The Style Biz Starter: Get Serious About Launching Your Fashion Brand | Sable L. | Skillshare

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The Style Biz Starter: Get Serious About Launching Your Fashion Brand

teacher avatar Sable L., Fashion Campaign Strategies

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Lesson 1: Be Realistic


    • 3.

      Lesson 2: Define Your Brand


    • 4.

      Lesson 3: Target Your Audience


    • 5.

      Lesson 4: Determine Your Offerings


    • 6.

      BONUS: Gauge Interest With This Tactic


    • 7.

      Course Project


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About This Class

There are countless reasons why anyone would decide to start their own business. Maybe they see a need that's not being fulfilled in their industry, or they have a highly unique idea to improve an existing product or service, or they just want to channel their energy into a project that they're truly passionate about.

In the past, I've met with people who have great ideas for business and were looking to hire a graphic designer to build their brand. But when I asked specific questions like "What's your elevator pitch?", "Who's your competition?" or even "Do you have a manufacturer?", I always got the same answer: "Wow. I never even thought about that."

It's not enough to just have an idea. You have to be able to visually communicate every aspect of your business because no one should know your brand better than you.

The purpose of this course is to get you to be totally honest about your goals and intensions before you start your long, stressful, yet hopefully highly fulfilling journey to building your fashion or beauty brand. While getting your foot in the door of this industry can be tough, there's enough room for everyone who's willing to put in the work.

So let's get started!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Sable L.

Fashion Campaign Strategies



Hello, I'm Sable.

I’m a Louisiana native and an eight-year resident of Seattle. As a graduate of The Art Institute of Seattle and an active member of the Seattle fashion community, I’ve been able to understand the needs of local fashion professionals when it comes to marketing their brands.

While there’s a wealth of talent in the area, many designers aren’t equipped with the knowledge and/or tools to market their brands effectively. With all of the digital platforms out there, it can be a bit confusing about which ones to focus on and how to get the most out of them.

