This information in this article is predicated on two assumptions: That you have one or more beading projects you’d like to make profitable, and that you have some level of inventory at the ready for when sales begin coming in. If that’s you, then this article will outline a few avenues open to you for “passively marketing” your work.

Note that passive marketing does not mean “no work required,” or “you don’t have to talk to anyone.” Rather, it means that the greater bulk of the work occurs on the “front end” and that once the work is concluded, your passive marketing efforts will continue more or less on their own, indefinitely, with only minimal added effort on your part.

This is important for you as a bead crafter because it frees up more of your time, which you can devote to your current beading projects, or, if you feel you’re ready for it, develop wholly new beading projects to expand your line.

We’ll cover two examples of passive marketing. One, advertising your completed beading projects locally, and the other, advertising them globally.

One of the very best ways to market your beading projects locally is via consignment. Here, your goal is to show your line to people with an established business and ask if they will display and sell your products in exchange for a portion of the profits. This works to your advantage on a number of levels. First, the established business already has regular customers you can make sales from. Additionally, most will allow you to display your business cards next to your wares, so if a customer likes what you produce, their next purchase may be made direct from you. Also, once you have an existing relationship of this sort, it’s generally easy to introduce new products to your display as you expand the number of beading projects in your line.

The key here is not to limit yourself to just one or two such relationships, but to seek to engage as many sources as you can keep supplied. Not only does this increase your exposure, but it also allows you to see how various shops handle your merchandise, and you can use this information to see where your products sell the best, then attempt to gain a similar in-store position at other shops carrying your line. If your beading projects are focused on necklaces/bracelets, you may naturally be drawn to locally owned jewelry stores in your town, but I encourage you to think outside the box here! Hospital gift stores, gift shops in retirement homes and old fashioned country stores are all great pleases to inquire, as are general gift stores and specialty shops like Hallmark, and any place that caters to local artists!

Thinking of the global market, the very best thing you can do to advertise your for-profit beading projects is niche web marketing. There are literally dozens of books on this topic, and it’s far beyond the scope of this article to fully explore the process, but in broad strokes, what you need to do in order to market your beading projects in this manner are:

1) Identify keywords describing your beading projects that get some daily searches (10-30+ per day) and have minimal competition (under 50k).
2) Design a niche site around these keywords to drive traffic to your page
3) Describe what you’re offering. These descriptions should be mixed in with original content on your site
4) Offer would be customers a means of contacting you
5) Offer them a means to buy from you online

Again, the beauty of passive marketing is that once the initial work is done, your beading projects get exposure day in, and day out with very little effort on your part. Contrast this with a hands on approach (flea markets and craft fairs) which require your constant presence and attention in order to make sales from your beading projects and the advantages become compelling indeed!

To learn more about this and related topics, see Bead Craft. Chris Hartpence and his wife, Christina, live in a small seaside town in South Carolina. Both are lifelong artists and die-hard do-it-yourselfers.

They jointly run the Bead Craft Ideas website, and can be reached at

Author: Chris Hartpence
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