You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step.
The fashion business is booming, and the industry is expected to grow by 15.7% in 2020 to 718 billion globally.
Maybe, despite the industry’s consistent growth, you don’t see the results you want.
If you’re here now, it’s because you’ve spotted an opportunity for growing your business, and you’re looking for an effective fashion marketing strategy.
Maybe your ROAS (return-on-ad-spend) needs improvement. Maybe your ads aren’t customised towards your audience or aren’t utilising everything Facebook offers.
There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your fashion photography business.
These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered legally and adequately compliant.
But, first, let’s cover some fashion brand-related questions you may have.
Which Social Media Channels Should Your Brand Use For Fashion Marketing?
Social media allows you to promote your fashion brand, improve customer service, divert traffic to your website, and improve sales.
Often, we don’t see companies using various social media channels to their fullest potential.
Suppose you’ve been using social media but have only seen a drain on labour cost or can’t accurately attribute revenue to specific channels or marketing campaigns. In that case, it’s time to recalibrate your efforts.
Don’t get stuck doing social media for the sake of doing social media. A social media presence needs to be strategic and intentional.
You need to know which platforms are suitable for your business and industry and how best to reach your target customers on those platforms.
For instance, when it comes to apparel brand engagement, Instagram is king.
For our purposes – discussing marketing strategies to grow your business within the fashion industry – this post will also cover Instagram and Facebook to promote your fashion brand.
These two platforms offer:
- Significant customisation (and creativity) when it comes to personalised ads.
- Streamlined service for working with influencers (though Instagram is the reigning champ in influencer marketing).
- A large audience made up of critical fashion-oriented demographics.
Plan Your Business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
- What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What Are the Costs Involved in Opening a Fashion Photography Business?
While there are several items, you’ll need to get started, and your most valuable business tool is your talent and experience.
Industry leaders recommend budgeting for a camera and studio equipment. This should include:
- Camera and various lenses
- Modifiers – giant umbrella, Citibank, scrims, and beauty dishes
- Studio equipment – lighting, stands, backdrops, modifiers, props, floors, backgrounds, and remote triggers
- Computer and editing software
- Backup storage devices
- Professional album creation software
Your startup needs are not limited to just photography equipment. The following business tools will help ensure you stay organised and on track with your marketing strategy:
- Accounting software
- Portfolio – this should include some of your best work and show potential clients that you’re able to work in a variety of settings
What Are the Ongoing Expenses for a Fashion Photography Business?
Your vision for the company will define your ongoing expenses.
Many photoshoots will take place away from home, freeing you of the need to invest in a brick and mortar space.
Your most considerable expense will be time spent on networking, marketing, and travel.
Between fashion events, meetings with clients, and photoshoots, much of your time will be spent away from home, where you will incur the typical expenses associated with jet setting across the country (or the world).
You will also need to invest in maintaining your equipment, photo editing software, and equipment replacement when necessary.
Who Is the Target Market?
Ultimately, your target market is defined by your creative vision, personally and professionally.
Designers require photographers to capture images of their latest lines, which are displayed in lookbooks.
At least one magazine targets every demographic, each of them requiring a photographer who inspires readers.
Think Vogue, Rolling Stone, and L’Officiel. Fashion bloggers also need professional photographers and photo editors.
Consider your creative goals and then research which has an immediate need for those services.
How Does a Fashion Photography Business Make Money?
Fashion photographers are paid a flat fee per shoot, which varies widely depending on both the client and the photographer’s reputation.
How Much Profit Can a Fashion Photography Business Make?
Again, this varies, depending upon your region and the type of clients you choose to target.
Should you decide to open a firm that includes multiple photographers or offers clients additional services, your profits stand to increase exponentially.
How Can You Make Your Business More Profitable?
As a photographer, you are only limited by your imagination and the types of projects you choose to take on.
Consider expanding your client base to include customers who require product photography for their online stores.
Enterprises such as Neiman Marcus have thousands of products displayed on their websites – each item must be photographed from multiple angles.
A photography agency composed of numerous photographers of varying skill levels and innovation could prove profitable.
If photo editing is your strong suit, market your talents. You would be surprised at how many businesses require such a skill.
Fashion Marketing Strategy
Using Instagram Stories To Drive Conversions
Given how easily Instagram ties into influencer marketing, it’s easy to see why engagement is so high.
Plus, Instagram is one of the more visual platforms, utilising a photo-first user experience with the Instagram feed and allowing users to post Instagram stories or even run IGTV (Instagram’s answer to YouTube).
Finally, it’s easy to get from Instagram to your site. When running an Instagram story, you can have customers swipe up or click on a call-to-action button.
