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Create a Marketing Machine with a Blog

Once you build momentum over several months, you’ll start to see the fruits.

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EVERY JEWELER GOES through a phase when they’re obsessed with Google. It dawns on them that everyone uses Google for everything. But they have to dig to find their own site after trying a search. A blog isn’t just a way to address this. It’s a certified marketing machine.

Blogs Give Google What They Want

Earlier this month, Google wrote a blog post that included tips about how to rank well. They used the word “content” 45 times. A typical jewelry website has a page for each type of jewelry sold and maybe a few more pages covering related topics like diamond education. You might have one or two dozen pages that probably don’t have all that much text on them. Contrast that with a blog, that easily racks up 52 pages just by posting once a week for a year. That’s two to four times as much content as what most jewelry sites rely on year after year.

How The Blog Machine Works on Google

Blogs are powerful marketing machines for SEO. They give Google lots of new content on a variety of topics. A single blog post on a jeweler’s site probably won’t rank for general terms with lots of search like “engagement rings”. It can rank, however, for a bunch of specific terms with less search like “best places to propose in [name your city]”. We’ve seen a jeweler get good traffic from a blog post on that topic. This is an easier way to introduce your brand to the exact same customer.

Jewelry store blogs have the ability to cover lots of different topics; topics that a future customer might search for during different stages along their path to buying. This way you’re introducing your store and brand to future customers earlier in the process. By the time they’re ready to buy, they already know who you are and have found your website helpful.

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Other Places The Blog Machine Works

Having lots of great content regularly posted on your site is a dream scenario for marketing. Every blog post that goes up is a new opportunity to talk to your customers. You can share the new post on social media and send an email to your list too. With regular blogging, you’ll find that some of the same customers will come back week after week to see what’s new in the blog. This is a fantastic way to stay top of mind and encourage sales.

How To Build Your Jewelry Blog

And we do mean build. Each post in your blog is like adding a brick to a house. Over time you’ll have a strong foundation and a respectable presence. Google will notice your site more and will reward you for having lots of rich, relevant content for them to show searchers, but it takes time.

Start by making a list of topics you want to cover. Here are some topics to write about:

  • Jewelry tips
  • Store events
  • Local events
  • Fashion trends
  • Birthstones
  • “Did you know” type of information
  • What you do and why you do it (could be things you sell, recommendations you make, etc.)

Beyond this list, look to Google trends for ideas about what people are searching for online. Try comparing a couple of ideas and seeing which is more popular. Also, after you do a search on Google, check out the bottom of the page. They’ll show you related searches. These serve as good variations or alternate topics to consider.

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Build Momentum and Enjoy the Ride

Blogging is a long game, but once you build momentum over several months, you’ll start to see the fruits. To build momentum, blog regularly. Do it weekly if you can, monthly if you must. Consider splitting up the work among multiple authors to make it manageable. But know that you’re building up an asset that will last for years and years and can quickly become your unfair advantage.

Charles Pobee-Mensah is the director of digital marketing for Fruchtman Marketing. Contact suits@fruchtman.com.

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Columns

Where Did All My Profits Go?

Understanding cash flow vs. profit can affect how you manage your business.

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A COMMON COMPLAINT FROM retailers after the CPA has completed the end of year financials is, “Where is the money?” Often, they have reported a healthy profit (which also leads to a bigger tax liability to the IRS), yet their bank account never seems to reflect the profit the business makes.

It’s a common issue. Most store owners expect their profit to show up in the bank account — and that’s perfectly understandable. After all, profit is supposed to be what you have left after paying your operating costs and vendors. Yet, rarely does it align.

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The reality is that cash flow and profits are two different things. Cash flow reflects the ins and outs of your bank account over a period of time. Profit is about your income and the expenses that relate to that income. That means the expenses don’t necessarily line up with when you paid them.

One of the best examples of this is the inventory you buy. For instance, let’s say Bob’s business does $1 million in sales for the year. With a keystone markup, Bob makes a gross profit of $500,000 from his business. After expenses of $400,000, his net profit is $100,000.

The bank account tells a very different story. Although the cost of goods sold is $500,000, Bob didn’t necessarily spend that much on inventory for the year. If he spent $600,000 on inventory purchases, he would have increased his inventory holding by $100,000. However, he didn’t sell the extra inventory, and therefore, it doesn’t pay for itself, but it will still come out of his bank account!

