No one said that raising the standard in the fashion industry would be easy, but thanks to Threads By Standard Bank, 12 fashion entrepreneurs are getting the chance to do just that. With the help of workshops, teachings, lifestyle trips and mentors, these entrepreneurs are being equipped with the essential skills needed to thrive in fashion, and one such workshop focussed on the nitty-gritty of the digital world.
The Digital Skills Training workshop in Port Elizabeth was hosted by Tichaona Mashiri from One Africa Online, and this was a workshop that looked at the various components of the digital world – from websites and search engine optimization, to marketing campaigns and mobile trends.
“Global success in entrepreneurship doesn’t happen overnight – there is no microwave success” @oneafricaonline on #ThreadsBySB
“Global success in entrepreneurship doesn’t happen overnight – there is no microwave success,” says Tichaona, and so in order to thrive, you need to know what it is that your customers are looking for, and how you can predict their needs for better optimization.
Visuals almost always attract people to a website, but so does Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Emails are also a great way to communicate with customers, and Tichaona shared how some tips on marketing your brand effectively through this medium. Learning to speak the language of your customers is key – call them to action, create interaction with them and take the time to learn what content attracts them.
This was some of the advice that the entrepreneurs (and myself) took away from this workshop.
The Digital Marketing & Strategies workshop was jam-packed with knowledge, and actually my favourite. It was an interesting class because this was done via video conferencing, and so, connecting to Joburg, Cape Town and Durban was incredible because it really put into perspective how technology has bridged the gap of bringing people together to learn no matter the distance.
What was more incredible was looking at the stats of the various social media platforms we use, and how paying attention and analyzing these stats can help you market your brand better. Perhaps it’s just me, but my mind was blown to know that there are 1.5 billion monthly active users on YouTube, 1.3 billion Twitter accounts (of which only 328 million are active), 32% of teenagers who think that Instagram is the most important network and that Facebook influences 68% of consumers’ online and offline purchases. This might just seem like numbers, but these numbers help provide a bigger picture of where your customers are in the social media world, and how you can best appeal to them on each of the platforms.
The teacher for the class pointed out that you need to be specific about the goal you want to achieve. You can’t simply say “I want to lose weight in 2018.” Be specific – how much weight do you want to lose? Making these specific goals means looking at these aspects: strategy, consistency, different platforms, measuring, and the rinse & repeat method.
The teacher went into more detail regarding these aspects, and what really impressed me was the quality of the content and engagement made possible despite being a video conference class. You’re not only given the stats, but you’re also given the practical on the theory and asking questions wasn’t made impossible because the teacher wasn’t physically in front of you.
“Your purpose is your articulated brand. It is an overflow of your identity and very essence of what makes you, you” @oneafricaonline on #ThreadsBySB
As this class was coming to an end, the teacher left the entrepreneurs with thoughts on why they were doing what they were doing. “Your purpose is your articulated brand. It is an overflow of your identity and very essence of what makes you, you,” read one of the slides, and it became clear that Threads Stitched By Standard Bank is truly invested in raising the standards in the fashion industry by not only providing each of the entrepreneurs with the digital skills needed to thrive but to also help them articulate their essence and brand to South Africa, and the world.