Using Facebook Video Ads To Get Your Customer’s Attention
While apparel brand engagement is lower on Facebook, the popular social media platform is still a must-have for fashion companies.
That’s because Facebook is popular amongst crucial demographics:
When you separate by genders, 75% of women use Facebook, and 63% of men use it, too — making it a great platform that isn’t focused on one over gender over the other.
Facebook video has a higher engagement stat (6.01%) when compared to photo posts, link posts, and status posts.
What Is the Advertising Strategy for Fashion Marketing Luxury Brands?
If you run a luxury brand, you’re probably wondering if the rules are different for you.
And while there are some nuances, the advice towards a higher-end brand and a more economical brand generally comes from the same area.
Luxury fashion brands require customisation and an audience-focused marketing mindset, but so does every other type of fashion brand.
So much of what we have to say about creating an advertising strategy for luxury brands can be said for every other brand type.
- Know your audience
- Make it personal
- Practice retargeting
Engage An Omnichannel Shopping Experience
The only difference – and it’s an anecdotal difference – is that as the product’s price goes up, the patience for a less-than-stellar customer experience goes down.
And while that may be true, a better approach, on our end, is creating a winning advertising strategy that puts customer service first at every price tier.
Personalise Your Customers’ Experience
By 2020, more than half of consumers want a level of personalisation before they even interact with your website.
This makes sense. After all, it isn’t just blind luck that someone found your website.
They found your online store through PPC ads, Instagram stories, influencer marketing, organic search results, and so on.
They found your store through some level of effort on your part matched with an inquiry on their part.
When it comes to personalisation, we want to see the personal touch in these two key areas:
- The shopping experience
- Retargeted ads
Let’s dive into both.
The Shopping Experience
When we talk about personalisation, some marketers go straight to behaviour insights and demographic data to create the best ads possible.
And trust us, that is important, and we will get there in a moment.
But first, make sure you’re not overlooking the changes you can make to personalise the shopping experience on your website.
Amazon does this so well; we think of it as natural and intuitive, not strategic and intentional. And that’s the excellent litmus test. If your site’s personalisation feels natural, it’s closer to personal.
If it feels awkward and clunky, go back to the drawing board. Amazon’s algorithm says, “Hey, other people who bought this golf set also bought this bag of tees and a set of golf balls.
You can get all three for this amount.” This product recommendation is perfect for the fashion business, where accessories can be paired to complete an outfit or look.
Getting someone to your site is a battle, sure, but it isn’t the whole war. Recent data shows that the average conversion rate for a style and fashion e-commerce site sits at 1.3%.
If your conversion rate sits below that, we recommend running retargeting ads.
Ensure Customers Know How To Use Your Product
Clothing is functional and visual. People see your ads for pants, dresses, shirts, or whatever. And they want to look like the person in the ad.
But, of course, the ad is full of more than just one article of clothing. Typically it’s a model or a selection of clothing pieces, arranged in the right way, covered with appealing lighting, and so on.
Creating a style guide for your clothing lets your customers engage with how your dress is best worn.
A style guide also helps you with upsells because now your customer wants to complete the look.
Know Your Buying Audience, Not Just Your Intended Audience
Do you know your audience, or do you just have an audience in mind? There’s a big difference.
A few years into operation, the menswear company, Blank Label, had to make a change.
Per one of the founders, Fang Bi, they had built the company, at a very young age, to cater to “hipsters, artists, and other creative types.”
Blank Label allowed what the founders called “co-creation.” You helped design the dress shirt you wanted, and the company used its connections in China to make it for you.
After having some initial success, Blank Label’s two founders decided to analyse their customers’ data.
They sent out surveys and looked at every piece of data available to them.
And they were stunned: In their words, “It was like, ‘Holy crap, our customers aren’t 22-year-olds who are rebellious and against ‘The Man.’ Our customers are The Man.”
Use Influencer To Social Proofing Your Fashion Marketing
73% of millennial customers say it’s important to read other people’s opinions before they buy.
But you need customers to buy to leave reviews. How do you break that cycle and spread your brand with value-driven content? You invest in influencer marketing.
Create A Blog To Direct Organic Traffic To Your Brand
85% of millennial customers research before making a purchase and 60% of that research happens on its website.
So that’s where your blog comes in.
A blog establishes your expertise as a fashion brand. Why encourage someone to buy your clothes or jewellery from one site, but then go read about the latest trends in styles on a different one?
