Last Updated on 15/07/2020 by Steve Wanjie
Table of Contents:
• T-shirt marketing 12 Methods discussed
• How Do You Sell T-shirts Online?
• What is the Best T-shirt Platform for Selling Shirts Online to Make Money?
• How to Advertise your T-shirt Designs On and Offline to Create Selling Opportunities
• The Must-have Social Media Accounts for a T-shirt Designer and Seller
• T-Shirt Design Tools to Help You Create Sell-able Tee Designs
T-shirt marketing is a subject feared by many designers who can create amazing, exciting and eye-catching designs. But they don’t know what to with those designs. Why? Because they cannot sell their designs online. Reason – they lack digital marketing skills. They can only sell their designs to the entrepreneur who invests in the printing of apparel and paper products. While the entrepreneur makes millions of dollars, the designer remains poor. Because he or she cannot add value to his or her creativity. Digital market is a huge stumbling obstacle for the marority of t-shirt designers.
Many young people want to start an online t-shirt business. They can create wonderful designs but then they realise that selling is an impossible task. They give up despite having the designs and a store at a print-on-demand platforms such as Teespring or CafePress. The other reason young people fail with their online t-shirt businesses is that they want to make money quickly. Inpatient people cannot make money selling t-shirts online. There are many things to learn, try, and master in this business.
You have to learn SEO to enable you to write compelling product descriptions. You need to write classified ads copy and on social media, you need to share information about your t-shirt designs intelligently. Hence you must have basic writing skills and SEO.
This article aims at helping know how to start selling t-shirts online. We show you how to market and advertise. And we give you resources that will help you learn whatever you need to succeed. T-shirt selling is the easiest route to joining the millionaire’s club. But you shall have to burn the mid-night oil before reaching that destination. How to market t-shirts is a question answered here.
How do you sell t-shirts online?
The way you sell everything else is the same way you sell t-shirts online. There are basic things that you need to succeed in t-shirt selling. These basic things include:
a) Your own website
But why do you need your own website?
• You need an online site for your assets
These assets may include; t-shirt designs and products ready for sale. For you to claim copyright for any design or product you own, its first online upload must be on your website. Anything you own, e.g., articles, images, designs, products, etc., must first appear online via your website. Then you can use it on print-on-demand platforms such as Teespring because you own that design.
• You need a website for marketing your designed t-shirt
You cannot sell anything online unless you do product promotion and advertising. You need a place where you can send prospective customers. Something like a page or blog post, which can only be found on your website. Where they learn more about the product and the reasons why they should buy it.
• You need a website to collect email addresses
Email marketing is the best way to sell your design. Prospective customers don’t buy on the first visit, thus you need to collect their email addresses. When you collect email addresses, you automatically build an email list. This list contains email addresses of current and prospective customers. These are people who are or will to become buying customers. Thus email marketing will help you grow your business. I use Mailchimp to collect emails and to send messages to my list.
• You need a website to show people you take your t-shirt business seriousness
When you have your dot com website, people take you seriously. Business partners and customers will respect you more.
To own your own website you need two important things;
• A domain name:
I have bought my domain names from NameCheap over the years and they are reliable and their service is stress-free. You may visit Name Cheap here
• A website host:
Site Ground is my go-to website host because they work seamless with WordPress and they are cheap and the service is above average. Their hosting is world-class and that is why this website is hosted by Siteground. Find site ground here
b) T-shirt designs
You need to have quality, amazing, interesting and unique shirt designs. You can create them or hire professional designers to do it for you.
c) T-shirt printing equipment
You have your designs, the next step is to go into production. You buy high-quality tees in bulk (whole or distribution prices.) Then you do the printing yourself.
The other and easier way is to work with established t-shirt printing platforms. You come up with designs and you do the marketing. The printing platform does the printing, sales, delivery, and customer service.
d) Digital marketing skills
The minimum digital marketing skills you need to sell a t-shirt successfully online are few but very important. Here are the skills you need to learn fast to get ahead.
• SEO – Search Engine Optimization skill
What is SEO?
According to MOZ and I quote “SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.”
Why is SEO important in selling t-shirts?
It is important because you need to drive traffic (people who want to buy t-shirts) on your website. SEO gives directions to search engines (e.g. Google) so they find your store online. When Google knows where your t-shirt store is, the search engine shall, in turn, direct people looking for t-shirts to your website.
SEO is a language used online to instruct (or direct) search engines on where to find things people are searching on the internet. Thus, when writing a t-shirt description on a print-on-demand platform you need to use SEO. At the bottom of this page, you will find a link to a course where you will learn basic SEO skills.
