You’re struggling. You’ve got a great range of garments & strong base of domestic customers. But, you want export orders. And, you’ve no idea how to get one. Here you’re. The right place. We’re going to talk about how to get export orders for garments business.
At the outset, RELAX. You aren’t the only clothing merchant who is struggling to get those lucrative export orders. There’re many more like you.
Export orders are difficult to get. There is geographical gap involved. Over & above that, there’s trust deficit in the minds of the importers.
History has been a witness to various export-import frauds. Therefore, it’s natural for prospects to proceed with caution. Especially when they’re dealing with small exporters.
The strategies listed in this post are the ultimate solution. They’re tried & tested by me. And, the best part is that they work for small exporters.
So, learn the following ideas, implement them & secure your first export order.
HOW TO GET EXPORT ORDERS FOR GARMENTS BUSINESS
1. Send Emails To International Garment Traders
Your target customers are the international textile or garment traders. They're the ones who would be giving you export orders. Right?
So, the idea is simple. Send marketing emails to those garment traders introducing yourself, your brand, products & company. Once they reply, you can take the discussion ahead & close the deals.
Now, the question is: How do you get the email addresses of these international garment traders?
Fiverr is a freelance marketplace that connects freelancers with small businesses. One of the most popular services provided by Fiverr freelancers is "Lead Generation Services". A Lead is nothing but contact details (like email address) of an international garment trader.
Let me show how you can get thousands of international garment traders' leads using Fiverr in just 4 easy steps:
Step #1. Browse across the lead generation services offered by Fiverr freelancers.
Step #2. Buy one of these lead generation services. While buying you need to specify that you need international garment traders' leads.
Step #3. After you complete your purchase, the Fiverr freelancer will get to work. After the work is completed, you'll be sent a list of authentic & verified garment traders' leads that can you download by logging into your Fiverr account.
Step #4. Send a marketing email to all email addresses you downloaded at Step #3. In that marketing email, you need to introduce yourself, your brand, your products & company.
To make sending emails easier for you, let me share a marketing email template:
Sample Marketing Email Template:
Subject: Business opportunity from [your brand name]
Hello [trader name],
I'm [your name], [your designation] at [your brand name]. We've been in business since [number of years] years & count companies like [client] [client] & [client] as our clients.
Our certified & high quality textile products are currently being exported to more than [number of countries] countries.
I want to seize this opportunity to introduce our latest range of garments. Would you be interested? If yes, then please reply to this email & I shall be glad to arrange a live video session showcasing our factory, facilities & products. Alternatively, we're also open to sending our product catalogue or samples mailed to you.
[your business address]
[your phone number]
Please note that your email should feel personalized & provide value. Or else, it would be marked as spam & will never reach the garment traders' inbox.
That's it, done!
2. Go Online With An eCommerce Website
This is an important step towards acquiring your dream international customers.
Going online means having your own website that showcases your products & experience. And, most importantly, your website acts as your voice & face. Those help in instilling confidence in the minds of the buyers.
Note that export involves geographical gap & therefore if you don’t earn the trust of your buyers, you’re probably going to struggle in getting orders.
Your website will act as a virtual visiting card & catalogue of your garment business.
But, how do you create a website?. Do you need a website designer?. No, not at all! Luckily, technology has blessed us with tools like Shopify. Using the same you can create an online store on your own by dragging & dropping various elements.
Yes, it’s like playing a video game!.
Here’s a video that explains the complete set up:
On your eCommerce store, you need to upload your product images & descriptions. So, next when a buyer approaches you for a product catalogue, send him or her your website link. Makes sense?
Not just a product catalogue, but your website can also enable you to take online orders & payments.
A few best practices you should follow while building your website:
- Choose a professional theme instead of a FREE one (optional though)
- Write complete descriptions of products (will help in conversions)
- Add authentic & real images of your products
- Keep your contact page updated
- Add product videos for high-ticket items
- Have a provision for free samples (if economically feasible)
- Reveal as much business details as possible (like tax number, office address, customer reviews, factory address, certifications etc.). These will go a long way in creating trust in the mind of the buyers
On the advanced line, you can use your website in various other ways to generate traffic. Example: Blogging
Creating website isn’t the only way to go online. There’re following other ways you can generate garment buyer leads online:
- YouTube (Upload product videos)
- Buy Facebook ads
- Buy Google Adwords
- Directly buy leads from digital agencies
3. Run Google Adwords or Facebook Ads
Google adwords are ads that are shown on the Google search engine. These ads are keyword based. That means as an advertiser, you need to choose the keywords against which your ads will be shown.
