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    5 Replies Latest reply on Jul 13, 2008 6:51 PM by Sofulcooks

    I just started!! Any advice or comment is welcome.

    Colombian Newbie
      I want to tell you how all this started. I currently live in Los Angeles CA, USA, I am from Bogotá Colombia and I lived there (Bogotá) until 2002. Then I went to Miami with my family and lived there for 1½ year. In 2004, I moved to California and got married. My wife is also from Bogotá and her family has some contacts with the Taironas natives. It was then, when the idea of buying this amazing jewelry, bring it here to USA and sale it started to be part of our conversations.

      We bought some examples with the help of my wife relatives and brought it here, we showed it in our work places and the people really liked it. The natives were very happy to know that their product was being promoted in the U.S. "What a great way of helping this people", we thought, by helping them sale their products we are giving them the opportunity to survive economically and stay in their land from where they have been pushed out by rebel terrorists. Plus we can show what a great talent we have in Colombia.

      We decided to create a website where we could show the products and also we thought in including artwork from Colombians, (I have to stop here and let you know that my dad is an artist and I also wanted to promote his art, because I think it is wonderful and I has been his fan for a long time, but you will be the judge on that) so we will have a web page where we can sale the natives handmade jewelry and show some Colombian art, all made by Colombian hands, that is why we choose http://www.colombianhands.com/ as the domain name and company name.

      The website is up and I have only sold 1 item in 3 weeks. That is not what I expected but well I guess that is normal since nobody knows about my page and I have just started. Right?

      I would appreciate any advice in how to advertise and direct traffic to my site, or if I should just quit with this idea and try something else. This is the first time I try to do business by my own I hope to be successful.

       


      Thank you for your time and comments.
        • Re: I just started!! Any advice or comment is welcome.
          A_Ellicott Adventurer
          I'm not a web expert but I'll toss out a few thoughts.

          Search Engines - There's tons of info on Search Engine Optimization. Look online for information, get some books and read up on the subject or perhaps hire a consultant to help you.

          Hits - How many people are visiting your site? Do you have software installed to track that? You are only going to sell to a small percentage of people that visit; the key is getting enough people to visit.

          Get on a big website - You might consider selling some of your jewelty on with E-bay or Amazon. Then you can link to your online store from there. That might drive people that are attracted to your jewelry to visit.

          As far as the site itself, I think you should include more information about the Columbian artisans that make the jewelry. Some profiles of the area or even better individual artists. People that buy that kind of stuff want to be able to tell their friends, "yes, this was made by an artist in the tiny Columbian village of ___________"

          Hope this helps and good luck.
          • Re: I just started!! Any advice or comment is welcome.
            snipperred Scout

            You might like to connect to the various Colombian communities online. The ones I know are generally very family oriented, stay connected, and all have lots of cousins.

            As far as the rest of the market, based on your product line I think a real-world marketing strategy would be more appropriate than any of the conventional online techniques. Just look around the corporate buying trends and product mixes. Just directly contact the ones who offer your type of product or even could compliment their selections.

            How flexible are you to adapt your business?
            • Re: I just started!! Any advice or comment is welcome.
              DomainDiva Ranger
              FIRST: DON"T QUIT!!! Get some help with internet traffic and ad's. Also you may want to contact some of the salons and spas. The one I go to has a serious collection of jewelry and purses made by some local artists and this stuff sells like hotcakes.

              What beautiful things. Several points about the website:

              Your categories are listed in really small font..took me a minute or so to locate them..the font color also mixes into the background color. You need a little more contrast.

              Second....make the pictures larger on the first page of the category and larger on the mouse over. I love your things. I love the art as well.
              • Re: I just started!! Any advice or comment is welcome.
                Lighthouse24 Ranger

                Welcome to the community. As already suggested, there are some SEO and web-based advertising strategies that could increase your visibility and traffic. Before you invest in those, I'd like to suggest a few site content/style revisions to consider.

                Personally, I think the Tiarona and Kogi history and heritage are fascinating, so one of my recommendations is to highlight some of that right up front. I mean, wow, they manufactured things from gold and other metals that people today still can't figure out how to reproduce. They had a system of stone roadways and regional trade confederations 200 years before Jesus was born. I think you could capture the interest and imagination of your site's visitors by providing a direct connection between your products and that amazing culture of artisanship and craftsmanship. I also think by adding that content you would draw visitors who already have an interest in that culture -- plus, that content will help when you get into SEO type tricks, too.

                As for the products, I didn't even see them immediately -- wasn't sure you had any on the site yet. I'd recommend that you provide a bigger and more obvious way to navigate to them from the home page. For instance, you might have a photo of a sample bracelet with the word "bracelets" underneath, with a hyperlink from both the photo and word to your products pages for bracelets (same thing for all your other product categories).

                The "About Us" page is not about you -- it's about your store policies. I'd put that on a "Policies" page and put your story (the one you told us in this post and that is written in your profile) on the "About Us" page. I'd also include your names and photos -- let your visitors get to know you. That's one of the things on-line shoppers look for to separate unique works of art from all the cheap pieces of drop-shipped junk that are sold by hundreds of MLMers. You want to distinguish who you are and what you have to offer from all that as clearly as possible.

                Finally, while the color and site style are not unattractive, I have to ask -- aren't those maple leafs? I could be wrong, but I didn't think they had maple trees anywhere in Colombia (or anywhere in South or Central America, for that matter). So that image seemed incongruent with who you are and what you're selling (maybe it's just me, but when I first landed on the home page, I thought "Oops, this has something to do with British Columbia rather than Colombia.")

                Anyway, I hope some of that helps. Best wishes with your new enterprise.