Let your T’s Tell Your Story
The most important ingredient in starting a brand new T shirt apparel line is to begin by telling a story about the brand. Something compelling and authentic! The story needs to resonate with the target demographic you plan to sell to. The point here is to create troops of foot soldier or followers that will assist you by sharing the brand with their friends via social media. This fan base is probably the most key part to starting your t shirt apparel line without any money.
Sharing and telling a story about the inspiration behind your T shirt brand is also a great way to help you figure out some extremely important things about your selling strategy. After sharing the story, you will be able to follow the conversations people are having online about your new concept and your brand mentions will help you ascertain where your followers’ online hangouts are and how they network. This is critical to understanding the “how” and “where” to most efficiently get your communication across to your target market and demographic.
Create Awesome Graphic Designs for Your New T’s
Now that you’ve have shouted your story from the mountain tops, it’s now time to turn your creative juices and know how to another obvious necessity: t-shirt designs. This is the fun part! Obviously without awesome tee shirt designs you’re brand is not going to get far. Obviously the designs themselves are what inspired the whole business idea to begin with. You can let your design ideas continue to tell your story and it’s also great to share your design concepts throughout each phase of the process so your followers can watch the evolution. Most people are rubber neckers that love to watch things as they transpire. (Think reality T.V.) This is another easy marketing tactic that gives people a feeling of inclusion and it builds anticipation for the final product.
So at this stage, you now have your T shirt designs and a cool story about what inspired your brand…so what’s the next step? Now it’s time to set up an online storefront where you can sell your tees. Again this step can be really easy thanks to tools like “Promote A Tee” powered by Miami Tees. It’s never been simpler to quickly and easily, set up your business online. This can be the biggest help in a successful launch, since actually having this online store will make it feel more official and professional, both for you and in the eyes of potential buyers.
The Pre-Launch Pad
Speaking of potential buyers for your brand, the next step in the process is to provide them with a central location where they can go and check for new product releases and updates and a sneak peak at what’s going on with the behind the scene stuff. Again, this appeals to the noisy nature of human beings. People feel special when they are privy to exclusive info. True enough, you could just direct them right to the store page, but since that is mostly designated for the sole purpose of shopping and purchasing, it really isn’t really the best platform to release breaking news about your brand’s evolution. That’s why it pays off to invest a little bit of time (don’t worry it’s only time, no money) in creating a free press releases or a You Tube Video channel for your brand. People love videos (remember the mention of reality TV. above?)
Sell Before the Sales
Now the time has come to fine tune some specifics about how many people are interested in your t-shirt line, the various T shirt styles you are offering and which graphics are going to be the most popular to your target audience. Think of this step as an inexpensive market test. Simply, you would just do this by listing your designs and style options as pre-sales on your st “Promote A Tee” web store. Doing pre-sales is a smart way to lessen the risk involved and prevent wasted expenses on designs that might not be as popular as others. This is a great way to determine the sizes and quantities needed when it is time to print and re order.
One more thing worth mentioning here about promoting your business and designs, If you just set everything up and walk away from it is pretty guaranteed to fall more than flat. Instead get the word out, and then when you think you’ve done enough marketing on social media, do some more and keep getting the word out. Not every post should sound “sales-ie”, Some good post ideas can be to: 1. Take surveys, 2. do photo contests of people wearing your designs, 3. ask questions people would like to answer, 4. post inspirational messages, 4. post videos. In other words, find a way to engage your audience and mix up the social marketing strategy between, selling and telling. Promote your t-shirts on all your social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Pinterest, and Instagram are especially great for pictures.. Release announcements about launches, and release announcements about pre-launches! Build up as much buzz and anticipation as possible by constantly hustling your brand on the social scene. Also, don’t be shy about asking your followers for links, likes, and re-tweets!
Find a Great Printing Partner
Now that you’ve come all this way, it’s time to establish a good relationship with your printing/production partner. Negotiate bulk printing rates based on the pre sale test market results. Volume printing discounts should be available to you thus leaving you a bigger profit margin. Ask your printer about their product fulfilment programs. Some professional screen printing companies like “Miami Tees” offer programs that print and ship directly to your customer on your behalf in your own custom packaging. An “inventory control model” printing partner is important so that when a particular size or style runs low, you can be notified and a re print order can be placed quickly so as to not miss sales opportunities.
There you have it. Now you know how to start your own t shirt apparel line. With a plan, hard work, a great printing partner and small investment, you could be on your way to realizing your dream as a fashion designer.