In today’s fast-paced world, small business owners are even more hyper-connected and overloaded with information, choices, and distractions. One of the hardest things to determine is whether you’re on the right path or not. Great work requires taking risks. Couch Sessions offers practical information, new perspectives and quick tips to help point you in the right direction.
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How do you market outside of social media without breaking the bank and where do you find your customers? I know my apparel styles are cute and trendy so why can’t I find the right customer? Ada Hsieh, GMG Style
The fashion business is very competitive whether you are a small local boutique or a high-end store on Rodeo Drive. Branding your business and marketing to your ideal client can take time, but doesn’t necessarily need to cost you a lot of money. You have to cover the basics first. Is your website clean and easy to navigate? Sometimes too many options and links can be distracting. What is the focus? Where do you want your visitors to go, what do you want them to do? Is your marketing message clear and speak to your ideal client? Are your products and blog up to date? (i.e. I can see some of your products and blog entries are from 2010 and 2012). If it’s hard for you to keep it updated, just don’t do it. Or you can have guest bloggers help you stay current. Fashion is about image and imagery. You may want to think about cleaning up your website so that the focus is on imagery and it’s simple to navigate.
Once you’re ready for people to visit your site, you have to get creative in how you build your base. Start locally. Hit the streets. Connect with hair salons and nail shops and other places that your ideal client may frequent. Ask if you could leave some of your marketing material with them and take some of theirs with you. Ask if you can host a “trunk show” or “sample show” at their space (take orders if you have limited product). You could easily do the same at home. Get your friends to invite more friends and host a “sample show” at home. Don’t forget about gyms, yoga studios and your local colleges? How can you access female students?
Pop-up shops are getting more and more traction. Can you find, rent or barter for a small space and host a live event? You may also want to consider working with a local charity. Find a cause that interests you and think about hosting a fashion show with some of the proceeds benefitting the charity.
Again, fashion is a rough trade. You have to think faster and further than your competitors, you have to stay outside of the box and you have to have thick skin. Get out and network, meet some people. Connect and collaborate.
You can’t just build it and expect people to come. Cultivating your brand is a continuous process. Marketing is an activity requiring action on YOUR part, not your clients. Keep it simple, talk to people, have something tangible to leave with them (business card, postcard, etc.) and keep in touch!
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Simplicity expert, A.Michelle Blakeley is the source for understanding and knowing how to align your purpose, principles and priorities with simple practices. She masterfully delivers the right information with step-by-step guidance. What’s good for you is good for your business. As a result, her clients are holistically and authentically operating their business and experiencing energized realities. Connect with her on twitter at @simplicityinc or read through her new online magazine, Micro Business Therapy.