Creating a system that rocks!
Selling shirts on Facebook can be such a hit or miss if you do not have a solid plan in place. While there are others who get lucky on their first attempt, most people end up experiencing failure.
To make a living out of selling t-shirts, you need a system – one that can turn out successful campaigns regularly.
It’s not enough to focus all your efforts on a single idea since it could flop. In fact, even the most successful Teespring marketers only hit gold 10% of the time. In other words, only 1 in 10 of their campaigns is profitable. This is why they are generally running 30 campaigns simultaneously. Testing is an essential step – you don’t want to waste much time or money on campaigns that aren’t proven to gain traction.
You should put together a simple test ad with a carefully controlled budget and run it for a while to see what happens. With 10 different campaigns on the go, you’d be able to track their stats and see which ones perform the best.
Some of them might perform very poorly, with few clicks and no sales. Once you figure out which campaigns are bringing in terrible results, you can then stop the campaigns of these particular designs, and allocate your funds and efforts to those that are performing well.
However, when you do find a winning idea, you’ll be on cloud nine. As soon as a t-shirt starts selling well, it’s worth putting the extra effort and budget to reach a wider market.
Sometimes a single design can become wildly successful – it won’t happen every week, but it will happen from time to time. When one of your t-shirts takes off like this, you can make a lot of money in a short period.
When that occurs, it’s a good sign that you’ve found a really hot niche. You should come up with some new designs to make the most out of this goldmine.
Even though runaway successes are rare, you can build up quite an income from the t-shirts that sell slowly but steadily. Over time, this can become a substantial passive income.
Alright. Let’s give our T-shirt-selling-system an overview.
1) Select a niche.
Here’s an important rule that most seasoned marketers live and die by…
“If you’re targeting everybody, then you’re targeting nobody”
It would be wonderful if you could design a t-shirt so good, that everyone would surely buy. However, realistically, that’s not going to happen even if you are a seasoned fashion designer with a lifetime’s experience.
Instead of targeting everyone, expert marketers design t-shirts that would appeal to specific groups of people.
That being said, the game plan is to drill down on your niche as much as you can.
In general, there are 2 ways to categorize the niches that marketers are targeting:
a. Trend-based niche.
These are themes that only happen during certain parts of the calendar year.
Think Valentine’s day, Christmas, the Super Bowl, or the NBA championships (among others).
As you can probably imagine, you’d never be able to sell Valentine’s day shirts in the middle of the year. However, if you sell these designs around December to February, your chances of being able to sell them drastically increases.
Newsworthy themes are also considered as a trend-based niche.
b. Evergreen niche.
These are the types of niches that never fizzle out.
Think dog lovers, profession based themes, or the wine niche (among others). You can sell shirts using these themes all year round and you’d still have people buying your shirts.
While there are certainly advantages to targeting trend-based niches, it is almost always ideal to target evergreen niches instead.
The thing with evergreen themes is that you don’t have a deadline to how fast you can master the niche. You have all the time in the world to study the audience, and to understand what makes them buy. Once you’ve managed to “crack the code”, you’ll be able to land successful campaigns more often.
Of course, you don’t have that luxury when targeting trend based niches.
Now that we have a better idea of how both niche categories work, let’s talk about niche sizes.
Niches are usually classified into 3 different sizes:
a. Giant-sized niches.
Giant niches are those that have millions of audience.
Think health, sports, or food (among others).
While you probably won’t have any issues creating a shirt design, since there are so many themes that you can choose from within the specific giant niche which you selected. The thing that will impede your shirts from getting sold is your design’s inability to connect with your audience.
b. Micro niches.
These are the niches with an audience of 50k or less.
The thing with targeting micro niches is that you don’t have much wiggle room to work with. I mean, you’ll have a good chance of being able to create a shirt design that can connect with your audience, but if you only have about 7k – 10k people in your target niche, there’s also a good chance that you won’t get enough sales.
Even if your shirt is amazing, and your audience can connect with your designs, it doesn’t mean that they’d buy it — though this is what most Teespring affiliates aspire to have, an amazing shirt design that their audience can deeply connect with.
There are millions of reasons why your audience might not end up buying your shirt even if they really liked it. It could be that they didn’t have enough money (at that time), they had issues they were dealing with, or they got distracted by someone before they even had the time to appreciate your shirt design, etc…
c. The middle ground
This is the sweet spot. This is where most marketers set up shop. In general, I would consider 150k as a good starting point for the middle ground size. Then again, this all depends on the kind of niche that you are targeting.
The middle ground is anything that’s between the micro and the giant niche. The audience in this space is large enough to give you a profitable campaign, but it’s also small enough to where the people are sharing a common problem (or interest).
