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This Storeowner Does Something Radical Every Year – And Her Team Loves Her For It

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Last year, I attended a Stuller Bridge event for the first time. One question came up in-session: “Are you transparent with your team? Do they know what you make?” Nearly every owner shook their heads. The reasons ranged from fear of employees asking for a raise to it just not being any of their damn business. I was one of only two owners who said, “Yes! I’m completely transparent. They get a printout of our store reports at the end of each year including my salary. I’m a profit-share business, so of course they need to know how we did and what opportunities we have as a team.”

Before you roll your eyes at this “new age approach,” consider: have you ever worked for someone who didn’t respect you or your ideas? Have you ever left a job because you didn’t have a voice to make a difference? What about the person who made you feel appreciated?

I’ve had the benefit of working for a variety of personalities and management types to give me an idea of who I don’t want to be. When working for an advertising agency, I was told after pulling through an 18-hour marathon that employees like me were a dime-a-dozen and there was a line of people wanting my job for less money. When working for a fitness club, I was told that honesty and integrity didn’t matter when employees with tenure needed bonus checks more than new hires. There was even a time I was asked to forge a signature to cover an expired contract for an events promoter (I quit on the spot with that one).

How success is achieved starts with the mind-set of the owner and it carries into your team. Don’t trust your team? Maybe you hired the wrong team … or maybe you’ve never given them a reason to trust you. Yes, there are risks in sharing too much information, but there is so much to be gained by building a team that has your back. 

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Start small if you’re not ready to jump all-in. Take your team out to a social dinner! Let them see a different side of you. A break from the norm … and a chance to connect so they learn why you do what you do and how you’re working to keep them employed and what started your passion. Even in the busy season, bring in coffee and donuts once in awhile to show them you are thinking about them.

I fully accept that if my whole team disappeared tomorrow, I wouldn’t be able to run my business. And my team understands how difficult running a business is, and that I would go to the ends of the earth to keep them safe and gainfully employed. 

Be a part of your team, and they will be a part of you.

Jennifer Farnes is the owner of Revolution Jewelry Works in Colorado Springs, CO, voted an INSTORE America’s Coolest Store in 2016. jennifer@revolutionjewelryworks.com 


This article originally appeared in the May 2018 edition of INSTORE.   

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How to Make Your Social Media SEO-Friendly

These three tips can help drive more traffic to your website.

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LET’S FACE IT, attracting customers today is not just about advertising. It’s a combination of many things, including social media and driving traffic to your website and your store. SEO is as important in attracting and driving traffic as is your ad copy and where you place your ads. Social SEO refers to the idea that social media links and interaction play an important part in your website’s search rankings. Basically, SEO is all about optimizing content, whether it’s on your website or on a social media platform—to appear higher in search rankings.

1. Optimize your social media profiles. The key to an SEO-friendly social media profile is to be as descriptive as possible.  Always fill out the “About” or “Information” sections of any social media platform. Use words or phrases that describe your business and are also terms individuals would use to search for your business. For example, to optimize your Facebook Page for local searches, it is important to include your address, city, state and zip. Always include links from your social channels back to your business’s website (and links from your website to your social channels). The “Category” field is often overlooked on Facebook Pages, but is important for Facebook mobile searches. Check to make sure your business is listed as the correct category while editing your basic information.

2. Optimize your social media content/updates. To optimize your social content, always include some of the relevant search keywords you determined for your business in your Facebook updates, tweets on Twitter, pin descriptions on Pinterest, etc. It’s important to remember to share content from your website or blog socially to give it an SEO boost. Use your business’s name in your social posts. This helps Google associate the keywords you use to describe your business with your business’s name.

3. Build links by making your content shareable. A key factor in SEO is link building. Simply put, this means having good website-to-website relationships through links. When you have more quality sites linking to your website (inbound) and you are linking to other quality websites (outbound), Google will determine your website to be more authoritative.

“Likes,” comments, repins, retweets, etc., all play into the weight given to your links. If you create content people want to share, you can create more inbound links. Content doesn’t always have to be a new blog post; content can refer to tweets or Facebook posts as well. By posting engaging social content, you’re improving your SEO value.  Another way to increase shares is to add social share buttons to individual pieces of content on your website or blog.

Keep in mind that improving your SEO takes time, and changes don’t happen overnight. Always be as descriptive as you can and keep your information up to date.