That’s where Stylishly Made comes in. In addition to my skills as a graphic designer, in 2016 I honed my knack for ... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Are you ready to start your fashion business? Are you really, if you currently answered maybe to the last really, you might not be as sure as you think, but that's okay. That's why I'm here. Welcomes those style this starter, I'm sable, founder and CEO of silo, actually made a digital marketing resource, professional beauty entrepreneurs. Over the years, I've had the opportunity to connect with industry professionals whom I worked with prominent fashion organizations like Seattle Fashion Week, the Fashion Group International, and contracted collaborations with independent designers. I used to get numerous requests to develop custom marketing strategies for new fashion businesses. However, after meeting with entrepreneurs about their latest fashion ventures, it was clear that they were more focused on skipping right to the fund marketing tasks without setting a clear plan on what their operands were. But may factors they plan to work with or even who their target audience was. So instead of meeting with these passionate Get a little loss entrepreneurs one-on-one. I decided to develop an informative course to encourage them to really consider all aspects of starting a new business in the fashion industry, even in not so fun parts. I firmly believe that there's enough room for everyone to thrive, but that doesn't mean simply announcing that you're starting a new business will get customers lining up to throw their hard-earned money at you. It takes a great deal of planning, persistence, and most of all patients. So if you have a great idea for a fashion venture, but you aren't sure what to do next here in the right place. This tutorial, we'll touch on topics like setting or reasonable expectations to getting feedback from your network and even organizing your offering list. At the end of this course, you'll be able to decide whether or not to move forward with your fashion venture. Gain a better understanding of how to validate your business idea and be more confident and taking on the challenge of building a fashion brand. You'll also have access to a free workbook for less than Assignments. And note-taking. Assignments will include market research, outlining your time and financial commitments, determining the purpose for your business, and defining your brand, customers and products or services. And the common section below, fill free to introduce yourself and share your business idea. If you've already got a website or your social channels up, share the link so we can check them out. I'm very excited to share this information with you. So let's get started. 2. Lesson 1: Be Realistic: We're jumping right in with getting into the correct mindset to start a business with ways to mentally prepare yourself. When many people think about starting a business, they tend to gloss over the tough parts and skip right to the fun aspects like connecting with followers on social media, having the freedom to work for yourself, and getting tons of sales for e-commerce or brick and mortar shops. And all these things are great and will hopefully be realized for your business eventually. Now's the time to be realistic about your expectations. You need to figure out how to make your business official, how much money to invest, and how much time it will take before you launch. So let's start with something that most people overlook. Research. Sure, you might have a fantastic idea for a product or service, but do you know if something similar already exist? And if so, how is your idea different or better? When completing your research, keep the focus on filling a whitespace or solving a specific problem that your target audience will have. Start with a simple Google search to see what's already out there. Your view each businesses, website and social media channels thoroughly to get a sense of their brand voice and what their customers and followers have to say about the company. Next. So question to your personal social media channels to get responses from your network about businesses similar to your idea that you may not have heard of or haven't been able to find online. Maybe someone in your network is already working on a similar idea and would like to bring you on board. Or they work for a company that is planning to launch a similar product or service soon. Being realistic about your time investment is crucial and sticking to a timeline, think about your current priorities. How much time do you need to dedicate to your full-time job, your family, any other responsibilities? Hopefully, you're using a planner or digital counter to keep track of your time. Now think about how much time you can realistically dedicated to your business without neglecting your other responsibilities, are burning yourself out. It doesn't have to be a massive amount of time every day. It can be as little as two hours after work on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, a few hours every Saturday, or even setting a goal to complete one task per day for the next three months. Whether it's filing for your business license or researching manufacturers, or even securing your social media handles. Breaking things down into smaller tasks will help to prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. Lastly, and probably most important is your financial investment. A business can't run on just passion or willpower. You need to literally put your money where your heart is and invest in yourself. For example, I decided to boot shot my business by becoming an Uber driver as a side hustle to help fund stylish Lee made. Setting a weekly earnings goal has allowed me to implement systems to streamline our production and marketing tasks. Create a list of everything you'll need to pay for from state and federal taxes to legal fees, to materials to manufacturing and shipping fees. Also, don't forget a marketing budget. Even though you're not focused on marketing tests at the moment, it doesn't make sense for you to run out of money before you're able to launch. A marketing budget should cover everything from setting up an ecommerce website to digital advertising and even events like pop-up shops or fashion shows. This budget can obviously grow over time, but as long as there's enough to cover setting up your website at first, whether you're doing it yourself or hiring a professional to design it for you. You're starting off on the right foot. If you need financial assistance for your startup, there are few options. You could apply for a business loan and grant. You could start a crowdfunding campaign, which could double as a form of pre-launch marketing. Or you could see third, investors. It's up to you and the needs of your business. Now that we barrel through a few hopefully not so harsh realities, you can start to adjust your expectations a bit and get a good foundation for your business to stand on. Understanding why you want to start this new venture as probably the most important thing we'll discuss in this course. If you can list at least three reasons why you doing something on a consistent basis, you might want to reconsider your priorities. So