Fortunately, the search query allows you to find local directories by changing the location. So far I've only used broad locations, but in this example, I’ll use a more restricted location search.
This is the result for fashion designers + "directories" + new york:
Now instead of targeting the entirety of the USA, you can narrow down your audience to New York alone. This is especially useful if you serve customers in just one location.
D. Get your fashion business listed
Once you’ve built a healthy list of these fashion directories, it’s time to get your business featured in them.
In most cases, you won’t have to pitch the directory to be listed. The majority of modern directories allow you to register your business without contacting them. Your listing may or may not need to be approved.
A good example is Fashion Mingle, a directory for fashion entrepreneurs. All you need to do to list your business is scroll to the bottom of the page and follow their instructions:
If a particular directory doesn’t support this feature, find their contact information and send them a pitch. In most cases, they’ll oblige you.
2. Feature in Crowdsourced Fashion Posts
Crowdsourced content for your fashion business does two things:
Builds your value in the eyes of your customers, and
Helps you create lasting connections with other brands in your space.
For small businesses, this is a powerful backlink building strategy. There are two ways to go about it:
Create your own crowdsourced posts
This is a more straightforward technique for new businesses in the fashion niche.
Since you're aiming to signal value to potential customers, the best way is to get the experts in your niche featured on your website.
To use this effective technique:
1. Identify the experts in your niche and build a relationship with them.
Reach out to them and compliment them. Tell them what you genuinely like about their work. Keep this up for a while to build rapport.
2. Brainstorm on a pressing industry topic with lots of traffic.
Use BuzzSumo to find topics that are generating the most engagement online. Choose one topic to start with.
3. Reach out to the experts in your niche.
Let them know you want their opinion on a pressing topic. If you already have a good relationship with them, they'll be much happier to contribute.
4. Create a blog post around their answers and publish it on your blog.
Notify them when the post is live and thank them for their involvement.
Politely request that they share your post on their site or social media profiles.
Get featured in someone else's post
This method requires you to have an already-established reputation in your niche. The better your reputation is, the better your chances of success.
The process involves scouting for crowdsourced posts in your niche and offering to contribute for free. Here’s how to go about it:
1. Search for fashion tips by experts on Google.
Look through the results and find sites that publish posts with experts' opinions. Make a shortlist of sites.
2. Reach out to the site owner or editor.
Find their email address on the site or contact them on social media and politely request to be featured.
Make sure to include all your qualifications as an expert on the topic.
3. Prepare your answer to the topic and send it to the site owner.
You should also create a powerful bio and headshot to send with it, including a link to your site.
Follow up until the article is published or updated.
3. Get on "Best of" Lists
Lists are similar to crowdsourced posts, except that this time they reflect the opinion of one person.
The currency of the fashion industry is attention, hence the need to get on these lists.
Consumers of fashion products also search for these kinds of lists before making their purchases. So here’s an excellent chance to get a backlink as well as more exposure for your brand!
Find relevant "Best of" lists by using search strings like these:
Top  best + “fashion [niche keyword]”
best + [fashion niche] [year]
list of top + [fashion niche]
Here's an example using "fashion tips" as the niche keyword:
You can get creative with keywords to find the sites that best resonate with your fashion business.
Then, write a short, direct and polite email to the owner of these lists and ask them to feature your site or article. Your article or link must be of very high quality to pass the test.
Show off your previous works, products or awards in the industry to prove your reputation in your outreach email.
Here's a template you can tweak:
I’m [Your Name], from [website or company name]. I cover [fashion niche] and have been featured on [places you’ve been featured, mentioned or quoted].
Earlier today, I had the opportunity to find your Best Of list on [URL of page]. Great material!
I've actually just recently created an [article/infographic/explainer video/whitepaper] on [title or topic] and was thinking it’d be an excellent addition to the awesome resources you've featured on your list.
Here’s a link: [your URL]
I’ll be glad to know if you found the material a fit for your list.
No obligations. Just something to help the community.
Fashion naturally favors graphics and designs over other content types, so you're in luck here. To build a healthy backlink profile, you can gift free designs and other freebies to potential link sources.
Start by creating brilliant designs and gifts on your fashion website. These could be anything from simple designs for imprinting on t-shirts to an in-depth guide for fashion newbies.