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Shane Decker

The Most Important Part of Your Sales Presentation Happens After the Sale

Go the extra mile for your client if you want to see them again.

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HOW DO YOU FEEL about a movie that ends poorly? No matter how good it was before then, a weak finish leaves you feeling dissatisfied.

Jewelry presentations are the same way. Clients tend to remember the first 30 seconds and the last 30 seconds more than the middle of your presentation. And yet, all too often after the purchase is made (or repair taken in), the salesperson turns and walks to the back, allowing the client to leave the store on their own.

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The way out is as important as the way in. We have to treat the client as a guest who is coming into our home for one of the most important events of their lives. Not only that, but the client should feel even more important walking out than they did when they came into the store.

When everything is done, always walk the client to the door. Open the door for them, give them two of your business cards, and ask them to give one to a friend.

Even when you have other clients waiting for you, always walk each one out. Others will see this service and expect the same. Many times as you’re walking the client out, they will stop and look into a case they didn’t look into on the way in. This allows you to start another presentation, put something on a wish list, plant a seed for a later purchase or even put something on layaway.

Selling on the way out is easy. The client is now in a spending mood, and obviously they love you or they wouldn’t have given you their money already. It also allows you to give suggestions about service and other events you have coming up.

Sometimes, the client may have other important things they want to talk about on the way to the door. They’ll start by saying, “By the way…” This allows you to build rapport, get information that allows you to do more effective clienteling, and become even more of a friend.

So make the client feel that your store is the most awesome place to shop. Not just because of the merchandise, but because there is not any other place to shop in their area that compares to the professionalism, politeness and experience that your team delivers.

People get ho-hum service everywhere — but don’t let it happen in your store. It’s up to us to break the cycle. Make the exit even more awesome than the entrance. And remember: Always thank them for coming in!

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That Weird ‘Diamond in a Diamond’ Isn’t for Sale. It Will Go Here Instead …

Alrosa revealed the find in September.

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RUSSIA’S ALROSA DIAMOND mining company announced Thursday that the curious “diamond in a diamond” revealed on social media in early September has been added to its collection of rare finds — and is not for sale.

In early September, Alrosa surprised its Instagram followers with a video that seemed to show a tiny rough diamond moving freely in the cavity of a larger one (pictured above). The caption read, “A diamond in a diamond? We couldn’t help but share this very special find with you.”

At the time, Alrosa wasn’t quite sure what to make of the phenomenon. Nobody at the mining company had ever seen anything like it. Five weeks later, Alrosa scientists confirmed that both the host and smaller crystal were diamonds.

They named the double-diamond “Matryoshka” because its strange configuration is reminiscent of the popular Russian nesting dolls. The specimen, which weighs only 0.62 carats, was discovered in Yakutia at Alrosa’s Nyurba mining and processing division.

Matryoshka joins Alrosa’s ever-growing collection of diamond wonders. These include crystals that resemble a soccer ball, a Valentine heart, a skull and a fish.

Interestingly, some of Alrosa’s most unusually shaped diamonds have come to light at the most opportune times.

Credits: Diamond images courtesy of Alrosa Diamonds and via Alrosa/Instagram. Soccer ball image by Pumbaa80 (Self-published work by Pumbaa80) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons.

For instance, an Alrosa discovery in July of 2018 had us wondering out loud if Mother Nature was a World Cup soccer fan. Just three days prior to the Russian national soccer team’s exciting quarterfinal match against Croatia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, Alrosa discovered a diamond that looks amazingly like a soccer ball.

In February of 2019, Alrosa revealed a 65.7-carat rough diamond that had an uncanny resemblance to a Valentine heart.

“Diamonds of a distinctive shape that resemble some object or symbol are extremely rare in nature,” Alrosa’s deputy CEO Evgeny Agureev said at the time. “Most rough diamonds are octahedron-shaped or do not have a particular shape at all. The appearance of a heart-shaped rough diamond, especially on the eve of Valentine’s Day, seems to be a symbolic gift of nature not only to our company, but also to all loving couples.”

Credits: Diamond images courtesy of Alrosa Diamonds and via Alrosa/Instagram.

Alrosa noted that a 24-carat, skull-shaped stone was unearthed prior to Halloween in 2018.

In August of 2019, the company posted to Instagram a photo of a rough stone resembling a fish. It had been discovered back in 2002, and was revisited to help promote the firm’s ecology efforts, which include releasing hundreds of thousands of fish into the rivers near its mining operation in Yakutia.

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