June 24th, 2014
Fashion, Fashion Bomb 101, Featured
Fashion Bomb 101: Instagram and Social Media Tips for Designers
By Claire

We here are the Fashion Bomb pride ourselves on being a platform to showcase design talent, from the independent to the internationally acclaimed.
Instagram is now becoming a huge way to connect people, and many designers contact us for potential features. Your instagram page is now like your calling card, and there are a few things we look for, and some things that turn us off.

Read on:

1. Don’t complain
The fashion world is unfair. There is actually little that is fair, in fact, in fashion. Most people, unless they come from extraordinary wealth (which is the case for many fashion insiders) or have extraordinary good looks, start from the bottom. They toil, they intern, and give of themselves for free or low pay for years until they catch a break. The industry appreciates talent and persistence–and is big on paying dues. Get with it, or get lost. Don’t complain about the way things are. Just learn the game and move forward. If you want to complain, write it in your journal, tell your friends, but don’t put it in a public forum. It’s not a good look.

2. Try to avoid selfie syndrome

miranda kerr instagram
Unless you’re a model, like Miranda Kerr

People come on your page to see what you’re about. Whether you’re a designer, photographer, or makeup artist, the goal is to showcase what you can do…not how cute your duckface is or how you ‘woke up like this.’ Keep it professional. And if you love a good selfie, make a new private page and pucker up all you please!

3. Make sure your page reflects your designs

starrock clothing instagram
@StarrockClothing Gets It

One or two random posts/motivational quotes are fine, but make sure 90% of your posts are about your clothes, a photo shoot related to your clothes, your inspirations, new products, etc. Stick to the point. Remember: it’s business, not personal.
4. Include a contact e-mail and/or website address

tees in the trap gets it
@TeesintheTrap Gets it

This is a given, but people have to know how to get in touch with you! Make it easy for them by including your website and contact e-mail in your signature.

5. Build a website and make sure you have items in stock

rue 107 has a beautiful website
Rue107.com? Yes!

Once the orders come, you have to be able to supply demand! Even if you have a pre-order situation with items shipping out in a few weeks, offer that option so that your business can flourish! Also, with your website, make sure it’s as professional as possible. Get a Big Cartel or Shopify site and invest in professional pictures. Professional pictures are not necessary, but they’re definitely a nice touch. Invest in your venture!

Aside from that, I can only suggest that designers looking to ‘catch their break’ on Instagram try their best to get their items on people with large followings.

draya michele celebboutique two piece
@SoDraya in a two piece by @Celebboutique

This is exactly what I thought when reader Alexa wrote in with the following e-mail, “I am an upcoming designer but pitching to fashion blogs and media outlets isn’t as easy as it looks. What are the do’s and dont’s of the fashion industry?”
There are no real do’s and don’ts, but I can offer the following suggestions:
1. Create something cute and of quality.
Eiza Gonzalez's Extra Finders Keepers Next in Line Tropical Leaf Floral Print Playsuit
What is cute is entirely subjective, so I can’t tell you what that dream product might be. If you’re stumped, perhaps look at what’s already popular in today’s landscape, and create your own unique interpretation.

2. Try to get some press.

karrueche tran terry winston top alejandra g sandals instagram
@Karrueche in a @TerryxBest dress and @Its_Alejandra_G sandals

You can get press from blogs (like FBD! Woop!) or by placing your products on people who have lots of fans. Beyoncé might not be an easy ‘get,’ but there are loads of reality stars who might not have the budget of someone like a Beyoncé…who still need various outfits for their myriad engagements or appearances. Do your research, find out who their stylists are, and send them stuff! Though indie designers I know are on the fence about whether or not to give clothes away or charge, I’d recommend giving it away in exchange for the promise that if they wear it, they’ll give you a shout (also find out who’s good about giving shout outs and go with them). These things are never guaranteed, so don’t get upset if the celeb in question ends up not tweeting or Instagramming your item. Look at it as an investment. Also blogs are overwhelmed by requests at times or just might not be feeling your stuff. In which case, you can…

3. Advertise
5 celebboutique spring 2014
If you can’t get your clothes out to someone or any love anywhere else, advertise. Every blog from the YBF to FBD has advertising slots. It’s about the only ‘sure’ way to make sure eyeballs see your merchandise. Nothing with advertising is guaranteed either, but it’s worth a shot.

