A ten minute catwalk? How about a ten month campaign of exposure!
Why not leverage this very short window of exposure to maximize your business long-term.
Here are 10 steps of keeping your brand prominent in the eyes and buying power of your audience:
- Tell your story – document your design and development stages by images and/or film. Consumers, customers, and media want to hear and see your story. It strikes an emotional connection and they can be part of it.
- Press Release – pre and post show. Yes, you need to do both. Tell the audience what to expect and humbly brag about what happened. In your press release don’t sell, communicate – what is your angle, what makes your story news.
- Professional photographer and videographer – you should always have your own and don’t rely on the production company and the media to do your PR work for you. They won’t. You are in control of your own branding and imaging. Shoot and film behind-the scene and the runway – make it real, unique, but mostly professional.
- Make Adjustments – Yes, they love the collection [or do they?] but get real with yourself. Did someone from your team sit in the audience during your show and study and listen to the audience? What was the reaction from the audience on each style? Did the audience like what they saw, did they cheer on certain styles? Were they taking pictures or just sitting with no expression? What was the feedback, ‘talk’ among the crowd right afterwards? This is the time to be honest with yourself and make the necessary adjustments [adding, deleting, or tweaking your collection] before going forward.
- Internet exposure – Make sure you are digitally listed and it’s easy to google you and find you. I mean have a professional website [not just Facebook page] that tells your story in the ‘about’, showcases your collection – this should come from your press release, it should all tie together. Post a gallery of your runway shots, your video. Be in control of your messaging of your collection and the brand. What do you want visitors to see when they first come to your website and social media platforms? – show it! When you post on social media platforms post the ‘why’ not ‘what’ of your collection – tell your audience why this collection is important, the meaning, what inspired you. The content, the message, and the story are just as important as the design. Your audience wants to connect.
- Email Campaign – plan, plan, plan and be strategic. Consistency leaves a lasting impression. Email campaigns are part of your marketing strategy and how you present this campaign is part of your branding. The fashion show and any event where you are exposing your work gives you a ‘can’t pass up’ opportunity to connect on a continuous bases to your audience and prospective audience. This is substantive content that brings great value and images to this audience. Here is where you incorporate the pre and post press release on the event.
- Stylist – contact influential stylist, make an appointment to review your collection. Find out what they are looking for so that you can bring the right pieces.
- Buyers/Retailers – followup with the buyers that came to your runway show or event; send them a thank you note – old school snail mail handwritten is a nice and memorable touch. Call them, set up a meeting to review your collection. Be prepared – study their market and targeted audience, their competition, understand their needs and challenges, and bring your line list.
- Editorial – media and bloggers sit in the audience but they don’t always write [no one is writing these days, they may post on Instagram]. Say yes to media outlets that want to tell your story. From blogger to the established outlets, SAY YES!
- Product placement – plan ahead and get this collection in the media and on high profile people if that is your marketing strategy. Sending out the press release in advance may get your upcoming runway show noticed. Sending the post press release to media outlets is just as effective for the long haul. Be creative, think of the lifestyle of your audience.
- Rest! – you need energy to keep the pace to sustain this business. It’s tough and competitive but can be very gratifying. Rest will fuel your tireless creativity.
Feature Image: Mary Me Jimmy Paul | LA Fashion Week
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