Going your own way can bring you a whole new measure of success

Earl Nightingale, the late great motivational speaker, radio personality and author was once asked what the secret to success in business was. He said, “Watch what everyone else is doing and then do the opposite.” It took me a while to grasp what he meant, but slowly, I found the hidden meaning behind it.

Maybe you are just a bit like me and enjoy being somewhat of a “maverick” in business. I’ve never particularly enjoyed doing the same things as other jewelers in my area. For years, without even intending to, my wife and I have worked to be different from others, whether it was in the marketing of the store or the products offered. I eventually realized that I was doing a bit of what Earl Nightingale was talking about. 

You’ll discover that it’s much easier to be noticed in your marketplace when you do things differently than your competitors. Embracing the “Maverick Marketing Mindset” will be very liberating for some jewelers while confusing to others. What do I mean by this?

  • Don’t waste money on image/institutional advertising (at least no more than necessary) and never do advertising you can’t track.
  • Stand out in the crowd by being different. Become your area’s expert or character (for me, that’s being Bill Warren, a.k.a. “The Doctor of Love”) on a particular subject.
  • Do advertise lines of jewelry that only you offer.
  • Don’t market your business where all of your competitors do. Pick out an advertising vehicle that is different and “own” that category.
  • Maverick Marketers treat advertising as they would a commissioned salesperson. By testing and tracking, you send your advertisements out and if it doesn’t produce, get rid of it.

While on vacation, I’ll bet many of you go into other jewelry stores, checking them out, hoping to see or learn something that will make your store better. Have you ever noticed how so many jewelers advertise the same ads in the same old newspaper or run the same billboards that you just saw in the town 20 miles back? Do whatever it takes to make your store different!

Please remember that plain old vanilla in anything really doesn’t cut it anymore. If your store is plain old vanilla, why not try tutti-frutti for a change? You might be surprised how your customers will respond! The biggest kick I get in business is when I have a marketing campaign absolutely blow our doors off with business because we tried something different.

I often watch my mailbox to see what companies in different fields are doing and then adapt it to fit our business. We certainly do not need more “Red Tag or 50 Percent Off Sales” in this industry, so why not borrow something from another? Recently, I tried a direct mail promotion from an insurance company that absolutely rocked! That wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t looking at my own mail instead of throwing it away. Don’t just look at other industries’ marketing ideas and think just because it didn’t come from the jewelry field it won’t work. Become a bit of a “maverick” — try something new, watch what happens and I’ll bet you’ll be surprised.

Bill Warren owns a successful jewelry store in the small mountain town of Hudson, NC and also regularly teaches and speaks at jewelry industry events.

This article originally appeared in the May 2017 edition of INSTORE.


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