701 Sarah Shaw: Flywheel Fashion Forward
Why Your Biggest Opportunities Often Present with a Failure
Most entrepreneurial coaches will advise you to double down on just one marketing strategy at a time – you know, jack of all trades, master of none.
There is a different way to look at it – and it’s all about building a flywheel. That is, when seemingly small wins for your business build on each other over time and gain so much momentum that the growth almost seems to accelerate by itself.
Jim Collins in his seminal business book Good to Great was the first to identify the Flywheel Effect. A flywheel is a massive metal disk, or wheel, that often weighs over 2,000 kilos. It takes a lot of effort to get it started, but once it starts to turn there are counterweights around the outside of the wheel that start to take effect and it starts to build momentum almost by itself. From that point, the same effort can be placed on the flywheel, and it will start to turn faster and faster.
Look at any business that appears to accelerate and seemingly grow by itself, and it will be a flywheel, like Amazon. In that case, great customer experience leads to more sales which leads to more products while lower production costs lead to lower prices, and everything accelerates everything else.
So how does a flywheel apply to marketing and growing a fashion business?
Sarah Shaw says she tells her fashion entrepreneur clients to start by “boiling the ocean”, with a multipronged strategy that involves getting A-list celebrities to wear the clothes, shoes, bags, or jewelry. That leads to magazines covering what the celebrity is wearing, which helps a fashion line drive online sales, which gets the attention of boutiques and stores, which builds brand recognition and demand, resulting in growing sales, which encourages more demand from celebrities, and on.
You see the flywheel, right?
With her 20 years of experience – and 6 fashion companies under her belt – Sarah Shaw’s products have been in over 1,200 stores and boutiques across the country, including Anthropologie, Nordstrom, Barney’s, Henri Bendel, Fred Segal, Neiman Marcus, Saks 5th Avenue and Bloomingdales.
She’s also appeared in the pages of almost every major fashion and lifestyle magazine, including InStyle, People, US Weekly, Lucky, ELLE, WWD, Marie Claire and the O-List. She’s been on TV shows like Access Hollywood, Extra and the E! network, and interviewed for Entrepreneur.com, Forbes.com and American Express’ OPEN Forum.
Sarah has built a treasure trove of secrets for fashion entrepreneurs and is now the Founder and CEO of Sarah Shaw Consulting, where she teaches product designers and fashion entrepreneurs how to launch, market and sell their products into boutiques, get media placements and gift celebrities.
- How to build a flywheel marketing strategy without burnout or overwhelm
- Why working multiple strategies at once results in faster growth
- Easy ways to get celebrities to wear or endorse your products
- How to generate magazine and other publicity for your products
- Why fear and other limiting beliefs are your biggest enemy
- Why the biggest opportunities often present themselves when things go wrong
- And much more!
Be sure to join the conversation with Sarah Shaw and me over on the interactive podcast app Podopolo, where you can share your perspectives and she’ll take your questions. Download Podopolo here and invite your friends.
More about Sarah Shaw at sarahshawconsulting.com
More about Sarah at Sarah Shaw Consulting
Sarah Shaw is a fashion entrepreneur, product designer and business coach. With her 20 years of experience – and 6 companies under her belt – Sarah has built a treasure trove of secrets for launching your line, getting your products into stores and boutiques, getting your products to A-List celebrities, and getting massive publicity in order to grow her companies quickly.
Get her FREE Video Training for Fashion Entrepreneurs and Product Designers.
Get the Transcript HERE
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