As part of my earning $10,000 spare time challenge using Teechip and Teespring T-shirt generation platforms, I placed my first T-shirt design up with moderate hopes it would do well. I knew coming in that the vast majority of T-shirt designs fail, but the idea I had in mind met all the criteria I wanted for a T-shirt design to make a successful launch. This is how the first attempt at making money with T-shirts went.
The process for choosing the design was pretty simple. I thought about groups who in my experience seemed pretty passionate about their topic of interest. I then looked up quotes and sayings on those particular topics. If I saw a quote or saying I liked, I did a Google search to see if there were already T-shirts out there with that saying on them. If not, I looked at other at the general offerings of T-shirts on that topic. I had done this on several subjects when I searched “gluten free.” I know from writing articles on this site those eating gluten free could be passionate, and while there were a lot of T-shirts which said things like “100% Gluten Free” and “Gluten Free Makes Me Happy,” I didn’t think these got to the core of why people go gluten free, and wondered if I could create something a bit more specific and personal.
I remembered overhearing a gluten free friend’s response when someone asked her how she could eat food that didn’t taste all that great. She replied that eating gluten free made her body feel better than any food could ever taste. I thought this might make a perfect T-shirt.
I sent the idea to one of the graphic design artists I hired off of Craigslist (Michael from @MindLightMedia), and he came back with the following design:
I went into Facebook ad manager and created a simple ad. I decided my budget for these attempts will be $10, and hopefully within that time period I’ll be able to make at least a couple of sales. If I can’t, then in most cases it won’t we worthwhile keeping the ad running. I checked how the campaign was going and found the following stats:
While disappointing, it wasn’t all bad. The page with the shirt received 119 facebook likes, so the message resonated at least to some degree. It just wasn’t enough to get the people who saw it to pull the trigger and purchase it.
My guess is my main failure was the target audience was too broad. I’ll have to see if I can narrow it down a bit and possibly give this T-shirt a try again when I feel a bit more confident with my targeting.
Amount spent: $14.80 ($4.80 ad buy and $10 T-shirt design)
Amount made: $0.00
Current total: -$14.80