How to Attract a Massive Herd of Fans Eager to Buy Your T-shirts
I hope you find value with the information I've provided below:
When my mom and I started selling t-shirts online, we put up a bunch of t-shirt designs from a variety of different t-shirt categories. For example, we had Christian themed shirts on the website; we had t-shirts for nurses; we had some for teachers; a few for firemen and policemen, and we even had some for school bus drivers and cowboys.
Like most people starting a t-shirt business, we didn't have a bunch of money, but we quickly realized it was very expensive and difficult trying to bring nurses, teachers, policemen, Christians, cowboys and bus drivers to the website to buy shirts.
So we decided to ditch all of those different categories and focus on just one: Christian t-shirts.
That decision changed everything. We discovered it was much easier to put all of energy and resources towards one niche. When you have limited funds, it's not wise to spread that money over 5, 10 or 20 different things or places. We were able to do more with the limited funds because it was all focused on one thing.
As you go through this cheat sheet, I'll break down how niches will be your key to riches in the t-shirt business space. By focusing on 'ONE', it's much easier to be seen, and it's easier to get known.
The Truth About Being Successful
I've touched on this already, but the worse thing you can do is try to be all things to everybody. The truly successful folks in this space have all specialized in a niche. It's going to be your fastest path to success.
A 'niche' is defined as: Products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.
Many of the larger t-shirt brands online focus primarily on funny, humorous, or over-the-top offensive t-shirt slogans or sayings.
That is a niche that appeals to a certain group of people. Others focus primarily on 'political' tees or 'movies'.
Others focus exclusively on niches like 'surfing', 'patriotic', or even 'dog' or 'cat' tees.
Your job is to figure out who you wish to target and make t-shirts for. Knowing this from the beginning will help you make money faster. I've literally made shirts in one day, and had people buying them the next day because of this philosophy (I will show you how I do this).
Why Niching is Your Best Option
By specializing in a niche, it's easier to sell to people already interested in what you're selling.
For example, look at the numbers on the following chart (these numbers come from a tool I use from Google)
It tells me the phrase 'christian t shirts' was searched in Google's search engine 27,100 times the month prior.
Isn't it easier to make and sell t-shirts to people that's already looking for them?
Add up the other numbers and it shows over 37,800 searches for Christian themed shirts.
Are you seeing how this niching thing makes your life easier? You literally create and design shirts that people are actively looking for each day
Check Out These Other Amazing Examples
See chart breakdown from Google:
If you're into skateboarding, there's almost 600 searches for those types of tees.
And over 5,000 searches for teacher t-shirts.
There's literally hundreds of categories/niches you can make t-shirt designs for. All you have to do is pick one and get started.
What you see here are just a few searches. You haven't seen anything yet. This is just the surface stuff.
Why Niching is Your Best Option- CONTINUED
There's another BIG reason niching is the best route to go.
At some point, as you start to build your brand, you will have to spend money on advertising to get your t-shirts in front of the people whose most likely to buy.
And when you know who your niche market is, it's going to be much easier to find them and put your t-shirt designs in front of them.
For our Christian t-shirts, we marketed and advertised on Christian themed websites and blogs. We advertised in Christian newsletters (both print and digital). We advertised on Christian radio stations.
We did this because our research showed us this is where Christian folks frequented. And when you know where your 'peeps' hang out at, you can put your marketing message in front of them.
For example, there are a bunch of Christian/religious themed forums and message boards on the Internet. That's a great place to advertise because there are a bunch of new Christians (and devoted ones) in active conversations (see example screenshot below):
As you can see in the screenshot above, there are 10,000 posts/topics in one group. 413,000 posts/topics in another group, and 58,000 in another, and so on.
Many forums similar to this will allow you to advertise your company/brand there. For us, we advertise our 'Christian themed t-shirts' to folks likely to purchase (wouldn't make since to take my limited funds to advertise Christian themed t-shirts in a forum/community about GOLF.
In the screenshot below, you'll see this Christian based counseling company promoting their services on a Christian forum website... Go where you 'peeps' are. This is how you win BIG and FAST!
In addition to forums, we did a bunch of direct mail (targeting churches and ministries for fundraisers).
As I mentioned earlier, when you know who you're targeting, it makes it much easier to get your shirts in front of the right people that are likely to purchase your stuff.
Choosing a Niche for Your T-shirt Company
If you don't know where to start, I'd suggest you look at stuff you're already interested in, or have a passion for. Start by thinking of your hobbies or your job.
If you're a nurse, chances are, you've dealt with a variety of situations where you can come up with catch phrases that other nurses would quickly understand and relate too... Like these below:
So start with your job... If that doesn't work, take an assessment of yourself.
Are you funny? Do you play bingo? Do you have a passion for pets (like dogs, cats, pigs).
Are you a sports car fanatic?
Are you a hair stylist? Are you a foodie? Are you into raw foods?
Are you a fitness junkie? Into keto?
Start where your interests lie...
My 16 year old daughter is into skateboarding ... Naturally, t-shirts skateboard t-shirts would be a great starting point for her.
In fact, she asked me to help her come up with some ideas for skateboarding t-shirts.
The following is one of her creations...
Did You Know NIKE is Niched?
Before I close this out, I wanted to give you an example of a well-known brand that has carved out a niche for themselves...
On the surface, it would appear that NIKE is not niched. But they really are.
Think about it for a minute ... Who are their products targeting?
According to NIKE itself (and you can see this mission statement on their website), "NIKE's innovations, products, and services seek to develop athletic potential."
And they do it very well.
NIKE is the biggest player in the athletic apparel market with over $28 billion in yearly sales.
If niching is good enough for NIKE ... It's good enough for you!
Now it's Your Turn to Just Do It...
Your key to being successful in this business is to make a decision to actually start. Most of the people who reach out to me are held back by fear.
Fear that no one will buy their t-shirt designs, or fear their t-shirt business will be a failure.
Here's the truth... You will make mistakes. Some of your t-shirt ideas will tank and won't sell.
Even I've come up with ideas I thought would be real winners, but they've tanked and didn't sell.
That's the nature of this business. But the few designs will do well, will make up for all of your losses. You just have to keep trying and not be so quick to quit.
So I encourage you to just get started ...
If you only have one t-shirt design idea, then start there. You don't have to start with 10, 20 or 50 designs.
Start where you're at and go from there.
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