How to WOW Editors and Decision Makers

I don’t know how many emails I sent to buyers, editors, and other decision makers without receiving a response. Frustrated I started talking to people in my inner circle that held influential positions. After soaking up their recommendations and experiences my response rate sky-rocked and my clients were featured in major publications such as Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmo, E-News, Sports Illustrated and other. Here the key points I paid attention to:

  1. Time is Money: Editors and Dicision Makers have very little time to read emails until they move on to the overflow of messages landing in their inbox. Therefore you only have a few seconds to catch their attention and explain your argument. Keep intros short and get straight to the point (Who, What, When). Please don’t write a page long essay. No one will read that!!!
  2. Visuals: Ever heard the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words”? I start my pitch emails with a strong, high resolution and professional picture. For example when I’m contacting buyers I include our best-selling items at the top of my email.
  3. Emphasize: Highlight and/or write in bold the most important things you want your reader to take away. Not only makes this reading your email easier but your audience doesn’t have to spend much time taking notes if your pitch is of interest.
  4. Think for the reader: As mentioned in 1. time is limited! Be concrete and tell a story. Avoid throwing out generalization such as “I have this amazing product you have to write about” instead paint a picture why your product is amazing and attach a cool yet unique story to it. Every magazine wants to write about something they have never heard of before. Every store wants to carry items that will fly off the shelves.
  5. Do your Research: You need to know who you’re writing to, most articles include the author’s name so make sure you address the correct person in your email. Find out topics and deadlines. If you pitch a summer trend for a winter issue your email will be deleted right away. If you have a great story but submitted past the deadline you might have missed out on a great advertising opportuniy.

I hope this will help you guys. If you need anyone to look over your pitch feel free to send me an email Sschirru@DynamicallyBPr.com.

XOXO,

Dynamically Branded

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Budget friendly Marketing

The challenge of every business especially for small businesses is allocating marketing budgets efficiently. Marketing is essential for the survival of any company. There is a reason why successful companies such as Apple invest more in Marketing then in Research and Development. But the big question is how much and in which marketing activities to invest. The magic number is 10% according to the American Marketing Association. It is recommended to invest on average 10% of your annual revenue in marketing activities. Some marketing and design focused firms invest even as much as 60% of their annual revenue in marketing. Here some budget friendly marketing activities before you invest in national TV, print or online ads:

  1. Hire a professional: There is a myriad of marketing specialists and publicists with extensive marketing background you can hire. Look for boutique style marketing or PR firms that won’t break the bank. They will not only save you time and money in the long-run but also have the INSIDER knowledge of tactics that actually work in real life. Before you hire anyone make sure you clearly communicate your goals and check their portfolio and resume. marketing
  2. Social Media: It’s free to open up social media accounts and very cost effective to run ads on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The key is to be very specific when targeting your audience. Also be intentional with your ads, determine very specific goals. Do you want to expand your reach? Do you want more traffic to your website? Do you want specifics known about your company? Etc. I’ve seen great results with promotional campaigns and events taking advantage of social media ads for as low as $10/day. Implement great visuals and please don’t run the same ad all year-around. If you need overall tips and tricks for social media check out my previous post hereUntitled design (14)
  3. Product Endorsement of a Celebrity or Influencer: When going this route you have to ensure that it makes sense. What I mean with that is: Choose someone that has a similar audience as your brand (gender, age, income, geographic area, interests) and can influence his/her following. An indicator of influence is engagement. Do people comment, repost/share content, and cosign what the influencer posted? Engagement and reach are way more important than followers and likes. The posts have to be authentic, no one wants to see another of those tea ads. We all know they don’t really drink tea or wear waist shapers all the time :-). Also make sure you clarify your expectations (how many posts, type of shots, things you want highlighted, tags and hashtags, etc.) in writing and have an agreement signed by both parties if possible. Also include a return label in case items don’t fit or won’t be used. I continuously see brands sending Social Media Celebs product, for which they don’t receive any credit for.  FullSizeRender (9)
  4. Direct Marketing at local events: I love local events, trunk shows, markets etc. I see it as a real life research study while selling directly to customers. You will take away so many insights such as who your real target market is vs. who you would like your target market to be. If you’re a designer you will learn which sizes and styles to focus on. These events further teach you whether you have to tweak your prices or keep them as they are. If a potential customer is interested in your product don’t be afraid to ask what they liked or disliked. Listen to your customer and pay attention. You should be collecting customer data (name, email, area) at every event. When selecting events the same rule applies to them as to identifying brand ambassadors – it simply has to make sense for your brand. If unsure simply reach out to people that participated in the past. Price wise a vendor booth at local events can range anywhere from $200-$600 depending on the scope of the event, whereas market space is more expensive with a price tag between $1000-$3000. First impression is key, ensure you have appealing marketing materials and display your product offering in a professional manner. BECOME A VENDOR

If there are any points you would like for me to go into further detail, comment below or send me a message. Hope this helped some of you guys. Let me know what you think!

XOXO,

Dynamically Branded

Most Common Mistakes Designers make on Social Media

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After gaining more experience in the fashion industry and having worked with several designers. I realized that majority of super talented designers made the same mistakes on social media. Once these were fixed, not only did we observe more organic followers and engagement but also increased sales, which should be your end goal anyways.