Timing is another important factor in paying vendors, too. Whether you pay your vendors immediately or pay the amount six months later, this will affect your bank balance, but it won’t affect your profit — the item is an expense when you sell it, not when you pay your vendor.

Your bank account can also be affected by assets that you buy. A new vehicle that is deemed a business asset may leave a hole in your bank account now if you pay cash, but as a business asset, its cost will be spread over several years to reflect when it is used. Your profit will look healthier than your bank account in this situation.

Of course, another factor to consider is personal spending. Withdrawing a good deal of money from your business account to support your lifestyle isn’t a business expense and won’t decrease your profit. It will, however, certainly lower the balance of your bank account.

It’s important to understand this difference between cash flow and profit so you don’t get caught spending money you don’t have.

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Editor's Note

Why The Big Survey Should Be Invaluable to Business Planning

When 800 store owners talk, you should listen.

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WE CALL OUR ANNUAL survey “The Big Survey” because we ask so many questions of respondents, but it’s also big because so many of you participate — more than 800 of you, in fact. And that makes the results incredibly valuable.
They’re so valuable that when I’m asked to speak to industry organizations, I often use the results to illustrate any number of points. For instance, I recently spoke to a group about how millennials are disrupting jewelry retail. I went back to last year’s Big Survey to reference this fascinating result: 51 percent of stores who were thriving said that the rise of millennials has been good for business, while only 18 percent of stores who were struggling said the same.
It’s questions (and results) like these that make The Big Survey so indispensable when charting the future of your business. In this case, it’s clear that if your store doesn’t cater to the needs of millennials, you’re more likely to struggle.

This year’s survey includes results like:

  • the best-performing jewelry and watch brands
  • salary comparisons for owners and staff
  • the “dark arts” of streetwise jewelers
  • the most impactful tech for jewelry store owners

And much, much more! I hope you’ll read this year’s survey not only for the fun bits and responses that make you go “huh,” but also for the takeaways that could set you up for future success.

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE
trace@smartworkmedia.com

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

1. Remove store fixtures that are too tall to allow shoppers to look across and take in your store. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 26)
2. Make sure your staff is fully aware of what holiday promotions will run when. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 26)
3. Always ask prospective employees, “What was the best day at work you’ve had in the past three months?” (Ask INSTORE, p. 70)
4. After any holiday sale, ask the client, “How many others are on your list?” (Shane Decker, p. 70)
5. Attend local small-business meetings to search out possible cross-marketing opportunities. (Cool Stores, p. 76)

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Commentary: The Business

Sometimes Firing a Jewelry Customer Is For the Best … And Here’s a Perfect Example

This client’s phone manners left something to be desired.

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Laurelle Giesbrecht of French’s Jewellery says her daughter Heidi, now 15, is not afraid to answer the phone despite what happened and calls it “a learning experience.”

WHILE VISITING A great friend and store owner, Laurelle Giesbrecht of French’s Jewellery in Alberta, Canada, we were commiserating over coffee. I have always loved hearing her stories about community involvement or win/win sales interactions. This time, she had a real doozy.

A customer had recently purchased a $300 ring for her daughter and had sent her back to the store for a free sizing. The young girl had decided it was not going to be on her third finger but the much larger first. That meant the ring needed to be sized from 5 to 10. For this, there would be a charge. The girl left the ring.

Laurelle’s daughter, Heidi, was answering phones as her mom finished closing the store. It was the last call before locking up. Heidi asked how she could re-direct the caller and then, holding the phone to her chest, asked her mom if she wanted to take the call. Mom assured her she was doing fine. It brought a smile to her face when she heard her daughter tell the caller that she would pass the message along to their HR manager.

But later at home, the true story emerged. The call had been from the original purchaser of the size 5 ring, and using a long string of vulgarities, she had demanded a full refund. The next day, typically affable Laurelle left a message requesting a return call. When the return call came, Laurelle informed the customer that the swearing she had done over the phone had been directed at her 13-year-old daughter. She added that she would not allow that treatment of any of her staff. After informing the customer that she would process a full refund, she asked for her mailing address so she could mail it. Laurelle calmly informed the customer that she was not to come back to her store.

But the story was not over. The customer ignored the request to not return to the store and instead brought a beautiful bouquet of flowers with a neatly written card. She wanted to personally deliver them to the 13-year-old child who had listened so intently to her vulgar language. This customer knew that the depth of her apology could only be appreciated by a face-to-face meeting between an embarrassed adult and precocious child!

If there are lessons here, they are written between the lines.

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