This blog post is sponsored by our partners at Texworld USA. The content is inspired by the exciting things that will be taking place at the new Virtual Show in July 2020 show. But this post is just the beginning– if you’re attending the trade show, you can learn a lot more about what we’re discussing below! Register for free.
How do I grow my business?
I get this question a lot. And the truth is that there is no answer to this question that offers a quick trick or a secret that no one knows. The way to grow your fashion business lies in your own ability to lay the foundation of business success. It’s about focusing on a few things that you have complete control over, but are sometimes overlooked or skipped because they take time.
They are habits that need to be developed and nurtured.
Now, you may not love that answer. But I promise it’s not a bad thing. It’s actually an exciting thing because rather than focusing on what you don’t have control over, you can be happy in the knowledge that focusing on what you do have control over will be what gets you to your goals.
So, what am I talking about?
Here are some things that business owners spend time on that they ultimately have no control over, but still think will impact their business growth:
- Worrying about what others think about what they’re creating.
- Evaluating what other business owners are doing as a measuring stick for what they need to be doing.
- Figuring out how to create a fancy-pants marketing plan with all the bells and whistles.
Here’s what you do have control over that ultimately will help you grow your fashion business:
- Your mission, your purpose, and the values that you communicate to your audience.
- Your belief in yourself and the knowledge that you are capable of anything you put your mind to.
- Your ability to connect with people on a human-to-human level.
- Creating a direct line of communication with your current and future customers.
- Setting up automations to better serve your customers.
- Improving the conversions you make on your website.
- Increasing the size of the orders people place.
These are the things that matter. So let’s break them down a bit more.
Create a Brand with Meaning
Do you have a brand? Or do you have a logo and a website? These are not the same thing.
And if you really want to grow your business, you need to take the important steps for creating a brand with personality.
You need a voice, values, and a point of view.
You need to communicate using that personality, no matter what. Even if it means that you lose customers. Because ultimately, you are not losing customers, you’re creating stronger bonds with the customers that will stick with you for a long time, buying over and over, because you are so aligned with them.
You need a brand that stands for more than “buy me.”
How do you do that?
Ask yourself these questions and really spend time working on and “living” the answers:
- What does my brand hold valuable?
- Why does this brand exist other than to create a product?
- Who am I serving and how can I best connect with this person?
- What are the words that describe the personality of my brand?
By creating a brand with personality, you are showcasing a brand that is more than just another fashion business.
Work on Your Mindset
What you say to yourself every single day has a direct impact on your ability to grow your business.
You’ve probably heard a lot about the importance of mindset but what have you done about it? How much time have you spent paying attention to your mindset as a business owner? To know something is not enough; you need to act on it.
Do you recognize the impact that your mindset has on your business? Have you identified any areas like fear or confidence that are holding you back? If so, are you working to improve it?
Though it’s not always obvious, the presence of fear and a lack of confidence are two things that present themselves in myriad ways, hidden deeply inside things like not getting on video, not spending money, and procrastinating.
It’s important to be aware of this and get to the heart of the issue if you really want to be able to grow your fashion business.
Here are some ways to improve your mindset as a business owner:
- Ask yourself what are the things that are not getting done in my business that should? And then keep chipping away at the answer until you get to the “real” reason.
- Create a mantra that you say to yourself every day whenever you need a confidence boost. Don’t like the word mantra? Then just call it a pep talk– it’s the same thing.
- Decide on your worst-case scenario plan for anything that is scaring you so that the fear is mitigated and you’ll know what to do if things don’t work.
- Make a list of all the reasons you’re doing this business, and read it to yourself every day.
Marketing is not what most new business owners think it is.
Most new business owners confuse marketing with sales. They are creating plans that only seem to focus on pushing the sale, rather than creating a connection.
This is a problem because most people become your customer because they feel a connection to you, your business, and/or your brand. They have spent some time getting to know what you’re all about because they have noticed that you are spending time getting to know what they’re all about. If they don’t feel that from you, then you most likely will never win them over as a customer.
So if you really want to grow your fashion business, its’ important to come up with ways to develop that relationship prior to pushing that sale. While also setting up systems that help make the sale happen once the connection is made and the relationship is developed.
Not sure how? Here are some ways to think about marketing as a means for creating connection:
- Send weekly emails that bring value to the life of your subscriber.
- Use Instagram DMs to start one on one conversations.
- Host meetups and other intimate events in your local area or online.
- Create videos for YouTube (or other channels) that show vulnerability and that your business is run by a human.
That’s good marketing. And that’s what helps you grow your fashion business.
And here are some things to do to turn that relationship into a sale:
- Build on your email automations to add emails that take the value you’ve been sharing and turn it into an offer.
- Take those Instagram DMs and invite the person to a free event or to download a free guide
- Use what you’re learning when you connect on a one-to-one level and infuse it into your website to increase the conversions. An example is updating the copy to words and phrases your customer uses.
These areas are so important to focus on and there’s a lot more we can talk about to really create a plan for growth and success. If you’ve registered for Texworld USA , join me for a virtual panel I’m hosting on July 21st called How to Run a Successful Startup Fashion Business Today in Challenging Times.
I’m interviewing two startup fashion designers who are actively growing their sustainable fashion brands even though things are different than they expected. If you’d like to tune into this talk, you can register (for free!) for Texworld right here. And I’ll see you there!