Creating a blog with engaging, value-driven, and relevant content:
- It makes your website a one-stop-shop for all things related to your brand and industry,
- Drives up engagement time,
- This leads to shares across social media platforms
- Fosters a relationship between your brand and your customer
Pinterest Marketing Ideas For Fashion Photographers
Pinterest marketing for fashion photographers is an awesome way to optimise your SEO, spread your workaround, drive traffic, and generate leads.
Pinterest is a great space to gather inspiration for all sorts of things. It’s also a great tool for promoting your work.
Pinterest is a major traffic driver to websites and blogs. When you start sharing your work, on your terms, on Pinterest, you can generate both traffic and leads for your fashion photography business. Here are some ideas for Pinterest boards for fashion photographers.
One of the exciting things about Pinterest is that your pins are linked to the source. What happens if your pin starts getting repinned over and over again? More links to your content.
Not only is Pinterest great for driving specific leads and traffic, but it can also give a little boost to your SEO.
Putting your work on Pinterest correctly keyworded will also help with the image search results when you’re searching your name.
There are so many reasons to build an audience on Pinterest, so why not add it to your list of promotional channels?
How To Market Your Fashion Photography On Pinterest
An Important Note: Pinterest is not a social network. I look at Pinterest as a visual search engine.
The people who are using Pinterest aren’t using it to connect with their friends and see what they’re up to.
They’re using it to plan, to get inspired, and to look for specific visual content. Make sure your photos are the first thing they come across when they’re searching for specific things in fashion photography.
When they’re looking for fashion photographers, inspiration for their mood boards, specific accessories or looks–– your images should be part of their vision board.
Create boards that focus on different scenarios of lighting in fashion photography. Use your work to demonstrate examples of different fashion photography lighting situations.
To take this a step further, create blog content focused on different lighting scenarios. Share photos that you appreciate the lighting within.
Think of lighting that other photographers would want to emulate themselves and create differently, specified boards focused on certain lighting types.
Share different kinds of mood boards as Pinterest boards. Create boards that different editorial or advertising collaborators might be looking for in the future.
If you’ve seen a ton of images, and created images that could fit on a “fairy wonderland editorial” board, make it!
Throw your images in the mix with other people’s to convey different moods on different boards.
Create Pinterest boards of different models that give different vibes. These can be looked at like little casting boards.
You can use your photos of models in the mix, whether you’ve been doing testing or some clean editorial photography.
Create boards of different shooting locations that adhere to certain guidelines. For example, if you’re looking for beautiful and floral locations, do some location scouting in your area to get location shots to share.
These can even be converted into a blog post to drive more traffic when people are searching for that specific location.
Create makeup inspiration boards to share your beauty and fashion photography on Pinterest. Different makeup looks can warrant different boards, and the possibilities are endless.
Mix your work with the work of others that inspire you to flesh out your makeup Pinterest boards. Try to use makeup shots from the makeup artist themselves.
That way, when they check where their traffic is coming from, they find you from your Pinterest. If they’re local to your area, it may even lead to collaboration.
Just like the makeup boards, styling boards for fashion photographers are a great way to fill out your Pinterest queue.
Create boards focused on different kinds of styling. If you’re a fashion photographer, you’re likely shooting a diverse range of styles.
Take advantage of the body of work you already have to create styling boards on Pinterest for fashion photographers.
If you’re shooting editorials for magazines, putting together magazine inspiration boards on Pinterest is a great place to promote your images.
Different styles for different kinds of magazines will give your Pinterest an extra flair with editorial quality work. Create boards for different magazines, or show off all of your editorial work at once.
Create a Board for Just Your Work
Create a board for just your work. If someone comes across your profile wanting to work with you, having a “portfolio” of sorts available is a good place to start.
You can divide up the different genres you work in into different boards. Or, you can put all of your work into one place with aboard.
How To Keep Up With Pinterest As A Photographer
You’re shooting all the time. You’re probably blogging. You’re likely on Instagram, Facebook, maybe even Twitter.
How do you have time to keep up with Pinterest as a photographer? Using a Tailwind tool to queue and schedule pins will make your life infinitely easier as a photographer. Keep up with Pinterest as a photographer by scheduling your work and inspiration in bulk. Set the queue to post a certain amount of times per day and let the pins roll out.
Take a few hours every couple of months to keep up with your queue and keep your content fresh.
Many of today’s most successful fashion photographers spend up to 75% of their time marketing. Technology offers many ways for you to showcase your work.
Social media should be an integral part of your day, allowing you to reach prospects worldwide.
This free business tool, combined with your website, is a wonderful way to showcase your best work and target potential clients.
Photographers are part of the artist community. Often a tightly-knit group. Therefore, word of mouth will be your strongest marketing tool.
Integrating yourself within this populace should be an essential part of your marketing strategy.