Some of the greatest names in fashion got their start selling to small vendors in local communities. But the big names like Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Miuccia Prada, and Coco Chanel all delivered where others lacked.
If the names above inspire you, then you’re more than likely starting your own fashion design journey, and looking to the greats for inspiration. Well, there’s one thing that these big names did that all businessmen and women have to eventually learn, and that’s the art of marketing.
You can be great at design, in fact, you can be the best, but unless you learn how to be great at marketing and networking, your competition down the street will more than likely outsell you even if their designs are lacking in style.
This is because marketing makes business work. Without marketing and networking, your business is basically invisible to the consumer. Though you may gain a few organic sales, the exposure and traffic that you need to be successful come from a sound marketing strategy.
In this guide, we’ll break down how to grow an online clothing store using proven techniques and tools best suited for 2021.
Table of Contents
Make a Name for Yourself
In the world of fashion and clothing design, people remember names. And they also relate a specific style with a name; This is what you want to accomplish… to have your name remembered and associated with your brand.
So what’s the best way to make a name for yourself? The answer is simple, you need to physically make a name for yourself, and this is where labels come in.
Every major designer has a logo or a label attached to their designs, and these logos and symbols ultimately represent and embody the characteristics of a certain brand. Designing your own logo is one thing, but you need to put it on your designs so that people begin to remember your name.
Fortunately, label creation is made easy with Wunderlabel woven labels. Using these tools, you can create and customize your own personal clothing labels and place these onto your designs.
You don’t want to show up at your first fashion show with nameless garments, so put extra thought into your labels.
If you’re concentrating your efforts to promote an online storefront, you not only have to market across the digital landscape, but you need to be seen in person as well. Because this is the only way that you’ll be able to meet the right contacts and get your designs in front of people already established within the world of fashion and design.
Becoming a brand requires relationship building. And the only way to build relationships is to actively seek out and network within the fashion space.
Plan on attending fashion shows, and always bring your portfolio and samples with you. You’re likely to run into others doing the same thing, but this is the nature of the fashion world. You will have competition, but making the effort to have your designs seen by industry leaders is worth the time.
In addition to fashion shows, you can seek out fashion trade shows, festivals, conferences, and design workshops. All of these events and venues will have industry leaders, experts and newcomers attending, and these are perfect places to begin networking.
Market Like Crazy
Online storefronts require a huge amount of marketing. In fact, marketing your storefront will become a full-time job in itself, and this is absolutely necessary if you want to gain the exposure that will bring you the traffic to get sales.
But how do you market your online storefront? Well, the good news is, you’re halfway thereby having a clothing site already online.
Even if you’re selling your designs on Etsy, Poshmark, or any other site, you can link these pages to a personal website, which is exactly what you need to be successful in the digital space.
Creating a website is a cinch these days with user-friendly web creation tools from developers like WordPress, Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace. Or you could go a step further and have your website professionally designed by a team of web developers.
Once you have your personal site up and running, you have a few options to consider for marketing and gaining exposure.
Blogging can be your best friend when it comes to marketing. By writing useful content that readers are interested in the fashion world will enjoy, you’ll not only be sparking a conversation and offering something of value, but you’ll also gain interest in your designs and draw in an audience.
The trick to blogging is to be consistent, and to offer readers something of value. Whether this is advice on how to put together a Fall ensemble or advice on how to coordinate color and texture, fashion enthusiasts who read your work will have their interests piqued.
The overall goal of blogging is to turn readers into customers and have your blog shared across networks.
If you’re going to make it in the digital space, you have to have a presence on social media.
Believe it or not, many people find great products and uncover brands and designers that they’ve never heard of all by browsing posts on social media. One follower leads to another, and one like can turn into 50,000 overnight if you know how to network and manipulate the platforms.
Social media business accounts, like Instagram and Facebook, are by far the most popular for designers today, or for anyone with a product or service to sell. By sharing your images and posting relevant content, you’ll be able to gain an audience on social media and funnel these new prospective customers into your website.
But the key here, like with blogging or with any marketing tactic, is persistence and consistency; these two are actually two of the biggest mistakes made in digital marketing. Without a regular posting schedule, your audience won’t know where to find your content. But if you schedule your posts consistently each week, you’ll likely see your fan base grow each week correspondingly.
Putting It All Together with Paid Search
Once you have your designs in front of consumers, it’s time to get serious about paid marketing.
You can have a website and click funnels with landing pages, and you can even have all of your social profiles and the like, connected to your website, but your success here all depends on organic traffic.
The key to getting sales is to have both organic traffic and traffic that you pay for. This strategy will cost a little money, but the payoff is worth what you’ll spend upfront.
Paid search is king when it comes to marketing, and this is the piece of the puzzle that ties your entire marketing campaign together into one cohesive unit.
For example, if I were searching for something like a “blue turtleneck sweater,” I would type these words into a search engine and choose from the options listed. Studies have shown that when a person searches for a product, they rarely navigate beyond the first search engine results page.
A paid search strategy is designed to get your site on the first page of search engine results. And this is right where you want to be to gain the traction and sales you desire.
All in all, the design world is a competitive space. But it’s only through a sound marketing strategy that you’ll come out successful, and maybe one day see your name listed alongside the industry greats, becoming a household name that will never be forgotten.