Reach out to websites and influencers in your niche and let them know what you have on your site. You can use the following template:
I'm [Your Name] and I run a fashion outfit called [website or company name]. First off, I’m a fan of your work, and in many ways, you’ve inspired my resolve to start my business.
I’ve created a couple of brilliant designs that I believe your audience will find very helpful.
Nope, I’m not selling. It’s all for free!
I’m hoping you’ll love them enough to share with your audience. If not, it’s still a pleasure connecting with you.
If your work is fantastic, you should hear back.
You don’t even need to ask so brazenly for a link. They're sure to know to add it when they share these gifts.
Search engines, especially Google, prioritize local content. So, if you're serious about gaining those fashion backlinks, then you should exploit this avenue.
You have a few options for local events:
Host your own offline event
This method requires some funding from your end. You can create a fashion event around your specific niche and invite local fashion brands to attend.
The goal is to get word about your brand out there and interact with other local fashion businesses. Local journalists should attend these events too, which can automatically earn you some links from local news websites.
Attend other local events
If you’re a young fashion brand seeking exposure, this is the way to go. The advantages are:
You don't have to spend a lot of valuable business hours planning the event, and
It’s free publicity.
You can find local events by using search strings like:
[location] + [keyword] inurl:event
[location] [keyword] "events"
[keyword] [location] "add event"
Try substituting other words for "event" too, like "conference," "meetup," "workshop" and so on.
You'll see a lot of event listing sites in the results, like Meetup. Sites like this are great places to find new events, as well as host your own. In many cases they also double as a directory.
If you intend to host an event, just fill out the information required to list your event. If you're looking for events to attend, search their event directory for fashion events happening near you.
During the event (whether you're hosting or attending), focus on building relationships.
Speak to others attending the event. Showcase your best work and offer to share theirs if they're interested.
Approach local journalists and tell them about your business. Offer to grant interviews or write a story for them.
Meet new people and grow your network, and backlinks will come naturally from that.
Host an online event
Hosting online events like webinars and tutorials for fashion enthusiasts is an inexpensive but powerful way to generate buzz about your business in the industry.
You can even reach out to influencers and leading experts in your niche and ask to interview them for your webinar.
In many cases, these influencers will be happy to share the interviews with their audience, and might even link back to your site!
6. Get Backlinks from Followers and Industry Colleagues
Your colleagues in the business are just as valuable as external link sources. You both share the same niche, and so any backlink from them would signal authority and competence.
You need to know the top shots in your specific fashion niche. The brands with the largest follower base and biggest social footprints.
Getting them to promote your brand is a huge positive value signal for their many followers.
Pottery Barn used this strategy to get the word out about their new interior design collection. As a young home decor startup, they partnered with a popular home decoration blog and got them to showcase their new collection on the influencer's blog.
This act alone garnered over four million impressions across social media and helped Pottery Barn gain solid traction in very little time.
To replicate this success, start by putting together a list of popular influencers in your niche.
Contact them on social media or by email. It pays to build a relationship with them for a while. You can do this by:
Leaving sensible comments on their posts.
Joining conversations on their comment boards.
Sending appreciation emails or messages every once in a while.
Once a great relationship is established, you can pitch them your product and politely request for a promotion.
Next, you follow up.
Once the influencer's product promotion post is up, share across your social media and help build traction. You'll get a ton of healthy backlinks in return!
Big news media
Featuring in the big news media can make all the difference in your business scaling plans.
These news outlets are the most prominent authorities in your niche, which is the reason why you must court their attention. Here's how you can do that:
1. Start local.
You should aim to get featured in a couple of local news websites before aiming for the big ones. This will help communicate your value to their editors.
2. Research their audience.
You want to know what kind of topics get their attention. Study other nuances as well like the language, tone, voice and writing style of their previous articles.
3. Find an engaging topic to discuss.
BuzzSumo is a great tool to find the topics that are generating the most buzz online. Create a list of the most engaging topics that you can cover.
4. Contact the editor.
Make a pitch to the relevant editor. For generalist magazines and online news media, find the contact for the fashion editor.
For purely fashion websites, any editor will do.
