To be a dressmaker is to be part of a valuable and vanishing profession. To make your unique skill set available to potential customers, self promotion is very important.
Start a Website
One of the most basic building blocks of any business in today's economy is the website. Your website should thoroughly showcase your abilities, but it need not be complicated. In fact, the clearer and simpler the better.
State what you are able to do, your average turn-over time, and where possible, your fees. Though it is difficult in the dress-making field to be price-specific without seeing the garment involved, try to give an idea of your rates. Considering charging a flat fee for small jobs, such as hems and basic alterations. Seeing the cost in black and white will help a potential customer decide all the faster to do business with you.
Online advertising is also an indispensable tool in today's commercial market. Online adverts on Craigslist and your local newspapers are good ways to attract neighborhood business. There are also online sites, such as findadressmaker.com, dedicated to matching dressmakers with clients.
If you spend generously on any one element of your self-promotion, make it your photography. This is the most direct way to showcase your abilities to your client. Invest in the photographic equipment, skills and props necessary to show the quality of your workmanship, or consider having the photography professionally done. No matter how carefully you constructed a piece of clothing, a bad snapshot on a poorly designed website will make your work look cheap and unappealing. Remember, the human eye seeks graphics first on any page and lingers on them longest.
Reach Your Market
Not every element of the population seeks handmade clothes. First, you must be aware of who does. Then, you must get their attention. Your customers are brides; they are members of historical recreation societies; they or their children participate in cultural dance classes; they are discerning members of the artistic community wanting to be seen in one of a kind pieces.
Make sure your advertising reaches these people. You want your ads to be in the publications aimed at these segments of the population, both online and print. Go to the buildings that host these sorts of events, and leave a tastefully made flier on their notice boards.
Another way to make yourself known in your community is by slightly expanding your services. Consider devoting one night a week to holding a sewing class for interested students. Not only will this be an added source of income for a minimal output, it will make your skills known to an entirely different segment of the community. Your abilities will spread by word of mouth much quicker. Your students may not be likely to achieve your level of skill in their own sewing, but they will always remember your name when the need for great skill arises.
Promoting yourself as a dressmaker is an endeavor worth pursuing. Knowing your customers needs and clearly communicating what you can offer them is a direct path to self-employed success.