Articles on this Page
- 06/23/19--10:53: _RT @UN: “Societies ...
- 06/23/19--10:53: _RT @juliesavarino: ...
- 06/24/19--05:26: _15 Leadership Skill...
- 06/24/19--05:26: _The 14 Skills Every...
- 06/24/19--05:26: _14 Common Knowledge...
- 06/24/19--05:26: _15 Ways To Fight Co...
- 06/24/19--05:26: _12 Tips For Buildin...
- 06/24/19--05:26: _14 Steps Entreprene...
- 06/24/19--06:30: _How to write produc...
- 06/24/19--06:30: _5 valuable (and ove...
- 06/24/19--08:33: _RT @WorldConsulting...
- 06/24/19--08:33: _RT @WorldConsulting...
- 06/24/19--08:33: _RT @WorldConsulting...
- 06/24/19--08:33: _RT @WorldConsulting...
- 06/25/19--06:30: _How to start a clot...
- 06/25/19--11:22: _RT @Keys_Conference...
- 06/25/19--11:22: _RT @WileyRein: 2020...
- 06/25/19--11:22: _RT @DiverseSociety:...
- 06/25/19--11:22: _RT @Unilever: To us...
- 06/25/19--11:22: _RT @SIOPtweets: @Bo...
- 06/24/19--06:30: How to write product descriptions to increase sales
- How will it make their life easier?
- What problem will it solve?
- What advantages will it provide?
- 06/24/19--06:30: 5 valuable (and overlooked) web design skills to start learning
- Progressive Web Apps
- Niche WordPress Skills
- Accessible Web Design
- Information Architecture
- Start small. Test your new niche with one or two clients before updating your messaging on your site.
- Learn your niche back to front. In order for clients to trust you as the expert, you need to be one. Time spent learning is worth the investment.
- Experiment on your own. If you’re not sure about whether a particular specialization is right for you, try building a side project using the platform before offering your services to clients.
- Start with a template. Web frameworks like Bootstrap are beginning to incorporate accessibility into both their code and their examples. If you aren’t using a framework, you can also start by copying an existing accessible project.
- Create a checklist. Use an accessibility checklist in your design process. WebAIM has a great Accessibility Checklist you can use as a starting point.
- Test, and test again. Every new design should be tested for accessibility and can be delivered to the client once you’ve proved that the site is accessible.
- Emphasize what’s important, and minimize what’s not. Don’t make visitors think—make it crystal clear what they should be doing on each page of your site.
- Plan your navigation. Don’t go with the default options your CMS gives you, and don’t wing it at the last minute.
- Use search logs to your advantage. Visitors often turn to the search field when they can’t find what they’re looking for. Use search logs to better understand how to improve the information architecture of your site.
- Be concise. The best online copy uses simple words and short sentences.
- Focus on benefits. Don’t tell readers about every detail of the product or service; instead, describe the results and value customers will experience.
- Repeat your customers’ language. Mine help-desk emails, product reviews, emails, and other customer communications for the exact words and phrases used to describe the product, then repeat them in your web copy.
- 06/25/19--06:30: How to start a clothing line in 7 steps
- Find your niche and unique selling proposition.
- Name your business.
- Take care of the logistics.
- Get your funds in order.
- Start building your online brand.
- Build a website.
- Start promoting your new clothing line.
- Directly relate to your brand (words like “clothing,” “apparel,” “designs”).
- Convey the message or feeling of your clothing line. (What do you want people to think of when they read your name? What emotions do you want people to feel? What kinds of words resonate the most with or attract your target audience?).
- Give them as much direction as possible. Tell them what feelings you want to evoke in your customers. Do you have any logos you like as inspiration? Finding other logos that you are drawn to will give your graphic designer a better image of what you have in mind.
- Expect redesigns. It is almost a guarantee that you will have back-and-forth edits with your graphic designer about what you like and what you want to improve on. Stay patient in the process and be open to your designer’s opinions. You are hiring someone because you don’t necessarily have the skills (or the time) to do it yourself, so respect them as the expert and be open to their feedback.
- Social media: Create a business Instagram account, use sponsored ads for more awareness, and create engaging Instagram content.
- Email marketing: Every email you send should have a specific call-to-action in order to get consumers to visit your online store. GoDaddy Online Store’s built-in email marketing tools allow you to brand, send, and track statistics in one place.
