Wednesday , 23 July 2014
When your product is trending, it’s a golden opportunity to recruit new customers. The style of jewelry I make at the Energy Shop is a hot trend right now.

How to Ride a Trend

I recently noticed a picture of Johnny Depp in one of the “Etsy Finds” promotional emails. He was sporting a leather cuff, and I got so excited! I wondered, does an Etsy shop make bracelets for Johnny Depp?! As I clicked through the link, it turned out that no, they do not. The listing was for a cuff “inspired by” and “styled like” Johnny’s cuff.

When your product is trending, it’s a golden opportunity to recruit new customers. The style of jewelry I make at the Energy Shop is a hot trend right now. Beaded bracelets are up and down the arms of very high-profile celebrities. I see jewelry similar to mine all over the pages of In Style, US Weekly, and other big magazines. The question is: how do you ride a hot trend?
I don’t have any photos of celebrities in my listings because none of them are wearing Energy Shop (yet), and I’m cautious of the legal permissions those photos may require. However, you can use the trend without infringing on any copyrights, and I’ll offer you an example of how I managed to do just that.

I’m a huge fan of Bravo TV’s The Real Housewives. I love them all in every location. On one episode of the Real Housewives of New Jersey (RHoNJ), a cast member, named Dina, was wearing gemstone bracelets and had an “energist” come over to smudge them.

To explain, gemstones are minerals of the earth, and like crystals, they’ve been believed to hold natural attributes and healing properties for thousands of years. Smudging is a cleansing, Native American ritual that involves white sage.

At the Energy Shop, I use gemstones and materials, like those seen on TV. I cleanse, charge, and smudge each piece I make. As I was watching RHoNJ, I quickly realized that that particular episode explained everything I make and sell!  The question became, how can I use that information as my own commercial?

Let me touch back on my feelings of competition before I go any further. When it comes to gemstone jewelry, you can find bracelets similar to mine at $2,000. You can find those featured on RHoNJ for $150. You can find mine at $30. Or you can find them at others shops on Etsy for $5. It all depends on what you’re looking for.

If you’re looking for THE bracelet that Dina wore on a RHoNJ episode, you’re not going to be satisfied with anything less than that bracelet for $150. If you like the concept of spiritual jewelry, then I can offer you an armful of bracelets for $150 that will satisfy your needs. There are different strokes for different folks, and some customers like to pay for higher-profile, brand names. As handmade artists, we are not competing for those customers.

Instead, we’re looking for customers who like the trend, and appreciate handmade products. We can use the higher-profile attention to find our customers. Here’s how:

1. Cost-per-click Advertising. On Facebook, we “like” all kinds of pages and activities. We enter our age, our gender, and our marital status. When you come to this site as an advertiser, you realize how ingenious the system is.

I “like” Real Housewives of New Jersey. Therefore, I’ve seen the episode that explains the bracelets that I sell, and so have the other 200,000 people that “like” the show. While that particular episode was airing (read: my product was trending), I paid about $.40 per click to showcase my products and target those 200,000 RHoNJ fans. It made for many new customers.

To begin, all you do is click the link, “Create an Ad” above the ads that show to the right of your Facebook profile. Then, simply fill-in-the-blanks and you’ve got your first ad.

This works with Google and other search engine advertising as well, although I’ve stated before that I think their CPC has become insanely overpriced. For the Energy Shop, it’s over $1.00 per click, and text only. But, you get the idea. If you build it, they will come. ;)

2. Blog on Your Trend! The post I made on Dina Manzo’s bracelets drew in way more traffic than I would have ever expected. If you search “Dina’s bracelets” on Yahoo or Google, my blog is the first result—and that just happened for me with good tagging and keyword usage. I’m honest in the post, I give credit to the actual jewelry designer who appeared on the show (I even link to her online storefront), and I leave links to my site as well.

3. Tweet to Your Audience. Again, at the time this RHoNJ episode was airing, I used the hash tag (#) on Twitter to reach fans of #RHoNJ and promote my shop. I often repeated tweets as new episodes were airing. The hash tag is a great way to talk to a large audience of like-minded people.

4. Carefully Tag Your Listings. Remember to include “inspired by” and “styled like” as mentioned in the Depp example above. I think it would be big trouble and bad karma to lead any person to believe that you made a product when you didn’t. Imitations and likenesses are a natural part of the handmade world, but everyone has a different style. You are right for your customers, so help them find you with tags. I use “spiritual gemstone jewelry” and “beaded, power bracelets.” If the customer is looking for that general concept, then they are really going to enjoy browsing my shop.

Here’s wishing you good luck with your trending product. Until next time!blog ad1

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22 comments

  1. What a creative way to getting new customers.

  2. That’s brilliant to tie in your product with pop culture. I just ran a FB ad that was a dud, but perhaps I wasn’t focused enough on the core audience for that message. You’ve inspired me to try it again in a different way. Thanks!

  3. This is wonderful in-depth look in to the way to advertise. Thank you so much for your examples and your explanations of why you did what you did. It makes so much sense! :) Can’t wait to try it out and see what kind of trends I can start to ride this season.

  4. Ha, ha. I saw that photo of Johnny Depp too and like you, I clicked to see if the seller had made his cuff. I didn’t feel too shortchanged. Any excuse to see that image is a good one in my book.

    I enjoyed your article and good on you for recognising that golden opportunity and capitalising on it. No wonder you’re top of your particular rock heap! Good luck for the future.

  5. Great article! Thank you so much for sharing all you learned, another great thing about the world of handmade!

  6. Thank you for sharing these tips, especially how to target an audience on Facebook and Twitter.

  7. What wealth of information. Thank your for being so thorough. You have provided the impetus to move forward with certainty as it pertains to riding the trends…

  8. I was thinking of making a chainmaille handflower similar to one worn by a character in a movie, but I was concerned it’s copyrighted and I’m not sure how to make a similar one without infringing. Is it enough to say “inspired by” and “styled after” or should I get permission and/or give credit to the original designer? I don’t know who that is…

    • Hi Laura,
      Thanks for your comment. I’m going to address it in depth in an upcoming Q&A post, but I’d like to understand your question better. Are you concerned about the movie’s copyright or the product’s copyright?

  9. Great ideas and marketing techniques, I can’t wait to share this article, Lisa! I especially liked the tweeting with the hashtag during the show. I’ve used Facebook ads and it’s amazing the impressions you can get, but get it affordably by paying per click. One note, I noticed Facebook changed their format for placing the ad so if you’re not careful to edit your bid and dates you will wind up paying a bundle. Thank you so much for contributing this info to Handmadeology, that’s what makes this my favorite email everyday!

  10. What an amazing article . . . perfect timing! Natalie Portman was recently at a premiere carrying a clutch similar to the kind I make. I would’ve never thought to blog about it! I went ahead and wrote a post tonight. Thanks for the inspiration! BTW, I love me some Housewives, too! :)

  11. What a great blog post. Thanks for sharing this I learned a few new things to add to my following!

  12. You are giving me lots to think about! I will approach the subject in a whole new light now, thanks to you!

  13. Wow! Thank you so much for some great advice. Like you I love stones for their beauty and for the wonderful energies they emit. I will be using your recommendations in upcoming listings. Pretty new to ETSY, so it’s going to take a little time to build up.

  14. Great info!! Many aspects you can work with for just one item.

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