When emerging designers come to Sample Room and join our mentoring program, Fashion Label Launchpad, we understand that they can all be at different stages of their design cycle. This is because the program runs for six months but the start of that program is up to the individual.
However, the nature of being in business for over ten years gives us some experience which we can offer to you in the form of guidance, no matter where you are in your design or manufacturing journey. Advice is a form of nostalgia; looking back over any career there are areas in which you can see where something could have been done better. One such area is to better organise yourself and, therefore your time, and your business.
In our digital world, it is now easier than ever before to keep track of your work and social life. Google alone has much on offer to assist in this area. Use Google’s Calendar to plan events and set up reminders for future happenings that you are interested in attending, even if they’re in twelve months’ time. By the time the Melbourne Fashion Festival rolls around or your favourite marathon, you’ll be organised, prepared and good to go.
Google Alerts will help you to find businesses that are similar to yours. Enter keywords that will highlight exactly what you’re after: articles, newsletters, competitions, websites and journals. You can set up how often, and from where, these alerts come to you: on a weekly or daily basis. Save those that are most interesting to you to read through at your leisure. When you’re ready to start your press for your brands, you can use snippets from these articles and emails to guide and assist you. It’s always much easier to duplicate and borrow what someone else has done; there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.
If you’re in the very early stages of your design and branding, do an online marketing and media course. There are courses that specialise in the different aspects of social media whether it is Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook Ads or Copywriting. This will help you to reach out to your customers through social media. Find businesses on social media that are similar to yours, and reach out to them with thoughtful comments. Look at their own followers’ sites and comment and like those as well. This will build your customer base as well as effectively shape collaboration with other designers (see our posts on Social Media Platforms here and Influencer Marketing here).
Find a way to entice your future customers to your mailing list through blog posts, special interest stories or basically asking people if they would like to know more once you have launched your label.
The aim is to build your own list to use in the future when it comes to launching your brand.
Keep in mind that we recommend at least eighteen months of researching your customer and marketing your brand before your designs are even sketches on paper. So, when those months have passed, you have the emails on file to send information about your launch.
Sample Room is here to help you. We’ve travelled the road of business for a while now, and we have a pretty good idea of the pitfalls, especially if you are new to the industry. Take a look at our website, read through other blog posts, sign up for Fashion Label Launchpad, or view the webinar. We also have a large network base that can help you.