How to Launch Your Fashion Brand in 30 Days or less
What is the Secret Sauce Behind Creating Massive Buzz around your Launch
Do you ever wonder how some online fashion retailers create massive buzz around their launch while others barely get noticed? How do they manage to sell from day one? How do they get a tribe of customers to purchase their product? And where did they focus their time to ROCK their launch? If you are looking to launch your online fashion store, you might have asked yourself these questions before.
While working with multiple fashion brands over the years, I’ve noticed business owners repeatedly make the same mistake when launching their brand; they spend so much time focusing on their website and refining their product that they forget to build anticipation for their launch.
Why is building anticipation so important?
People need to know and care about your brand before purchasing from you otherwise you are just another brand amongst others. It might shock you to learn that you don’t actually need a sophisticated website for your launch.
Yes, you read it correctly. You’re probably thinking, “But wait…can’t I just get people interested by POSTING on SOCIAL MEDIA?” Unfortunately, that’s not the answer. That’s spamming! Which will get you unfollowed fast.
So what can be learned from retailers who are able to build buzz & get sales from day one? What is their secret recipe? Let me share with you the proven tactics that have repeatedly worked for my clients so you can create a wildly successful launch which customers will be excited to be a part of.
Successful online fashion brands know they have to do their homework before they can start to build anticipation. They ensure they know their demographic while understanding the opportunities within the market for their product. They spend the time understanding their potential customer and coming-up with solutions to fill the gap in the market.
More specifically, they follow these essential steps:
1. They know who their demographic is. They define beyond age group and professional occupation who their customer is. They go into as much detail as possible, from what type of music band they like to what they like to eat for breakfast. They truly get into the head of their customer and know what they’re about. They don’t stop at just knowing their age, gender, and income. They dig deeper in order to figure out what their problems are and how their brand is the solution.
2. They ensure there’s a need in the market. They put themselves out there by speaking to their potential customers and having them take surveys. They incentivize the process by offering their customers a discount, or other (a $5 Starbucks card). You have to complete your market research before you even begin building your product to ensure there’s a demand for it. Gather as many as 100 surveys from your ideal customers by using tools like SurveyMonkey or Typeform.
3. They focus on peaking curiosity. Companies with successful launches think about their marketing strategy in the very beginning, and pinpoint how to grab the attention of their potential customer. Since they have spent the time speaking to their customers and understanding their motivations, it’s easier for them to draft marketing content that will appeal to their customers. They know their customers likes and dislikes. They gathered all the data they needed early on to truly speak in a way that matters to their customers.
4. They focus on driving traffic early on. Instead of waiting until you have a perfect website, they understand that actually getting people on board is more important at first. They spend their time sharing their brand’s vision and building excitement around their launch.
5. They engage with their audience. They put in the time and reply to people who are engaging with them on social media. Brands who generate a buzz talk to their customers and make them feel like they’re part of the tribe.
A great example is the brand Wildfang. The two founders created the brand as they felt there was a need in the market for boyish clothes that fit a woman’s body. They conducted several interviews and did extensive market research before even launching their website. It also helped that they were the demographic they were going after – but they didn’t stop by taking in their “gut” feeling as a gauge.
They took the time to speak to as many women as possible within their circle to understand their frustrations and wants. When it came to creating an experience that got their customer’s attention, they knew exactly how to do it. They understood so clearly who their demographic was, because they had put in the work and researched exactly what was needed in the market.
Differentiate Your Brand Language
Once you have done your research and truly understand the most intimate needs/frustrations of your potential customers, you need a strong brand identity to stand apart from your competitors and pique the interest of your customer. Create a brand language through your imagery, copy tone, and giving a strong teaser that speaks to your audience and peaks their interest.
Understand the Unique Value Proposition of your brand. Your product needs to fill in the gaps that other brands aren’t providing and it needs to have a “je ne sais quoi” never-been-seen feel.
Don’t be afraid to be too niche! In fact, you must be extremely specific.
Generalizing is dangerous because you can’t differentiate yourself or really understand your customer if you’re speaking to everyone. Know what makes you different from everyone else. Who absolutely needs your product? This goes back to speaking to as many people as possible in order to get into their heads and understand what makes them excited.
Your brand messaging must be cohesive and say the same thing throughout every platform. Use the same copy tone, social media handles, and photography no matter which channel you’re using. If you don’t, you’ll confuse your customer because they won’t understand what you truly stand for.
Also provide a reward people can’t resist. It doesn’t have to be discount driven, but you need to give them an incentive to join the party early on. Get copy that resonates with your customer and grabs their attention so they’ll stay tuned.
Focus Your Time On Getting Noticed
It’s easy to get sidetracked when you’re a solopreneur. Don’t focus your energy on completing tasks that don’t matter. You have to remember that you can’t do this all by yourself! It’s crucial to bring in help, whether you hire on an intern or a freelancer.
Figure out what areas you need assistance in. Your main objective is to get noticed when you’re planning a launch, so work on your marketing while you’re creating your website, not after. Remember your goals are to:
– Peak the curiosity of your audience
– Drive traffic to your website
– Capture emails and build a mailing list
– Get people to share what you’re brand is about
– Engage prior and after your launch
Write down what your specific goals are for the launch. You need to have KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) in order to measure it’s success. These goals can include:
– How many followers on social media do you want to gain?
– How many sales do you want to make during the launch?
– How much traffic to your website do you want to generate?
Start Building Your Coming Soon Page
Creating a coming soon page is the foundation of your launch and can make or break it. Get your marketing collaterals together, like promotional stickers or flyers.