let's go through five important questions to ask yourself before you go full force into your business. Number one, how did you get the idea for this business? Did you have a random aha moment? But due to a trusted friend suggests a new way to display your skills. Here's a quick example. I have a graphic design degree, but I also enjoy developing effective marketing campaigns for fashion brands and fashion related events. As I continue to improve on my marketing skills and receive praise, my network of industry professionals. I eventually decided to pivot stylish may mean from an independent design firm to a digital marketing resource. Number two, do you have a personal connection to your idea and times of struggle or setback, you may have to refer to this answer to prevent yourself from giving up. Having a natural and personal connection through your business gives every action you take a purpose. Otherwise you're just moving forward with a project of fill your free time without any real reason to finish or launch. Number three, are you planning a change in your career pad? Is your business or side hustle a gateway to new career? For example, after graduating in 2014, I started my design career in the commercial real estate industry. However, after building a name for myself and the Seattle fashion community, through the Fashion Group in the National, I decided to take the leap and pursue a full-time career as a fashion marketing entrepreneur. And before, this is something you've been thinking about for a long time. Whenever I consider starting a new project, I'll write down all of my ideas and let them sit for a few weeks or even a month without moving forward. If I haven't thought about the projects since writing down the project plans, that's usually a sign that I was just a spur the moment idea that I'm not ready to pursue at the moment. However, if your idea is something you've been consistently thinking about for some time, a few months, or even a few years that may be assigned that you're being called to pursue it. And number five, do you have a support system? Starting a business can certainly drain you mentally and emotionally. Having a support system, or even just one person who understands what it means to take on a new venture will be beneficial when things start to feel overwhelming, it may seem instinctual to take on the journey alone. But when times the a tub and helps to have a safe place to vent. Venting may even give you the opportunity to find a solution to the issue less stressed reading it and the coursework look, complete your business research, set a realistic timeline. Look into different financial investment options, and use the five ask yourself questions to better understand what your business goals are. 3. Lesson 2: Define Your Brand: In this lesson, we'll talk about the basics of your brand. You'll decide on your brand name, your elevator pitch, and research. Your competitors will even talk about how to get feedback from friends, families, and your professional network. So let's start speaking into existence. You brand name sets the tone for everything else regarding your business. One of my favorite examples is Babylon, a brand I shop frequently. It's only one word, but it perfectly implies that even though it's a fitness brand, styling, comfort, or a main focus, brainstorm at least ten business names considered things like industry returns, the location of your business, and how you want your customers to feel after purchasing your product or service. Takes some time to sleep on your top three options before making a final decision. You can ask your network to weigh in. But in my opinion, it's best to go with your gut. In reference to my business name, I wanted to incorporate the idea of intention by using an action word. I like to consider myself a fairly stylish person, and I also enjoy making things, whether it be visual assets or marketing campaigns. And since the majority of my clients are makers as well, clothing or accessories designers, stylists, photographers, megabytes, et cetera. It seemed fitting to go with stylish Lee mean, your elevator pitch will help you stay mindful. All the ultimate goal of your business. You're basically answers juror who, what, and why. Your pitch will definitely come in handy when you connecting with industry professionals, meeting potential customers or clients. In even when you're pitching to investors, finalize your pitch and committed to memory from when you attend networking events or share information about your business online. The more you say it, the more you'll believe it. Here's my elevator pitch. Stylish Lee made as a digital marketing resource that offers free and premium content professional beauty entrepreneurs. This allows them to optimize their digital channels in order to grow their audience and increase sales. Visualizing your brand can be a bit tricky. However, consider the aesthetic aspects of your brand, or again, how you want your customers to feel. You may also want to consider what kind of customers you want to attract. Use descriptive words like modern bright areas or even educational. Try using at the source or the to come up with words. And might also be helpful to create a physical board or a Pinterest board. So you can visualize what your brand will look like. When it comes to your qualifications. Listing them may help you reduce your Imposter Syndrome. Think about why you're qualified or what makes you credible enough to start your own business. Your answers don't necessarily have to include your educational background. They can include things like skills that you've learned when you were younger or a supplemental certification, you received. Or even just consistent personal experience. For example, even though I studied graphic design school, I have over five years of social media and email marketing experience under my belt from learning with local fashion organizations. So instead of going back to school and turn a marketing degree, I took the initiative to earn certifications in content, email, social media at the event marketing on my own time. These certifications, along with my personal experience, executing successful campaigns for my own brand, may be credible enough to assist my clients and organizing digital campaigns for their businesses. Determining your top by a competitor. If you're starting a local fashion magazine, for example, you might not want to put down Vogue or L as a competitor. While these two are the top fashion magazines in the world as a startup, you can expect to compete with them. Seek out local or regional publications that are completely focused on fashion and beauty, have an annual fashion issue for our monthly fashion column. Write down what separates you from your competitors. Sticking with a fashion magazine example, how will you do things differently? Well, you target a different demographic. Well, you have your issues printed or will it be strictly digital? For your digital issues be available to download. What style of visuals will you use? How many issues where you polish each year? What's your overall focus? Local designers and retail shops, or global designers and nice retail spots that only a certain tax bracket can afford. Basically, your