Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to Start an Online T Shirt Brand

The basics of opening up for biz with your own T Shirt brand are pretty straightforward. Shop around for the best deals on domain name and web hosting, and don't forget you are looking to put up a site with shopping capability. Check out Fat Cow and Blue Host, but don't take my word for it. Do your own comparison shopping. Putting up a seamless site that works as well as entertains and informs is essential.

The tricky part is creating an amazing brand with killer designs. Bottom line, know your market. It's probably best is your line dovetails with something you are passionate about. Be it Kick Boxing or Norwegian Death Metal, if you know your subject inside out, then you are in a position to connect with your audience. With hundreds of players vying for attention, your brand needs something singular going for it to stand out from the crowd.

Alternatively, point your line at a clearly defined sub-culture or market niche. You need to be crystal clear on exactly what audience you are targeting.
Check out the top 50 T Shirt shops on Facebook to get an idea of what is working for people.

Create a narrative about your brand. Think of your brand as a person and give it a personality that resonates with your target market. Put yourself in your customers shoes. What can you give them that they respond to on an emotional level?

Create your designs and run them by friends and colleagues before releasing them to the public. Don't be afraid to rework your ideas until they pop.

Marketing madness is next. Sure you have a cool web site but who is going to go there and buy designs? Create buzz about product launches by maintaining a blog and a Facebook business page for your line.


This is just the start of your social marketing. Use Twitter, Tumblr, Linkedin, Stumble Upon, Reddit and buzzfeed to get the word around. Facebook alone has 30 ways to put your message out. Social media users want to build relationships with their friends and gain status in their networks. What can you put in your marketing that will motivate them to share your message?

Cultivate relationships with bloggers and social network friends who hold a position of authority in their niche. Send your promotional messages to them and encourage them to pass it along to their networks.

Consider paid advertising on Adsense, Twitter, Facebook and others. You can target your audience with keywords, location and demographic information with these ad services. You set your daily budget and click through bids and can track results on a daily basis. Facebook is now sending ads to mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, the fastest growing area of digital advertising.

Fulfillment poses no problem, as you can use a Print on Demand service like Cafe Press to do your production. At higher volumes, shop around your local area for a competent direct to garment digital printer. Develop a relationship with a digital garment decorator that will allow you to sell at a higher margin.

Should you have a design that sells like hotcakes, consider buying your own digital direct to garment equipment. This is a serous investment as prices start around $12,000.

Another option for a hot design is to order in quantity from a custom screen printer. For a sure seller, this is the best way to get the biggest margin per shirt.

Steve Lafler
Manx Media Custom Screen Printing
503-213-3671

3 comments:

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Tshirt onlie said...

Screen printing, is probably the most common method available for t shirts. The prints that it produces are very durable and long lasting.Custom T shirts

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