It’s one thing to make and sell an occasional piece of bead craftjewelry to friends and neighbors.
That will certainly make you some money now and then, but if you are looking at the possibility of having your bead craft hobby create and produce sustainable, reliable profits for you, then you need three things.
The first is something that no one can give you. You’ve either got it or you don’t, and that is persistence. You’ve got to be willing to try and fail, or try and gain very little ground, in order to succeed. I read an interesting article by a guy who interviewed Michael Jordan, asking him how he got so good at basketball.
His answer brought a smile to my face. Something to the effect that he’d missed thousands of shots and lost more than three hundred games. There’s truth in that. The more you do, the more chances you have to succeed. Heck, even great hitters in baseball only have a .300-odd average, meaning they miss seven times out of ten.
Persistence. If you don’t try, and aren’t willing to keep a sustained effort going, then you absolutely will not succeed at beadwork or anything else. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth of it.
Second thing, you need to know how to bead. You can’t just show up one day and “decide” you’re gonna make money in bead craft. You have to know the ropes, and (hopefully) really enjoy bead craft as a hobby. This part’s easy, and I’m willing to bet that if you’re here, you’ve already got this one covered.
Third thing, and you’re going to groan when you read the word, so brace yourself.
When thinking of marketing, lots of folks immediately think of flea markets and craft fairs, but I’m going to caution you AGAINST doing things like that, and here’s why:
Those efforts are very time intensive. You have to be in the stall or booth, manning it, talking to potential customers, answering questions, blah blah blah, day in and day out, in order to make sales. Sure, you can bring your supplies with you and work on some of your bead craft projects between talking to people, but there’s still a significant amount of time lost in set up, break down, packing, transportation, etc. That’s a huge waste, and a loss for you.
No. What you need are passive marketing strategies. Now, mind you, passive marketing strategies don’t mean there’s no work involved, and they don’t mean that you’ll never have to talk to anyone.
The way passive marketing works is…you do all the hard stuff up front. There’s no immediate payoff, BUT, once your work is done, the marketing efforts continue forever, with little additional input from you.
That sounds much better and more efficient, yes? I mean, something that requires your constant attention vs. something that requires some work up front, and then continues on autopilot afterward? That frees up time for you to continue working on your bead craft designs!
So, forget time intensive hands on stuff, and let’s focus on passive marketing.
Two kinds of passive marketing. Local and global. We’ll look at both, and you can do both in tandem. In fact, I’d recommend it!
Local Passive Marketing
Your best friend here is the word consignment. You want to talk to as many stores, shops and vendors who either sell bead craft products like yours or cater to local artists, and you want to get some shop space.
Because these existing businesses already have a steady stream of customers, and you can springboard off them to make sales.
Yes, they’ll want a cut of the profits from your bead craft sales, but that’s fair. It’s their shop and their customers after all. However, most shop owners will allow you to put your business cards up right next to your bead craft products, and this is key, because once people buy something, if they like it, thereafter, they can contact you direct for additional business.
Mass is your friend here. You don’t want to stop at just one or two shops. You want to blanket as many stores as you can keep supplied with your bead craft products! The more stores, the more eyeballs see what you’re selling, and the more potential customers you can reach.
Again, passive marketing, because once you have these various conversations and get everything set up, all that’s left for you to do is check in once in a while to see if your vendors need any more product and go get paid.
Make no mistake, you can make a lot of money (a full time income, and more) using these techniques. In fact, there’s a woman named Kameron Kay who teaches a detailed, extensive course on this very subject. To find out more, head over to our page entitled Beadwork Business Secrets.
Global Passive Marketing
This involves setting up a website, optimizing it to drive traffic to it, and using it as a platform to sell your bead craft and other wares (you can see an example of Christina’s online store, “Creativisms,” by clicking the link).
To do this, you’ll need to spend a bit of money up front. You’ll need a web hosting account, a domain, a few bucks to conduct some keyword tests (trust me, having wasted lots of time with the freebie keyword tools, you don’t want to do this…spend ten bucks or so and find keywords that are actually getting searched before you build a simple website!), and educate yourself on the basics of SEO, traffic generation, and internet marketing in general. This stuff takes either time or money to learn. A lot of the information is available for free on the ‘net, but much of it is contradictory and requires experimentation on your part if you go the freebie route. Estimate a learning curve of 8-12 months. You can cut out a tremendous amount of time (reducing your learning curve to 30-45 days) by being willing to pay a little bit for a proper education, but then the trick is knowing who’s trying to scam you and who’s got the honest information you’re looking for.
I spent a lot of time and money on various “programs” and lined the pockets of lots of scammers before I found a reliable, no nonsense source of information, and I would save you the time and trouble.
If you want a real education about this stuff, and learn from someone who’s a gifted teacher to boot, don’t look any further than Steve Weber.
After I’d spent several hundred bucks on scam packages, I came across his site, and spent DAYS pouring over all the free stuff he has available. It taught me a lot, but there were particulars I needed to know more about. All the free goodies made me less skeptical than I otherwise would have been, but I was still somewhat leery, based on all the prior times I’d been burned, so I wrote him a letter. Told him I had scraped together enough money to buy ONE of his programs, and let him know which one I was considering.
I figured it’d fall into the black hole of e-mails and I’d never hear anything from him, but boy was I mistaken! That’s not how Steve does business.
Next day, to my pleasant surprise, he had written me back. He understood my dilemma and recommended what he felt would be the best program for me overall (and again to my surprise, the one he picked out for me cost less than the one I had chosen for myself!).
So I bit the bullet and decided to trust him, and the rest is history.
Best decision I ever made.
But hey, don’t take my word for it. Follow the link below and check him out for yourself. Specifically, DO NOT make a purchase right away. It’ll take you days to get through all the free materials anyway, but do bookmark the site, because you’ll want to come back again and again.
I know, I know, you’re probably as skeptical as I was in the beginning, but Steve’s the real McCoy. He’s a gentleman and I consider him a friend, and he knows stuff that’ll simply blow you away. The package he recommend to me is called Real Website Pro, and is the best I’ve ever read.
If you want to learn how to market anything on the internet (your bead craft projects or something else), you need to head to Steve’s classroom.