Printwear

Recognized Supplier Guide ‘18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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52 || P RI N T W E A R O C T O B E R 2 01 8 it co mpletely changed the way we talked about our business. We already felt passion- ate about the way we ran our shop and the work we did, but we understood that if we were able to get one person to believe in what we could offer the way we believed in it, then we could create an untouchable trust bet ween our business and that custo mer. Since we already kne w people were talk- ing about us, perhaps they'd share their experience with their friends and co work- ers. Maybe they could convince others to believe what we believed about our little shop. But we kne w we couldn't rely solely on the words of others to gro w. We would have to sho w the m. And we'd have to do it consistently. Originally, I was in charge of tackling our co mpany's blog and social media platfor ms, so I began posting pictures of the T-shirts we created and "behind the scenes" photos of our shop at least once a day. After a little online research, I learned ho w to use hashtags effectively and to our indus- try's bene t. Once our social was stable, we needed to update our web - site. I created pages on our Squarespace site that explained ho w screen printing worked for those ne w custo mers that didn't quite understand the process or those that weren't sure what they were paying for when they sub mitted their deposit. This also helped keep our custo mer service tea m fro m beco ming over whel med with phone calls and e mails fro m prospects that required more infor mation before plac- ing their orders. Occasionally, we would create our o wn branded T-shirts that folks could purchase on our website through an e-co m merce store. We'd share links online and sell the shirts in our storefront, then ask custo m- ers to share pics of the mselves wearing our ite ms and tag us so we could reshare those on our social. We'd run givea ways and hand out free printed shirts or e mbroidered hats so folks could see and feel the results of our hard work. For more in-depth content or tea m expe- riences that required a little extra explaining, I took to the co mpany blog. We published DIY T-shirt tutorials, hosted T-shirt design contests, and posted recaps and photos of our staff conducting on-site screen-printing de mos at local events. I intervie wed so me of our most loyal custo mers and wrote blog posts about their organizations and why T- shirts were an integral part of their mission or cause. We shared links to our blog posts on all our social platfor ms to get the word out that we truly cared about what we were doing. So me of the best content our tea m cre- ated was inspired by or ca me out of the mouths of our custo mers. It was not easy. It took a long ti me to get our audience acquainted to our style of mar- keting. Blood, s weat, tears, and plenty of overti me went into creating content to sho w ho w much we cared about screen printing as a craft and that what we were providing wasn't just a service, it was an experience. It was not easy. But believe me when I say it was worth it. A year later, we were on the ne ws, in magazines, and con- sistently printing shirts for the biggest events in St. Louis. L E V E R A G E Y O U R C O N T E N T Most people are not interested in staring at a steady photo strea m of the products you sell. Instead, appeal to their hu man sides and post content that adds value to your brand and the life of your custo mers. Try not to focus too much on the a mount of posts you are making and instead divert your attention to putting out what your au- dience wants to see. In the print shop's case, our audience wanted to see exa mples of the shirt designs we printed and the stories that inspired the designs. Here are so me tips to knocking your so - cial media content marketing efforts out of the park: 1. Kno w your audience, then beco me an advocate. Learn as much as you can about your custo mer base, but don't forget that they are individuals, too. Seg ment your audience when you can and take advantage of social tools, such as Facebook ads to boost your content to the right targeted groups. 2. Co m munication is key. Understand - ing the wants, needs, and pain points of your custo mers should be what's driving your content. If you run a cus- to m shop and nd that your custo m- ers don't al ways kno w where to go for design inspiration, create a blog post pointing the m in the right direction. Post photo exa mples of shirts you've made in the past to help get their wheels turning. 3. Recognize platfor m etiquette and post wisely. Not every social platfor m is go- ing to require hashtags, so don't put the m where they shouldn't go. Utilize user and geo-tagging correctly. For photos that require longer and more in- depth captions, decide to create a blog post around the m and link to the m on social using su m mary snippets. B O OST DI GI T AL M A R K E TI N G HOW TO

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