Growing & Selling Your Fitness Clothing Line
If you’re coming out with a fitness clothing line and have no previous experience with marketing or selling apparel here are a few ideas on how you can get started.
Assuming you have your logo printed on t shirts, hoodies and long sleeves you’re ready to start selling but how and where?
We’ll go over 4 ideas you can implement today to start promoting and selling your t shirts on and offline.
Here is a short video by Noah Kagan with some strategies on selling your merch.
In order to grow your sales and brand, you must reach out to new people aside from your family and friends.
In reaching out to new people you’ll learn a few things in selling your fitness clothing line that will serve you in the long run.
You will gain valuable insights into who your perfect customer is as well as this experience can help you build your marketing and sales skill which are super important.
1. Find the Alpha.
The very first thing I would do is go to my local gym and find the most handsome/ cutes, aesthetically built male and female that fits the look and feel of your brand.
The goal is to recruit these good-looking people as models to wear your clothing and serve as ambassadors for your brand.
You’ll want to establish that you’re looking to collaborate with them in exchange for some cool pictures and free apparel.
Gift them your t shirts / hoodies / long sleeves for free once you get an agreement to shoot those photos. You’ll then use these cool pictures for social media, a catalog or your website.
Write it down, Plan it out.
A white background, a gym setting or the beach are good locations to snap these pictures. However, since you’re the one asking for the favor and have less leverage unless you pay them, arrange the shoot to be convenient for the model.
Set the shoot early in the morning when there are few people in the gym. Don’t ask for permission, just keep your camera low key if you’re shooting in a corporate type gym or you’ll probably get shut down by the staff.
You’ll want to shoot early or late at night because those are the times when the gym is less crowded, fewer workers which means more freedom for you and the model to shoot.
When you’re ready to shoot starting with some basic poses straight ahead and 3/4 shots should be good before he or she begins to work out. After the basic poses are shot move to the routine the guy or girl has and continue to shoot.
Lace these people up from head to toe with your clothing brand if you can. Once people at the gym begin to see the best in shape guy or girl wearing your gear it’ll be easier to sell the other gym goers.
Now you have cool photos a model as ambassador and people at the gym seeing your brand when they see the model.
Here is a good interview from Short Story Long Podcast with Daymond John from FUBU and Shark Tank. Daymond shares his story of how he started his clothing brand and the lessons learned and lots of good takeaways.
Bonus: A good book to read for motivation and inspirational ideas is the book – Shoe Dog a memoir by Phil Knight the founder of Nike. Great story on the creation of a product and pitfalls you can learn from.
Inc article on the 4 Things To Know Before Hiring a Social Media Influencer
2. Sell Out the Trunk of Your Car
Now that you have models wearing your fitness line and working out in them, its time to start selling out of the trunk of your car.
Your best customers will most likely be at the gym, so pull that car into the parking lot after 5 pm when the biggest rush of people are heading in after work and start selling your merch.
Selling out the trunk of your car makes for a good story once you’ve made it big plus this activity will let you know first hand what your target audience likes or dislike about your brand, price, design, fabric and other things you haven’t considered.
Use this opportunity to survey the people that buy and don’t buy. Ask them questions, get to know your customer first hand. This information will provide you with feedback that you can use to improve your plan.
Knowing exactly what the customer wants is valuable information to create a solid product that they will love.
Here is an article we wrote about creating Sales Brochures for your products and services that may help you when creating sales copy online or offline.
3. Reach Out to Influencers on Instagram/ Youtube/ FB
Even if you have a small social media following it’s a good idea to reach out to influencers on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
Test out all major Social Media channels to find which three work best for you in creating engagement or making direct sales.
Once you figure out your top 3 focus on these three and begin to publish your content with the intent of helping and providing value for the influencer that can help you promote your brand to their network.
Look for the Alpha male and female that fits the look of your brand on social media. He or she can help your brand get targeted exposure to the right set of people interested in health and fitness.
The key is to always network with those who can help you gain access to different groups of people and that have a bigger network than you do.
I’ll use the example of Rock Hard Aesthetics a popular page I personally follow on Instagram with 63K followers and good engagement from followers on daily post.
When looking for influencers on Instagram type in the search section of Instagram for keywords like fitness, bodybuilding, health, nutrition, and words that align with what you’re looking for.
This is how you find ambassadors, promoters, models etc that match the values of your brand.
Look for influencers with 10K to 100K followers and Direct Message them with your offer. “Hi my name is … owner of Health Nut Fitness and I would like to send you some free clothes.
Here is our IG page with the clothing we are promoting and would like to get a quote for some shout out’s showcasing our brand, thank you.”
Send out 5-10 Direct messages a day and compare their responses, prices and terms they might have.
Depending on the size of their following, fees per shout out can range anywhere from $50 to $500 a post.
The most important part about looking for influencers is to look at their engagement. If they have 50K or 100K followers and no one is commenting on most of their post or if it’s mostly spam comments, I wouldn’t suggest placing your brand on their page.
Again, these are all experiments you’ll need to test out to see which one works and what doesn’t. But when you’re just starting out you’ll have to run through a whole bunch of experiments and creative ways to get traction and momentum on your side.
4. Create Free Content That Entertains, Educates or Informs.
You’ll need a website and a blog that serves as the main content distributor to let Google know your brand is alive.
Provide your audience with 3 different types of original content to better your chances of success.
You’ll need video, images and written content.
The content needs to be either entertaining, educational or informative, or better yet all three.
It’s a must you provide valuable content that your visitors can take and do something with, otherwise they’ll bounce and go somewhere else to look for that info!
Your content can consist of producing original workout videos, nutrition tips and or other content that helps your customer in some way that other clothing lines are not doing.
Find a way to be different from your competition and do what they are not doing.
Your content is the lure you use to bring people in your store. Your fitness clothing line is the by-product of the content you’ll be producing.
When you find out what works double down on it while continuing new experiments.
Keep in mind that starting and growing a clothing line is challenging and should be considered as a marathon not a sprint.
Once you realize that this endeavor will take patience, persistence, consistency and personal inner strength you’ll do just fine.
Visit small nutrition shops, private gyms and other health and fitness related businesses in your area to see if you can get your fitness clothing line on their racks.
Come up with a creative way to persuade the owner of the retail shop to let you sell your items and if they sell you’ll give him/her a certain % of every sale.
The image and t-shirts below were printed for a Juice bar at LA Fitness in Long Beach. The owner of the Juice Bar ended up having 8 other retail spots where those shirts could be displayed and purchased by people coming in and out of the gym 7 days a week.
If your fitness clothing line sells, set an agreement with the business owner that you’ll split a percentage of the sell with the retail shop. This is a way to have a space to hold and display your inventory to the patrons that visit that particular store without having the overhead of that retail space.
This is another opportunity to network, meet business mentors and learn more about the retail business.
The more you learn the more you’ll earn, and practicing your communication and sales skills may be the most important part in all of what you do when starting out.
If you have any questions feel free to email us at email@example.com