How to Grow Your Brand With $100 and a T-shirt!

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About the post.

T-shirt marketing hit the internet marketing world hard in 2014 when it became the best and quickest way to make some serious money online via selling t-shirts to consumers using all-in-one solutions, like teespring and Fabrily.

Companies started to pop up offering a one stop shop for designing, printing and distributing t-shirts and apparel, meaning you could literally put any t-shirt up for sale and JUST have to worry about getting people to buy it.

Now, although a lot of my close friends and affiliates on AffiliateFix made some serious money from selling t-shirts and other items and some still are today, I personally innovated the concept in order to grow my brands stronger.

When teespring first launched, I realised a huge opportunity for myself in order to grow awareness and get in front of more eyes for an affordable cost in comparison to the results. When you’re trying to grow your brand or project, often media buys and such can be very expensive and hard to measure, whereas one quirky campaign like this can help a lot more.

Here’s what I did:

In Brief: I’ll explain the process for AffiliateFix, but I’ve used this on lots of other companies I work with and consult for with the same effect.

What I did was create a list of the top influences in my circle at that time involved in affiliate marketing. I then approached them in a polite manner and asked them if I could kindly have their address. I explained that I wanted to send them a gift in return for them helping or inspiring our industry.

I then created a t-shirt design and launched a campaign on teespring setting my profit margin to $0.00 so that I knew I was near enough paying cost to ship these t-shirts (as I was paying for them myself). I then proceeded to buy my own t-shirts and sent them out to the list I created above.

The results were awesome, which I will cover after going into detail on what exactly I did and how you can do this yourselves.

Step One: Design and setup your t-shirt.

You may wonder why you should do this step first, but this step allows you to work out the exact price it will cost you per item to send. Therefore, you can conveniently set aside a budget you’re comfortable with, and therefore, move to step two with ease. Say for example, you have $100 and each t-shirt costs you $10 to print and send; then you know you can contact 10 people!

I personally always use teespring for my t-shirt printing as they’ve always produced amazing quality at an affordable price. Here’s how you can start the process:

Visit teespring and click “Get Started”

step1 shadow

This will then take you to the visual editor and allow you to design your t-shirt. Here are a few tips to think about when designing:

  • Be sure to click the “art” tab to upload your artwork
  • Keep it simple, the more you have the more it will cost
  • The main focus should be your company logo
  • Stick to natural colours or black and whites
  • T-shirts and lighter garments will cost you less

Go ahead and load in your logo and design your shirt. Once done, click NEXT.

step2 shadow

Then, you will be taken to the place whereby you can determine your campaign settings:

  • Sales Goal: Set this to the amount of t-shirts you will be sending
  • Set Selling Price: Set this to the minimum price (remember you’re paying so no profit needed)
  • Add Style: This is used only if you wish to add different types and colours.

Click Next.

step3 shadow

For the following steps, you can pretty much ignore most of them or enter dummy content for now because these settings are only useful if you’re actually selling the t-shirt or creating a campaign for them. Remember, it’s only you at this stage who will see this, so the only thing to note is setting the “Campaign Length” to give you enough time to contact people for their address. Usually a week is enough!

Click “Launch” and proceed to sign up to the platform.

All done!

Step Two: Create a list of big influences.

Whether your project is in marketing, industrial, sports or whatever, you should by now have some contacts on Facebook, email, forums, etc. that are “well known” figures within your industry.

Now most people say you probably shouldn’t contact these key figures on a whim, but I say bullshit to that. Everyone likes being sent a gift!

Formulate a list based on your budget and costs in step one.

Step Three: Approach the list.

I’ve found over the past that keeping it very casual with these guys often works far better than hitting them with formal emails and such. What I tend to do is, if I have them on Skype or Facebook, contact them about some general stuff and then slip into conversation about how I’d like to send them a gift.

Something like this should work:

“By the way, I’m sending out a little something to a few influential people in our industry to thank them for their efforts. Would it be ok to get your address or should I just ship it to your company address?”

Most of these people will have a company address on their website either way!

Step Four: Ship your t-shirt to the list.

Now that you have your influences and their addresses, head back to your teespring store and get purchasing! Be sure to purchase one unit at a time and enter each respective person’s address as the shipping address!

It will always give you an opportunity to add a message to your shipment and this is where I would say something like:

“Hey NAME, thanks for all your hard work and for being a true inspiration to me. Kindly receive this t-shirt on behalf of COMPANY. If I could just ask for one small favour and that being a picture of you in your t-shirt, that would be amazing! Please send it to EMAIL ADDRESS. Thanks again”.

Once you’ve reached the limit of your campaign length and allotted sales set out in step one, as if by magic, teespring will print and ship your shirts to your guys! How easy was that?

Step Five: Rinse and repeat.

Give it some time for teespring to work its magic and ship the t-shirts, but once you think they should have received them, you may need to follow up regularly just to check they have. Also, keep on top of them in order to make sure you get some good pictures of them wearing your apparel.

If you send them a t-shirt and they don’t send pictures, not all is lost, but this is the whole objective because this then gives you the type of results and branding material you need for some great exposure.

When I first did this on AffiliateFix, I sent out 10 hoodies and shirts.

In return, each and every one of my recipients sent me an amazing picture of them wearing my brand!

The other amazing result was that not only could I then use their pictures to brand my company, but 80% also shared the pictures themselves on their social channels and websites!

Also to my amazement, I was then contacted by several other industry leaders actually asking me where they could “purchase” one of our hoodies. This then led to me rinsing and repeating the above to get mass exposure.

The great thing about using teespring is the more people who want your t-shirt the better because you can then start an actual proper campaign whereby you set your profit margin into the green and you send it out to your lists and contacts in order to make some money whilst at the same time growing your brand.

We’ve since sold hundreds of hoodies and t-shirts, and our logo can be found all over the internet worn by some of the industry leaders.

Not bad for a $100 investment eh?

Take a look at some of the results below:

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What are you waiting for?