You have a lot more influence over how someone first learns about you than you think.

Greetings, my beloved readers! When we last left off, I gave you the rallying cry of “give me evolution or give me death!,” preparing you for changes ahead as I guide you into becoming a lean, mean jewelry selling machine – and then I disappeared for four months!

My sincerest apologies, alas, as the last few months have not been without their challenges, including a sudden and unexpected need to move into a new apartment within 30 days; an emergency room visit in the middle of the move that yielded a kidney infection; and my mother suddenly falling ill, requiring me to fly to Atlanta for several days to take care of her. She is now in good health and back to her fighting self, which, since you know her daughter, was really the only possible outcome.

I share this with you as caveat emptor in preparing for your evolution. Things are going to arise beyond your control as you venture down this path and you’ll just have to roll with the punches. I believe the saying is “man plans and God laughs?” I always insist on punching back.

Now, shall we begin? And where we begin is with the customer journey.

The customer journey is simply all the steps it takes for someone to finally become your customer. It begins the moment they first hear your name and continues until they finally buy. Some like to end here, but I believe the journey never really ends, not if you want to have a ready-made audience awaiting your next collection. Your customers should always be journeying with you. I’m going to teach you how over the next few months.

You have a lot more influence over how someone first learns about you than you think. This is where PR falls in place and is perhaps the strongest accelerator in the customer journey. Here’s when your future customer first reads about you in a magazine or blog or even through a friend, otherwise known as word-of-mouth.

Another route is through social media, which has become a domineering force when used correctly. Setting up an Instagram account is not going to flood you with orders. Applying creativity in your posts and a bit of advertising will. We’ll cover this. But before you run off to make a TikTok of yourself doing the Humpty Dance while layered in your entire 2022 collection in hopes of going viral, let’s take a huge step back.

Every client I work with must complete a 12-page questionnaire at the beginning. They hate it. Everyone hates it. But I personally love it because their answers give me deep insight into not just how they think, but also why they need me in the first place.

Take, for instance, the question: why should someone buy from you?

If I had a $1 for every time the answers began “because we only use high quality materials” or “our customer service is white glove” or some variation of being the best, I’d now have a villa in Tuscany.

And if I could get a dollar for how many of you thought these things when you first read the question a moment ago, I could probably challenge Elon Musk for the rights to Twitter.

If you can’t give me an original reason as to why I should buy your jewelry or shop in your store, why should a potential customer bother?

I’m feeling some eye rolls right now from those who are wondering what any of this has to do with selling jewelry.

Let’s go back to the beginning of the customer journey. How does your customer first learn about you? If they’re reading about you in a magazine or their friends are telling them about you, what do you want them to say?

You know you have control over this, right?

You can literally put words in the mouth of people who write or talk about your brand. And with such great power comes the responsibility of knowing exactly what you want them to say. Hence, 12 pages of questions. You must be crystal clear on how you want others to talk about you.

Here are more questions from the questionnaire:
• Why was the company started?
• What are the company’s greatest strengths?
• What motivates you to keep going?
• What must change for you to become a marketplace leader?
• What needs do your jewelry meet that make it a must for a customer to own?
• Describe your ideal customer, the person that wears your jewelry. Who are they? What are they like?
• What do you want prospective customers to think about your company?
• Why should they believe it?

I know! You immediately want to jump into how I’m going to help you make Harry Winston jealous of your success!

But, as I’ve learned in my many years of Japanese swordsmanship classes, we must slow down to speed up. Take this next month to really think deeply about these questions.

If you’re a teacher’s pet type, feel free to email me your answers at [email protected]LMRPR.COM. I’ll dedicate a column to directly address those who email me their answers. Don’t worry – no names or identifying information will be revealed. I only want to help.

Until next month, my friends! Keep punching back!

As always, lovelies, send me your most press PR and marketing questions!