Example: If someone searches for "garment exporters in asia", your website (ad) will be shown at the top of the search results.
So, how do you get started?
At the outset, you need to create a google adwords account. After that you need to create an ad mentioning details like:
- Targeted keywords - The keywords you want to target. Your ad will only be shown against these keywords
- Bid - The maximum cost you're willing to pay per ad click
- Ad Title
- Ad Description - Will be shown below the ad title
- Landing Page URL - The place where someone will land on clicking your ad. Preferably your website homepage.
Fund your account & submit the ad for approval. Once approved, your ad will start showing on the top of the search results for your targeted keywords.
Note: For a successful Google Adwords campaign, you need to optimize your landing page (website) for lead generation. Preferably, add a contact form at the bottom of your homepage.
Similarly, you can run ads on the most popular social media platform - Facebook. On Facebook, the ads are interest based. That means you've to target Facebook users who're interested in your industry i.e garments business.
Example: If a Facebook user has liked a page called "Garments", she'll be shown your ad on her home feed.
So, how do you get started?
At the outset, you need to create a Facebook page for your business using details like your business name, address, phone number, website, products, etc. After that you can create a Facebook ad using your business page & mentioning the following details:
- Target audience - The demographics, interest, gender, age, etc. of Facebook users whom you want to show your ads.
- Ad title
- Ad description
- Ad images
- Ad video
- Call to action button - Like buy now, inquire now, know more.
- Landing Page URL - Preferably your website home page.
Facebook comes with a special kind of ads called "Lead ads". Using these lead ads, you capture email addresses of people who interact with your ad & are willing to know more. So, if they click on your lead ad, they'll be directed to a lead page where they can submit their details like name & email addresses (unlike in normal ad, where they'll be directed to your website after clicking on your ad).
4. Join Export Communities
Export communities are organisations dedicated towards development of export businesses of their members.
There are various advantages of joining export communities like:
- Getting to meet with other like-minded exporters
- Knowing about the latest news & happenings in export industry
- Learning about the industry best practices
- Getting to know about various important events like trade fair, delegation visits etc.
But, how do you discover such export communities in your town or country?. Simple. Google it.
Such communities can be in various forms like:
- Trust etc.
Example: In the US, you can find the following export groups:
- Exporters association of the USA
- American association of exporters & importers
- The small business exporters association of the US
To join such associations, simply fill the contact form available on their website. Alternatively, you may call or visit their office in person.
5. Respond To Order Inquiries On Online Forums
Online forums are platforms where people meet to discuss stuff of common interest & solve each others’ problems.
A few popular ones are as follows:
- Yahoo Answers
On such platforms you may find importers inquiring about garments. That’s where you need to step in & answer their questions with a link back to your website.
Look at the following example from Quora:
Remember, you shouldn’t spam these online forums or else you may get banned.
The primary objective should be to add value with super-helpful answers. Think of yourself as a forum member asking questions. Would you like to be haunted with self-promotions?. Or would you like to get genuine answers to your questions?. Exactly!
Go the aforesaid platforms & sign up. Follow a few garment related thread or groups. Then answer questions of your interest with as much details as possible.
Don’t self-promote above the fold. Place your website link only at relevant places (preferably at the end of the answer). And, do not over-promote your business.
Following are a few best practices that may follow:
- Update your profile with picture, description & website link
- Write shorter sentences. Avoid bulky paragraphs.
- Don’t ridicule other members’ views
- Avoid obvious answers or tips
- Contribute answers regularly
If used effectively, online forums can generate a ton of leads for your garments business.
6. Register On Online Trade Marketplaces
Online trade marketplaces are B2B platforms that connect importers with exporters.
As an exporter you can list your products & business on these platforms. Importers, on the other hand, may browse your listings & contact you.
The advantages of registering on online trade marketplaces are:
- Global exposure
- More credibility
- More international inquiries
Following are a few popular ones:
To join these marketplaces, you need to contact them using the form available on their respective websites. Most of them require a legal registered business with proper physical address.
Following are a few best practices you must follow on these marketplaces:
- Update your profile with your office & factory pictures
- Add a brief history of your company or business
- Add a few customer or client reviews
- Mention the name of your brands
- Add product pictures & related descriptions
7. Attend International Garments Trade Fairs / Exhibitions
Trade fairs are offline B2B marketplaces that connect buyers with sellers. Generally, the sellers set up stalls showcasing their products. Buyers, on the other hand, visit these marketplaces to source or explore products.
Thus, trade fairs are an excellent way to meet garment buyers.
International fairs aren’t easy to locate & attend. Therefore, the best way out is to join your local export community. They should keep you updated on the forthcoming fair events. Alternatively, you may browse https://www.tradefairdates.com that lists trade fair dates country & city-wise.
