From Issue 2 of TFBM Magazine
Photography by Tawny Horton Photography
Clothing by Designs by Olga Assayah for Zaiya Collection
1. I have a private workshop going on right now to help businesses increase their Facebook Stats so more people see their posts. Once this test group is done I will roll it out to everyone!
2. The holiday issue of TFBM Mag is well underway! I have photo shoots every weekend for the next 3 week…s and several photographers sending in editorials. Stay tuned for an even more amazing issue than issue 1!
3. I have been super blessed with a crazy busy Halloween Season selling almost 200 costumes. So I have been a sewing banshee and busy hiring sewing help. Plus I am working on my holiday collection. Hence falling behind on blog posts.
I was going to send this information to my collaboration workshop group but thought it is helpful information to all so I am letting you, my readers, in on it too. When you do a giveaway or a collaboration and gain new fans it is important to engage your fans to turn them into buyers. It is also important to engage them to be sure you show up in their news feeds. Facebook shows your posts to people that stay active with your page. If you don’t have engaging content that your fans “like” or comment on your fans will stop seeing your posts. It’s that simple. Here are my top tips for engaging your fans and turn your fans into buyers.
ENGAGE YOUR FANS: Ways to get fans to like and comment.
ENGAGE YOUR FANS AND GET SALES: these ideas will get people to comment on your page and encourage sales!
GET SALES: bring home the bacon, make some moola, take the check to the bank
Last night I had dinner with a friend and we of course got to talking shop. It started a bit like this, “Ugh darn Facebook! I have 9000 fans and only reach 1500 tops! And that’s if I don’t post a picture or tag another page.” We shared ways we try to “trick the system”: leaving links and pictures in the first comment. The bottom line is, no matter what you do to trick the system only a fraction of your “fans” see your posts. So what is a business owner to do to reach your potential customers?
One thing I am starting with is taking control of my true fans and customers. I do not want to rely on Facebook to communicate to my top customers and buyers. I am taking them back! I am doing this by transferring them all to my email list. I use mailchimp but there are others out there you can choose from. (Don’t get me wrong I will still use Facebook but I am taking as much control as I can before any more changes come my way.)
Here is the catch! You cannot randomly add people to your list. They have to opt in (by law). So this poses the question how do you offer an incentive for people to take a few minutes to visit a sign up form and complete it?
I regularly promote on my fb page that my email list followers get special coupons and offers and leave the link to sign up. This week I am doing something extra special. We will see how it works out. I am offering a $100 shopping spree to one randomly selected person signed up for my, kangacoo designs, email list. I posted it as you see below and paid $30 to promote it.
OK here is your chance! Sign up for our email list for a chance to win a $100 shopping spree for our spring line! That’s it so simple! One winner will be chosen next week at random from our email subscriber list. Already signed up? You are already entered! 🙂 Sign up here: http://eepurl.com/l5On9
Right now I have 778 email list subscribers. I will run this offer for 1 week and will update you if the $100 gc was worth it. 🙂
When I was a little girl my parents told me I see the world through rose colored glasses. I resented them for this. Not because I thought it was bad but because they said it with contempt as if it was a set back to have a rosy outlook on life. Today at 34 I still prescribe to the same colored glasses. I still believe the world is smaller than we think and that all people have a common thread and that we actually can get along. It is that common thread that brought me to write this blog.
I believe in the power of connecting with others. I believe in the healing power of relating to others and realizing there are many others on a path such as your facing the same struggles. I believe by being vulnerable and sharing these struggles we become closer and learn to “get along”. Now isn’t that rosy?
What does that have to do with fashion you ask? Well it has more to do with business. A successful business knows how to connect with it’s customers, suppliers and peers. If you want to be successful you have to be willing to reach out to others. You have to be honest and forthcoming. You have to strive to see the positive in others.
And I do. More times than not the business owners I talk to are genuine and nice. They don’t deliberately copy each other, they don’t conspire to bring down another business, they don’t badmouth others to build themselves up. Most business are just trying to survive and as a result they make choices to put their business first. Now I said my glasses are rose colored not that I am blind. There are some bad apples out there but I choose not to focus on them. You should not focus on them either. Why? Because you are then taking away from your true focus. Being a successful business with a good reputation.
