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Diary of a Fashion Designer: Marketing

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Diary of a Fashion Designer: Marketing

Running a business in the fashion industry is no easy task. Smaller companies with limited staff and limited resources have to make strategic decisions about what can effectively be done in-house and what needs to be outsourced. It’s important to maintain control of product development, distribution, and the supply chain when possible. That leaves you to decide whether to delegate your marketing efforts to an agency or attempt to pursue all the promotions on your own. Based on your situation, there are Pros and Cons to in-house versus agency marketing for small fashion companies.

In House Marketing

Pros

  • Absolute control of content- you create and pick images, text, video, color scheme, theme, music, models, outlets, when it goes out, how it goes out, etc.
  • Real time social media management
  • You can plan and execute your strategy using a tool like Buffer– create, schedule and execute social media marketing campaigns
  • Cost effective- create a marketing team within your existing team that knows your brand identity and culture
  • Personal engagement with consumers- engage with the customers making them feel like they’re a part of the brand

Cons

  • Time consuming
  • Time is divided- can’t focus on what you do best
  • Can’t keep up the pace- customers have short attention spans, marketing efforts need to be updated or refreshed more frequently as methods and platforms change

Agency Marketing

Pros

  • Leave it to the experts- they already have proven processes that get results because that’s all they do
  • Monitored control- you supply the vision and get the final say
  • Leaves time for you to focus on product development, distribution, and the supply chain
  • They have access to tools you don’t have that will make the content better and process more efficient
  • Pays off in sales, customer engagement, and acquisition of new customers

Cons

  • Less control
  • Can get expensive
  • Engagement may not be as personal

Diary of a Fashion Designer: 2017 and Beyond

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Hello World! It’s been a longtime since we dished so this is just an intro to a series of 3 posts that will catch you up on what’s been going on in my world, and what to look forward to in the near future; like more video posts. 2016 has been the longest year EVER. So many twists and turns have made it memorable and full of so many lessons, not only in my journey to establish my brand, but also in my personal life.

In a nutshell, I gave birth to another baby girl, I’m still single, I had an extremely successful fashion show, launched new products: one of a kind leather handbags, sustainable active and swimwear, opened an additional online storefront, launched an unsuccessful KICKSTARTER campaign, gained some new writing clients, and much more.

I’m excited for the new year and what I have planned. People always claim, “This year is the year  for me, I’ll be successful, my careers going to take off, I’ll find love etc. etc.” But you know what, this time instead of making some vague claim about what’s going to occur, or how things are going to be, I’m going to focus on the steps I’ll be taking to get those results. 2017 will be all about action and what I;m going to call “proactivity.” At this point, I know what has not been working for me, and I’ve tallied all the casualties of my failures and put them to rest. However, I’m working hard to move on and NOT repeat the same mistakes. R.I.P to my past, and hello to my future…

Stay Tuned…….MUAH aaaaaaaaaand scene

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Diary Of A Fashion Designer: Need Money? Become An Online Sales Associate For TSXDH

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3rd_world_shirt-r18e3f4d07f554884b882279b2d217c2a_vjfew_540Everybody could use a little extra cash. If that ‘s a proper description for your current situation becoming an online sales associate may be the answer for you. Don’t let the word “sales” scare” you. There’s no cold calling or corny sales pitches; it’s all about posts and hashtags.

  • set your own schedule and work your own hours
  • promote the products you want to promote
  • earn 15% commission
  • work from anywhere
  • post links from your computer, tablet, or phone

Set Up Your Sales Associate Account in 4 Steps

  1. Go to http://www.zazzle.com/tsxdesignhouse and view the products: choose what you want to sell
  • art
  • organic t-shirts
  • athletic wear

track jackets

yoga pants/leggings

  • purses
  • watches

2. Click on the the three bar icon in the left hand corner of the screen

  • click the word “sell”
  • click the word “associates”
  • click “join as an associate”

3. Create an account and associate ID number

  • example: rf= 1234567

4. Create referral links using your associate ID number

  • example: to create a referral link to the store use-  http://www.zazzle.com/tsxdesignhouserf=(insert your associate ID number here)
  • example: to create a referral link to a specific product add rf=(insert your associate ID number here) to any product link to receive commission on a sale

Marketing: How To Promote in 8 Steps

  1. Create a Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Pinterest if you don’t already have one and build a network. If you use other social media platforms you can use those too.
  2. Post hashtags with your links:
  • examples: #customized #limitedEdition # Customization #OneOfAkind #shop #buy #organic #TSXDesignHouse #UrbanCoutureLife #EbonyAdell #MadeInAmerica #fashion #Art #purses #watches #messengerbags #tshirt #luxuryapparel #luxurybrand #leggings #yoga #yogapants #athleticwear #tantra #chakras #jacket #sports
  • any words that describe the products: colors, size, materials, texture, season, price, print etc.