- Branded packaging: Every part of your online store process is essential to the customer’s experience. This includes your product packaging. Find ways to insert character and connect with your retail customers through product packaging like adding thank-you cards or using custom-branded poly mailers or boxes.
- Collaborations and partnerships: What brands align with and complement your own clothing line? Fostering partnerships or collaborations is a great way to make connections in the community, validate your brand, and get in front of a new audience of potential buyers.
- 06/25/19--11:22: RT @Keys_Conference: “Participants will leave with steps to directly increase their workplace engagement and culture". Hear from #diversity #inclusion expert @RenateBGateway Director of Diversity & Inclusion Consulting #KeysConf. Early Bird rates are still open! https://t.co/yN1a1JR7Jd . #YYCevents
- 06/25/19--11:22: RT @Unilever: To us championing #diversity & #inclusion is more than a month-long celebration. Hear our CEO @alanjope celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and emphasise how we must continue to fight for equal treatment for everyone, every day of the year, all around the world. #Pride https://t.co/Xv0tseaynQ
When it comes to setting up and managing an eCommerce business, learning how to write product descriptions may seem like a relatively simple task. On the other hand, if you sell multiple products, it can feel monotonous and repetitive. However, product descriptions shouldn’t be glossed over or written in a hurry.
Recent research shows that 87% of shoppers say that detailed product content is important to their overall purchase decision.
A successful product description requires the right balance of storytelling, rich content and SEO awareness. Use the following guide (with real-life examples) to learn how to write product descriptions that will boost your sales.
Learn how to write product descriptions that tell a story
As you write product descriptions, try to describe an experience, not just the product itself.
Focus on making the reader envision themselves using (and enjoying) your product.
If appropriate, go as far as describing a time or place.
Look at the description of this hair product on Birchbox. The text evokes the real feeling of being at the beach with language like “just-stepped-out-of-the-surf” and “back-from-the-beach scent,” while also explaining how its product can do the same.
Product descriptions that tell a story are persuasive to potential customers, nudging them towards the “add to cart” button. The story doesn’t have to be all flowery language — it can also include informative details. In fact, consumers are 131% more likely to buy from a brand after they consume educational content .
Apple is the masterclass example of marrying storytelling with information within their product descriptions. Cameron Craig, who worked in PR for Apple, told the Harvard Business Review:
“Our mission was to tell the story of how our innovative products give customers the power to unleash their creativity and change the world.”
You can see just that in the product description of the MacBook Air. The copy immediately educates the reader on how this product will optimize their personal and professional lives.
Write product descriptions that highlight your unique value proposition
What makes your product different than the rest? Your unique value proposition (UVP) is your product’s differentiator, and you should include it near the beginning of your product description to quickly convince customers.
If you aren’t sure what that might be, do a little competitor research to see what other brands say about similar products and figure out why yours is different.
For example, refer to GoPro’s description of their latest Hero7 camera. The fact that this camera is the only one on the market with “HyperSmooth stabilization” is one of the first items you see (and mentioned twice above the fold). GoPro also highlights it’s waterproof and rugged features — two of their best UVPs.
Master product descriptions that consider your target customer
As you explore how to write product descriptions, think not only about your target customer, but also how they will use the product.
While features are important and have their place (more on that later), use the benefits to write compelling copy that convinces the customer why they need the product.
When thinking about the product and customer, ask yourself:
Those are the types of benefits you should highlight first and foremost in your product description.
Read Goop’s product description — they immediately dive into what the product will do for the customer’s skin — and you’ll see there are no doubts about the benefits.
Use product descriptions that match your tone to your buyer persona
When you write a product description, you also want to consider your target customer so that you can speak directly to their buyer persona.
One way to accomplish this is by matching the tone of the product description to your ideal customer.
For instance, if your audience is millennial consumers and you’re selling a lifestyle product, you can inject humor and frivolity to catch their attention.
On the other hand, if you sell professional-level tech products targeted toward business buyers, you’ll want to keep the tone more serious and detailed.
The perfect example of tone is Dollar Shave Club, a brand that made a name for itself with irreverent humor. Notice how their product description reflects its overall brand voice (and matches the tone of their audience) with tongue-in-cheek jokes.
Make your product descriptions concise and scannable
The above-the-fold section of your product page should contain the best copy. Remember that every word matters. Potential customers can scroll or click for more information if they’d like. That means your initial product description should be concise and to the point.