• Copywriting skill
You need to write compelling product description headline. Your product description headline must catch the attention, attract, and force people to read the copy content. It is the only way people will learn and buy your t-shirt. You write t-shirt descriptions on print-on-demand platforms such as Teespring.
You need to write articles to generate sales lead for your t-shirt. Hence writing skills are required to produce high quality, original, entertaining blog posts to help bring people to your website or blog. This is a skill you can learn easily online. You will find a link on how to write amazing copy at the bottom of this article.
• Content Marketing
You need to know how to write articles focusing on t-shirts. That you can learn via the internet. Search for how to write articles and you will be taught free. Then you need to write and post at least one post on your blog every week. You can write anything about t-shirts as long as you have the right keywords. You can posts articles already published on your blog on article Directories.
When you post articles on article directories you are doing content marketing. Articles posted on article directories drive traffic to your websites. And this traffic is interested in what you sell, t-shirts.
Social Media usage skill
You need to know how to use social media to drive traffic to your website. Social platforms such as Pinterest don’t allow you to send traffic from them to your Teespring store directly. Traffic from Pinterest must first go to your website and from there to your Teespring store.
What is the best t-shirt platform for selling shirts online to make money?
The following print on demand (pod) platforms is the best for t-shirt business beginners because registration on these services is free. You pay no registration fees to join.
Why are they called Print-On-Demand service providers?
Because they do not print a t-shirt until a customer places an order and pays for it upfront. Thus, production costs are not incurred until payment is received. The same applies to you. They do not need you to pay any fees upfront. They get their money when your designed t-shirt sells.
Why is print on demand platforms good for young t-shirt business upstarts?
For a young newcomer to the eCommerce industry, this is the best entry point and strategy because you have little or zero investment capital. The only things available to you are energy, time, and creativity. If you can find a partner to help you start, then you will be ok as long as you can focus and don’t give up.
What can you do with a print on demand service provider’s free account?
On these platforms you are allowed to;
• Create your own unique designs
• Apply these designs on products of your choice on the platform
• Market your designed products
• Make a profit per product sold
What types of products do print-on-demand platforms allow you to design?
The choice is not wide but there is plenty to make you a millionaire if you are willing to learn, apply the knowledge gathered, and work very hard.
These are some of the products:
• Custom clothing such as t-shirts, hoodies, shopping bags, pillows, curtains, etc.
• Household items such as cups, mugs, plates, trays, key holders, etc.
Here are the top five leading print-on-demand companies that you can choose to work with:
Your sign up for free, easy and fast. Once you activate your account you can start designing immediately. Teespring handles everything apart from designing and marketing. These are your responsibility. Anyone, from anywhere on this planet can join this platform. All you need is a computer and an internet connection.
Why join Teespring?
• They deal with production, packaging, sales, shipping, and customer service
• Your own online store
• Easy to use design software
• A training university to teach you how to market your products
• High-quality products for your designs
• A good catalogue
• Pre-made products waiting for your design
• High-profit margins for all designers
• They charge shipping fees
• Products are expensive
A good choice for a beginner in eCommerce upstart because the platform is easy to use and you get your own online store free of charge.
Zazzle is a unique platform because it gives you three channels for making money online.
• Design and market your products just like on Teespring platform
• Use them as a selling platform and list your own products
• Affiliate – promote and sell other designers products and get commission pay
• High-quality products for your designs
• High collection of designs
• No own store on this platform
Good for selling t-shirts
• Your own online shop
• Professionally design templates
• Fast production and delivery
• Pre-designed t-shirts
• Average product quality
• No free shipping
• Expensive products
Good for selling t-shirts to make money online
• High-quality products for your designs
• Easy to use online designer
• Quick delivery
• Expensive delivery charge
• Restrictions on designing
• Expensive products
They are not good for a t-shirt selling to make money. If you want to design t-shirts for your own use then they are good.
• Print and store your products
• Dropshipping – your product to customers when they order
• Let you set your prices
• Build specifically for t-shirt sellers
It is good for t-shirt sellers
T-Shirt Design Tools to Help You Create Sellable Tee Designs
Most print-on-demand platforms have internal design software for their freelancers. Having said that, you still do need external t-shirt designing tools. Here is a list of top tools you could use to create your tee designs.
Rush Order Tee
Pay someone to design T-shirts for you:
How to Promote T-shirt Designs online and Make Money
Social Media Accounts
Open and maintain both personal and business accounts with leading social media platforms. This is important because social media platforms are huge sources of traffic. People between the ages of 18 to 50 years spend some time on social websites every day. This is the group likely to buy a tee online and you have to reach them.
