1. I don’t have a lot of cash to spend on advertising, What are some budget friendly tips to get my store out there?
PR Couture says…
Look for opportunities to collaborate with like-minded designers. Go in on a table together at a craft fair and split the cost. Look for opportunities to do trade advertising on fashion blogs, swap a banner of your merch for one that promotes their blog or clothing line. Of course, keeping PR central to your promotional strategy will keep costs low. I would be very careful of doing any advertising and instead focus on print and online PR coverage.
First, it’s easy to get your store listed on numerous online shopping sites, city listings and events boards. Keep in mind, any store listing that appears online builds your store’s web profile and is a permanent, searchable link. This is way more valuable that print publication listings which are generally thrown away once the magazine is read.
Then, consider blogger reviews. By focusing in on influential blogs and readerships that match your store’s style and product assortment, it will be easy to get the right coverage ADLOVE.
Finally, develop a social network on facebook. Use your tagline everywhere and build ADLOVE fans. This expanded following could help you spread the word and in return you could offer exclusives, preview shopping experiences and discounts as a special thank you. These are all strategies we implement on social media campaigns for our fashion, beauty and home furnishings clients. It’s definitely time-consuming and requires a commitment. When you’re able to consider outside help, we’d would welcome you to our PR hive here at Buzzflikr! - Debra Stevenson, CEO Buzzflikr
Twitter the heck out of your store/ talent, but be smart about it. Follow some other brands like yours that use Twitter effectively and learn from them. -Kate Sullivan, President, Kick PR
Social media allows so many cost-effective alternatives to traditional advertising. A few options:
- Engage with bloggers – Twitter is a great place to start, but also try using your own blog. Add bloggers you admire to your links section, comment on their sites, show your support – the fashion blogosphere is generally responsive to this approach.
- Identify where conversations are already happening about your brand and industry (blogs, Twitter, forums, etc) – find a way to participate.
- Offer special promotions and use online shopping forums (among other outlets) to help get the word out.
- Subscribe to Independent Fashion Bloggers’ Little Birdie service. It’s a free weekly e-newsletter that includes loads of story opportunities submitted by bloggers. It’ll definitely help you narrow your focus when pitching and save you some time researching too.
- Jordana Bruner, PR Professional and Clutch-22 blogger
2. The website address ADLOVE.com is already taken, is up for bid in the $thousands, what is the next best web address you would suggest, that would be easiest for customers? Here are some, that i can get: adlove.us, adlove.info, adlove.us.com, should I put a number or the word “shop” behind?
PR Couture says…
I wouldn’t worry so much about what you call your domain, I think shopadlove or adloveonline are both fine. Instead focus on making that site reflective of your personal brand, and then keeping that consistent across your social media profiles. I do think that a .com is going to be stronger than a .us or a .info so see what you can get that you like with a .com. You could also just keep angeldamico.com and do angeldamico.com/shop for your online store.
How about shopadlove.com or adlovechicago.com -Kate Sullivan, President, Kick PR
This happens a lot. I think you’re on the right track with adding “shop” to the domain. Perhaps shopADLOVE.com or ADLOVEonline.com? Consumers tend to expect “.com” URLs, so I would stay away from the other options (.us, .info, etc). - Jordana Bruner, PR Professional and Clutch-22 blogger
3. For pricing i try to keep a mid range, so that people like me can afford my one of a kind clothing, Everyone tells me to increase my prices, but then i don’t think they will sell as well, what do you think?
PR Couture says…
I love that you are designing for someone with your same income and I appreciate the idea of unique, hand-printed clothing at an affordable cost. I would recommend committing to an affordable pricing structure for your basic items, but don’t be afraid to increase costs on special items or those that took you longer to create. Those people who really value your skill and the one-of-a-kind nature of your pieces will pay more. Perhaps you look at ways to mass produce your more popular designs so you can keep costs low, and then bump up pricing on those you still do by hand.
Knowing your customer is a fine art. Understanding their financial priorities, discretionary spending and the other places they shop will help you make this decision. Also strictly following the MSRP for your brands will keep your store competitive in the marketplace. Today, all your shoppers can compare pricing on the web so set your pricing unilaterally across the market without exception. - Debra Stevenson, CEO Buzzflikr
4. Does it help having facebook, myspace, flickr, etc. etc…. and what is twitter? any other free sign up sites you suggest?
PR Couture says…
You want to make sure that your strategy involves not only getting people to come to your store, but going to where your customers already are. Social shopping sites, Facebook fan pages, flickr are all extra tools in your PR toolkit. But know that in order for them to work, you have to commit the time per day to update and interact on them. Each social media tool is different and its easy to get overwhelmed. Start with one, get comfortable and then expand. For a few quick tips on Twitter, check out this recent PR Couture post: Fashion PR/Social Media: 5 TwitTips for a Successful TwitPitch as well as our recent interview with Marie Claire about their Twitter strategy.
Absolutely! You don’t need to have a profile on every site, but I’d recommend Twitter to start. It’s a central place to consume information that matters for your brand, not to mention a place for you to have real-time conversations with media, peers and others in your industry. Follow bloggers and other Etsy/indie designers to get a feel for how people are using it. Some great Twitter designers/e-tailers to watch are @choosespun, @wendybrandes and @moxsie. They participate regularly and show a ton of support to fashion bloggers and have in turn, gained visibility for their brands in an effective, respectful way.
Additionally, a Facebook business page would be a great place for you to share content (press, photos, updates, etc.) and build a fan base. At this point, I’m not sure you need to invest time/resources there, but it’d be good to keep it in the back of your mind for when you’re ready. - Jordana Bruner, PR Professional and Clutch-22 blogger
5. I am also thinking about making a new shop adlove.etsy.com, and separating my clothes from my artwork, do you think this is a good idea, since people already know angeldamico.com and angeldamico.etsy.com?
PR Couture says…
My recommendation is to focus on your personal brand and house everything together. You want people to seek out everything that you do in all forms, and there is no need to make it more complex to be able to access all your work in one place.
This is a great question and shows your understanding of complex brand development issues. Your longterm business goals really hold the key to making this decision. - Debra Stevenson, CEO Buzzflikr