Earlier this week I posted a 2-question survey on Facebook asking you what you need help with the most regarding PR and marketing to build and grow your fashion business.
Looking through the results, a lot of people wanted to know how to market their business and specifically, what exactly they should be doing each month. If you've been wondering the same thing, here are 5 easy ideas to get you started on creating your monthly marketing strategy.
If you've been a part of the Laptops & Smalltalk community for a while, you know I always talk about planning and setting goals. It's such an important part of your marketing strategy that often gets overlooked.
Don't ignore this step! It's super important!
At the beginning of each month ask yourself:
- What are my goals for this month?
- What do I want to achieve?
- What do I need to achieve?
- In what specific ways do I want to see my business grow this month?
Once you have your goals you can work backwards and create objectives and a strategy to make it all happen.
With so much to do as an entrepreneur, who has time to blog? And, is it event important? Will it actually lead to sales? In short, YES!
Here's the thing: as humans, we crave connections. From sharing our weekend plans with coworkers to recapping a TV show with friends, whether business or personal we crave connections with others.
One of the most powerful (and effective) kinds of marketing is the kind that creates an emotional connection between you and your audience.
Today's consumers aren't just buying products for their features or because it's a “good product”, consumers are also attracted to how a brand makes them feel. They are looking to be inspired and to support things that align with their values. They want to belong to a community and feel like they are a part of something that is bigger than themselves.
When I say emotional, I don't mean that it has to pull on your heartstrings per se. An emotional connection can come from a customer feeling cool, attractive, trendy, environmentally conscious etc when they buy/use/wear your product.
People are being marketed to by hundreds of brands on a daily basis. With so much noise both on and offline, consumers today tend to respond to things that grab their attention emotionally and tell a story. Therefore it's really important that you give people a reason to stick with you and to choose your business over your competition. One of the best ways to do this is to make them feel something and give them something to connect to.
Aside from the fact that blogging is great for improving SEO, increasing website traffic and showing off your product in a less "salesy" sort of way, blogging is a great way to share your story, build a connection with your community and to give VALUE to your audience while tying in your brand.
Elizabeth Suzann did an awesome blog post around Mother's Day focused on mammas-to-be where they shared some of their products that are perfect for dressing the bump and then, gave some tips for choosing kid-friendly clothing.
Think about the products and services you offer. What kind of things can you blog about that will highlight your product and still give value to the reader and create a connection?
At this point, I think we can all agree that social media is an extremely valuable marketing tool for growing your business. Just as it's important to have a presence on social media that's visually appealing, it's equally important that you're consistent with your posting, that you invest time authentically engaging with your audience and planning your content.
So much has changed on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram making engagement super important to your growth.
I've gotten a lot of questions from people about Instagram's Shadowban. (The shadowban makes your account invisible and makes it almost impossible for you to reach new people even if you use hashtags. So for example, let's say you post a picture with the hashtag #PortlandFashion, if YOU or YOUR FOLLOWERS click on the hashtag, your images will appear under that hashtag. But to people who aren't following your account, your picture won't be there.) My thoughts are this. As much as we all love Instagram for business, we don't own that platform. Instagram could go down tomorrow or, make even more changes that prevent us from being able to reach our audience. Focus on building your community (both on and off Instagram), don't rely on hashtags to get new eyes on your posts. Directly engage with your followers and people who aren't following you yet but maybe interested in your designs. And finally..point #4.
UTILIZE YOUR EMAIL LIST.
Unlike other platforms where you have to try hard to stand out, build your following and convince people to click the link in your bio to buy something, your email list is extremely valuable because the people on your list are all people who've chosen to opt in. These are people who've expressed interest in your business and want to be kept in the loop about what's going on.
According to McKinsey, your email list is 40 times more effective at bringing in new business than social." 40 times people!
Offer an incentive like 10-15% off first purchase or, a gift with purchase to entice people to join your list. Then, use that list to keep your community in the loop about what's going on.
DON'T, however, only use your list to sell. You don't want people to see your email in their inbox and automatically delete it because they assume it's an ad or sale promotion. Your email list is a great platform to share your message, story, and inspiration with your audience. Get creative. Elizabeth Suzann is an example of a brand with a great mailing list! Not only do they share new products but they also give you the BTS look at their business which can be really interesting. This is also a place where you can let your community know about new blog posts...just sayin'.
At the conclusion of each month, it's important to take a moment to review.
- Did you accomplish your monthly goals?
- If so, what activities did you do that you helped you to be successful? In not, what held you back?
Taking a moment to review and reflect is important because it allows you to see what's working and what's not working. If you achieved your goals for the month you know to continue doing what you're doing. If not, you know to tweak your approach for next month until it yields the results you want.
What do you do monthly to promote and build your fashion business? Comment below and join the conversation.