- Stop hiding behind your business – Show yourselves as the business owners and tell your story
- Use only real images – Do not ever use any image that you don’t take of the clothing or accessories
- Start a blog and fill it with content about yourself as a business owner and your passion for clothing and accessories for women. Put it on your domain like example.com/blog
- Personalize Facebook and Instagram so people can tell it is you as a business owner that is posting everything and interacting with people.
- Interact with people constantly on both Facebook and Instagram, but not to push your store or products. Interact with them from the place of your passion for clothing and accessories, or about business as being an owner of a boutique. Join local FB groups and use FB search.
- Find local influencers on Instagram and contact them to meet them at a local coffee shop. Talk to them about possibly coming to your shop and taking a look around.
- Repeat over and over and over and over and over … and then 100 more times.
1. Stop Hiding Behind Your Business
This is a general idea and one as a business owner in today’s world that you need to grasp and fully understand.
You need to show people who you are as a business owner. You need to tell your story and about how you came to have a passion for clothing and accessories for women.
You aren’t Nike or Starbucks and you definitely do not have millions of dollars to pump into marketing to get the social awareness like those companies did.
So you must use your competitive advantage of being smaller and connect with people on a personal level online. Connect with them as the person that you are with the passion that you have.
Get them to like you as a person who has a passion for clothing. Show them that you are interested in them, just as you would if they were in your boutique. You’d ask questions to find out their style and what they like, and probably a million other things.
Treat your online marketing no different. You are smaller and that isn’t a bad thing, that’s a good thing.
Show individual people attention online and interact with them. The big guys can’t do that, but you can.
2. Use Only Real Images
Many Boutiques I notice online are using stock images, or images that manufacturers of the clothing are sending them. This is horrible and you should never ever use these images.
All images you post online should be images that you are taking of the actual products you have in the store.
Your online presence has to show people that you are unique and different. Different from the big box stores who use these type of models for their images.
Instead of using these images that people know are not part of your story as a store and you took no part in taking the image, use a set model (she does not have to be magazine ready any girl working for you would be great) and take images of this person in the clothing.
This person should be part of the story of your boutique so people can always see this person and it would be best to have this person actually be a real employee of the store. That way people who see the clothing images online, they can then come in the store and see the real person.
In a perfect world it would be the actual store owner, yourself as this person that models the clothing, but if you are not comfortable doing this that is OK. Just make sure you find someone and keep this person as your model.
Let this person be part of the online branding of your boutique along with yourself.
Let this person use the social accounts and sign with their own signature when they decide to interact with people on social media.
3. Start A Blog On Your Website
You probably already have a website, if you don’t then get one asap.
Find someone on craigslist who can do web design and setup a website and blog for you. Make sure this person sends you lots of examples of their work before you decide to dedicate an hour to meeting them.
Do not pay more than $300 for a simple 3 page website (does not need to be ecommerce) and wordpress blog to be setup for boutique.
Find a small boutique website that you like and tell the person to make it like that. But remember step 1 that all of this needs to be personalized with you on the webpage.
Do not hide behind your business. Let people know who you are by seeing you right away on the website smiling and showing your real passion for the boutique clothing industry.
***Remember this post is just about building the marketing of your LOCAL boutique. It is not a guide to show you how to start selling to people halfway across the country.
Get this person to setup the blog so it comes up as your domain like example.com/blog.
WordPress Is Very Easy To Use
Get familiar with how to use wordpress so you can write blog posts, it is very easy. Here is a perfect youtube video to get you started.
Save the link and watch it later.
Use your blog to create awesome blog posts and even to make youtube videos to post on the blog. Show your personality throughout every piece of content that you put out.
Show the world that you have such a love for what you created, your very own boutique. Tell your story of how you started out and how the idea came to fruition to open a boutique in your town.a
People love a good story, so give them your story, give them your boutique’s story.
People will engage and interact with you on your blog, just be yourself.
4. Personalize Your Social Media
For your boutique just concentrate on Facebook and Instagram. Later on after you establish these communities for your business, then research into branching out into Pinterest and other social platforms.
You need to personalize these social accounts just like you did on your website and your blog. Make sure it’s super easy for people to tell who is behind the business and who they are interacting with.
Have Fun It’s A Cocktail Party!
Social media is like a big cocktail party. People want to engage and interact with real people, not with “brand icons” or store names.
Sure make sure it’s obvious what your boutique’s name is and logo, but do not make that the main focal point. Make sure people know it’s you who they are talking to online.
5. Interact With People On Social Media
So now ya got everything made and you’re all set. But how will people know who you are or where you are on social media.
