I spent about 5 hours after work the last two evenings just trying to figure out stuff I assumed a 5 year old could do. Apparently my skill level is well below that of child when it comes to this. My brain was hurting from information overload, but I’ve reached the point where I’ve absorbed enough information that I think I can start testing. The reality is I’m probably at the point where I’m actually dangerous. That is, I think I actually know what I’m doing without having actually done anything to prove I know something. Either way, it’s time to start testing the waters with actual T-shirt designs, do some trials and see if I can get some campaigns to actually work.
What I’ve taken away from the last couple of days of cram courses are three main points I’ll try to incorporate into my campaigns. Since I haven’t actually started, I’m not 100% sure these are correct, but it’s a good starting point, and I can make adjustments as I gain actual campaign experience.
Look for Passions
People aren’t going to buy a T-shirt unless they are passionate about what the T-shirt conveys. The more passionate the topic, the better chance I have of selling to them. Most people are passionate about something, and finding what that is, then creating a T-shirt which expresses that passion is one of my primary goals.
Make it Personal
People like to wear T-shirts that represent who they are. Finding a way to make designs personal so the person looks at it says, “this is me” I think will greatly improve my chance of selling the design. Some of the most successful T-shirt designs target who people think they are (Grandpa, Grandma, nurse, firefighter, soldier, etc.) The first big hit for the college student who made over $80,000 in a year was high school seniors, something all kids who are in the last year of high school proudly identify themselves as.
Targeting is Essential
One thing that is clear is targeting the correct audience is essential to the success of any T-shirt design. If the audience is too general, the advertising budget will be wasted on people who don’t have the passion needed to purchase the T-shirt. The same is true if the T-shirt design doesn’t resonate with those you put it in front of. For these reasons, it’s important for me to know my audience and have a plan to target them.
Remember when I wrote I would start by listing on Teechip, but anyone doing this would still need a Teespring account? The reason for this is audience targeting. One of the things I learned which I think will be extremely beneficial is you can use Facebook ads to find an audience, but when you use the Facebook ad tool, if you place in two topics, the search is a “this or that” search. That is if I want to target an audience of teachers who like ballet, a search on Facebook of those two topics would send ads to teachers OR to those who like ballet, not teachers who also like ballet. To do that, you need to download a tool.
The tool is called Audience Intersect and can only be used with the Google’s Chrome browser. This tool is sponsored by Teespring, so in order to download it, you need a Teespring account. The good news is you can use it to target audiences no matter which T-shirt company you use. Downloading this and installing it will give you a button in your Facebook ad area which will allow you to combine interests, so the ads you purchase can be targeted toward exactly who you want to see them.
With this information in mind, I will begin launching some campaigns, while explaining the reasoning behind how I came to decide on that specific design. I’m not expecting a whole lot from these first campaigns, but I hope they teach me some good lessons that I can use to continually refine the campaigns I launch.