Whether you offer an expandable description or tabs below the fold with more features and details, the idea is to make the first product description scannable to hook the customer.
Scannability is also crucial for mobile customers so that they can see product descriptions easily on their phones.
Make sure to keep mobile-friendliness in mind as 79% of smartphone users made a purchase on their mobile device in the past six months.
Many brands use bullet points to help with scannability in their product descriptions. Notice how Home Depot includes bullet points in both its initial product description, as well as the expanded product overview.
Include multiple high-quality images with product descriptions
Holding a product is vital to consumers. When it comes to the customers who choose to shop in brick-and-mortar stores, 62% say it’s because they want to see, touch, feel and try out items.
You don’t necessarily need to hire a professional photographer to take product pictures (although if you have the budget, it can be worth it). High-res camera phones with portrait mode make it increasingly easier for eCommerce business owners to DIY product images.
When possible include images of the product in use, like someone wearing a piece of clothing, a customer using a tool — or even a screenshot of a digital product. These types of images help contextualize the product in action, which makes it seem more real and tangible.
Raw Spice Bar, a company that sells spices (essentially just ground up powder), still manages to use images to their advantage. They show an enlarged version of the spice, so customers can see texture and color, as well as the spice in its packaging, so customers can visualize what to expect. Lastly, they include an image of a meal where the spice is used, helping to put the product in context.
Incorporate customer testimonials with product descriptions
User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful tool in driving sales for your eCommerce business.
Customer testimonials and reviews are the best types of UGC to include in product descriptions.
Reviews help to provide social proof that other satisfied customers purchased and used your product, which goes a long way to encourage potential buyers.
Nearly 90% of consumers report that UGC influences their purchase decisions.
Depending on the layout and format of your eCommerce site, you can include a link to the product review page, or have native reviews underneath the product description.
Some brands opt to cherry-pick positive reviews or testimonials and include it as a quote in their product description.
Make product descriptions searchable with SEO
If you want more customers to find your product with organic search (via search engines such as Google or Bing), write product descriptions with SEO in mind.
Each individual product page on an eCommerce site is another opportunity to include high-quality content that’s indexed by search engines.
When product-descriptions are SEO friendly, those indexed pages can hopefully rank for your ideal keywords. This means a potential customers types in a related query and your site appears as a top result in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
If you haven’t already, do some basic keyword research, so you know what terms and phrases to include in your product description. Keywords are terms that directly relate to your product that a potential customer might type into a search engine when looking to find it.
Make a list of keywords and include them naturally in product descriptions, details and anywhere on your product page.
Don’t forget about long-tail keywords— these represent longer phrase/question searches rather than specific two- to five-word keywords. To give you an idea, instead of the keyword “cleaning supplies,” a long-tail keyword would be “affordable organic cleaning spray solution.”
Google tells us more and more consumers use conversational search queries. Searches with “do I need” grew in popularity by 65% — these are searches like: “what size generator do I need?”
Their advice on using this to your advantage? “Lock down keywords and phrases typically associated with [your] businesses and then consider natural language search phrases that customers might be using to find them.”
Make product descriptions that include useful and technical details
After you craft and hone your initial product description, include technical and specific product details. As you’ve seen in the examples above, the product details section typically comes below the fold and under the initial product description.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s not as important.
Consumers have specifics needs and concerns when it comes to purchasing a product, and details can be a make or break when it comes to conversion. Just think: what if someone has a skin allergy and can’t find the materials for a clothing item?
Your goal with product details should be to answer any question before a customer asks it, and provide useful information to help them on their buying journey.
A good example is Macy’s — they include the height and clothing size of the models in their product pictures. These details give the buyer additional insight into how items fit on an actual person, for example where a dress hem might fall.
A/B test your product descriptions
Once you nail down how to write product descriptions, don’t stop there. A/B test descriptions against one another to try out different tactics and find the best options. You can formally A/B test with marketing tools such as Google Optimize, Optimizely or Visual Website Optimizer.
Alternatively, you can do informal A/B testing by using different versions or formats for descriptions on similar products to see which sells better over a certain period of time.
Every eCommerce business is different, and there’s no-one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to product descriptions.
Testing your product pages will allow you to improve your descriptions to increase traffic and sales.
Make sure to check in with all product pages, if one seems to be selling better than the rest, try to repurpose that description on the low-selling products. Remember that data and metrics will help you refine your process.
