Secrets to selling online
Secrets to selling online
Carli Sayegh’s jewellery-making journey began at a weekend beginner course for budding glass artists in 2005. She went on to teach herself various techniques by analysing the art of other glass artists.
Over time Carli built a reputation for her spectacular floral-covered beads and murrini-filled floral cabochons.
In 2014 Carli started setting her glass into silver-worked jewellery after teaching herself silversmithing, courtesy of numerous YouTube videos.
She displayed and sold her art in a number of galleries, tourist venues, an annual bead show and artist markets in Victoria.
After moving to the Sunshine Coast in 2015, Carli had to revise her marketing strategy as there did not seem to be as many retail outlets available as she was used to in Victoria. So she made the decision to progress to online marketing.
Carli said, “Facebook is dying as a social outlet for artists, so I started an Instagram page.”
For the last few years Carli has been working daily to keep her Instagram page fresh and attractive to prospective followers.
“I also re-opened my Etsy shop in 2016 and started listing items daily, so I didn't get forgotten amongst the thousands of other sellers. My primary demographic is women from the USA. I therefore decided to sell my pieces in USD on Etsy, as well as using American-English spelling, e.g. ‘jewelry’, to optimise search results,” Carli said.
The sales steadily increased over time through these two channels to keep Carli busy and was generating enough income to keep her stocked in glass and silver.
Then came 2020. COVID hit, and thanks to Carli’s online presence, and the boom in online purchasing, her sales exploded!
Carli said, “I struggled to keep up with custom orders, let alone make any new items for my outlets. I was working crazy hours in my studio. It was then apparent that my hobby had morphed into a business! I decided that it was time to design a website.”
According to Carli the biggest issue was deciding on which currency to operate on the site. Each currency had its own set of issues. For instance, there would be international currency fees for Australian buyers if they purchased in USD, and her US buyers, who make up 90% of her sales, prefer to see their currency listed when purchasing.
Carli said, “I still wanted to be known as 'the Aussie Artist who makes the flowers'. I know this is a selling point with my work. So I decided on setting my website to AUD by default.”
Carli’s web developer ended up adding a currency converter box on the website. A few months ago, she launched ShapeOfFire.com which coincided with the release of an ‘Amber Collection’ she had been working on.
“I work on monthly themed Collections where I will make around 30 items in a particular gemstone or theme,” Carli said. “I post teaser photos, finished piece photos and release date reminders daily on my Instagram. This works well to generate interest. On website opening day, I sold most of my collection, and what I would typically make in 6 months, I made in a week. The currency converter box also worked well. A lot of my international sales are purchased using this converter.”
Carli decided that her website needed a white background for her photos to suit her style, so she puyrchased a light tent with super bright LED lighting.
“This has made a world of difference to the quality of my photos and hence displays my work at its best. My photo-taking skills are quite limited, and I only use my phone to take my jewellery photos, but you only need a knack for taking photos of your pieces at just the right angle for them to look great,” Carli said.
Carli observed, “Since I have had my light tent, I have had so many comments from my buyers saying how good my work looks.”
If you view Carli’s art, I am sure you will agree it is amazing! Not bad for someone who is essentially self-taught.
A big thank you to Carli for being so willing to share her marketing tips with our audience.