3. Use your email list to send customized personalized promotions to friends, family, and colleagues

4. Go to http://www.Buffer.com and create an account then go to http://www.CoPromote.com and create an account

  • schedule your posts on Buffer.com
  • track your progress to figure out what products each network or customers respond to and what’s making you money
  • choose the product that’s performing the best and post it on Copromote to get a long term boost for a month on other networks

5. Post additional boosts during yur downtime from your phone

6. Set goals

  • Post 3-6 times a day
  • create sales goals
  • think quality not quantity

7. Rotate products until you figure out your sales strengths and what best serves your market

8.. Find a price point that works for you and post by price

  • rotate products by price
  • most expensive to least expensive then try least expensive to most expensive
  • rotate products by category

Have fun with it. Constantly expand your network and sales base to make you the most money. Good Luck and Happy Selling!

WIN_20150219_123215 (6)TSX Design House: Transcend The Trends, Beyond New Style Where Fashion Is Art In 3d

Diary Of A Fashion Designer: Strictly Business, The #BlueOceanStrategy

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Anything's possible in America...

Ive been getting alot of questions from my readers  asking “How will TSXDH compete with big name brands?” “How will you make money?” Well people, it takes some intense planning to establish any business. However, luxury branding success totally depends on which strategy you employ, and this is how I plan to break into the business

FACT: The total sales reported in the United States retail industry in 2012 exceeded 2.5trillion dollars and supported over 42 million jobs

FACT: In 2013, luxury retail sales exceeded 318 billion dollars worldwide.

Why would a company choose to establish a luxury brand?

Some people think I’m crazy for founding a luxury brand, to them it’s committing fiscal suicide. They think I’m setting myself up for failure. But in reality, luxury segmentation maximizes opportunity for expansion and profits in an uncertain economic climate by focusing on customers in a mid to high income bracket that find value in branding. Over
the next 5 years, spending has the potential to increase by 35%(www.BOF.com).
Consumer habits, social considerations, trends, and market size are important
environmental factors that contribute to a steadily expanding consumer base.

TSX Design House has implemented a blue ocean strategy. Because it’s a company that specializes in customization and “limited” collections, value innovation gives us the upper hand. This allows for a window of opportunity to stay ahead of imitators.  Competition is irrelevant because we expand industry boundaries by creating a demand for the value we provide and taking advantage of uncontested market space. We’ll thrive in a marketplace of our own making.

Why Do Customers Choose Luxury Goods?

Luxury goods leaders provide a premium shopping experience,
and high quality. This is how they survive recessions and economic downturns.
Competitive Analysis
The United States is the number one buyer of luxury goods with China close behind
in the number 2 slot (www.BOF.com) Driven by emerging markets and a trend of
“ affordable luxury” the market saw a 3% retail gain in 2013. Micheal Kors, COACH, and
Ralph Lauren are the American industry leaders; with Ralph Lauren reporting an
average 4.04 billion dollars in 2013 sales.

Ralph Lauren has maintained a steadfast position in the fashion industry by adhering to it’s design
philosophy and aesthetic focusing on classic lines/styles/silhouettes. This allows
them to survive trend cycles, and even increase their profit margin yearly. They have
global brand recognition and visibility, with a wide and expanding customer base.
These brands will only grow bigger as they expand into new luxury markets, like
Asia-Pacific and Africa.
TSX Design House is a high end American fashion brand positioning itself for
entry into the luxury goods market. The company is a custom design firm that creates
and sells custom made, limited edition, and Ready-T0-Wear high end fashion and art. We currently have one brick and mortar store in the midwest, and two online stores(http://www.
zazzle.com/tsxdesignhouse and http://www.Etsy.com/Shop/TSXDesignHouse). Our
current position in the market is good, but not ideal for entry. Lack of cashflow, is the
biggest obstacle we face at this time. 2012-2014 saw a profit of approximately
$30,000 after $12,000 in costs. However, as demand increases, costs will go up, while
profits may decrease or plateau. The company has yet to implement a strategy to
meet those challenges. Although we have established an industry presence,
brand recognition and visibility is limited.
Strategic Analysis: TSX Design House
The recommendation for TSX Design House is as follows:
To address the issue of lack of cashflow the company can solicit outside funding
from investors, or apply for business loans. They can also create additional cashflow
with minimum spending by taking advantage of their online opportunities, and using
that platform to test their branding strategy resulting in measurable results.

