaign was very successful. You had to like us to enter the contest. This is called Fangating. It did not matter that most of the people liked us just to join the contest & were not necessarily interested in jewelry because almost everyone has a friend who makes jewelry and those friends were exposed to us as well when they saw that one of their friends liked our page. The same can be true for you as jewelry designers because half of the world is women, and most women love jewelry, so anybody who likes your page will most likely have lots of friends who love jewelry! We added a few thousand fans with that campaign. We followed up by giving away one jewelry charm a day for a month, which brought us fans who were specifically interested in jewelry.

Contests are a great way to build up a fan base but be careful! Facebook has strict rules about contests. Until recently you had to use a third party service to run them. They have eliminated this restriction but check the rules carefully before you proceed with a contest or sweepstake. There are state and federal regulations about sweepstakes and contests so we prefer to use a service called Shortstack to run ours. Shortstack also lets us schedule posts to several social media platforms at once, facilitates custom apps and enables fangating.

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Fangating can be part of an ongoing strategy to attract and keep fans. We often have a Facebook Special that you can only see after you like our page. This type of incentive can help persuade existing and perspective customers to follow you.

Advertising is another way to build your fan base.

To learn how to use Facebook Ads effectively, read my next post on “Facebook for Jewelry :: Advertising”.

April 3, 2014

Facebook for Jewelry :: When to Post :: Step 3 of 5

Filed under: Jewelry Business Tips — Tags: , , @ 10:00 am

How Often to Post

3-5 posts a day are often recommended but I have found that daunting. Our company aims for 2 to 3 posts a day, which seems to generate good results. Facebook has a system of ranking pages on engagement. They don’t automatically show all your posts to all your fans. (Which is very frustrating!) The percentage of people who see your posts depends on your ranking, which in turns is affected by factors like how often you post and how many people like or comment or share your posts. So, the more you post, the more people will see your posts.

Calendaring

I highly recommend that you set up a calendar to schedule when and what you plan to post. If you do this monthly it will save a HUGE amount of time. It is just incredibly more efficient to do one deep dive into Facebook posts than to sit down every day, get into the right head space and figure out what to post.  It also reduces the chance that you will get sucked down the Facebook rabbit hole and come up several hours later with nothing accomplished.

Once you have your monthly plan, you can actually schedule out some of the posts on Facebook itself using the little clock icon that appears under the status window when you post. Some posts you may need to drop in here and there as the information becomes available, like a photo from the company holiday party or event at work.

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Responsiveness

Facebook is social and interactive. To build a vibrant community you need to participate actively.  Check in as often as possible to respond to comments or inquiries. Several times a day is optimal, but if you can’t manage that, check in at least once a day.

For tips on building a following, meet me at “Facebook for Jewelry :: Attract Fans”!

 

March 31, 2014

Facebook for Jewelry :: What to Post :: Step 2 of 5

Filed under: Jewelry Business Tips — Tags: , , @ 10:00 am

Although it is tempting to flood Facebook with product information, limit sales messages to 15% of your posts. For ideas about what else to post, study the competition to see what they are posting and how much engagement they are generating. It can also be useful to look outside the jewelry industry at national brands with lots of staff and research and development money to see what they are doing.fb what to post

Content

Try to think of 2-3 subjects that your customers are most likely to be interested in. We have found that our customers really like inspirational sayings, cute animals and behind the scenes photos taken in our office. We often find posts on other pages and Share them with our fans. We also share information about jewelry and creativity. We get the highest number of likes and comments on posts that have nothing to do with our products but that is OK. The engagement helps our FB ranking, so more people see our New Styles or Special Sale notices when we do post them. It also makes our page a fun & entertaining place that people like to share and visit.

Images

Include great visuals with your posts. People respond much better to images than to text. Facebook photo posts get up to 120% more engagement than average posts.  If we have a message, we often convert it into a fun image before we post it. Pic Monkey is a fabulous free tool for this. It is super easy and quick, with almost no learning curve. You can upload a photo and add text to it, make a collage or just create a colorful poster for your message. If you have a message and no visual, include a link to a relevant website and Facebook will pull in an image from the page you link to.

Call to Action

Every post should have a call to action! Ask people clearly to share, like, comment or visit your website for more details!

Insights

Facebook is rolling out a fabulous new Insights feature that provides analytics in amazing detail. Don’t be afraid to explore! Aside from basic metrics, you can get valuable information about which posts are most effective so that you don’t waste your time.

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To create a consistent strategy for posting on Facebook, take a peek at “Facebook for Jewelry :: When to Post”.

March 28, 2014

Facebook for Jewelry :: Creating a Business page :: Step 1 of 5

Filed under: Jewelry Business Tips — Tags: , , @ 10:00 am

In Social Media Strategies for Jewelry :: Facebook :: Step 3 of 8, I made the case for setting up a Facebook Business Page with a few caveats. In this Series, I will give you important tips for creating a successful page. Please keep in mind that Facebook changes all the time! If you are reading this post long after it was originally published, some of the technical information may be out of date.

Let’s get started!

To begin, click “Create Page” on any business page in order to create your own. Once you do that, you will be guided through the set up process. Here are a few specs that are helpful to have up front:

Timeline Photo

Your Timeline cover photo should be 851X315 pixels for best results. There used to be prohibitions against having your website address on the image but now you can add your contact info as long as the image is less than 20% text.  To keep people engaged, change your cover photo often and make it as unique as possible!

Profile Photo

Your profile photo should be 180X180 pixels. This photo will represent you on Facebook. It is best to use a headshot or a very clear, iconic product shot that will look good when small. Keep in mind that the profile photo will appear embedded in your timeline cover photo as well as next to all of your posts. Test a few different images to see which looks great in both places.

Apps

There are four App Boxes visible on your page. The first one is always for your photos but the next three can be customized for things like Newsletter Sign Ups, Contests, and Special Events Announcements, like a Craft Show or Holiday Sale. You can even get apps that help you set up a store right on Facebook! Add a custom thumbnail for each App 111X74 pixels in size.

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To start developing your Facebook content, visit my next article “Facebook for Jewelry :: What to Post”