I’ve loved working with fashion consultant Sara Simmonds on her website at www.sarasimmonds.com
There is no doubt Sara has had a hugely successful career to date, working for brands such as Harvey Nichols and Zara, and developing products such as River Island’s Molly jeans and the rest of its denim collection that have helped turn around the fortunes of the once-popular high street store that was falling by the wayside.
A new website for a new career
When we met, Sara had recently moved into freelance fashion consulting and although she was full of determination and ideas, was struggling with defining her offerings and laying out all of her successes to date in a clear and immediately understandable way.
She has worked with big brands, small brands, luxury brands, high street brands and even travelled around the world meeting fashion makers and helping overseas manufacturers become lead suppliers for leading UK brands such as Zara. Sara is one of these people who has done A LOT! The question was how could all of her successes be bought together cohesively and what sort of website design would make her stand out from the crowd?
Sara had a very clear idea of how she wanted her site to look and luckily for me she already had a fantastic set of images of herself. We went with a slick, minimalist photo-lead website design on a crisp white background that enables the focus to be on Sara and her high-end fashion imagery that speaks to her potential customers.
Identifying Sara’s Mr X
Just before we met, Sara had had a meeting with a huge fashion brand about potential consulting work, at which point she hadn’t had a website to show her possible new client. I kept this person in mind throughout. Mr X from Brand X had met Sara and would have liked her. Most likely, he would have gone off and googled her. So what would Mr X have needed to see on her website? What would compel him to choose Sara over a rival fashion consultant?
My background as a journalist means that the content side of the site is straightforward to me, and I was able to start summarising Sara’s work. We choose four key areas of expertise: fashion, denim, craftsmanship and sustainability.
On the navigation menu, we added a title ‘Case studies’ which on hover produces a drop down menu of brand names that everyone knows: Harvey Nichols, Madderson London, Warehouse, River Island, Zara.
Thinking back to Mr X, he’s arrived at her home page and it speaks ‘fashion expert’ to him. Now he starts moving his mouse around. Even if he doesn’t read every page on the site, he’s going to hover over Case Studies, see the drop down menu and know he is dealing with someone who has had an impressive career.
Using industry news to position Sara as an authority
We also added a blog, called ‘Thoughts’ and started looking at fashion industry news to spark ideas for content. Sara was off to lots of shows and fashion events, and I kept asking her ‘what are people talking about?’ What are the concerns in the industry? Sara is full of thoughts, opinions and ideas on her industry, and I am encouraging her identify industry news, and step up as a leader and comment on it rather than wait to be asked for her opinion (which might never happen).
All content marketers know that over time, producing interesting, informative and opinion lead articles for your own website and sharing them on social media leads to new leads and media opportunities.
With her looks, expertise, vibrant personality and eye for a great product, I firmly believe Sara is set to be a leader in her field. In fact, I’d like to see her have her own TV show. Hopefully that all starts here with her new website design that enables her to become the leader she is, without having to wait for anyone else to ask her. Have a look at the finished website www.sarasimmonds.com