Nothing above is a ‘surefire’ way of proceeding, just a few things that came to mind.
Erica Campbell Stuns in White and Gold
And if you have the stamina, do all of the above, shake, stir, see what works, and repeat.
Just my thoughts!
Do you have anything to add?
Images: Instagram

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16 Responses to “Fashion Bomb 101: Instagram and Social Media Tips for Designers”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow, one of the most enjoyable and substantive reads from this website in a long time. Great article.

  2. Deven Daugherty says:

    I needed this so bad! definitely motivational in all aspects…yes!

  3. Yakini says:

    Great tips!

    I agree, it’s ludicrous to complain about having to “give away items” for free. Sometimes you have to give something to get something! And if you can get your product in the hands of popular TV personalities like Draya or Emily B., and they actually wear it, it’s going to sell like hot cakes. And they really need to take advantage of that.

    I also agree about getting in good with these ladies stylists, supporting the blogs who feature indie designers, and don’t be cheap about purchasing ad space. It really is an investment into your future!

  4. Brandon says:

    I would also like to add…..PLEASE DO NOT MAKE YOUR PAGE PRIVATE, I am not sending you a follow request in order to purchase your wares.

  5. Megan says:

    Great advice! Thanks for the info. :)

  6. Bobcat says:

    Claire, sorry If I missed it, but don’t see any identifiers. Who designs the shortset under “Create something cute and of quality”?

  7. Tami says:

    Claire my sweetie, bravo for writing this informative post! I too get bombarded with boutiques and designers wanting me to wear their garments and post. I am very selective on who I work with and I have to actually like it and it has to fit my style and brand.

    One of my pet peeves is when these upcoming online boutiques have 2 smalls in stock and want me to promote their website, that’s so unprofessional, I hate that the most lol! Most fashion brands that I work with are the larger clothing chains and they have a budget allotted for fashion bloggers/celebs to wear their outfits and promote for them.

    One thing I will not do is sit there and hire a photographer, take pics in the outfit, wear it to an event/red carpet, post to social media, write a blog post and then send the garment back! I don’t like those type of deals or pitches! I always decline those kind of offers…WTH! I find it very disrespectful when brands and pr companies pitch me with that foolery! Returning an item that I’ve worn after doing all that work is like a slap in the face! I just don’t get that and it’s like I’m not good enough to keep the piece but somehow I was good enough to reach out to! Really? Chile Bye!

    But all good tips here, thanks for posting this doll face!

  8. melissa says:

    claire for some reason my post never made it to the comment section anywhoo, thanks for this informative write up. i will be in touch to promote my store. thank you

  9. Kris says:

    You should’ve added please keep your page open to the public! There have been many times I have seen something I liked and clicked on the tag of the designer only to come to an ig page that is private. How can you try to market your brand if it’s private?! This iggs me!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for this Claire! xxx

  11. Interesting post. Please publish more posts like this.

  12. Dayton says:

    great post.

  13. Lex says:

    Thanks for the tips, I enjoyed the article.

  14. Taunya H. says:

    I agree with everyone. This is an excellent read. You covered everything! Thanks Claire, you’re an inspiration!! Hugz

  15. NickieLuv621 says:

    Great information! I ordered some skirts from a designer in Cameroon. Her service was excellent. She gave advance notice regarding shipping and followed up with me once the item was shipped to make sure I received. The quality was very good and the pieces were exactly as photographed.

  16. Anon says:

    Great post. Two more to add: do not flat out copy other folks designs and keep it classy.

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