Editor’s note: With dedicated product pages, GoDaddy Online Store makes it easy to update your product descriptions.
Learn how to write product descriptions to drive more sales
Product descriptions have the power to increase sales for your eCommerce business dramatically, yet even large corporations struggle with them.
Take a look at this case study: Overstock.com used freelance writers to enrich product descriptions for the top 10% of their products ahead of the holiday season. This move led to an 84% increase in organic traffic.
The main takeaway? Don’t get disheartened when setting up your eCommerce store. Follow this guide, and with a little hard work and persistence, your product descriptions will increase conversions for your online store.
This article includes content originally published on the GoDaddy blog by Erik Deckers.
The post How to write product descriptions to increase sales appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.
You’re a WordPress wizard, a master of markup, and you place every pixel with precision. You’ve spent hours studying the latest web design techniques and tools. But when it comes to sharpening our web design skills, we all have blind spots—valuable skills that most designers tend to overlook. Skills that boost the value you bring to your web design clients and bring you one step closer to the top of your game.
Here are five niche but highly sought-after skills that all web designers should add to their resume. All these skills are timeless, sought after by clients, and can make you more valuable to current and new clients.
Five web design skills to make you more valuable to clients
Web design skill #1: Progressive Web Apps
Becoming a skilled PWA designer is like insurance for your business. Progressive web apps will likely replace native mobile app development at some point, becoming the norm for mobile web development. Unlike mobile apps, PWAs also rank in search engines, boosting your clients’ visibility and increasing conversions for your clients. And, like all the skills listed here, PWA development lets you charge more for your web design services, so everyone wins.
Learn more about creating progressive web apps by checking out The Immense Power of Progressive Web Apps, 7 Tools for Developing Your First Progressive Web App, and the great examples at PWA.rocks.
Web design skill #2: Niche WordPress skills
Even though new tools like Squarespace and Webflow are making it easier to build basic websites and blogs, WordPress still powers nearly half of the entire CMS market. The demand for specialized skills to support those sites is higher than ever. Future-proof your WordPress design business by specializing in either a specific niche or category. See how Mode Effect does this for ecommerce sites running WooCommerce or how Member Up manages membership websites running WordPress.
Specialization is a powerful tool for making your marketing more effective.
By focusing your services on a specific ideal customer and helping them solve a specific, expensive problem, you’ll find new clients more easily. Many services will list you as an expert on their site, helping to drive even more leads to your business, like WooCommerce does with their WooExperts. The clients you do attract will trust your expertise and guidance even more, letting you charge more for your services.
Getting started in a new specialization doesn’t mean upending your entire business. Follow these tips to get started:
Ecommerce, specifically sites using the WooCommerce plugin on WordPress, is a valuable niche for web designers. Learn more about getting started in the WooCommerce community, or read more about specialization or WooCommerce on the GoDaddy Garage.
Web design skill #3: Accessible web design
More and more of our lives are being managed online—but much of the web still remains inaccessible for many people. Designing accessible websites lets everyone use the same digital services and information, regardless of any impairments or disabilities they may have. With the number of lawsuits against inaccessible websites continuing to increase in the U.S., more businesses are searching for web designers skilled in accessible design.
Creating accessible sites can be highly valuable to clients because they tend to rank better in search engines and, therefore, reach a wider audience. Once you explain the advantages, most web design clients are excited to incorporate accessibility into their designs—but they often don’t know where to start. Offering accessible design services not only sets you apart from other designers in your clients’ minds but also provides an opportunity to charge more for your designs.
Web design skill #4: Information architecture
Information architecture—the organization and structure of the information presented on a website—is another important web design skill that’s overlooked by many designers. IA is to a web designer what an outline is to a writer or a rough sketch is to a painter—it gives you a map of where each piece of information should be placed on the site, creating a clear path for visitors and improving the user experience.
Information architecture is like having a road map for your web design projects.
Starting each new site design with well-defined information architecture is worth the effort for both you and your clients. Building your map up front lets you save time (and client money) that would otherwise be spent on revisions after the site is delivered. It’s easier to identify and fix any gaps in the content your clients provide. And strong information architecture gives you and your clients a road map for delivering the site, helping to set the scope of projects and minimize last-minute changes.
It’s not hard to start learning information architecture:
There’s plenty of great information out there to help you learn information architecture, but we’d recommend starting with How to Make Sense of Any Mess, by Abby Covert, and Peep Laja’s post on ConversionXL, Website Information Architecture: How to Optimize for UX.