answers should describe why someone should choose your brand over your competitors. Now let's discuss getting feedback from your social circles. Even though you're probably a few months or even a few years from launching, you should start having conversations with your network to help your idea feel more real to you. Start with your friends and family. They're the people who know you best and may have some special insight or wisdom to share. They may also be the ones to ask. The top is questions about your goals, which can force you to further adjust your expectations. Moving onto your professional network, LinkedIn is a vital resource for connecting with professionals. Not only do you need to be sharing your business progress and status updates, but it's a great way to connect with people that may be able to provide helpful advice. Take advantage of networking events. This is a great time to practice your elevator pitch. If you're looking to join a fashion network, you should check out organizations like the Fashion Group International and fashion mingle. If you're a bit of an introvert and needs some time to work up to speaking to people face to face, join groups on social media. Facebook has an abundance of groups for entrepreneurs to share and collaborate on projects. A few my favorites include creating, cultivate, Grabowski gain, gold diggers, podcasts, insiders, profitable PR pros, and savagely maids on private facebook group, the fashion marketing department. Now that we've gone over are few ways to define your brand in your course workbook, take some time to get as specific as possible about your brand so you can start to feel confident. We'll talking about it with others. 4. Lesson 3: Target Your Audience: If your business financial plan includes reaching out to investors, one important question you most likely have to answer is who is your customer? And if your responses everyone, you can pretty much guarantee that you immediately lost an investment opportunity. No one business works for everyone. We all have different needs and desires. For example, if you produce a line of eco-friendly handbags, you'll fare much better. Closing in on a target audience that includes women ages 18 to 35 who make between $3,530 thousand a year and who read sustainable fashion as an important factor when purchasing new accessories as opposed to just all women. Let's take some time to create your brand's first buyer persona or ideal customer, by answering a few questions. Number one, was their gender. Simple enough? Or your products and services targeted to a specific gender or can anyone use them? Number two, how old are they listed to a specific age range for this one? For example, if you're designing a line of high heels, you probably don't want to sell them to teenagers. Maybe you want to target recent college graduates currently interviewing for their first job, or women who are getting back into the workforce after having a child. Realistically a 20 to 30 year age range is a good starting point. Number three, do they have children? How does having children of rector lifestyle and regards to fashion and beauty? How much time do they have to get ready in the morning? What types of clothing do they feel comfortable yet professional? In? One of my favorite examples of multifunctional fashion, as poppy seed, the brand design on my fashion friend Rebecca Adams focuses on clothing that fits regardless. Pieces include adjustable tops, stretch waste bottoms, and our signature piece, the zipper dress. Her goal is to design stylish clothing that can transition from no baby to expecting to motherhood. Number four, are they married? For example, if you're starting a business that designs custom bridal gowns, tuxedos, or wetting accessories. This is an important question for you. You may even consider it who has the buying power in a relationship? Number five, what's their profession? You don't have to get dramatically specific. Beslan simply lists a few Ideal Industries. Also consider if they have a full-time office job or they're seated for most of the day. Ortho working in retail, whether constantly on their feet. Do they work downtown or in a rural area? How do they commute to work? The goal of this question is to determine how your products and services will benefit the level of comfort throughout the day. Number six, What's their income range? This is important for considering your product or service pricing. While you have to consider your overall return on investment when pricing your items, your target audience should feel comfortable making purchases without feeling like they're breaking the bank. Number seven, where are they normally shop for products and services similar to yours? And for it to your list of competitors from lesson two to answer this question, you may also consider areas like midrange or high-end shopping centers. Number eight, what influences their buying decisions? Are the people in your target audience, social butterflies, our whole bodies. Do they need a new outfit or look for every event or the comfortable building a capsule wardrobe. Do they only like to shop locally? Are they trying to focus on more sustainable fashion? And number nine, what's their overall style? You can refer back to your brand descriptive words from lesson to you to help you answer this one. Additionally does your target audience, but for an overall classic look, or do they like to amp up there, glam, pump or bow hostile at all times. Hopefully answering these questions will give you a better sense of who you're targeting NY. Take your time when answering these questions. But understand that the answers may change as you continue to build your brand. 5. Lesson 4: Determine Your Offerings: Now that you've determined exactly why you want to move forward with your venture. You're starting to speak your business into existence and you have a better idea of your ideal customer is less discuss your products and services. You may already have a collection of products or services in mind. So now's the time to get them on paper. When determining a line of products to sell, it's wise to start small, especially if you plan on funding your business by yourself. Before finalizing the pricing for your items. Make sure to determine how much your materials, product, packaging, and manufacturing macaws, along with how long it takes to complete each item. It may also be wise to add room in the product pricing to pay yourself back. Start with a collection of five to ten pieces and limited colors and quantities. And this case, it might even be a good idea to do a pre-launch campaign for pre-sales before placing an order with your manufacturer, if that's an option for you. In regards to the services, you need to consider where you'll perform the services. For example, if you're starting a personal styling business where you have your own office, boutique, or Salon space. You travel to your client's location, or can you conduct your services online with video calls? Consider items like the total costs from an a space. Guess mileage in the cost of each service you'll be providing. As a service provider myself, I've learned the hard way that charging an hourly rate is a huge mistake, especially if you're good at what you