What you need to do is to target those common problems and interests — the things that they are passionate about. If you can create a design that’s based off those, your audience will come buying your shirts.
* Important note – the figures I shared aren’t definite. Actually, no one can give you a fixed number of what constitutes an enormous niche, a micro niche, or the middle ground. However, while the numbers are merely guesstimates, these are the kind of figures that most marketers consider.
These are what would others consider as the “unsaid” numbers. You’ll have a better feel of where the boundaries will lie once you’ve gained ample amount of experience selling shirts online.
2) Measure the size of the niche.
Having a winning shirt design is one thing, but if your target audience is only made up of a handful of people, then nothing’s going to come out of your Teespring campaign.
You need to have an audience that’s sizeable enough, so your campaign remains profitable.
3) Come up with a shirt design.
When you target a small, and a tightly defined group of people, you can come up with an idea with a strong appeal. To find the right idea, you need to dig into the niche a little.
You need to find out what people in that niche are interested in right now. Look for news and emerging trends. You can often come up with a great idea to cash-in from the buzz.
For instance, if your niche is “Harry Potter fans”, then you should spend some time on their blogs and forums. You’ll quickly discover that they’re all talking about the new prequel movie (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them). A little more digging and you’ll discover that some images from the film have been leaked (possibly on purpose).
4) Benchmark on successful campaigns
After finding a niche and doing a little brainstorming on your t-shirt designs/ideas, it’s good to see who your competitors are, and what they’re doing in their successful campaigns.
Finding ideas that have worked in the past can give you a leg up in your test campaigns.
Some niches are just not as strong as others, but if someone has figured out a design that has worked, you might want to play off of it. This doesn’t mean that you should copy, but you can modify and vie for the design.
That’s where we come in…
Here at Compass, we can help you by showing you the successful Facebook ads that your competitors ran.
Just by logging in and typing in your keywords in our search box, you’ll be able to see the posts that are getting good engagement from the Facebook users.
Check this out…
This is the kind of result that you’ll get (I typed in “Dogs”, btw).
This is an amazing tool to figure out which niches or shirt designs are doing great. Once you have this kind of data, your shirt campaigns won’t become that much of a hit or miss, your chances of landing profitable campaigns will drastically increase.
* Important note – if you haven’t selected a niche yet and are oblivious with which ones to go for, then you can just type in “Teespring” in the search box. You’ll be able to see ad campaigns on several shirt designs (on varied niches) that has gotten amazing results.
5) Design a t-shirt
Designing a t-shirt can sound like a tough job, especially if you have no art skills. But it isn’t anywhere as hard as you might think. Most people over-complicate their t-shirt designs.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that creating a crappy shirt design will take you anywhere, it won’t. No one’s going to buy a poorly designed shirt. I will, however, show you how to quickly come up with an amazing shirt design that sells. More on this below.
6) Set up your Teespring campaign.
This is where the fun starts. Setting up your Teespring campaign is a no-brainer. It’s so easy that even a 5th grader could do it.
From a bird’s-eye view, there are about 9 phases to setting up your campaigns: 1.) design, 2) sales goal, 3) price point, 4) title, 5) t-shirt description, 6) choosing your garments, 7) your campaign length, 8) choose your URL, and 9) launching your campaign.
Though the platform is quite intuitive, I will share with you an overview of how the whole thing works, and sprinkle some knowledge bombs on the important parts of this process.
7) Creating an FB page.
In this chapter, I will share with you some of the best practices that you need to consider when creating an FB page, and walk you through the actual process of creating one.
8) Creating an Ad campaign.
This is the chapter where I’ll give you a quick rundown of how to use Facebook’s Power Editor, how to create a tracking pixel, and how to optimize your ads (among others).
9) Run a test campaign
Before you go all-in at marketing your t-shirt to your target audience, it would be more prudent for you to run a couple of tests first. You need to see if your target audience is really likely to buy it.
During the test campaign, you will only show your ads to a small number of people who are almost certain to buy your design. We’re talking about your most dedicated fans here or the crème de la crème.
After all, if they won’t buy it, there’s not much chance that you can sell it to anyone else!
10) Advertise to a wider audience
When you find a profitable design, the next step is to expand your target market. If the core audience likes it, then it will most likely appeal to the less fanatical fans too. It may even appeal to people who are only a little interested in the subject.
Sometimes, a campaign will only ever appeal to a few people. You’ll only make a nice little profit off of it, then the campaign fizzles out.
Other designs, however, have a lasting appeal. These can continue making money for months and even years. If you manage to hit the goldmine and run into such campaigns, then you’d want to put all your efforts into marketing it as widely as possible.
Now that you have an idea of how the whole thing works, let’s dive deep down into the Teespring rabbit hole.