Cynical Saints
Publishing and Graphic Design
Josh-Smile-Side-profile.jpg

Dashes-of-Dapper-Fashion-Blog

A summary of the graphic design, branding, and social media marketing work that I did for Joshua Thompson Andrews and his blog about affordable fashion: Dashes of Dapper

In this How-To video, my client, Joshua Thompson Andrews, demonstrates how to tie a bow tie.
I worked with Cynical Saints and it took my project to the next level.
— Joshua Thompson Andrews

Client: Joshua Thompson Andrews (Dashes of Dapper Affordable Fashion Blog)

Short List of Services Performed for Joshua:

  1. Advanced Photo Editing 
  2. Social Media Education 
  3. Creation of Content Marketing Strategy 
  4. Brand Identity Work 
  5. Audience Research
  6. Full circle publishing of Joshua's autobiographical audio book from start to finish.

Brief Description of Project: Joshua Thompson Andrews' blog, Dashes of Dapper seeks to define high fashion as a means of self expression, and not as a status symbol. Joshua wears a three piece suit more often than not, and is ready for the runway every day. The amazing part is, he rarely spends over $100 total on his entire outfit. 

Joshua works at an antique thrift store, which benefits those with HIV/AIDS. He is also diagnosed with bi-polar, and expresses himself through his fashion and through dance.

As a talented narrator, dancer, and actor, a primary goal of Dashes of Dapper is to serve as a portfolio, wherein he can showcase his range of performance skills.

Joshua-Thompson-Andrews

Detailed Description of Project: 

First Month: Research and Planning

In my first meeting with Josh, we discussed the overall goals, scope, and timeline for Dashes of Dapper's launch. The primary mission is to create a diverse portfolio, showcasing Joshua's performing skills, and highlighting his true passion and expertise in the realm of fashion. This mission's objective is to, in turn, provide Joshua with professional opportunities as a model, dancer, narrator, and/or actor. Specific goals include:

  1. Create an engaging, authentic  social media presence for Dashes of Dapper with relevant content and measurable milestones, within two months.
  2. Publish a series of professional-quality videos, showcasing Joshua, within four months.
  3. Publish an auto-biographical fashion-themed audio book about Joshua's life within six months.
  4. Educate Joshua over the course of the campaign so that after six months he will be able to analyze his own web presence and move forward on his own.

During this meeting, I had Joshua list a full notebook page worth of adjectives, which came in to his mind as associated with the Dashes of Dapper brand. I went home from our meeting and created this graphic, using his words, just for fun:

word-cloud

 

Before creating any content, we did some brainstorming/research in order to clarify the brand and understand our audience. We began by listing people who would have a clear interest in Dashes of Dapper. Some of the types that made the list were:

  • Dancers
  • Photographers/Videographers
  • Fashion Designers
  • Style Bloggers
  • Men Seeking Fashion Advice
  • People Who Want To Learn How to Dance

"Dancers" was the very first audience that Joshua suggested during this brainstorming session, which will become very interesting in a moment.

We selected some of these populations and placed them on a graph comparing how much value these viewers could potentially invest into Dashes of Dapper (be it job offers, or purchase of How-To products, etc.), which we called INVESTMENT. We compared INVESTMENT potential against ACCESSIBILITY. We determined accessibility scores by weighing different factors such as size of this population, revenue potential from their investment type, and other qualitative factors.

 

Dashes-of-dapper-Audience-personas-brainstorming

Even though Dancers was the first audience out of Joshua's mouth (it is the one he identifies with the most), they had the lowest score out of all potential audiences! Aren't we all guilty of that? We see the world through our own eyes, placing too much importance on our own opinions. 

Generally, dancers will be unimpressed and see him as competition. Plus, the most likely investment opportunity a dancer would offer: the chance to practice every day, for hours on end, eventually competing for little-to-no prize money? This is when Joshua yelled out, "Eureka!" (well, almost).

Fashion Designers offer a great deal of value, since they have the ability to advance Joshua's professional career by leaps and bounds with a single collaboration, but they ranked low on accessibility since there are very few of them, and they probably receive more than their fair share of potential suitors.

Men-Seeking-Fashion-Advice estimated to be the largest audience population, and gain the most value from Joshua's content, thereby the most likely to invest, through very small forms of investment, i.e.: views, subscriptions, shares, book purchases, etc.


Audience Personas

A common practice in website design and content marketing is to create fictitious characters called Audience Personas, based on your research. This is a great way to inform future decisions because you can ask yourself, what would this persona think? We created personas for each of populations we deemed as having high investment potential.

Fabritsio
Irvin
Jacky
 

Social Media Content Strategy

Armed with a clear brand identity and an understanding of the audience, I set to work outlines for what would become the three pillars of Dashes of Dapper's social media content strategy.

  1. A detailed flow-chart showing the various social media platforms, what the "voice" would be on each one, and automation (using Hootsuite and IFTTT).
  2. A schedule for brand identity content and a stack of material, i.e.: #dailyoutfit and memes.
  3. An outline for an "evergreen" content video series, that will stay relevant and drive traffic long after posting.
 

Social Media Flow

 

Brand Identity Content

Based on our flowchart strategy, we know that Instagram is at the heart of Dashes of Dapper's day-to-day vibrations. We decided that once a week Joshua would post a picture of his outfit and itemize exactly what each piece of clothing is, how much it cost, and an outfit total. Additionally I trained Joshua in how to use Adobe Spark free graphic design program to create memes, fliers, and other content he can post on Instagram. I recorded a list of authors, musicians, and artists that inspire Joshua and set to work creating memes and images that were true to Joshua as a person and expressed some aspect of Dashes of Dapper. He liked the Andy-Warhol-style Instagram mural I created in Photoshop so much that he asked me to stitch it together into one image so he could have it printed as his business cards.

 

 
 

Evergreen Content Strategy

Once a rhythm of regular brand identity content was established, we set to work creating an outline for a five part video series for Joshua to showcase his personality, passion, and artistry, by giving advice in his area of expertise. We decided to publish this video series on the Cynical Saints Publishing YouTube channel and simultaneously publish supplemental "rich" pins on Pinterest on the same topics, and blog posts on the Dashes of Dapper blog. These three mediums are very different, one is images only, one is text only, and one is video only. All three will be supported by the same keyword research I've done on the topics discussed. Furthermore, all of them, will be edited to ensure that the advice given is timeless and fundamental as to ensure that as trends in fashion shift over time, that this content series will still be relevant and generate engagement over a long period.    

 

Second Month: Content Creation

In this period I filmed, arranged, and edited an affordable fashion How-To video series for Dashes of Dapper.


Special Update: I am pleased to report that by the second month of our working together, Joshua has already completed his first runway modeling gig for designer Khari Linton and the brand 1991, AND, has accepted his first supporting role in a feature-length film with Craig Hard!

Stay tuned for more updates.