Since the luxury market is not saturated, the company will continue to pursue a blue ocean
strategy for entry into that market. To better position ourselves for entry we will
focus current marketing and sales efforts in the oniine zazzle store. Luxury shoppers
are motivated to purchase by brand loyalty. We have launched an aggressive targeted marketing
campaign via social media, radio, internet radio, e-mail marketing, print media, and direct mail.
It’s the most cost effective way to build brand loyalty, until we increase our marketing budget. Once the relationship is established customers will buy other products under the brand umbrella they trust.

When TSXDH gets a firm foot in the luxury market they can defend their position by offering
limited collections within the staple brand and co-brands. We’ve Implemented a balance
of a horizontal integration and differentiation strategy, and the brand is a prime candidate for repositioning at anytime. A strong product development foundation combined with a value based design philosophy is a major strength for the company. This can be used to our advantage while growing existing brands and clothing lines; while creating
co-brands.

Within five years expansion of brick and mortar locations in New York, Atlanta, Alaska,
California, Miami, Asia-Pacific, Brazil, and Africa will be possible as luxury goods
spending increases. To meet the needs of the customers, we will also expand the online business by offering online consultations via skype, virtual fittings, body scanning technology, partnerships with local tailors and in other geographic areas. There will also be an increase in in-house staff. Within the first year TSX Design House has the potential to penetrate and raise
awareness in 60% of the targeted consumer market and achieve a profit margin
of 50%.

Diary Of A Fashion Designer: 5 Tips for Social Media for Small Business

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jZAZZLE2  TSX Design House “Beyond New Style, Where Fashion Is Art In 3D”

Marketing is the bread and butter of all businesses. Some traditional strategies require invasive practices and solicitation of strangers in the hopes they decide to become a new customer. Internet marketing is a more customer centric(versus seller centric) method to reach new and existing customers. It transforms local companies into global enterprises with the click of a button.

The world wide web leverages the playing field for small companies by exposing them to a larger audience and potential customer base. Social media marketing for small business is a cost effective strategy to attract customers through your content and build relationships with them no matter where they might be located. Here are 5 key tips for using social media for your business.

1. Create a Social Media Campaign and Content Strategy

This isn’t your own personal account on Facebook. Social media marketing for small business isn’t just randomly posting links and ads. These campaigns are time consuming. Know why you’re setting up these profiles and pages, who the targeted customer is, and what you expect in return for all this time and effort. Take the time to create a calendar for your promotions. Put a time limit on each campaign and focus your content around a targeted audience. Social media platforms allow you to do targeted searches for customers so those you invite to “follow”, “fan”, “like”, or “join” will have interests relative to your product or service.

2. Create Content That’s Valuable To Your Customer

Your content has to engage the customer. There might be 100 posts per day in their feed, so you have to make sure your content leads to products, services, or information that you offer, and that is filling some type of need that the customer has. Stay abreast of the trends in your industry as well as what’s trending online.  Add keywords to help keep your search engine ranking high, and to keep you linked into whatever’s going on in the twitter sphere(or whatever platform you use). Don’t forget to include a clear call to action, list contact information; and utilize , hashtags, hyperlinks, and links back to your home websites/profiles.

3. Monitor and Engage with the Audience

Monitor your platforms and engage with the customers. If you see that customers A and B always comment on your forums because they’ve been spending money with you for years, then make sure you engage with those people. This adds that personal touch that sometimes get  you do business online. You also want to engage to maintain a rapport with customers/fans, and to help build your brand loyalty.