The must-have social media accounts for a t-shirt designer and seller are:
These platforms offer your t-shirt business different opportunities to promote your designs. Each platform is different, thus you should use different strategies when marketing and promoting your designs. For example, Snapchat majority of users are millennials, people who are between 18 to 34 years old. You have to use every social platform mentioned above. Create an account with each, understand how to use it, and then use it the right way.
Don’t try to use all the platforms simultaneously in the begin because you will feel overwhelmed. Start with one, e.g. Facebook, and master it. Then add another one until eventually, you have a presence in all. A step by step social media marketing strategy is the way to go. Be patient with your t-shirt marketing and you will succeed.
To help you benefit from social media t-shirt selling, you will find an in-depth resource article in our references at the bottom of this article titled: “Social media platforms for t-shirt marketing and sales.” Read it thoroughly because it’s important for your success.
How to advertise your T-shirt Designs on and offline to create selling opportunities
We have already talked about using social media to market your t-shirt business to generate traffic to your website. There are other ways to advertise your business to generate sales. The first thing you need to do is to order for samples from your print-on-demand platform. You will use samples for marketing ideas.
Word of Mouth T-shirt Marketing
I work with Teespring. Every time I create a new t-shirt design, I always order a sample. I’m the first customer of my business. After taking delivery, I wear a t-shirt or I give it to my family or girlfriend. Wearing helps advertise the t-shirt and create awareness for my brand. This way, people get to know that I’m in t-shirt designing and that they can buy tees from me. This too helps create marketing through word of mouth. My friend will tell a friend about my t-shirt designs. A friend of my friend will buy it because a friend recommended it to them.
Free Social Media T-shirt Marketing
Post an image of you or a friend wearing your tee design on social media platforms. Depending on your following on a social media platform, you are getting free advertising. If the design is amazing and exciting, your friends will like and share it. That is free product exposure. Some people who like it will buy your tee and they will influence their friends to buy too.
YouTube T-shirt Marketing
Create a video and talk about your t-shirt design. Of course, you will be wearing the sample or your friend (boy/girl) can instead be in it. Explain what inspired you to come up with the design. Tell people why they should buy it and offer some discount or reward for the first few buyers.
Content Marketing T-shirt Marketing
Write an article about your new t-shirt design. Post the article on your website or blog. You then can post the same article to various article directories. Article directories send traffic to your blog for free. The readers coming from article directories are t-shirt lovers. Some of them will eventually become your customers. Make sure to write a high quality, original article about t-shirts.
Join T-shirt Groups on Social Media
You need to join as many t-shirt groups as you can find on different social media platforms. On Facebook, you are likely to find groups with more than one million members. If you are creative and your designs are unique and mesmerizing, at least 1% of one million people will buy your design.
There are many classified ads sites online. The majority offer free ad posting. Find as many as you can. Every time you have a new t-shirt design, place a new ad about it. This will help generate sales leads for your new and old designs.
Post-New Design on your Social Media Business Pages
We already said that you should create business pages on your social media accounts. Every time you create a new t-shirt design you ought to post to these business accounts. Write eye-catching product headline and compelling description of these business pages. If you get your descriptions right, you make sales.
Events T-shirt Marketing
Many events take place throughout the year. Make it a habit of attending some of them. Have a table and t-shirt samples. Use these events to create awareness, advertise, and take orders.
Send News Letter
Remember we said above that you should send traffic to your blog to capture their email address. Well, every time there is a new t-shirt design, you should send an email to notify your list about the new development.
Social Media Influencer T-shirt Marketing
Some celebrities have proven following on social media platforms. You will find the small, medium, big and extremely large influencers. For a token of appreciation, influencers do help market products and services. Depending on the size of the influence you can buy their influence reach to sell your t-shirt design to their followers. Those with a small but fanatic following will accept a t-shirt gift for promoting your design to their followers. This means you can start with influencers with 20 thousand followers for a small token. It could be monetary, shirt gift or free.
Social Media Advertising
This is the best way to generate sales for your t-shirt designs. Spend money on social media ads. All social media platforms mentioned above allow you to place ads. You have to pay. And you get to sell t-shirts faster than your colleagues. Those who depend on free promotion and selling methods.
Create an eBay Store
You can use eBay to sell your t-shirts. Head over to eBay, create a store and start listing your tees. It is that easy.
Thanks for your visit
Founder – Dijito Marketing
SEO 101 – Learn basic SEO to help you sell t-shirts online
Steve Wanjie is a digital marketing specialist, SEO Expert, expert article writer, blogger, sex educationist, and businessman. He is the founder of Dijito Marketing and Laikipo.com. He works and lives in Nairobi Kenya.