Should I Pitch Lifestyle as Opposed to Age Group?

"As I said, I have not launched my brand as yet, but in my studio I have been "trying it out" with my clients. My must-have piece so far, has attracted 25 year olds, 30 year olds and 50 year old. It has confused me because my target audience was set for 25 to 35.

Should I celebrate this unique edge and adjust how I target my audience or should I tweak design? I'm concerned about confusing ads and it makes me think I should "pitch" lifestyle as opposed to age group?"  - Fashionpreneur Group Question

This was a fantastic question asked by a wonderful member of my exclusive Facebook group Fashion Sellers Selling on Ebay - a group of dedicated fashion sellers who strive to improve their own and each other's Ebay stores and Online Boutiques. Its such a great question, I decided to post this here for all my dear readers. This is a compacted version of my full response. 

Loved this question so much as it covered a lot of serious and valid questions for those starting a new venture, and thats getting to know your target market and how to sell to them. Lifestyle is always key with promoting to women, you gut is spot on with this, and that is what I would focus on right now, creating a brand with a lifestyle to it- lets unpack :)

The fact that you have 160+ fans on your Facebook page gives you a solid edge, you can market to them- and even start asking questions on your Facebook. Blog posts (2-4 times a month) and almost daily Instagram posts are critical for fashion, and the best part of these you can easily add to your Pinterest business account when you generate both of those marketing tactics. You need to start creating the image/brand/lifestyle you're developing from now, not when you launch. You have beautiful items, so its time to preview them to the world. Your story of being a pattern maker, your family roots, and creating your fashion line is something you should definitely write about - and in doing this buyers will find a connection to your brand and they will want to support you.

With a handy blog, they will also do the next important thing, with is giving you their email address. In the next steps to creating your advertising, is change your "coming soon" on your homepage and make it so visitors can submit their email address to you- when you launch you can message them. A great way to inspire them is with a coupon/discount, and keeping them updated on your blooming business. You want the audience before you fully launch to ensure a successful launch. I am unsure who is handling your website, but currently I use Squarespace, which does allow blogging and e-commerce, and is easy to build if you don’t have any experience with developing a website.

As I stated earlier DO NOT change your designs to suit your younger based audience. The fact that you can sell to that many age groups speaks volumes. Do not forget, older women are always more likely to pay more for high quality items. A 25 year old recently out of college/just married isn't going to be as open to spending more money on a dress or well made top, but a 40+ year old woman who is financially stable is more likely to open her wallet.

Phasing Out Summer for Fall on Ebay

Last week's blog post touched upon phasing out pieces that aren't as likely to sell in the fall as they are in spring and summer before diving into key tips for selling sunglasses. The 4th quarter sales are right around the corner and people are no longer looking for gladiators or silk caftans but heavy coats, sweaters, and sequined cocktail dresses. Consider if you were to head to the mall right now with no budget and you could buy whatever you wanted, would you buy a bikini and gladiators, or would you pick up a cozy coat? The trick to Ebay is seasonal selling and knowing what sells and when. The month of October and November are HUGE months for fall as well as winter items and my experience the highest profit margins for coats, jackets, and sweaters. Be critical about what you're posting in the fall. Though there are of course exceptions to the the rules, you will not generate as many sales on summer items as you would winter. This is even more so when doing auction listings. You will make a higher profit on that Mara Hoffman caftan in June vs December because you won't have as many watchers or bidders trying to buy that item. There is the reversal of winter clothing not selling at its full potential because no one is looking to buy a fox fur coat in July. If you are on a budget, be selective of your listings as you don't want to pay for a listing that simply won't sell.

Since I do have a basic seller store I have higher listing levels which allows me to have non seasonal items up year round. I do have summer and winter items up all the time, but it wasn't always this way. After a few years I noticed that my summer items never sold during winter, and my winter items never sold during summer. Though some areas of the country or international buyers would purchase my items that were out of season a good rule of thumb is if you're on a budget only list items that are in season, so you're not paying for extra when you use up your free listings. Nothing is more annoying than using your last free listing on a sarong when you could have listed a gorgeous scarf.

To finalize, when the season starts to change take a look at what you're listing, and be critical. If its not something that is in season, consider saving the listing when Ebay offers you a free listing promotion or when you have an extra listing at the end of the month.  Remember, hats, purses, jewelry, and other accessories can always be sold year round. Take into consideration what is being currently sold in stores, and you should consider having the same pieces up for sale as well. If you have the available listings definitely list those items that may be out of season, but don't waste your money and don't pay for it. It will cut into your profits.