4. Maintain a Consistent Voice for Your Brand Across all Platforms

Your brand messaging has certain voice. It’s pertinent to the success of your social media campaign that you maintain that voice consistently across all platforms. A customer that may be familiar with your company via traditional promotional materials, or even at a brick and mortar location will be the first to notice if you deviate from your brand messaging. That’s a turnoff to a loyal customer, and it may confuse a new customer. You want people to recognize your mantra and style no matter where they are, and no matter where you are.

5. Use Platforms to Promote Exclusive Offers

Consumers love free stuff! Social media marketing for small business is the ideal opportunity for you to promote valuable offers, trial offers, advice, or free products and services. Create targeted content around holidays, special occasions, and important dates within your company(day it was founded etc.).Your website numbers will jump from 1-100 so fast your head will spin. New customers are likely to join in for the hopes you’ll have offers in the future. This will expand your customer base and help to build some brand loyalty.

Most platforms offer pre-post scheduling in one form or another. Take the time to research which ones work for you and pre schedule your posts accordingly. If you launch an effective, aggressive campaign, social media marketing for small business can help you achieve a more plentiful bottom line; higher profits.

Stay tuned, MUAH aaand scene………

Follow me on TWITTER @ http://www.TWITTER.com/TSXDesignHouse

Visit my online stores @ http://www.zazzle.com/tsxdesignhouse  AND http://www.Etsy.com/shop/TSXDesignHouse

 

Diary Of A Fashion Designer: My Next Move Is My Best Move “Action Plan 2014”

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nab-1.jpgA reality check can either put you on, or throw you off your square. When the moment occurs that the light bulb finally goes off inside your head it’s also a signal for you to take action. It could be a tragedy or triumph; a personal event or something you saw on the news. It doesn’t matter as long as it causes you to make a move. My reality check was that I didn’t require a special moment to make any moves. I have been in motion for quite some time now, and I’m happy to say that I’m making more progress, than causing myself to digress. The tricky thing is figuring out what I need to do first, versus what I want to do first. So, here’s the 10 step criteria I used to help me create my action plan for 2014.

1. Prioritize Goals

My main goal is to be efficient and effective in my business, and in my life. In order to achieve that there’s a lot that needs to be done on a daily. Right now, I work three jobs. My day job at Our Next Generation Community Center, freelancing as a writer/SEO Content Specialist for Interact Media(and whoever else I can snag as a client), plus I run my design firm TSX Design House(including 2 online stores on Zazzle and Etsy). However, I can’t put 100% into every little thing and expect a 100% return on my investment. A jack of all trades is a master of none, so I have to focus on mastering my business, and being really great at freelancing and working with the kids. My goal is to reposition my brand to be stronger, consistent, superior, distinctive and communicate strong thoughts and feelings to my customer segment creating loyalty and generating strong revenue.

2. Define Resources

It’s time to re-access my resources. My main resource is me! But I think I’m keeping good maintenance on my skillset and knowledge base. I believe in continuing education and my intellectual resources so I enrolled in some MOOC grad level courses to keep my mind fresh and stay current on design and business trends. My next thing to think about is financial resources. I have to work with what I’ve got, and I’m ok with that. I can seek other sources of income to help raise capitol for living expenses, marketing and supplies. It’ll be hard, but it’s not impossible. When I’m ready, I’ll apply for another business grant and ask my family to invest in my dream.

3. Accept Who I Am

I can only be me, and do what I do. I can’t dwell on how fast others are moving, or how far they have gotten in the quest to live their dream. I can’t allow my past to haunt me, it’s a part of what has made me who I am, and it has contributed to my success and survival. If I hadn’t experienced some the things I’ve gone through in my life, I might not have been strong enough to even get this far. I RESPECT the road I’ve taken and tip my hat to the old me.

4. Reject and Deflect Drama

Drama is a distraction from the tasks at hand. You have to distance yourself from people who are not on the same page as you, and who don’t respect your hustle. Otherwise all their petty crap will through a monkey wrench in your plans. I can’t afford to get side tracked one single minute, so if you aren’t trying to work to rise to the next level, I have to cut you loose.

5. Forgive and Release

Emotional baggage weighs heavy on a great mind. Anger and resentment can consume you, totally wasting precious time that could be spent being productive and innovative. As I’ve said in past posts you have to learn to bless your enemy. Forgive those that have wronged you, ask for forgiveness for those you have done wrong, and move on. You can’t see what’s in front of you if you’re always looking to see what’s behind you.

