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The fashion industry is huge. People have become more fashionable than ever, and affordable fashion has created a boom like no other. This demand for fashion means that everyone can have a piece of it, from consumers to designers, to even those who dream of changing their office job for a job in fashion. Not all fashion jobs require you to work for someone else, either. In fact, with the rise of the Internet and especially with the rise of online marketplaces, small time artists can make a living working for themselves.
This is ideal for those who don’t want to compete in the rat race of the fashion industry, which brings in approximate $2.4 trillion annually, but still want to share their creations with the world. There is no reason to settle for working for someone else, and create someone else’s designs. Use your own creativity and start a brand yourself. You can become a modest success by yourself, or you can become a bit enough hit and opt to expand, becoming your own fashion icon. For those of you who want to try their hand at becoming a self-made designer, follow this guide:
1. Master Your Craft
Before you can start worrying about the business side of your craft, you need to first master it. A great way to do this is to take a course or even do a degree. This is crucial for the quality of your pieces, and is a great way to reassure your customers that the products they buy will be made to a high standard. This applies to every area of the fashion industry, from shoe-making to clothing, to even jewelry. You can take your hand crafted jewelry pieces to the next level by finding a degree that is right for you from College Mouse.
Use this time to master the techniques so that your products are top-notch, and also use this time to find your voice as an artist. Your creations need to be unique, and they need to make a statement that says “you”. Once you find a style, you can become a brand.
2. Create a Business Plan
The first order of business once you have mastered your art is to create a comprehensive business plan. The most important part of this plan is to research the industry at large. The more you know, the better you will be able to operate. One of the biggest objectives that you should aim to do during this research is finding a niche. Thankfully, when you create a product as an artist, your niche is automatically your style, but you can take it one step further. For instance, you could only create jewelry using ethically sourced stones if you wanted to appeal to those who want to do their part to make the world a more fair and sustainable place. Your business plan is also how you will take your idea and turn it into a success. The best business plans are the ones that have long and short-term goals. Research how you get from starting out to becoming a success, and create the steps that you need to take in order to reach your dreams. This will help keep you on track, keep you organized, and can also help you acquire funding if you need it.
3. The Power of Social Media
Social media is a crucial tool for artists, because it allows you to create and curate your work for a global audience. If you do it right, you can have a few thousand repeat customers who return to you again and again, simply because you have advertised new stock. Create this community by creating social media profiles. Once you have done that, it is time to work on joining and contributing to communities at large. You could also create tutorials, host other content creators, and more. There are so many tactics that you can choose from in order to build a social following, but above all, you need to be communicative, and genuine. Reinforce that you are one person with a dream, and make each and every fan feel like you are their friend.
4. SEO and Digital Marketing
Not all marketing, of course, happens on social media. In fact, one of the biggest goals that anyone online strives for is being in the number one spot on a search result. That means that when someone searches for what you make, if you are on the first page you have a great chance of receiving their business. The higher you rank, the better your business will do. The first result of a search will receive about a third of all traffic, while the second place will receive a fifth, and so on. By the time you are on the second page, you won’t benefit from Google at all.
That is why you need to also work on your SEO and digital marketing, which, when you do it right, can go hand-in- hand. Start by creating a website of your own that you can put your products and custom content on. Once you have that, it’s time to use these off-site SEO techniques in order to build up your ranking. This also applies if you sell exclusively on sites like Etsy. The goal is to direct traffic to the page you want to go to.
5. Be Realistic
You need to be realistic with your time, your ability, and yourself. If you are not, then you could end up unable to complete orders. That is why you should aim only to sell items that you have already created, rather than accept pre-orders on new items. This is especially true if you have another job or responsibility that will take up your time. Grow at your own pace, and you won’t burn out. You can turn your passion into a career, and you don’t have to risk it all in order to do it. You can create an online business that you work part-time until you become successful enough to take it on full-time. All you need to do is master your craft, and work on marketing your products using effective, long term solutions so that you can create a community that allows you to do what you love.
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