Dave & All, Your question is about marketing as a one person shop.
Marketing a single venture like a manufactured product, a line of
jewelry, is relatively simple. You make the product and get out
there and sell it. You determine what the price of the product is
so that you can make a profit and still keep the merchandise
selling. How you accomplish this feat is up to you. My experience
is that third party marketing does not work. Price of the product
is why third party marketing does not work. Follow this sequence.
You manufacture a product that costs $2.00 in materials. You use up
$.50 in expendable tools to make the product, wheels, polishes, etc.
You now have $2.50 in the product. You spend 2 hours making the
product. You want to make $15 per hour for your labor. You now
have a base price of $32.50. Next you must add 10% to cover
unforseen costs - $36.00. $36.00 is what I call the survival price
or bottom price I can sell an item and still stay in business. In
order sell your product with a third party marketer you must
increase the price to $72.00. That 100% mark up normally places
your item out of competition with similar items. The result is
every one says how pretty your work is, but they do not buy it.
Marketing becomes much more difficult when the business is
complicated by other ventures than manufacturing. If you also
repair and do custom work your ability to manufacture is very
limited. Thus your marketing becomes more complex. Are you
marketing a product, a service (repair), or a skill (custom work)?
I tried for many years to mix all three together and found myself
My solution. I only manufacture. I sell products directly to
consumers. I do no custom, no repair. I manufacture. I gain my
edge by price. Following the pricing above I price my items 50%
above my survival price. That leaves me room to play with a large
volume buyer and still be less expensive that the third party
marketer. My sales have grown steady. I control my production and
my marketing. I get to manufacture better quality, exercise my
artistic ability, and make more profit. Price is the only guiding
line in marketing. Do the math.