T-shirt shop owners have to be a resourceful bunch. Competition is fierce and let’s face it, we’re not getting rich by selling a handful of tees. Cheap self-promotion is key. The folks at T-Shirt Market are trying to gather up interest in a monthly marketplace for new and established shop owners. Check out the details here. Granted, you need to live in Australia, but the concept itself is very cool.
Quick show of hands – how many shops are using Facebook to help market their business? Kind of a no brainer question (you should be), but just curious who’s workin’ it. Please comment with a link to your Facebook page and anything thought you’re willing to share with the community on how it’s working for you. Thanks!
Endangeredwear.com has a unique promotion for their past customers. Send them a snapshot of your wearing their shirt and be entered to win a free tee. One out of five submissions is a winner, so your odds are pretty darn good. The promotion runs until May 30. A pretty good idea. As most successful shop keepers know, showing your product being worn by a real person can really help sales.
Calling all shop owners! We’ve finally gotten around to creating our own directory of t-shirt sites. I have no clue why it’s taken us so long, but better late than never I guess. So, if you happen to be a shirt shop owner and would like your web site listed in our directory than click here to get the party started.
We’re planning on getting a basic directory launched at the end of this month. So early adopters will benefit from a lack of competing listings. (Please don’t let that stop you from spreading the word). As we have more entries (an time), we’ll be doing some refinement to the search mechanism. We’re also planning on have a few shops randomly featured each day in some kind of sidebar link scenario. And of course we’ll promote the directory in general throughout the site.
We get so many requests for reviews and posts that it often takes us a while to get around to everyone. The directory should allow just about anyone to quickly get included on the site. And of course owners are still encouragement to shoot us an email to request a formal review, pass on coupon codes and sale information.
We thought we’d solicit a little feedback on how our fellow t-shirt entrepreneurs faired in 2007. Cafepress.com is one of the most popular entry points for designers looking to sell shirts online. One of the questions I see frequently in forums is how much money can you really make with Cafepress.
I’ve had a Cafepress shop for several years, (and Spreadshirt as well). I can certainly tell you it’s not a matter of ‘if you build it they will come’. As most site owners know, it takes an ongoing effort – daily really – to make a site successful. When I was actively working my Cafepress shop it did pretty good, as things considered, and the earnings fell way above the scale I have listed below. Of course I spent a lot of effort doing SEO as well as some Pay Per Click advertising – not to mention continually coming up with new shirt designs. My guess is that the average shopkeeper isn’t taking those kind of steps. So, we want to hear from you. If you had a Cafepress shop online last year, answer our quick poll below and let us know how much you made.
Blogs have become a pretty standard part of any business site these days, and t-shirt sellers are no different. The guys over at Bonaroo have launched the S.D.F.C blog (State Department of Fashion Corrections). If you haven’t already started a blog for your t-shirt site you should seriously consider it and not just because it’s the thing to do. As a designer and business owner you know that you only have so many new designs to roll out – and your site is only likely to be updated when you add them. A blog provides an easy way to share additional information on shop news, specials, your thoughts on design, etc.
I thought today I’d finally dive into a subject long overdue for coverage on this blog – using ‘display’ advertising (banners) to effectively market your t-shirt site. I work both sides of the coin, publishing sites like this one and, in my ‘day job’, helping small- to medium-sized businesses more effectively use the web to market their businesses.
As a publisher I use a variety of affiliate programs to help monetize my online efforts. I sift through hundreds of banner ads a month. In doing so I consistently come across the same problems – lack of quality and lack of appropriate sizes. Time and again I discover sites I would like to promote through affiliate marketing, but they literally have no usable banners to integrate into my sites.
One of the largest global PR agencies, Katchum, has announced the launch of Fashion Interactive 2.0, a new apparel marketing initiative. It will use both traditional marketing channels as well as new media outlets such as social networks, blogging and ‘word-of-mouth experiential’ marketing.
It sounds like Ketchum is formally putting into action what a lot of our smaller shop owners have known for a while – new media provides an endless array of marketing opportunities. We posted here and here on the use of YouTube for self-produced, self-published commercials. And youthful creatives have been using social media like MySpace and Facebook to promote products from the getgo. And guess what, it’s pretty much all free!
Ketchum promotes a ‘proprietary program’ with measurable results. As a marketer myself I can tell you there is a bit of an art and science, and some methods are better than others, but for the smaller shop owners out there I encourage you to just get to it.