Web design skill #5: Copywriting
Effective copywriting is one of the most valuable skills a web designer can master. Learning to write powerful and persuasive web copy—copy that gets visitors to sign up for a mailing list, buy a product, or hire you—can magnify the effectiveness of your design projects, bringing more value to your clients (and more clients to your business!).
Moving customers to take action requires a careful balance of copy and design. If the design and copy aren’t working together, your clients’ sites won’t reach their potential. As a designer, learning to help your clients with copywriting gives you a leg up on the competition. You can more easily match the style of writing to your designs, whether clients are looking for formal and professional, or fun and lively. You can also package your design and copywriting services together, offering more value for your clients and making more revenue for yourself.
You can start improving your copywriting with a few basic tips:
Learn more about how to improve your copywriting skills, and how those skills can complement your web design services, in the Copywriting 101 guide from Copyblogger, or read about 5 tips to take copywriting by the horns on the GoDaddy Garage.
Boost the value of your web design services
These days, being a generic “WordPress designer” is pretty standard, but clients will continue to expect—and will pay for—more. While these five skills are sometimes overlooked, they are an essential part of becoming a better web designer and are sought by clients and employers alike. Learning them will increase the value of your web design services.
The post 5 valuable (and overlooked) web design skills to start learning appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.
When thinking about how to start a clothing line, the phrase “clothing line” might trigger a montage of movie-esque clips in our brains.
Images of colorful fabric tufts being thrown in the air. Designers surrounded by crumpled papers staring at a wall full of hand-sketched designs. A seamstress tirelessly sewing at 3 a.m. A slew of high-fashion models sashaying down the runway.
While there may be bits and pieces of this fantasy in real life, the ultra not-so-fashionable truth is that starting your own clothing line is like starting any other business: you need the money to buy or create inventory, some amazing products, a place to sell the product (whether that is online or in a physical location), tools, and the know-how to run a successful business. And let’s not forget a killer online presence.
That’s a lot to think about.
This guide will teach you how to start a clothing line with detailed steps — from naming your business to promoting your clothing line and everything in between.
7 steps to starting your own clothing line
For entrepreneurs looking to make their mark in the fashion industry, here are seven steps you’ll need to take in order to start your own clothing line:
Now that you’ve reviewed the seven steps to starting your own clothing line, let’s get started on developing your clothing brand.
1. Find your niche and unique selling proposition
There is a ton of competition in the clothing industry. In such a competitive market, you really need to find your niche. Here are a few things to consider when narrowing in on your niche when starting your own clothing line.
Who will you be selling to?
Who is the target audience for your clothing line? While we all hope that every single person on the planet will wear the clothing we worked so hard to bring into fruition, we need to ask ourselves who our most likely customer is.
Will you be selling women’s fashion, men’s, kid’s, seniors or unisex?
What is the age range of your target market? Are they younger teens who bop around the mall every chance they get? Are they male skateboarders between the ages of 14 and 25 who fancy oversized tees and long, shaggy hair?
When starting a clothing line, it’s also important to think about your ideal customer’s interests. What do they do on the weekends? Do they go to wine and paint nights with their girlfriends? Do they go to cigar lounges and drink scotch on the rocks? Or do they stay in and research business trends and stock market changes?
Brainstorming activities that your target audience likes to do, what movies they watch, what other brands they follow, and how they dress are all different ways to get into the mindset of your customer and narrow down your niche.
With all the preparation for your market research, keep in mind, too, that all this can change after you actually launch your own clothing brand.
While you may have started off targeting millennials aged 25 to 35, you might notice that in terms of sales, the people who actually buy your clothing are from ages 16 to 25.
You can always figure out ways to rebrand in a way that fits your current customer demographic or you can add in additional products or marketing strategies to reel in the customers you want to target later on.
What style of clothing will you be selling?
Movies have genres, clothing has styles.
When starting a clothing line, you have to know what distinct style of clothing your company is going to sell.
If you decided that your target customer is a 25- to 35-year-old female who is a pro Instagram scroller, frequents the beach, adores Free People, tries out trendy brunch spots every weekend, and religiously attends music festivals like Coachella, the style of clothing that best suits your demographic might be bohemian. From there, you can decide what makes up a good chunk of your clothing brand’s inventory according to the likes of your consumers.
What’s your unique selling proposition?
