Fashion Bomb 101: Instagram and Social Media Tips for Designers

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 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


Claire Sulmers is the publisher and founder of Fashion Bomb Daily, the #43 most influential style magazine in the world.

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