The anatomy of a coming soon page includes:
– A teaser with a call to action or reward
– Catchy images and photography
– Email opt-in is crucial
– Social sharing tools
Start collecting emails to get people on the waitlist as soon as possible. Great tools for email marketing are Mailchimp or Aweber – Mailchimp works well for beginners. After you’ve setup your email opt in offer, work on your automated emails. Make sure you have:
– A Welcome Email: Tell them more about your brand, your upcoming launch, and what type of content to expect from you.
– Information Series: Send 3-5 emails before the launch so people won’t forget about your brand.
– Follow-up Emails: Decide whether you’re comfortable sending these emails weekly or twice a month.
– A Thank You Email: Send this right after your launch.
Getting your coming soon and email marketing right allows you to continue the conversation and keep your customers coming back for more.
Tell a Story With Micro Blogging
Connecting with your customer is key. but blogging is time consuming.
Try micro blogging instead. When you begin micro-blogging your customer will start to understand the mission statement of your brand. You’re telling the story behind your brand and why you started it to begin with. Post your story through a series on Instagram, and Snapchat stories. Create a journey your customers can embark in with beautiful photography and explaining your business beneath it.
Here’s where you put into place the editorial calendar. Take the time to sit down and brainstorm what content you’re putting out for the pre-launch and post-launch. You want to:
– Have a library of content for your social media posts
– Break down your story into little snippets
– Surprise your audience with daily discoveries
– Use tools to help you stay organized and save time (Check out MeetEdgar and Iconosquare for Instagram)
Most importantly, get into the habit of posting daily!
Drive Traffic and Build Anticipation
These are proven tactics that I know work, because I’ve used them with my clients. They’re the most effective steps for getting traffic in record time.
The best way to drive traffic to your coming soon page is with Influencer Marketing. Give bloggers and other influencers special access to your products. By doing this you’ll build up your credibility and register your brand name in people’s heads.
Influencer marketing also expands your network, because you’re tapping into an audience that other bloggers have already built.
Send bloggers a freebie product and marketing collaterals in order to give their audience an upcoming sneak peek, or give them a shopping spree during the launch so they can provide feedback and blog about your brand.
The key to successful influencer marketing is setting it up in advance. Start working on it at least 3 months ahead of time before your work on any other launch activity, and spend 80% of your time doing influencer outreach initially.
Another tactic is to promote your coming soon page on Facebook or Instagram with paid or organic ads. Ensure you complete A/B testing to figure out what imagery or call to actions works best. Consider creating a free downloadable like a lookbook, or running a contest so your potential customers can’t resist joining your mailing list.
You can also pitch your story to blogs and news outlets. Create a press release and pitch it to as many reporters as possible. Just remember not to spread yourself too thin. Try out multiple tactics, but once you figure out which one is working best for you, focus your energy there.
Organize an Event Around Your Launch Date
The most effective way to create a buzz around your launch is by organizing an in-person event near your launch date.
Invite bloggers, influencers, your local network, and your mailing list ahead of time. Make it a fun party that people are dying to attend! Be bold and ask other vendors to partner with you, like a local bakery that just opened, and create a hashtag for people to talk about the event on social media.
Tell your subscribers to join in too. Whether you broadcast the event through live stream on Facebook, Periscore, or YouTube Live – these are great tools to engage your audience members that aren’t in the same location and build additional excitement around your launch.
You can also host a contest online for your mailing list. For instance, you can tell them 3-4 weeks in advance to enter for a chance to win, and ask them to share it with their friends. Whoever has the most shares is the winner (you can use tools like Gleam.io to help get ideas for setting up your contest). Follow up with an email announcing the winner and include event photos.
Or you can include a personal note about your journey with the event photos. Share your inner thoughts and include the struggles you’ve faced in order to help your customer to connect with you. Don’t be afraid to let your audience get to know you on a deeper level. They’ll love you for being authentic.
WOW Them With Your Homepage
The homepage is the vital page of your website during the launch. Your audience has already been anticipating your brand debut, so you need to instantly grab their attention and wow your customer with a beautiful homepage.
Try a unique approach to deliver the unexpected without investing a lot of money. Get creative and pay attention to what other brands have already done so that you can stand out. You’d be surprised how inexpensive creating a video can be.
A mistake I’ve seen brands make is having too many products in the beginning. Don’t have a ton of products when you first launch because it can overwhelm your customer. Having no more than 10 products will guarantee your success. Keep your audience focused so they know exactly what it is your selling and why what you are selling is different from your competition.
Put your focus towards having powerful copy, an irresistible offer, and a powerful homepage.
Give your email subscribers an irresistible launch offer, whether it’s store credit or a social referral programs. Put together a referral program widget. It allows you to get referral traffic from people who have already registered for your emailing list, with tools like Friendbuy or Referral Candy. Encourage your audience to share with their network and reward them for them for doing so!
So You’ve Launched, What’s Next?
Now that you’ve launched, you need to keep your audience interested. Remember the editorial calendar you built? You should already have content that’s ready to send out if you did your homework. Stay ahead of the game.
Be consistent with your social media! You’ve already launched, so now you have new products and content to share. Make sure to launch new products each season. Get rid of your extra stocklist through different markets like Depop, Etsy, or eBay.
Don’t forget to keep your audience interested by having an email strategy in place.
Keep the story alive and send them regular offers to keep bringing them back to your website. Launching is one part of the equation, but now you have to keep your audience engaged and continue to bring traffic to your website.
Remember Your Website is a Work in Progress
Stick to the bare minimum for your launch.
Don’t get caught up in technology, but work on creating a beautiful homepage with powerful copy and photography (like I mentioned earlier in this post). Remember to consider your packaging, fulfillment process, and the overall experience you’re offering your customer.
For more questions, feel free to check out EcommerceAcademy.co platform to join other fashion entrepreneurs like yourself.