In any industry and no matter what you do, there is always going to be someone doing something similar to you who is selling for higher or lower than you. Higher prices evoke a sense of exclusivity and premium quality, while lower prices appeal to a more general mass of people because of its affordability and convenience factor.
When determining your unique selling proposition, especially in the clothing world, there are a few factors to consider.
Do you do something different or better than other brands on the market? Do you have premium fabric that makes your clothing feel like they were taken directly from the gowns of gods? Or do you donate a portion of your proceeds to various charities?
Think about all the ways that make your clothing line more valuable than others to a customer and use it as a foundation for your selling proposition.
2. Name your business
Naming your business can be one of the most fun, but sometimes one of the most stressful parts, of starting a clothing line.
Your clothing brand’s name will be used everywhere — in logos, clothing designs, shirt tags, website graphics, social media, thank you cards, and more — so make sure you create a name that you can proudly proclaim from the rooftops.
There is no “right” way to come up with a business name, but there are several techniques and tips you can use to steer yourself in the right direction.
Brainstorm names for your clothing line
One of the best ways to come up with a business name is to brainstorm a giant list of related words and feelings.
Don’t think about if the words make sense. Instead jot down as many words you can think of that:
Once you have a long list written down, you can circle the words you like most and try combining words or seeing how you can incorporate words or phrases together to create your new clothing line name.
As you narrow down a handful of options, there are a few more questions to ask yourself before you announce your name on your Instagram Stories.
Is it memorable?
Does your clothing line have a memorable name? Is it easy to remember?
Part of being memorable is if your name is easy to spell. Granted, there are always going to be people who spell words incorrectly, but do your best to create a brand name that isn’t egregiously difficult to type out and search for.
Another factor of being memorable is the length of the name. Do yourself and your consumers a favor and pick a name that isn’t annoyingly lengthy.
Is it timeless?
While you may like your clothing name now, will you like it in the future?
Calling your clothing line “Slay Bae Boutique” might be trendy and appealing to customers right now, but what about in five years? Ten years?
Also think about how it will feel when you self-promote and tell people the name of your clothing line. Will you be proud to say it? How would it feel to talk about your clothing line in front of people of various ages (for example, people in your target customer age range, older investors and business owners, or your family members)?
If you’re proud of your name in front of your target audience, but a bit sheepish when speaking in front of buttoned-up businesspeople, you might want to rethink your brand name.
Is it available?
Before you get too attached to a name, one of the most vital factors you need to consider is if the corresponding domain name is available. In order to have a fully functional business, your name needs to be available for purchase as a business name and as a domain name.
To avoid any future heartbreak, always check to see if the business name you’re looking at is not already trademarked or in use elsewhere. If you’re in the clear, the next step is to see if your potential company name is available as a domain.
Getting the exact domain name you wanted used to be a lot harder because there were only a few domain extension options (most of them being .com, .org or .net). But now, we have a hoard of creative domain extension options at our disposal.
With the help of GoDaddy, you have access to extensions like .shop or .store that clearly indicate to buyers that there are shoppable items on your site or you can venture out with more niche domain extensions like .clothing or .fashion.
3. Take care of the logistics
While it’s easy to get carried away with the fun parts of starting a clothing line, it will significantly help you in the long run if you set aside time to sit and create a business plan.
This includes everything from taking care of the not-so-fun legal stuff, getting your financials in order, and the vision of your branding and sales goals when the time comes.
If you’re looking for a full rundown, check out this handy dandy starting a business checklist. But if you’re looking for a quick version, read on for the basics.
The following content should not be construed as legal advice. Always consult an attorney regarding your specific legal situation.
Starting a legit clothing line requires that you set up your new business with the government. This includes registering your business (locally, state-wide, or federally), getting an Employer Identification Number (also known as your EIN), and getting any necessary business licenses.
What initial starting costs do you need to plan for when starting your clothing line? Do you need any equipment or software? If you’re planning on creating your own designs, purchase a design software like Adobe Illustrator to turn your designs into vectors for easy printing.
About that printing … how are you planning on printing your designs? Will you outsource to a screen printer or are you planning on printing yourself?
If you go the do-it-yourself route, you will need to look into screen printing presses and everything else you need to take into account like buying screens and an array of ink colors. There is more information on costs below.
What about inventory for your clothing line? Where are you going to find wholesale clothing? Are you going to find somewhere online or do you have the luxury of scouring the fashion district of California, or even more lavish, overseas?
