1) Get in front of people.
Marketing is easier than ever. Thanks to social media, you can be in anyone’s life as soon as they want you to be. Don’t be afraid to network with fashion bloggers and social media influencers either. They can expose your brand to more people who trust them and in turn will give you their business. Plus, with more opportunities to reach people live, in the moment, you can have more meaningful conversations with people directly than ever before. Post, post, post every day if you can (and pay attention to the best times for you to post, too!) But don’t constantly sell to people… tell stories.
2) Don’t just sell. Tell stories.
Our ‘sale graphics’ are arguably some of our least engaging posts. People know when they’re just ‘being sold to’ and in a world where they’re seeing hundreds, if not thousands of ads everyday, it’s easy for them to check out. If you tell someone about a ‘Pretty Blanket Poncho’ in stock, they know about it. If you tell them about an easy to wear, must-have accessory that will change the way their wear their favorite cold weather outfits, you’re creating some ‘need’ for them. You need to answer this question: Why do they want to wear this product? More specifically… Why do they want the one you have? You really have to know your customer to answer those questions. (Hint: that’s tip 3) A powerful tool to use is reviews. Did someone have a great experience at your shop? Did that new little outfit turn some heads at work? Did they wear your styles on a date night where they looked/felt extra confident? Collect those stories and share them! A story beats other marketing almost 100% of the time.
3) Know your customer. Go with your gut.
It’s important to know who you’re marketing to. If you’re marketing to everyone, you’re marketing to no one. Like I said above, people are swarmed with communication right now. All. Day. Long. You’ve got to get to know your customer. Ask questions on social media. Research some profiles. Use Facebook or your email lists to help you understand the types of people that are engaging with your brand. When you do a giveaway, pay attention to who’s engaging with those. When you know who your customer is, speak to them about other parts of their lives. Are they moms? Do they work? Do they love recipes? Have you ever had a friend or spouse that just ‘got you’ or knew someone else like that? It’s literally like you’re on the same wavelength. They’re so in tune with you that they know what you want even before you do. That’s how you need to be with your customer base. When you know your customer, you can tell better stories. When you know your customer and you’re debating what products to buy, you can go with your gut because you’re an expert in what they want. That’s why they shop with you instead of someone else.
4) Make every part of your company great.
This is key. Think about the last someone suggested a restaurant to you. They probably didn’t say “You’ve got to try this place! The food is ok. The atmosphere was fine. The service was lackluster.” People rave about places where they’ve had a GREAT experience from beginning to end and they’ll line up around the block to try it. That’s how you need to approach your business. Make every effort to fill key positions with people who are motivated to use the skills they have to make your company great. It comes down to the culture of your shop. ChickFilA has built a culture in their business that sets them in a completely different universe compared to other fast food places. There’s no shortage of small boutiques in most areas. What will set you apart is a company culture that turns shoppers into customers and customers into raving fans.
5) Invest in marketing yourself.
Someone needs to be the face of your business. That person should probably be you or whoever knows your customer well and understands the culture of your company inside and out. There’s a new surge of people who value relationship and experience over saving a few bucks. You’re going to be their fashion go-to. Ask questions. Answer questions. Use social media. Host a wine walk with a Q&A. Become the personal stylist of hundreds or thousands of people. Be available. But also soak up as much as you can from people who are further along in the journey than you are. Learn from their mistakes.