do. And it's always best to charge a flat rate for your services. And while it may give your clients a bit of sticker shock, just remember, they're paying more for your experience and the time you're saving them from doing the tasks themselves. Here's a pro tip, load to your competitors when it comes to pricing. But instead of trying to undercut their rates, tried charging the single amount and focusing on how you can create a better customer experience. This way you'll have a good starting point, and then six months or a year down the road, you'll hopefully have enough feedback from your audience on how to continue providing a quality experience enough to justify raising your rates. And your coursework book. Create a list of initial products and services along with important materials. So use and manufacturing options you need to look into. 6. BONUS: Gauge Interest With This Tactic: I'd like to share an efficient tactic to gauge interests and you knew fashion venture. This way, you can get a little fun in by utilizing your social channels to connect with your growing audience. Before you officially launch your business to the world, let's talk about setting up a simple landing page for your brand. Landing pages are a great way to validate your business ideas class. You get the added bonus of adding people who are interested enough to let you have access in their inbox to your mailing list. Most importantly, it differentiates itself from your business website or digital headquarters, as I like to call it, by focusing on one specific subject. For example, your website is where your audience will go to learn everything you want them to know about your brand. But a landing page has a specific purpose. Maybe you want to build your email list before you launch. So you have a better idea of how many people are interested in buying or you're selling. Maybe your premiering a limited edition can luncheon and want to organize a pre-sale campaign before sending the final quantity. Number two, your manufacturer. Or maybe you're experimenting with new types of digital content and want some feedback from your audience. The options are endless. There are some major benefits to utilizing landing pages, like obviously gauging interest in your products and services. But you also have the opportunity to analyze the location of your audience. If done a line, you want to consider hosting pop-up shops, participating in local markets, or even leasing space for your own brick and mortar shop. Another great benefit is being able to efficiently keep your audience updated with what they're interested in via e-mail and said oppose scenario social channels and hoping the average aging algorithm that works in your favor. So how do you create a landing page? This is where your e-mail marketing platform comes in handy. There are tons of email available like constant contact, Slow Dusk, drip, convert kit, and send in blue. I personally have had the best experience of now Champ over the last ten years. But feel free to do your own independent research on these and many other platforms that best suit the needs of your business. Each email marketing platform will have its own steps of setting up a landing page. For the purposes of this lesson, let's focus on the elements of the landing page. Logo. Your company logo should be prominently displayed at the top of your page to ensure that subscribers know exactly who's in control of the offering. Title, and description of your offer. Be clear and concise with disinformation, too much types can drive people away. Also in regards to the voice of a copy, right? As if you're speaking to a friend who's interested in learning more about your offer. Sign-up form, keep this section short as well. As for only what's needed name and email address. The sign-in form should be one of the first things people see on your page. So make sure it's above the fold, meaning the topmost section of the page. Relevant and images and or video. Include photos and video of your offerings to give your audience more detail. Make sure your measurables are high-resolution. Testimonials. Our customer reviews highlight your bus reviews on this offering and make sure to credit the person who submitted the review. If you don't currently have reviews, you can add this section and later. Social links include links here, most engaging social media channels so people can keep up with your business. This is also beneficial just in case people aren't ready to subscribe, but they like to take more time to see her offering is right for them. Calls to action include calls to action are CTAs in each section of your landing page. For example, on the landing page of my tutorials, there are buttons to take you directly to the checkout page. These buttons display different creatives I hold my audience would say when they are excited to enroll in the courses. For instance, include Sign me up. I'm so n. And let's do this. After your landing pages set up, share it with your audience. You can do this by creating a website pop-up form, including a link to download and future emails and social posts. Writing blog posts related to offer with links to your landing page. And even filming videos that share more information about your offer and director audience to sign up. 7. Course Project: For your course project, you'll be creating a landing page screen you fashion business. Regardless of whether your website is up and running or is still under construction. A landing page is a great way to direct your audience to digital occasion to learn more about your brand. Here are the steps you'll need to follow to create and launch your landing page. Select an email marketing platform. Determine a global landing page. A few options include going your email list, running a pre-sale campaign, gathering RSVP's for your launch party or pop-up event. Setting up a crowdfunding campaign, targeted promotions, and sharing exclusive content. Next, design and publisher landing page. And finally, share the link with your friends and family, your professional network in all your social channels. Once you've completed this project, share a link to your landing page and the comments section below. So other participants can take a look and possibly subscribe for more details about your new brand. After completing the course workbook, you should have a clear idea of where you want to move forward with your fashion business or not. If you do, that's amazing. You are about to embark on a possibly life-changing journey. However, if you decide that starting your own business isn't right for you, that's okay too. Figuring out other ways to put that positive business mindset to use, like working for an already established brand or even getting involved with local crashing groups. I hope this information has been helpful in starting your new journey. I greatly appreciate it if you shared her view this course, your feedback will assist me and consistently improving this and many other courses for you and future participants. There's a link to share our view in the course notes of the section. As always, if you have any questions about this tutorial, feel free to leave a question in the comment section, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks again.