There are pros and cons to consider for each option as you consider how to start your own clothing line.
While having pre-printed inventory is helpful because you can ship as you please and can sell at local festivals and markets on a whim, you are also responsible for storing your inventory, which can take up significant room in your house.
Even more than that, if the new T-shirt design you thought was going to be a winner, well, isn’t, you might be left trying to get rid of sluggish inventory and salvage a minimal profit in comparison to the amount of money you put in. On the other hand, using a on-demand printing services can save you from having the pitfalls of excess inventory.
When starting your own clothing line, you also need to figure out where you are going to sell your clothing.
With an eCommerce store comes the costs of purchasing your domain, hosting your website, paying for website plans and any added features like customized website templates or security measures like SSL certificates. You also need to decide if you’ll be solely selling on your website or on a marketplace site like Etsy or Amazon to get in front of more potential shoppers.
We’ll talk more about websites later in this article.
Editor’s note: Set up your online store in minutes with GoDaddy Online Store. This elegant but easy eCommerce solution offers flexible shipping and payment options plus marketplace selling features that enable you to easily sell products on marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Etsy and manage your orders and inventory all from one place.
4. Get your funds in order
Starting a clothing line requires quite a bit of overhead cost simply because of the money you need to invest for product production.
Because of that, one crucial step you need to consider is how you will fund your clothing brand. Do you have money saved to safely self-fund for the time being? Or will you look for other sources of funding such as applying for a business loan, getting an investor, or opting for crowdfunding? These are just a few funding options for a new business owner.
A business loan is when a company or bank lends you money on the terms that you are able to pay them back.
There are many options to apply and receive business loans including online lenders, business credit cards, personal loans, and loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Be on the lookout for small niche business loans or other non-traditional financing options that work heavily in your favor, like loans for female entrepreneurs.
If you’re blessed enough to have a billionaire uncle that will invest in your clothing line, scoop that blessing right up. But if you don’t have relatives or friends that are rollin’ in the dough, you may want to look into finding an angel investor.
Angel investors are accredited by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and have a net worth of at least $1 million and make $200,000 on an annual basis. These investors give you money in exchange for equity in your company. If you’re starting from ground zero though, this option may be better suited down the road when you know you have something prosperous on your hands.
Crowdfunding is essentially where you have people (or a crowd … get it?) invest in your idea.
Some of the most well-known crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo, Kickstarter and GoFundMe allow you to make an account, create a “pitch” that explains your idea and how people can invest, and start receiving funding.
Some crowdfunding sites ask you to set a goal of how much you’d like to receive. If you meet or exceed your goal, you are able to keep the money, but if you don’t reach your goal, the money is returned to the people who invested in your idea. Be sure to thoroughly read the rules of each platform to see which crowdfunding site works best for your intentions.
5. Start building your online brand
The world has gone digital, which means branding yourself online — and doing it well — is of utmost importance. Your online branding boils down to a few key ingredients.
While it is definitely tempting to take the easy way out and create a free Gmail account for your new business, it isn’t the most professional. Because you’re reading this, we know you want to be taken seriously, so build your business up from the get-go properly and scoop up an email address with your domain name.
Love it or hate it, as a modern business, you need social media.
While your personal Instagram might be filled with photos of yesterday’s spread at the local trendy food spot or throwback images of you and your buddies hanging out in Hawaii, your clothing line’s Instagram purpose is, ultimately, to gain leads and put yourself directly in front of your ideal audience.
Whether your grid is filled with styling inspiration, minimalistic product photos, or influencer testimonials, social media lets your audience know you exist and that they’d be living an even better life with your products in it.
In order to do all this though, you need to secure your social media handles.
In a perfect world, your clothing company name is available, but sometimes this isn’t the case. If you find that your clothing line name is taken, you can try naming alternatives (for instance: add a “the” in front of your name, add “apparel” at the end of your name, add “shop” before or after your name) or you can try messaging the owner of the account to see if they would kindly change their name.
To start promoting your clothing line, you need to have your business branding fully established. This includes all the smaller components (like your brand’s colors and fonts) to the more critical assets of branding like your company logo.
While your brand colors may seem like a trivial thing to actually sit down and consider, colors play a psychological role in how customers view your brand.
Sweeter, more feminine brands tend to use lighter, pastel colors to evoke feelings of femininity and softness while more masculine brands have a tendency to use stronger, more vibrant colors.
