Small Business Guide: Marketing Advice featuring Jess Constable

I will say that my advice comes from my experience. In 2008 I was running Jess LC almost completely through wholesale accounts with stores via a team of sales reps. This meant that Jess LC was sold in over 100 stores across the country, and we also had a basic but functioning website. Our lack of online effort reflected in our bottom line. In fact, we only had 40 online orders in 2008 — 20 of which came in December alone.
Then in January of 2009 I started MML and dove into the world of online marketing for Jess LC. Since I was spending so much time with MML networking, writing, and blog reading, it made perfect sense to bring Jess LC to the internet as well. What I’ve done is certainly no secret, but it has radically changed my business. Today, over 80% of our business comes from online orders worldwide and we couldn’t be happier. It took years of trial (and error) and dogged determination to get it to this level. But it was worth every second and penny I spent to make this shop an online reality.
Here are the key steps that I took to make it all happen:

Though I don’t recommend blogging for all business owners, it is the biggest success factor for Jess LC. I had no idea that blogging about designing a life with intention would lead to jewelry sales and customers, but it certainly did. I think the reason that MML has been so helpful is because I am very clear about why I write here each day. It is well known my purpose in life is to help others with making under. Period. But at the same time I also run my jewelry shop to pay the bills and because I do genuinely enjoy the design and marketing process.
Though the blog takes honestly half of my time and effort, I make very little ad money compared to Jess LC. But through sharing my story and reaching out to readers, many have also become Jess LC customers which has led to more online sales and higher business revenue. This honestly shocked me when it first started to happen, but I couldn’t be more grateful.
So I only recommend blogging for business owners who are passionate about what they are writing about, do it regularly, and make a concerted effort to reach out to other bloggers. Getting a blog up and running with a consistent following is (in my opinion) the single hardest and most time consuming marketing effort. But if done successfully, blogging can be the most rewarding return on investment.

Right after I started MML I also decided to place an ad on Joanna’s lovely blog, A Cup of Jo. I then followed that ad up with a giveaway that got 458 comments and 700+ new visitors to my online shop within about three days. Given that I was averaging 20-30 visitors a day on jesslc.com before that giveaway, the results were astounding. The attention drew orders from all over the country – and world.
So my advice for other owners is to consider an ad and giveaway on a blog that has a robust following of potential customers. Depending on the company budget and ad prices, I’d consider advertising and doing giveaways/product posts on 3-4 blogs at first. As you get more feedback and results, you can decide whether to grow your advertising or decrease it to just a few key blogs.
I will say that I joined Twitter primarily for MML and blogging, not for Jess LC. But the easy communication with customers and fans of Jess LC is very convenient.
Facebook I tried a few years ago for Jess LC and abandoned it because we weren’t updating it regularly and sharing it in any way. However, we’ve recently re-launched our Facebook page and I’ve been very happy with the customer response and interaction.

How to Decide Which Social Networks to Join

My advice about joining any social network like Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, or LinkedIn is to ask your existing customers where they are online. Do your customers have Facebook and Twitter accounts? Are they mostly on Facebook only? By finding out where your current fans and customers are online allows you to start there and keep them updated on your shop.
Then, as you continue to get more savvy selling and marketing online, consider expanding to other social media sites. I think the most important part of any social network profile however is to keep it updated multiple times a week with unique and original content.
Going to (and c0-hosting) blogger meet-ups was a great way for me to make real life connections with bloggers. And in many cases the bloggers have become good friends. Not only have these friendships deeply enriched my personal life, but by working with each other we have been able to expand our businesses and blogs.
So there you have it. These four things have been the building blocks for my online marketing. As you can tell, each of these aspects are time consuming but also rewarding personally and professionally.

Thank you so much Jess for being a visitor here on IHOD and sharing your wisdom with aspiring entrepreneurs! I think it's incredibly generous to pass along the tips that made your business successful! 
 Also, her blog is loaded with more fantastic advice! Don't miss out!


  1. great advice, thanks for posting it.

  2. this is brilliant! I love jess and her advice, and it's always nice to hear it first hand! Thanks!

  3. What a great set of tips! It's always useful to hear for us budding entrepreneurs to hear from those with great experience!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  4. Wonderful advice! Thanks for sharing!

  5. This is great information! Thank you so much for sharing. Love it!

  6. This is AMAZING advise. THANKS :)

  7. really, really great advice! loved reading this. exactly what i need. :)

  8. I loved reading this! Thanks for the tips and encouragement :)

  9. i'm such a fan of her jewelry - it's so great to learn about the steps she took to get where she is!

  10. Very helpful! Maybe i'll start my online-art-shop soon and these tipps are so precious! Have a lovely weekend Anna!

  11. smart lady, and i truly appreciate all her excellent advice.

  12. This was a wonderful and informative post - thank you so much Jess!!

    And Anna - I just discovered your blog, and I am in love. Like, seriously. I will be back again and again. Thank you for setting such a wonderful example in the online world!

  13. What a great interview! I thoroughly enjoyed reading her tips- thank you both for sharing! Off to visit Jess' site now!

    :) Annemarie

  14. great advice! thanks so much for sharing!

  15. This is great advice :) Thanks for sharing!

  16. this was such great post, thank you!..it's really helpful especially when just starting out as I am. I don't have a business nor do I sell anything but I feel that these marketing tips apply well to blogging in general.
    p.s. nice surprise to see your red bead necklace on Daybook today! and thank you so much for the add and stopping by my page, I appreciate it so much!

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  19. Anna & Jess, even though i don't have a small biz venture in the works this article was full of inspiring insight! thank you so much for pulling out all the punches and writing with wizard style. i've loved reading about your beginnings and the road we'd all dearly love to stroll along (one way or another).

    i recently went to my first little blogger meet-up and i can't tell you how wonderful it was. the community enriches me every day. cheers to you both! ♥

  20. Thanks for sharing! This helps out a lot, so I can start to make a plan :)


Love hearing from each of you. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts! <3

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