Top tips for startups
How to create a self-promotional lookbook
A lookbook is a fast and effective technique for advertising your brand
New to the industry? Just launching your brand? Need to get customers ASAP? If this sounds familiar, you need a self-promotional lookbook.
Used by fashion models and designers for decades, the lookbook is now making waves in a range of other professional industries — but why?
A lookbook is a fast and effective technique for advertising your brand and what it has to offer. Focusing on striking images and minimal content, you get the opportunity to show your range in a way that’s sleek, stylish and professional.
If you need pointers on creating the ideal lookbook for your start-up, check out these top tips from Precision Printing — a leading supplier of book printing services.
What to include
Firstly, you need to plan what you need to feature in your lookbook — this is especially important if you have limited funds, as waste will lose you money. The essential lookbook elements are:
- Cover page.
- Sensible navigation.
- High-quality images.
- Enticing product/service descriptions.
- Key brand details (including contact information and social media addresses).
This is your only chance to make a first impression, so take extra care with your lookbook’s cover. The objective of the front cover is to grab attention, which means you need to think: attractive image, excellent use of colour, and an appealing title to compel the reader to want to know more. Cover pages typically detail the month and year and, if it’s not in the title, you need to have your brand name and logo somewhere here, too.
Your lookbook’s page order is also crucial to its success. You want to create a good experience for your potential customer when they’re reading your lookbook, and making sure it flows without interruption is essential.
For example, place all relatable products together, so the reader doesn’t have to thumb through the book to find items that might interest them. If you offer both goods and services, keep these separate, and try to section off connected articles into clear categories to deliver consistency and avoid making your lookbook appear disjointed.
Lookbooks are all about visuals — and the success of yours will rely on them. Make sure the photos you put into your lookbook are professionally-taken and of the highest quality, which means considering props, lighting, colour, setting, and image resolution for each shot. If this is one of your first print marketing campaigns, you don’t want any mistakes.
A good tactic used by other brands when making lookbooks is to utilise whitespace. Not every image needs to run border to border and whitespace is a modern photography technique used to create a focus point and highlight a particular part of the page — use it sparingly.
Employing a professional photographer is well worth the investment if you’re creating the first lookbook for your start-up to ensure you get a perfect product. However, you can do these yourself if you prefer, but just remember to check that you have exclusive rights for everything you include if they aren’t all original images.
Lookbooks are image-led, but copy is still key to how well they’re received by the reader. Essentially, a lookbook will feature product/service descriptions and — if you’re a start-up — perhaps a brief brand description so everyone knows what you’re about.
So, how do you write for a lookbook? Quality lookbook copy must be:
- Concise: no unnecessary words or details.
- Informative: don’t leave your reader asking questions.
- Interesting: grab your audience’s attention and keep it.
- Enticing: make them want to give you their custom.
Content creation is another opportunity for you to create a relationship with your potential customer. Use professional language to convey your reliability, but try and adopt a chatty tone to come across as approachable. Try to avoid using very long words and sentences — these sound stuffy and clumsy — and keep your product descriptions between 30 and 60 words in length to avoid taking focus from your lookbook’s images.
Information likes addresses and contact info should go at the back of your lookbook — but that’s not to say they aren’t important. If you’re a new company on the scene, you’re going to have to shout about where new customers can get in touch with you. Make sure you include:
- Shop address.
- Phone number.
- Email address.
- Social media addresses.
Lookbook printing options and final preparations
Once your lookbook is designed, it’s time to print. Have a chat to your printing specialist about the type of paper stock and finishes that might look good and ask to see a few samples to get a better idea. The worst scenario would be to put so much time, money and effort into designing the perfect lookbook, only to have it ruined by opting for a cheap paper or poor finish.
Before sending off your hard work to the printers, check that every inch of your lookbook is correct. Proofread your copy, scan photos for anomalies and verify product names and prices. After its printed, get your lookbook out to as many potential customers as you can!
The lookbook is an impressive part of print marketing and an excellent way for a start-up to introduce itself, attract clientele and leave a lasting impression.
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