4 Networking Tips for Fashion Designers

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Many fashion designers have difficulty anticipating the challenges they are going to face running a business. They often assume that their success hinges entirely on their creative talents. Unfortunately, their skill as fashion designers will only take them so far. One designer shared their experience building a fashion design business, which included perfecting their marketing.

If you want to run a successful fashion design business, then you need to master the art of marketing as well. This means that you need to follow several networking tips. Here are some networking strategies that you should follow.

Learn to read potential customers

One of the most important elements of networking is identifying the right prospective customers. It is easy to waste a lot of time pitching your services to people that have no interest in them. This is especially true for fashion designers because they are appealing to a much more limited customer group.

You are going to need to learn to profile customers to avoid this. People that plan to pay for fashion design services will have a lot more money. They will also express a greater interest in superficial things.

Man Stylish Outfit
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Perfect your elevator pitch

Every business owner needs to provide an elevator pitch. Unfortunately, potential customers don’t tend to be very patient. They often will start to tune you out if you spend more than a minute trying to engage with them at first. You will only be able to begin selling harder if they express some interest, which usually involves asking questions after you have delivered your elevator pitch successfully.

Therefore, it is imperative that you develop an elevator pitch that is 30 seconds or less. Your elevator pitch needs to convey your expertise and main selling points clearly. Creating a short elevator pitch can be tricky, but once you get it down, you should get a lot more customers. Try joining a Toastmaster’s group if you want help learning to make shorter elevator pitches.

As a fashion designer, it is a good idea to have an elevator pitch that discusses your experience. Talk about people that you have done work for in the past. You want to focus most on the clients that people will know by reputation. They should walk away having a good idea about the types of services that you provide.

Man Business Card
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Have a catchy business card

Your business card is going to be very important when you’re trying to sell your services as a fashion designer. It should reflect your design abilities.

Many people make the mistake of designing business cards that resemble those of people and other professions. This is a huge mistake, especially for fashion designers. If you have looked at business cards for lawyers, you will see that they tend to have dull colors, such as gray and very dark blue. Fashion designers can’t go with the same color scheme. You want potential customers to look at your business card and have confidence that you are going to do a proper job designing attire. It is essential to come up with a card that has design elements that reflect your competencies as a designer.

Remember that the next client may be a couple of degrees of separation away

You might have attended a networking event with the hope of meeting your next client. Keep in mind that 80% of business is acquired through word-of-mouth. You might not find the CEO of an up-and-coming fashion brand there. However, you might find a self-employed accountant that works for them. Try to get a sense of each prospects networking pool. Politely request that they pass your information along to anybody that might be interested.