Following are a few popular international trade fairs:
- Magic Las Vegas (USA)
- Texworld Paris (France)
- MICAM Milano (Italy)
- International Apparel & Textile Fair (UAE)
- Chandigarh Mega Expo (India)
To apply or register for these trade fairs, visit their respective websites & understand the procedure. If needed, call them up.
Following are a few best practices when attending international trade fairs:
- Attractively display your product samples or merchandise
- Keep visiting cards & catalogues ready
- Ask for visiting cards of as many stall visitors as possible (follow them up later)
- Offer attractive discounts for instant orders
- Offer private label support for bulk orders
- Show online presentation or tour of your facilities (like factory or warehouse)
Trade fairs or exhibitions, if done correctly, will give you a ton of leads or customers.
This is no doubt one of the highest converting strategies to get export orders. That’s because the trade fair visitors are pre-qualified & come with an intention to buy. They aren’t casual visitors.
8. Participate In Seminars & Conferences
When did you last attend a seminar?. I know the answer.
Well, you aren’t alone. Most entrepreneurs under-estimate the importance of networking.
Seminars can be effective in generating high quality leads in several ways.
Example: Imagine you’re attending a seminar on exports. Seated beside you is a shoe exporter. What if you network with him or her?. May be he or she can help you with a few client referrals?. (Since a shoe client may also be selling or interested in garments).
That’s the power of networking. You get strong & verified referrals with ease. And, not to forget, a few life-long friends.
Following are some ‘extra’ benefits you get attending seminars:
- Technical know-how related to your industry
- Meeting industry influencers
- Sponsorship oppotunities
Websites like 10times.com can help you find upcoming conferences country-wise.
It’s important to learn the art of connecting with other people during such events. You need to be tactful while approaching people. By tactful, I mean knowing exactly when to approach, what to talk at the beginning & how to engage with your talks.
A few best practices you can follow at such events:
- Dress professionally
- Be approachable
- Shake hands firmly
- Keep visiting cards & catalogues ready
If you aren’t taking seminars or conferences seriously then now is the time. Go try them out.
9. List On International Trade Directories
Trade directories are industry-wise listings published generally in paper format. Think of it as the ‘Yellow Pages’ of business.
There are following advantages of listing your business in these trade directories:
- More export & domestic inquiries
- Visibility to the international community
- Tagged as ‘verified business’
- Legal proof
- Helpful for business collaboration
There are a few popular international trade directories like:
- Worldwide Brands
To apply, visit these individual websites & fill up the contact form.
10. Get International Quality Certifications
Would you like to deal with a random business partner overseas?. Of course not. You want credibility, right?.
That’s where international quality certifications come into play.
International quality certifications can help you establish credibility in the minds of your prospects. That will ensure that buyers trust your firm & products.
And, as I said earlier, trust is the base of a successful business relationship.
Example: ISO 9001 certification
Following are the advantages of getting quality certifications:
- Products become more trustworthy
- Creates trust & confidence in the mind of buyers
- Helps passing stringent quality requirements for European countries
- Product becomes international acceptable
However, it isn’t easy to get such certifications. You need to set up processes in your organisation as mandated by the certification requirements.
There are notable service providers in every country that can help you in getting such certifications. Google & find them for more information.
11. Upload Business Videos To YouTube
YouTube is huge nowadays. People are consuming video content like never before. Whether its news, songs, entertainment, sports or whatever else, our go-to platform is YouTube. And, the best part? Its FREE.
The idea is simple. Leverage YouTube to promote your business. How? Simply upload videos showcasing your:
- Factory premises
- Office Facilities
- Products (Garments)
- New collections
- Team (workers)
The more your video is engaging the more views, the more exposure your brand would get. Make sure that you include your details like name, contact address, telephone number & website in your video descriptions.
Here's an example:
To succeed on YouTube, you need to make engaging videos. Plain & mediocre videos are sure to fall flat. On the other hand, if your video is eye-catching, YouTube will organically promote the same for more views. The more the views, the more sales inquiries you would get.
For professional help, you may consider hiring a video editor on Fiverr.
Yes, getting export orders for garments business isn’t easy. There’s a lot of competition in this field.
But, with the aforesaid tips, the process becomes easy & fun. To get started, you need to implement each of these steps with passion. Take one strategy at a time.
Also, please be aware that some of these strategies may require investment of money.
After implementing these steps as recommended, you’ll be surprised by the quantity & quality of your foreign buyer leads.
These’re powerful strategies that have been implemented & tested by me over past few years. So, they do work!