5. Create a powerful pitch and follow up.
Your pitch must communicate value, show your expertise and be relatable. You should include your past achievements and other publications where you've been featured in the past.
Also, lose the formal tone. Keep it casual and friendly.
If you don’t hear back after a week, send a follow-up email. In many cases, their inbox is a mess, and your pitch could've been lost in a sea of other emails.
Large online publications
These are great publications to win interviews from.
This process works best if you already have a robust following for your brand. Most major online publications will favor well-known, popular and very unique brands to feature in an interview.
If you have a solid following, pitch your brand to these publications for an interview session. They’ll be in touch if they consider you to be a good fit for their brand.
The young startup had no offline store and struggled to get customers to trust their brand and products. So they started engaging bloggers in their space to promote their products with online reviews. And they insisted on only honest reviews—warts and all.
Your successful competitors are successful for one reason:
They're doing many things right. Chief of those things is link building.
If you want to get to their level, then you must replicate their successes.
To do this, you'll need a powerful SEO tool like SEOptimer. Among other features, it sports a backlink and competitor research tool that you can leverage to decrypt your competitors' link building strategies.
Once you've created an account, head to the "Backlink Research" tool on the left of the dashboard.
Don't know who your most successful competitors are?
Look at the top ranking websites when you search for your business niche as a keyword. For instance, if your fashion business is in the snow boots niche, you could try the following keywords:
fashionable snow boots
affordable snow boots
stylish boots for snow
Make a list of all the top blogs and business websites that come up in the search results. For our example, here's a list of sites that came up for affordable snow boots:
Add those competitor domains to SEOptimer's Backlink Research tool see their backlinks.
Here you'll find all the sites that link to your competitors, as well as heaps of useful information such as where the link is placed, the anchor text used, whether it's followed or nofollowed, and much more.
Post your infographic or video as a blog post on your site and share it to your social media profiles.
Also, create an embed link on the page so that other bloggers can embed them on their sites. This gives you an automatic backlink every time it's embedded.
Then, send a message to relevant blogs and websites that have published similar content in the past. If yours is better and more recent, they're likely to post it on their site.
13. Offer Opportunities
The goal of all link building strategies is to get attention for your brand. It's that attention that converts to backlinks.
Using contests, promotions and other types of free opportunities is one of the surest ways to get the internet interested in your brand.
Here are some ways to attract this kind of attention:
Contests and giveaways
Run a contest and give away one of your best-selling products to the winner. Doing something like this is one of the easiest ways to attract new visitors and potential buyers to your site.
Create publicity for the contest on social media, and consider running a paid ad on Facebook or Instagram to get it seen by more people.
Like contests, promotions are every consumer’s favorite. Create timed promotions on your most popular products and post them on social media and online stores.
Scholarships and charities
This is an easy way to get into the news for a good reason. Many news sites will lap up opportunities to report on acts of charity and support for causes. Scholarships are also very popular.
So if you want an express ticket to the news websites, consider sponsoring a local event, supporting a charitable cause, or setting up a scholarship for budding fashion students.
Free fashion consulting
You can also offer free consulting sessions for fashion enthusiasts.
Just make sure you make the sessions timed, so you don’t spend too many valuable business hours attending to consultation requests.
Free virtual tours
If you have a physical store, you can make use of modern technology to offer your customers a great experience.
Hire a designer or tech company to create a virtual mockup of your fashion store or items for customers to view remotely.
Fashion Backlinks Wrap-up
Getting tons of healthy fashion backlinks no longer holds dread and mystery.
But while it's easy to understand, it requires a great deal of commitment to follow through for useful results.
Start with the simple techniques in this article, and move your way through the list.
Don’t try to do them all at once. Excellent execution should be your watchword.
Cheers to your success in gaining those valuable backlinks for your business!
Nicholas Godwin has worked on projects for Fortune 500 companies, global tech corporations and top consulting firms, from Bloomberg Beta, Accenture, PwC, and Deloitte to HP, Shell, and AT&T. He has an ingenious competency in technology, business, and marketing contents.
Nicholas runs TechContentLabs and roams the globe (in his free time). We strongly recommend you talk to Nicholas for your business's SEO, content marketing, content strategy, deep web-research and WordPress needs.
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