1. Create a website. An obvious one, but one that needs a lot of care and attention. Anyone can set up a website, it was essentially what we did to start off with, but you need to make sure that the site works and looks professional. There are many companies offering free E-commerce packages, some have small set up costs, but you can be up and running within a matter of hours using Shopify or Big Cartel. Whilst you are at it get yourself a personal domain, it will give you that professional look and allows you to bolt on a personal email address.
2. Hi-Res images. Don’t scrimp of your photos, get your products photographed and have Hi-Res images available for promotion purposes. Product shots and lifestyle shots are great and really add to the “I mean business” look to your brand. You can set up a Dropbox file or if your website package allows store them online.
3. Contact bloggers. Blogging over the past couple of years has taken off massively – search for Fashion Bloggers, check their credentials, and contact them to discuss what you are expecting. Remember just because they have 40000 followers, it doesn’t always mean all of those followers will be your target customer. Choose wisely.
4. Send items to bloggers. So you have found the perfect blogger for you, they have the right audience and regularly post similar products. Now this is where you will need to bite the bullet and send some of your products to them. The best thing to do here is to pack up a full set – T-Shirt, Cap, Beanie – basically one of everything you currently have available online and send them off, this way they will have much more to talk about.
5. Comment. Follow your favourite blogs and websites, and join in the conversation by commenting on relevant posts. Be sure to include your website address in the appropriate box.
6. Social Media. No explanation needed – well to a certain extent. You all know how it works, but did you know that Facebook will penalise you if you try to promote your brand through your personal FB profile? Don’t do it, all you have to do is set up a page, it really is as simple as that. Once you have that in place you can promote as much as you like.
7. Network. Online editors/bloggers/writers live offline too. Go to events, speak to them. They might just feature you. Search online for local fashion events in your area or head to some of the big shows with a bag of goodies and get chatting.
8. Guest Blog. If you’re a keen writer seek opportunities to write for fashion websites and blogs, in return you should be able to promote your brand at no cost.
9. Voucher Codes. We know it goes against every sales guide out there, but think about it, if you have marked your products up enough, there should be enough profit for you to cut your margins slightly in the hope of gaining more traffic through your site and essentially more people buying your products.
Get promoting these offers / discounts / vouchers through blogs, social media etc, the more people that learn about the offer, the more contacts you will gain.
10. Email Footer. An often forgotten area. How many emails do you send per day? How many opportunities to get your website address in? Almost all email clients allow you to add a custom signature, it takes a couple of minutes and WILL make a big difference.
11. Video. Yes, it’s the next big thing, everyone is doing it and it doesn’t cost anything. From product overviews to lifestyle videos with your products being worn by those in the video its a great way to get the brand noticed. Check out YouTube which has a basic editing feature, but for a more pro finish there are plenty of editing suites to suit all budgets. Some of which come with cameras.
12. Pitch to ASOS. The address you need is email@example.com. No harm in trying and it’s just another avenue to sell your products from.
13. Competitions. Go, give something away, just do it. Fashion magazine websites are always looking for prizes to give out to their style hungry readers. Everyone loves a freebie.
14. Data. So, you have done all of the above, you have seen a massive increase in the traffic to your site, you have bloggers contacting you to promote your brand. What do you do with all this information? Well its simple, you need to keep promoting your brand. Let people know what you’re up to, new products, get their opinions on new styles etc. One application that works really well in sorting your data and allowing you to send emails and offer is MailChimp.