When launching and running a clothing line or any business for that matter it is always crucial to put your best foot forward and present yourself as professionally as possible. Remeber you only get once chance to make a first impression, so make it a good one! Now many of you are probably thinking, “tell me something I don’t know”! But the truth of the matter is that I see many clothing lines shorting themselves by skipping steps and taking the “quicker, cheaper, easier” is better approach. Well I have news for you! With new clothing lines literally sprouting up everyday there is absolutely no room for marginal brands to stand a chance to compete and furthermore become successful.
When running an online business you most likely are not going to have the opportunity to individually talk or interact with every visitor and more importantly potential customer that visits your site.
So what exactly can you do to make sure your looking as professional as possible?
It’s All About Presentation!
With tools at your disposal such as BigCartel and Storenvy making a store to sell your goods is extremely simple and easy. That being said slamming some photos together and posting them in the standard BC or Storenvy storefront just does not cut it these days! Building a company is all about building a brand and an experience. Think of your storefront how you would think of building your own bricks and mortar store. If you were to open a retail location would you just rent a place throw your tees inside of it and open the door? I hope not! Most likely you would think about building an atmosphere by painting, adding furniture, music, lighting and extras to make your customers feel good about their experience. The same thing goes for your online store. By adding a custom layout that is aesthetically pleasing and also easy to navigate you are most certainly going to increase your sales and overall customer experience. If you are looking for examples of quality custom BigCartel sites look no further! (20 Awesome Big Cartel Storefronts)
Part two of your online presentation is how you present your items themselves. I have seen several really nice looking online storefronts fall short with terrible looking photographs. Remember your customers online can not pick up, touch or try on your items, so you need to show them exactly how awesome your shirts look. If done properly you really can take the negative of not being able to try on clothes and turn it into a positive by showcasing your tees looking bigger and better than real life with some awesome photography and creative ideas you really can make even a average looking tee/design look like a work of art. If I were to recommend anything when taking photographs of your line is keep everything consistent! Imagine the look you are going for and stick with it!
When It Comes To Getting Press It’s All About Your Approach
Bloggers get tons of email everyday from companies looking to get press. The key to getting most bloggers to write about you is simple, be professional, concise and courteous.
I can’t even begin to count the amount of emails I get from clothing companies that ask me to write about them that look like this:
“Hey I like your site can you write about my t-shirt company xxx. It would be awesome as we have some really sweet tees that are going to sell well. Thanks”
Either that or the email goes on writing an entire book about everything imaginable about the brand, life story and huge file of images. Here is the deal with that, most bloggers don’t have the time to read through the entire life story of a new brand and are never going to take the time to open the zip file you have sent over.
You really need to balance being concise, informative and professional when looking for press. Honestly I like to read nothing more than a paragraph when a brand is pitching their line. If you cant get your point across in a paragraph, then you need to go back and trim out unnecessary information, because I guarantee you there is some.
The brands that I usually write about fall into the following:
–They know about IAMTHETREND and even further know my name. It doesn’t take much effort for a company looking for press to find out the owner of a websites name especially if they do actually follow that bloggers site. For example my full name right now appears on the front page of the website 9 times! When you use someone’s first name it immediately makes the email more personal and shows that you care.
–They include a link! This is another easy piece of information that often get’s forgotten. Always make sure that you include a link at least once in your email.
–Include a couple small images. I’ll admit sometimes I get lazy or am just to busy to take the time to visit every site that get’s pitched to IATT. By simply including 1 or 2 .jpgs of a couple of your shirts it makes it really easy for a blogger to get a really good feel for what you have to offer and if they want to write about it. After all a picture is worth a thousand words! That being said don’t send huge high res files or an entire zip file of everything you have ever done. If a blogger likes what they see they are most likely going to contact you for more images to use with the post.
–BONUS TIP! Brands that submit to IAMTHETREND that take the time to pre-format their images to fit IATT sizes usually get posted about first. Every IAMTHETREND article has a 270 x 198 front page image and a 672 x 310 article header, when brands include those images for me to use that makes my life 100x easier thus get written about first! I’m assuming this is the same for many blogs.
In conclusion most of these tips are extremely straight forward, simple and generally common sense but are often overlooked. With that in mind most brands either skip one or more of these steps and in turn really hurt the chances that their brand completes a sale and/or gets press. Take your time, put your best foot forward and be professional and your brand will see more success immediately.