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Tips to Get Started Selling T-Shirts Online

If you're seeking a simple online business model with the potential to earn high profits, t-shirts are one of your best choices. There are now many platforms that make it easy to start selling your own t-shirt designs. Even if you're not a designer yourself, there are ways to obtain designs at a reasonable cost. Let's look at why this is now such a popular business model and how you can get started in it.

Selling T-Shirts on Teespring

There are several companies where you can quickly get set up selling t-shirts. Teespring is the most popular of these, but some alternatives include ViralStyle and Teezily. Another option is to set up with Amazon, where you can sell any other products as well. This process uses the print on demand model, where t-shirts aren't printed until you actually get orders. This saves you the cost of having to stock up on shirts that may never sell. Here are the steps to start a campaign on Teespring:

  • Design your shirt. If you're an illustrator, designer, or photographer, use one of your own designs. If not, find a reasonable designer on a site such as Fiverr.
  • Set up your campaign. To do this, you'll need to set a price and sales goal. On Teespring, you must specify how many t-shirts you want to sell in order to have your shirts printed. You can start a campaign with as few as five shirts. However, the higher your goal, the greater your potential profits. There's a calculator on the site that tells you your profits based on your price and goal.
  • Give your campaign a name and description. This is crucial for marketing, as it lets potential customers find you. You'll want to research keywords in order to optimize your name and description.
  • Market your campaign. While some customers may find you from your listing on Teespring, you will also have to do your own marketing.

These are the bare-bones steps to set up a campaign. If you want to succeed, however, you need to create well-researched campaigns.

How to Run a Successful T-Shirt Campaign

Although Teespring and other such services offer a great opportunity to start your own t-shirt business, this market is now quite competitive. You need to do plenty of research to run a successful campaign. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Appeal to a niche audience. It's not enough to simply create an attractive design. Remember, you need to market it using keywords and descriptions. Identify a niche and create a design that will appeal to this audience. The more specific, the better. For example, your audience might be golfers, owners of labrador retrievers, gamers, coffee lovers, or gardeners. Another approach is to design a t-shirt around a popular trend, such as a style of music, fashion, movie, game, or type of food.
  • Start off with a modest campaign. If you try to sell 1,000 shirts right away, you're setting yourself up for failure. Begin with a more modest goal, such as 10 shirts. Once you succeed with smaller campaigns, scale up.
  • Use social media and email. If you don't already have a large social media following or email list, take steps to build it up. A YouTube channel is also helpful. These all provide free advertising for your campaigns.
  • Use Facebook Ads. Paid advertising is the quickest way to get traffic to your t-shirt campaigns. Facebook lets you create highly targeted ads aimed directly at your niche audience. Be careful with your costs, though. Remember, the more competitive your keywords/niche is, the costlier your ads are. This is one of the reasons to seek smaller niches, especially when you're just starting out.
  • Test and tweak. Not everyone succeeds right away. One benefit of this business model is that you don't have to invest much up front. If your first design (or first 5) doesn't work, keep trying. Test different topics, designs, price points, and marketing campaigns. When something doesn't work, drop it. When you start selling, scale up.

Selling t-shirts is a fun, creative, and simple way to start your own e-commerce business. Whether you're a designer or you outsource your designs, sites such as Teespring provide you with convenient platforms where you can quickly reach a wide audience of enthusiastic buyers.