6. Trust

Trust yourself and your vision. It may take more than one attempt at achieving your dreams to reach that final product that will take you to the top. Apple’s first version of the Mac probably wasn’t as good as it the MacBook is now, so don’t get deterred by a few trial runs. And don’t be afraid to take on the big boys. If you conceive that your idea is a luxury market idea, then build it as a luxury market product. It’s ok to put yourself out there if you have what people want.

7. Enforce Accountability

When you say you’re going to do something do it. So set realistic goals with realistic outcomes. But if you don’t meet them figure out why it didn’t work, and what needs to be tweaked to make it work. It’s ok as long as you’ve worked as hard as you can to make it happen.

8. Work More Hours

I have to put in more hours. I like to sleep, eat, and I am a reality TV junkie. But I know that if I want to make more money, and be more successful I have to add about 14-20 more work hours to my week to make it happen.

9. Establish A Routine

Working from home it’s hard to establish a routine. But if I know that I’ll be writing everyday from 10am-noon and sewing from 9pm-11pm at least four days out of the week, I can plan those activities according to the order I want to complete projects. I can blog, tend to my social media and marketing and finish the rest of this collection.

10. Love My Family

Most importantly I have to make time to spend with my family. I have a 16 year old daughter and 4 year old son, and I’m very close to my mother. brother and other immediate family. Relationships are important, and regardless of whether or not I make a million dollars my family will always love and appreciate me. So I have to find time to nurture those relationships.

It’s all coming together and I can feel that my time is coming. I just have to make sure everything is in place when it all goes down. Opportunity doesn’t have to knock on my door, I’m out here making it happen on my own. Stay tuned, MUAH…aaand scene

TSX Design House

Beyond New Style, Where Fashion Is Art In 3d 

Follow me on TWITTER @ http://www.TWITTER.com/TSXDesignHouse

Diary Of A Fashion Designer: Developing A Marketing Strategy;Something New

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ZAZZLE2Now that I a sort of have the clothes under control, I have to seriously consider how I’m going to market this thing. If I tank on the promotion and advertising, I won’t make any money. There are about five different aspects to my marketing strategy, but we’ll address something that’s new to me, and may be new to you; variable data printing.

Marketing a business can be expensive and complicated. Especially if you do alot of advertising using a traditional mailing system. It’s difficult to decide what imagery to use and what message you want to include. However, variable data printing offers an all around solution by allowing you to customize information and imagery all in one print job, all you have to do is enter the data into the program. The system even prints individual customer names and addresses on each document. The key to marketing materials that work for you, is in the design. So here are five tips to help you design your promotional marketing materials.
1. Text
Consider choosing a universal font for your project. Make sure the size of the font is appropriate for the size of the mailer. It has to easy to read in order to be effective. Sometimes those fancy fonts distract from the overall message of the materials, and they may be difficult to read. Your document should catch the customer’s eye while they are flipping through their mail. If the print is all curvy, or too small, consumers may pass it right up or toss it in the junk mail pile.

2. Color
Aside from your logo design, limit the colors to four at the most. Stick to four colors that are common amongst all your marketing channels so it relates to your branding. You may want to divide the targeted group by age or gender and create two different documents that appeal to those markets. Too many colors distract the eye and take away from the message.
3. Imagery
Imagery should be relevant to your brand. You want to create something that relates to your customers, in a visual language they can understand. Use clear, high resolution; and clean, modern lines/shapes. The imagery speaks to your brand. Divide your targeted mailing list into two or three groups by interest, and create two or three versions of the imagery to input. As you review the list, consider grouping customers by previous purchases. Then you can add imagery of current versions of those products, or products that are related to those previous purchases.
4. Brand Message   The brand message and call to action has to be front and center. Any relevant information should be highlighted along with the contact information. You want to keep it cohesive across all marketing channels so repeat customers can instantly recognize. Stress to the customer what value you bring into their life.
5. Headline
Simplicity is a rule of thumb. Keep your headline simple and to the point. Anything too wordy gives the customer time to lose focus and toss your mailer to the side. People love free stuff, and they love to win things. So consider offering a promotional contest or giveaway to get their attention.
Assess your market by your targeted mailing list. If you want to create more customized designs for your materials, limit it to three or four designs. They should appeal to those customers, and offer a solution to fulfill a need. Overall, variable data printing is more simple than it sounds, cost effective, and more effective than traditional printing.