1. Inconsistency

Many make the mistake of posting every now and then, or they keep up with their posts for a while but then go on hiatus for 3 weeks. Just like in any relationship, consistency is very important. For example if a guy texts you every day but then goes M.I.A. all of a sudden for a week, how would you feel? I would think he’s playing games or doesn’t really care to put forth the effort into our potential relationship. Guess what? Your customer will think the same from a buyer-seller standpoint. You still have to gain your customers’ trust FIRST before they are willing to purchase your product. Being consistent builds trust, customers learn that they can rely on and ultimately will expect it from you. Consistency also translates into consistent product quality, consistent customer service, and consistent customer experiences. If you don’t have the time to post every day use social media scheduling tools such as Hootsuite (free for up to 3 accounts) or hire a social media manager. Please comment below if you need help in that area.

2. Long Response Times

If you are taking more than 24 hours to respond to a comment or a message 90% of the time you will have lost that customer. Unfortunately, we live in an instant community, where everyone wants everything now and fast. In regards to a new customer he/she will certainly take his/her business to another company if too much time is elapsed before a response is received. Many large companies handle most of their customer service via social media nowadays because it has become such a vital part of our every day lives. See it as a way of avoiding to be yelled at on the phone by an angry customer ;-). Not being responsive can also cause a negative PUBLIC buzz which you want to avoid at any cost. Responding in a timely manner demonstrates that you care and in return builds TRUST! I had a client for example that had over 200 unanswered messages when I took over the brand’s social media. I am still working on gaining the customers’ trust back.

3. Not using Professional Pictures

Everything you post is a representation of you and your brand. If your pictures aren’t professional the automatic assumption is being made that neither are your products. You don’t have to hire an expensive photographer or book a studio. You can create a studio like atmosphere in your own home (see picture below where I created my DIY studio). All you need are two ironed white sheets, pins a model and a camera (iPhone 6 takes great pics). Pictures at arboretums and botanical gardens also look gorgeous and professional.

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DIY Studio

I hope this could help some of you guys out. Please share and comment below. I also would love to know if there are any topics you guys would like for me to cover.

XOXO,

Dynamically Branded

 

 

 

How to earn money in transitional phases?

They say the average millionaire has 7 streams of income. If you have been in Corporate America for longer than two years you have probably either experienced or seen that job security isn’t really in existence. Honestly, after making my own bad experienced being employed I realized that you can’t really rely on one source of income only.  What if that one source is cut off without any notice? Or what if you are just miserable in your 9-5? Or what if you have finally realized what you want to do but can’t quit your 9-5 because it is your only source of income to pay all of your bills? This blog post is specifically for people that are in or will soon face  a transitional phase either in between jobs or on the merge of starting their own business. So how do you continue receiving income until you get the new desired job or expand your business/clientele if you aim to be an entrepreneur? Here are some side gigs I and my close circle of friends have tried out until we got the new job or hit the ground off running with our own businesses. These additional sources of income are also fantastic if you are just looking for some extra earnings on top of your full time job.

1.Promos

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Myself with a co-worker as Dallas Cowboys Brand Ambassadors
Signing up for various promotional agencies as a Brand Ambassador can be very fun and lead into quick earnings. It will also teach you very valuable lessons about event operations, marketing, customer service, team work, and leadership. You get to work different events, festivals, games, conventions etc. endorsing various products. I’ve worked promos making $1,300 in 3 days working 4 hour shifts. It just depends on the company and products. Promo agencies usually pay $20-$35/h, but before you sign up make sure you clarify the payroll cycles. I denied work before due to extremely long pay cycles. Here are my favorite promo agencies: BusyBeePromotions, Silhouettes, Ascent. If you would like a personal referral by me please comment below and I will reach out to the regional managers and prep you for your interview :-).

2. Freelance

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If you are a stylist, writer, graphic artist etc. I would always recommend to start freelancing in order to keep perfecting your skill. Of course your pay won’t be that great in the beginning but you will remain in your industry of interest and enhance your creativity. Eventually you will connect with people that will uplift you and show you ways to move up or you will learn it on your own by trial and error. Sometimes moving up in your career will be a mix of both. Begin reaching out to smaller firms that could benefit from your services, attend industry specific events to start interacting with people in your field of expertise. If you like events search on Eventbrite for upcoming events and contact the organizer if they can utilize your services.

3. Uber, Lyft, Favor

I have never driven for any on demand car services but I have close friends that have and still are. They make about $20/h sometimes more. I love the flexibility and that you don’t have to set up a schedule way in advance, you simply go online when you want and you get paid on a weekly basis. I always love new start ups and I am also in the process of developing an app myself. So I decided to become a Favor Runner. Favor is an on demand delivery service, for a $5 delivery fee and a 5% processing fee they basically deliver anything from food, to drugs to electronics. The times I worked I made $17-$24/hour. Unlike Uber and Lyft you only drive in a specific zone for Favor so your gas expenses are minimal. It’s also great if you need quick cash as you get paid on a 48 hour basis through direct deposit.

4. Dog Sitting

If you like dogs you can also dog-sit. You start off at $30/day and get paid more when you get great reviews and ratings. If you have two dogs for a total of 10 days out of the month you made 600 extra dollars fairly passive income (unless the dogs are a pain). You also have the option of taking care of the dogs at the owner’s house. I dont’t like messes and dogs too much so this wouldn’t be an option for me personally but if you’re a dog lover definitely sign up for Rover the most popular dog-sitting website.

I hope this could help some of you that were freaking out on how to pay your bills because you wanted to follow your passion or quit a job that made you miserable. Please share and comment below if this could help you. Also feel free to post some of your side-hustles. Please keep your faith and push through!

XOXO,

Dynamically Branded