Tips for Start-Ups to Create Effective Self-Promotional Lookbooks

A self-promotional lookbook can prove very effective to those who are new to the industry or are in the process of launching their brand and are looking to acquire customers as quickly as possible.

For decades, lookbooks have been used by fashion designers and models. However, those in many other professional sectors are now also making use of them as they are great for advertising a brand and the services available. This is because they keep content to a minimum and focus on eye-catching images to showcase a collection in a professional, sleek and stylish manner.

In the process of creating your first ever self-promotional lookbook? Leading digital printing services provider Precision Printing has given us these words of advice to steer you in the right direction:

Elements to include in a lookbook

When you have limited funds to spend on your lookbook, it’s wise to begin by understanding just what needs to go in the resource. 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).

The cover page

The cover page will be the only place you’ll be able to make a first impression, so never skim over this element. 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.

Sensible navigation

Make sure there’s a nice flow to your lookbook to heighten its chances of 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.

Try to bunch collections of relatable products in one section, for instance, so that readers aren’t having to flick backwards and forwards through your lookbook to find the items that 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.

High-quality images

Visuals make up the main element of every lookbook. Make sure the photos you put into your lookbook are professionally-taken and of the highest quality then, which may mean 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.

It may surprise you to hear that whitespace can be such an effective part of a lookbook too. 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.

There is so much value to investing in a professional photographer when working on your first self-promotional lookbook. 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.

Enticing product/service descriptions

The majority of copy in a lookbook should serve to inform readers about the images that they are looking at on each page. 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.

Follow these tips for writing high-quality and effective copy in your lookbooks:

  • Make copy concise: no unnecessary words or details.
  • Make copy informative: don’t leave your reader asking questions.
  • Make copy interesting: grab your audience’s attention and keep it.
  • Make copy enticing: make them want to give you their custom.

Take note as well that content can allow you as the lookbook’s creator to form a relationship with potential customers. 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.

Key brand details

The back of your lookbook should be reserved for details such as contact information and handy addresses. This positioning doesn’t mean these elements 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.

How to print a lookbook and final preparations to consider

Happy with the final design of your first self-promotional lookbook? The next step will be to print out the resource. 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.

It’s important that you look over all parts of your lookbook to ensure everything is correct before printing. Proofread your copy, scan photos for anomalies and verify product names and prices. Then once it’s printed, get your lookbook out to as many potential customers as you can!



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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, CEO of Inspired Marketing, Inc., is a small business marketing coach who teaches women entrepreneurs how to monetize their message so they can make more money from their expertise. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog,

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