Social Media Superstardom

How a small town jeweller got the attention he deserved through Instagram

By Ryan Holtz

A few months ago, I was vacationing in Fairmont, B.C. and decided to pay a visit to Invermere, which is a 10-minute drive from where I was staying. There, I decided to pop into a local jewellery store, Invermere Goldsmiths, which has been around for quite some time. I was instantly greeted by a man named Brandon Szott, who told me that I look familiar. He pulled a few copies of Canadian Jeweller Magazine, pointed to some of my past columns, and said, “Ryan, do I have a story for you!”

A talented custom jewellery designer, Szott is also a huge fan of Jesse James. He decided to message the motorcycle enthusiast through his official Instagram account, PAYUPSUCKER, which boasts over 30,000 followers. Szott offered James to design a ring for him, free of charge.

Much to his surprise, the jewellery designer received a message a few months later from a member of James’ PR team, giving Szott the shipping address for his design. Szott put down the Windex and quickly got busy doing what he does best — designing jewellery! In a matter of weeks, he had created a stunning new ring for James and it was ready to be shipped off.

Just imagine the stress that comes with sending off a ring you had put so much time and effort into designing and producing to a completely unknown address. However the passionate craftsman put his faith on the line and took a huge risk, thinking that this could be worth it.

After about six months and a lot of waiting, Szott finally received a notification through his Instagram account – it was James giving him a personal shout-out and sporting Szott’s very own creation!
“It was awesome!” says Szott, who lives in a town of about 3,000 people. “I’d do it again in a heartbeat!”

This story really hit home for me because I think that way too many people don’t give themselves the credit that they deserve for their work. In many of my presentations, I like to use keywords like “people” and “remarkable” in the same sentence because social media has created an even playing field where anybody with an idea or a passion can get the word out!

Today’s digital infrastructure has forced companies with huge marketing budgets to go back to the drawing board when it comes to growing the type of audience base that they desire. We often forget that social media is all about the buzzwords, and that it’s the people that make up the true meaning behind the words! If social media is the conduit, then humans are the content.

In the case of Szott, he used Instagram to connect with an individual that he would never have been able to get recognition from otherwise. It’s an excellent example of the kinds of opportunities that social media offers us.

As a jeweller reading this article right now, you should be asking yourself, “How am I using Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to get the attention of my customers?”

Case in point, a small jewellery store in a tiny town with a very limited marketing budget accomplished a HUGE feat for FREE.

It’s time to start realizing that using social media is not as scary as it may seem. Instead, it’s a free marketing opportunity right at your fingertips!
Remember, your customers don’t need jewellery; they WANT it, which means that it’s a completely emotional purchase and you can have a part in playing to those emotions!

Feel free to follow Brandon Szott from Invermere Goldsmiths @rawmetalgoldsmith and myself @ryanholtz1 on Twitter and Instagram. Let’s explore the possibilities of what social media can do for our businesses and also for our personal development! CJ

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