A few tips about choosing your clothing line’s colors? Pick three to five colors you can use in rotation, including your main color, secondary color, and any tertiary colors. These supporting colors can be used as fun pops of pigment on your website in the form of colored hyperlink text or eye-catching buttons. At a loss for colors? Utilize color personality tests and color palette generators for inspiration.
One of the most important assets of your branding is your company logo. Your logo will be the first touchpoint people see and associate with your brand.
You’re going to want to think through this carefully. What colors will you incorporate in your logo? Are you going to have words in your logo or not? If you can come up with a logo on your own and design it in a way that you are proud of, major kudos to you. But for the less design savvy business owners out there, you may want to consider outsourcing your logo to a graphic designer.
If you go the graphic designer route, remember that you are dealing with a third party. They don’t have any insight into your business other than what you tell them. When you communicate with a graphic designer, keep in mind of the following things:
6. Build a website
If technology intimidates you, it’s time to face that fear head-on and immerse yourself in the world of websites. Even if you don’t get your hands dirty and pass the job to someone more skilled, as a business owner, it’s important to have enough basic knowledge of the functionality and design aspects you want in order to communicate your ideas thoroughly to someone else.
There are a few ways to go about building a successful retail website for your clothing line, one of which is by hiring a website designer to build you a fully functional and modern website. If you’re looking for a wholly unique design, hiring a professional website builder will get you the custom, one-of-a-kind functionality and designs qualities you’re looking for. At the same time, however, with great customization comes great skill, which also means you need more money.
If you aren’t in need of a super-customized site, you can always check out a content management system like WordPress and use an eCommerce plugin like WooCommerce. While you don’t have to be an expert by any means, building your own website with WordPress or any other content management systems requires a bit more know-how in the technical department.
Although there isn’t a right answer when it comes to building your own website, we highly recommend taking a stab at creating your own online store with the help of GoDaddy.
With GoDaddy Online Store you have access to easy do-it-yourself websites. You can select what type of website you are looking to create and GoDaddy will suggest website templates in your specific category of design.
To start your clothing line website, choose retail website templates that are centered around the goal of displaying and selling your sweet collection of clothing products.
These websites also have various built-in marketing tools (like email marketing, social media integration and local business listings), and mobile-friendly designs for your shoppers who are browsing on their phones at 2 a.m.
You can take GoDaddy’s website building tool for a free month-long trial run.
From there, choose a pricing plan that fits your needs and budget.
This is a more cost effective website solution than outsourcing your website to a designer (which is important when you’re starting a clothing line on a shoestring budget). In addition, you will get a better understanding of how your website works in case you need to change anything in the future (which you absolutely will). You’ll also get the monumental satisfaction of having created your own website.
Get in front of buyers
Unless you have a strong foundation of followers that flock towards everything you talk about, getting potential consumers to your online store when you’re starting from scratch can sometimes be as tough as 3-month-old beef jerky. To help bring your products in front of thirsty buyers, consider connecting to marketplaces.
As mentioned previously, with GoDaddy Online Store’s marketplaces feature, you can easily sell your goods across the sea of marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, Etsy and others.
The best part? When you connect your online store to these marketplaces (also referred to as “channels”), the changes you make on your online store (like prices and product descriptions) are automatically synced to your separate channels. This means you aren’t spending all your free time changing one number on five individual sites.
7. Promote your clothing line
While it’s tempting to sit back and sleep for a week after hitting “publish” on your new site, this is when promotion really begins. In order to get people to your site, you’ve got to use a variety of tools and techniques to get your products in front of your ideal customers.
Some of these techniques include:
Giveaways, contests, and T-shirt collaborations are a great way to get started.
Future steps in starting your own clothing brand
Starting your clothing line is one thing. In order to be successful, the process of creating new products, promoting the heck out of them, and making a sale is a never-ending cycle.
Make sure to clear out stagnant inventory to keep your ideas fresh and current.
Don’t be afraid to venture off the digital scene to enter the physical world in the form of retail booths at markets and festivals.
Starting a clothing line takes loads of hard work and preparation, but it’s absolutely achievable.
Take each step one at a time and remember to take a breath if you feel overwhelmed.
With the resources mentioned in this article, you are one step closer to turning your idea of starting your own clothing line into a concrete concept. Congratulations on the exciting adventure ahead! The world of fashion and retail awaits.