By Jacqueline Stone
As a business owner, you are well-aware that the best-laid plans often go off course. However, planning or mapping out your direction is essential to a strategic and successful marketing plan.

This month, as my clients ride the tide of retail madness (hello Santa!), we’re also making time for our yearly planning sessions.

While it might take time to do at odd hours of the night, these jewelers, designers and diamond dealers understand it’s probably the most important action item they can cross off their list right now.

Taking the time to assess what went well over the last 365 days, what needs improvement, and what needs to happen in the year ahead is paramount to the progression of your business and your long-term goals.

Here are my tips on how to put together a plan with panache.

1. Conduct a Thorough Annual Review

Before you can figure out where you’re headed, you first need to understand where you’ve been.

What was your most successful month this year? Why?

What month brings back bad memories? What happened?

Did you have any trunk shows? Conferences? Events? Promotions? What seemed to resonate with your audience? What fell flat?

Taking the time to go through each month of the year, analyzing the numbers and the corresponding strategies is essential for you to tie up any loose ends and create opportunities for improvement in the year ahead.

2. Set Your Goals

Many creatives seem to run away from Excel spreadsheets, but I want you to embrace the numbers and consider them your new best friend.

Simple is best; I’m enclosing an image (below) for all you visual folk.

20201003 Excel jewelry marketing planning

In Column A, list each month (January-December). In Column B, you are going to put down your sales goal for the month.

For example, now that you’ve done a review for 2019, you see that you sold $20,000 in January 2019. You’ve decided you’re going to sell $30,000 in January 2020.

Column C is your weekly goal. Assuming there are four weeks in each year, divide $30,000 by four and arrive at a weekly goal of $7,500.

This is where I have my clients visualize what $7,500 actually looks like. Do you sell engagement rings? Perhaps, on average, an engagement ring is around $7,500. That means during the month of January, you want to sell approximately one engagement ring a week and a few other pieces.

By taking the numbers and putting them in terms of tangible products or services you offer, it helps you start to visualize your success. It allows you to say, “Oh yes, I can achieve this goal!”

If you can’t say that with 100 percent confidence, scale back your goals to match. You are the driver of this ship and in order to manifest your desires, you need to believe them.

20200103 jewelry marketing intentions

3. Develop Intention

I’ve talked about this briefly in other articles, but I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to set intentions around your business objectives.

You have your numbers in place, but how realistically are you going to achieve that $30,000? That is where smart marketing comes into play.

You are going to set an intention for each month of the year.

For example, in January, you are going to set the intention of “refresh.” It makes sense, right? Everyone starts the year with new hopes and dreams, and tons of resolutions.

But, how do you tie “refresh” back into your business?

Well, if you are a fine jewelry designer, you love a good estate jewelry refresh. It’s what we call a modern heirloom. This month, you are going to highlight all the ways in which we can refresh old pieces with a new modern aesthetic. Brilliant!

4. Using Intention to Guide Your Marketing Initiatives

Now that you’ve set your monthly intention, it’s time to flesh out the rest of your initiatives for the month.

We’re still in our Excel spreadsheet, but this time we’ve created a separate tab just for January. I usually put the sales goal ($30,000) and the intention (Refresh) at the top of the page. Then I start creating my calendar.

What days of the month will I write a blog? What days of the month will I send out an email? When will my monthly newsletter go out? Am I offering any promotions or discounts to support this collateral?

For example, the week of Monday, Jan. 6 I’ve decided to write a blog about my custom design process that I send out on Tuesday, Jan. 7.

I’ve also decided to offer a promotion this month for a free consultation and send out an email on Wednesday, Jan. 8 that showcases the blog and talks about my promotion—bring in all your old family pieces for a half-hour of my time to brainstorm designs!

Best yet, I am going to ensure my social media for this week matches these initiatives. I’ll post “before” and “after” images of pieces I’ve done, I’ll offer a snapshot of my grandmother’s jewelry box from the 1920s, I’ll post designs that are modern takes on classic styles.

I’m not asking you to create all this content right now; I’m just asking you to create prompts for yourself and set dates.

This way, when you’re feeling flustered and off-track, you simply open up your trusty annual marketing calendar and see what goals you had laid out for yourself. Just pick up where you left off.

5. Create Accountability

While planning and developing structure around your marketing goals is essential to your success, so is accountability. There are tons of ways to go about doing this.

You can hire a marketing coach, join a Mastermind or simply find a fellow entrepreneur and friend you’ll meet with weekly to go over your action list for the week ahead.

I find time and time again that many business owners fail at creating consistency when left to their own devices.

I often equate it to starting a diet. You get off to a great start but a few weeks later, you’re back to the chips and chocolate.

The reason group weight loss forums, such as Weight Watchers, do so well, is because there is accountability. If you have to show up to “class” and show you’ve done your “homework,” you’ll get it done. You might have waited until the night before to cram it all in (I love a good procrastinator), but you want to show up prepared and ready to participate.

Fun fact: I’ll be offering group Digital Marketing Masterminds in the new year. Be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter to learn more.

While you might not have the budget or the ability to work with a coach on building your 2020 marketing plan, remember that it’s OK to ask others for help.

Perhaps instead you gather a group of jewelers in your area and work on this together. There is strength in numbers, and accountability will help you move the business ahead at a much more rapid pace.

I hope these tips offer you a way on how to build this powerful blueprint. Give yourself the gift of tactical planning this year. Your bottom line will thank you.

A recovering jewelry designer, Jacqueline Stone has a diverse background in finance, marketing, advertising, product development, fine jewelry manufacturing, design and sourcing. Now she serves as the CEO of her own marketing consulting and coaching business, Bubblegum and Duct Tape. Stone can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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