By Katie Hacker
1. Start a blog. Beaders are a web-savvy bunch and would be interested in learning about your personal story, how you invented the game, stories of how people respond to it, etc. The
By Katie Hacker
blog gives you an opportunity to build your own brand and make it more personal. Link to other bead bloggers and ask them to review the game or include it in their blog posts, too. I'm writing about Bead Trade on my blog today!
2. Get on TV. Contact beading and craft shows like the one I'm a guest expert on: Beads, Baubles & Jewels. Since the show is on public television, they can't promote particular products but they are very interested in things with an educational focus. They might consider doing a segment on trade beads and could show the game as a way to teach kids the cultural significance of trade beads. Or, they might plan a segment around hosting a beading party and the game could be something they include as part of their suggestions. You could also add a video clip to your website to give visitors a more hands-on look at the game.
3. Connect with magazine editors. I would recommend sending samples of your products (with press releases) to all of the beading and general crafts magazines. They are always looking for new products to review and are more likely to review when they have the items in-house. Product reviews may lead to in-depth feature articles. Reinforce with advertising where possible.
4. Talk to craft store chains. Have you contacted the bead department buyers (not the games/books buyers) at the major craft chains Michaels, Hobby Lobby and AC Moore? The game would complement their beading departments because it's perfect for beading groups/societies or girl's night out, makes a good gift, etc. It would be especially great for the Christmas season.
5. Party! Bring your game to bead social nights at major national shows like the Bead & Button Show or Bead Fest. Give people a chance to fall in love with Bead Trade once they see what it's all about. Look into formally hosting a reception at some of the national shows or informally introducing people to the game during social time.
Katie Hacker has written or co-authored many beading and craft books including Hip to Bead (Interweave Press 2006) and Bead & Wire Jewelry Exposed (Jan 2009 F+W Publications). She also presents "Beading Lessons" on each episode of the public television show Beads, Baubles & Jewels. She is a regular contributor to a variety of do-it-yourself magazines including Simply Beads andBeadwork. Katie also teaches classes at national venues like the Bead & Button Show and Bead Fest. Read Katie's blog and sign up for her newsletter at www.KatieHacker.com.
Katie Hacker http://www.katiehacker.com
Hip to Bead http://www.hiptobead.com
Bead & Wire Jewelry Exposed http://www.amazon.com/Bead-Wire-Jewelry-Exposed-Featuring/dp/1600611591
Beads, Baubles & Jewels http://www.beadsbaublesandjewels.com
Simply Beads http://www.simplybeadsmagazine.com
Bead & Button Show http://www.beadandbuttonshow.com
Bead Fest http://www.beadfest.com