You will search for people to interact and engage with.
The same thing you would if you were at a cocktail party all by yourself, not that you’ve done that of course 🙂
So on Facebook you want to join local Facebook groups in your area. They can be about anything really that’s even semi related to your boutique. You will have to join these groups from your personal profile, but that’s OK.
Engage and Interact
Start engaging and interacting with people and let people know you have just started to build your Facebook community for your awesome unique boutique.
(I kind of like the sound of that, Unique Boutique, I wonder if someone has a boutique with that name.)
As you post blog posts on your newly created blog you want to post on your Facebook boutique’s page the links to those blog posts so people who come to your page can check out your blog.
Also post about your Facebook page in the blog posts people that don’t know you have a Facebook page can check that out if they are just on your blog.
Do not just post updates of products you get and expect Facebook to show those posts in someone’s timeline, because they most likely won’t.
Tell Your Story
Treat your Facebook page as just a way to tell a story about your business. Things that happen on a given day that are funny. Maybe a new hire that you want to introduce.
People love stuff like that, so show them pictures that create a story. Maybe someone comes in for a cool outfit for a summer party. Ask the customer if it’s ok if you snap a picture of them as they are trying it on because they look fabulous.
Tell the story of your business on a micro scale and give people a window into how cool and hip your store actually is.
Now lets get to Instagram
On Instagram you want to make sure to post all unique images that you are taking.
Remember the images of customers trying items on that look amazing, well go ahead and post them on your Instagram account and write a short something about what occasion is going on and where that customer will be wearing that piece of clothing.
Use Instagram to tell the story of boutique.
Let people see what the store is like that maybe have never been there.
Don’t worry about how many followers you have. Worry about treating the followers you do have, the best possible way. That means commenting with them in the posts and engaging with them.
Comment on their Instagram accounts on things that they post also. You have personalized your social accounts and website so people will know who they are interacting with.
If you want to look up hashtag strategies and all that nonsense then you can but all that means absolutely nothing if you do not do the above first.
6. Find Instagram Influencers
Now comes the real meat and potatoes. This is where you will really start to get some traction and get peoples attention.
Go to Google and type in your town name + “instagram influencer”. Do a few searches of all the towns near by to your town. Start making a list of all these people, even if the things they are posting on their Instagram account are not that related to clothing or things you sell in your boutique.
Start jumping on these peoples accounts and commenting and engaging with them and their followers.
I quickly did a search for “new orleans instagram influencers” and 2 I found right away are here:
The first one is a great Instagram account. You can tell right away who the person behind the business is, she is right up top on the Instagram account.
The second one is just lady and not a business, but she seems like a huge personality and someone you should be talking to and engaging with on Instagram.
So do this for many many many many people, continue to comment their feed and really engage and get to know who they are and what they like.
Wait For The Right Time
When the time is right, and this is dependent on things you will just have to make a decision, you want to send them a message or email and just make it short and simple.
Tell the the truth that you think it’s so awesome they have such an awesome engaged following and how you are trying to learn Instagram and get your boutique some more exposure.
Converse with them, and maybe they will want to give you their contact information and even stop by the store.
That of course would be SUPER AWESOME if she decided to come by the store. From there you just have to be yourself and see if maybe you land a deal with her to maybe post once a week of something she “bought” from your store that is just fabulous looking on her.
Get Your Business Hustle On
You really have to figure out for yourself how to land a possible deal with this influencer, but the hard part was done. You got their attention and got them to notice who you are as an awesome boutique owner in her local area.
Remember, you have to get her to notice you as a person, not your boutique. Get her interested in you and that is why previously I wrote so much about how and why you have to personalize your online business presence.
And again, do this over and over and over again for various Instagram influencers in your area. Remember, not every person will want to engage with you or understand your story of starting a boutique.
So be prepared that some people will ignore you and not respond or even just flat out say no.
Keep pushing on and find the people who want to know more about you and follow you.
7. Repeat Repeat Repeat
Repeat everything above over and over. This is not a process you should in order to start out and then stop all of it once you see a good profit.
Keep up with it and really treat the online marketing of your boutique the lifeblood and oxygen for your business.
I hope this was able to help people and really get them started with marketing their boutique online.
Please please leave comments if you have any questions at all, I would love to help out more.
Feel free to contact me if you are looking for a marketing consultant for your Boutique and want to work with me.
I learn from people like Gary Vaynerchuck and Amy Schmittauer who have taught me a lot.
I'm from New Jersey and I love the Phillies, Flyers, and E-A-G-L-E-S.
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