1. Figure out your story and tell it well.
There is a story behind why you started your line and why your line is the way it is. Did your mother's fascination with scarves inspire the colorful prints on your garments? Are the summers you spent with your husband in Greece the reason behind the whimsical pom pom fringes on each piece in your line? Having a story conveys two things to your potential customer: a reason behind what you're doing and a personality. Your "why" behind starting a clothing line demonstrates authenticity and passion, which disarms customers that are wary of being sold to. Giving your brand a personality helps you target a market that relates to what you stand for, whether that be fashion that is daring, subtle and chic, sustainable, or has a philanthropic aspect to it.
Once you've solidified your story, tell it everywhere. Communicate your story through every marketing channel you're using: on your website, on social media, through email marketing, etc. Pick an aesthetic that aligns with your story, so that the colors you use in every channel, the photos your select, your logos and your fonts tell a comprehensive tale. This way, your clothing line will become synonymous with certain personality traits your consumers identify with -- traits that they can exhibit by possessing your clothing.
2. Build out a basic marketing toolbox
Just as a basic toolbox contains key tools: a screwdriver, a wrench, and a hammer, your marketing toolbox will consist of foundational tools you can use to help your clothing line see the lift in sales you've been looking for. Your marketing toolbox is separated into two sections: digital marketing initiatives and print marketing materials. As fashion consumers are shopping online more than ever -- resulting in worldwide e-commerce revenues of $481.2 billion -- it is evident that the convenience and competitive pricing provided through e-commerce will ensure its exponential growth in the coming years. Creating a beautiful, user-friendly website is now a must-have for marketing your clothing line. Getting started is easy; visit a web hosting company like GoDaddy.com, purchase a domain name, and select a content management system (CMS) for your site. A CMS such as Wordpress contains hundreds of beautiful, ready-made templates (website layouts). Select your favorite template and build out the pages on the template easily by plugging in text, photos, and graphics. To set up an e-commerce portal on Wordpress, visit your Wordpress Dashboard to add a plugin, aka a piece of software that can expand your website functions. The Woocommerce plugin is free and set-up is fast and painless. Have a website already, but interested in taking your online sales to the next level? Implement SEO and PPC initiatives to boost traffic to your website.
Next up, design and produce a suite of print materials to promote your clothing line. Included in this suite of marketing collateral may be: a lookbook, a postcard, and employee business cards. Bring this collateral to tradeshows, conferences, meetings with potential partners, and have it readily available at brick-and-mortar stores so as to have a leave-behind with your contact information for interested parties.
3. Create streamlined marketing processes for your marketing channels.
Marketing channels refer to the platforms through which you may promote your clothing line. Think through the profile of your potential customers in order to prioritize the marketing channels you should invest in: what age range, gender, types of interests, and shopping habits will they possess? What marketing platforms would appeal to them most? Are the majority of them active on Facebook and other social media platforms? Where do they get there news from? Which blogs and magazines do they subscribe to?
From there, decide on which marketing channels to invest your efforts in. Social media marketing, email marketing, influencer marketing, and public relations are four channels that are commonly used to reach a fashion industry clientele. Develop a strategy for these marketing channels that includes what kind of "voice" (personality) you'll be utilizing, the type of content you'll be featuring, and how you will be engaging your potential clients. Then, create a calendar for each channel that will serve as a guideline for when to execute the tactics included in your overall strategy.
Building a strong marketing foundation is oftentimes the catalyst a startup needs to see sales success. Have a marketing question you need answered? Murphy of The Marketeur is happy to share her expertise -- reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.