Times are tough there is no doubt about it. It seems like whenever you turn on your computer or the TV there is an announcement of a new company collapse that will affect you and your business. With the current state of our economy; owning a clothing line either online or at a brick & mortar location you cannot hide from the recession. There are plenty of ways to increase your web traffic but you have to muster the strength and do it. Here are some ways to further your reach online to launch your business and keep it growing.
1. SEO – Optimize your business’s website for search engines. If you have a store, chances are there are specific search terms used to find your type of store. Get those certain keywords throughout your website so people online can find you. SEO works like a magnet for your targeted community. The broader the words the longer it will take, but if you have some products that cater towards a “niche” audience then SEO will be your businesses best friend.
2. Launch a Blog – If you haven’t launched a blog for your clothing line or business; this should be a must. This is a great way for your brand to have a voice. You can write about anything and everything related to your business. When you have a new product launching or even if you caught your business partner on camera falling out of his chair; you can allow the world to see it with your blog!
3. Learn to Write – If you are not planning on marketing your company than don’t bother starting it. If you want others to see your vision, you will have to be able to write. Many companies, when first launched, are tight on funds. You will find yourself trying to do as much as possible for the least amount of cash possible. Writing articles and press releases will be one great way for others in the community and the press to start recognizing your brand.
4. Social Networking – There are so many different ways to find people online these days and most of them are free! Setting aside sometime each day to build up your presence online through websites such as Myspace and Facebook are a must. This is your audience for clothing. Launch a profile and connect with your friends to start. Engaging in conversation with your friends at first will allow others to start to see your clothing and slowly it will spread. Make sure you leave your social networking profile links on your website so your web traffic can come over and connect with you.
5. Collect Emails – Make sure your website has a way for your visitors to leave behind their email addresses. Once you have collected a decent amount of emails you can then regularly distribute a company newsletter to stay on everyone’s radar.
6. Make a Video – Making a video might take a little more time but chances are someone in your circle of friends knows someone who can use a video camera. Put together a short video commercial representing your brand and company and launch that video on sites like YouTube and Vimeo. Wait. Be Patient. Take your time with the video and make sure it has your stamp of approval. Remember Quality sells. If you try to put together a slide show on your movie maker software you might do more harm than good for your brand.
7. Be Unique – If your product is appealing and consumers are purchasing your clothes, even during a down time, that’s a great start. It is important to be unique by differentiating yourself from others. Include some fun items in your shipments such as stickers, cards or any type of branding material. This is just one creative inexpensive way to market your brand. When times are tough and money is tight, you can always get creative with packaging! Nobody wants a dingy, beat-up brown envelope with a t-shirt stuffed into it.
8. Be Willing to Learn – When you first launch your clothing line you may not be able to pay employees to accomplish tasks. This is “boot strapping time” and you will need to learn how to accomplish many things on your own. There are many blogs, bookstores and online teachings available at your fingertips. Start learning how to market yourself online, design websites and write articles. It’s never too late to learn something. Like they always say “If you want something done, you got to do it yourself!”
9. Exchange of Services – Once you start educating yourself, you will know things others don’t. When first launching your clothing line, offering exchange of goods will be important. Don’t go giving away your gear to just everyone; but if you know a photographer and you need some professional photos taken for your website; offering free clothes for kick butt photos is worth it! You will have to gauge when it is appropriate for your budget.
10. Learn to Sleep Less – Remember that Rome was not built in a day so don’t expect your brand to go worldwide the first week. If you launch your business when you have a day job you will absolutely have to wake up early in the morning and stay up late working to get things done. You have to hustle, work hard and eat, breathe and sleep your clothing brand. Businesses do not build themselves! You can sleep when you retire… until then it is balls to the wall!!!