So in case today you are feeling down about what another business is or isn’t doing that may be effecting your business I want to give you 5 things to focus on to benefit your business instead.
1. Share some of your favorite product photos with your fan/customer base. Whenever I do this it generates sales.
2. Post a survey to help you come up with your next product. For example, “I am going to make these top selling dresses in another color. What color would you like to see?”
3. Run a sale. Inventory is never a good thing. Get rid of it by running a sale and free up space to create new product.
4. Email your wholesale or retail clients to thank them for their business and offer them an exclusive coupon code to use this month.
5. Reach out to a fellow business owner and do a cross promotion giveaway or photo collaboration.
Now aren’t those better things to focus on than worrying about that other business giving you the blues?
I often get emails about how I get opportunities to show my line on the runway, or how I found showroom reps, or how I get opportunities to dress or do fundraisers with celebs like Gordana Gehlhausen from Project Runway. The truth is I have not purposely seeked out any of this. I connected my way to it.
I say that with a huge humble heart as I appreciate every opportunity that comes my way. And that’s just it. I have the optimism to see the potential in every connection. And not just the potential to benefit me, I also strive to help others as much as I can. Cheesy as it is, I believe in paying it forward and it has come back to me ten fold. It’s why I started this blog.
So how have my connections worked and how can you use the same strategy? So nice of you to ask I was just about to tell you. 🙂 Below are some of my connection paths and following that are the top 5 ways you can better connect for your business:
Showroom Rep: A rep contacted me through Etsy, great timing as I was online at that time researching how to find and approach a rep. I didn’t sign with her room but I did get an introduction to another showroom that I did sign with in LA. My LA rep told a Chicago rep about my line and that’s how I met that rep. My LA rep dropped me for a larger line but introduced me to a new rep that now reps me in LA, Dallas and soon Atlanta. My newest rep is rocking sales!
Runway Opportunities: A local designer, Feanna of Kait Emerson Designs ,I met by discovering her on Etsy and stalking her at trade shows became my friend and introduced me to a local fashion non-profit OCFA. I showcased my line twice during OCFA fashion week. I will soon be on the runway in TX for the roll out of Vivica Fox’s new hair product line. I gained that opportunity through a girl I had model a swimsuit for me last year. Other opportunities have come my way but they have required a high fee so I bowed out.
Dressing Aubrey Anderson-Emmons for the Red Carpet: Aubrey’s Agent Carlyne is the mother of the gal who MC’d for Orange County Fashion Week. She wanted a designer that was just starting out to dress Aubrey. She wanted to give someone the opportunity. Since she saw my clothes on the runway, she picked me.
Celeb Fundraiser: Carlyne once again invited me to show my line along side Project Runway’s Gordana Gehlhausen and Michael Costello. She knew I need publicity for my clothes and she knew I had a heart for Charity. I paid this forward by inviting my readers to donate to the silent auction part of the event.
OK so enough about me for now but I just wanted to give you an idea of how things have come together for me. Now I will tell you 5 ways to make better connections that will benefit your business:
1. Say YES!: I cannot tell you the importance of this. I rarely ever say no. It doesn’t matter how busy I am or how much I may dread it, if it involves an opportunity to get my business name out there I do it! I donate, I promote others, I give advice, I just do it! (pretty sure that’s a Nike copyright so I better state that. Go Nike!)
2. Be a Social Butterfly: You need to meet people to make things happen. Go to industry or networking events and actually hand out your card. Don’t sit down, don’t bring a friend as a crutch. Go meet someone and see what your connection is.
3. Facilitate 5 a day: I make it a point to connect with at least 5 people a day online. Whether it’s a new page on fb, messaging new fans, emailing customers or clients, or emailing people I met at networking events. Connect with 5 people a day and see what happens. Emailing people back does not count. 5 connections that you facilitate.
4. Scratch Some Facebook Backs!: I have a lot of online “friends” and “likers” with businesses and I make it a point to repost their posts or send people to their page. The ones that understand connections return the favor. The ones that don’t-I stop promoting. Don’t waste time on dead-end connections.
5. Give it Away!: I know it’s costly but I have earned at least 60% of my fans through Facebook giveaways and those fans are now my customers. I gift to celebs, I donate for runway shows and charity events. As long as it is an opportunity to get your brand seen do it!