How To Start A Print On Demand T-Shirt Business In 2021 Tutorial (Step By Step Beginners Guide)
Hey, guys, I hope you're doing well in this video, I'm going to walk you through how to start an online T-shirt business that brings in extra money, extra income month over month and even make a successful business out of it step by step. So make sure you watch till the end to learn which method is the best for you and why pros and cons, etc. . And don't miss any part to get the full value of this video. We all know that print on demand has grown so much in popularity because people like to wear T-shirts to reflect their interests, identities and personalities.
Now, this trend has led to so many entrepreneurs and artists to choose it as a way to start this business, especially if they're looking for relatively inexpensive ways to learn to start a business and things like that. Plus, the global market for the custom T-shirt printing industry is expected to eclipse 10 billion by 2025. I'm sure you all want a piece of that cake, right. And with the ease of this business model comes stiff competition. But if you manage to build a brand around specific niche and make attractive designs, you will undoubtedly be successful in this arena. Now, the first step you want to think about before you start your online prints on the T-shirt business is you have to decide on your business model when it comes to starting a T-shirt business.
There are three ways you can do it. The first way is selling it on a print On-Demand marketplace. You either sell on a marketplace that also has a print on demand platform with their own fulfilment, such as much by Amazon, red bubble tea, public Zazzle and spreadsheet, etc. . The second way is selling on a marketplace such as Etsy and eBay. With this, you'll need your own fulfilment from a print on demand fulfilment company or platform such as prints for. Or you can print your own T-shirts, but obviously you need to have your own equipment, printers, etc.
. The Third Way is having your own e-commerce store such as Shopify and more commerce. With this option, you can either choose a fulfilments partner to work with or you can print the T-shirts yourself again with new printers and equipment, etc. . Your level of investment risk and profit margin will vary depending on the method you choose. So bear that in mind. The second thing you need to consider when starting your period the business is you need to choose your niche wisely and niche will help your online T-shirt business stand out and better attract the right target audience without blowing your budget.
You hear the term niche tossed around a lot. It's essentially a target market or target audience. One of the most important parts of building a successful T-shirt business is the ability to stand out. And one of the best ways to do that is by catering to a specific target audience and laser focussed interest group or a niche. Generally speaking, categories like T-shirts for people who like funny quotes or slogans are going to be too broad to get noticed in a very developed market.
You're going to want to tighten it up a little bit more. An example for a more specific nation should be T-shirts with funny quotes or slogans that relate to teachers or engineers, for example. There are many ways of finding a value niche, but here are a few. The first one is using Amazon. So I would typically do is go to this website called Match Research by Muchin former. And I would just leave this blank and then click search.
When you click search, it comes up with the T-shirts that are selling really well in the category of novelty and more, which is the category of much more Amazon products. And what you want to do, you want to check the BSR, which is the best seller rank of these T-shirts. Usually the lower the bestseller rank is, the more that T-shirt sells or any and for that matter. And what you're going to want to do is you're going to want to download this extension called the Amazon quick view.
It allows you to display the BSR right here instead of having to go inside the product page. And so you can actually analyse the results much quicker. And from here, you can get so many ideas of niches that are doing really well. Obviously, stay away from copyrighted stuff like MTV, but you can get so many ideas of what's currently selling the other way. I like to do my research is I like to go to Etsy and type, for example, the niche that I want to investigate and see what's available in that niche.
I check, for example, teacher Teisha and see what comes up. And then before you go into a niche, you need to validate it, which I'm going to show you how to do that in a bit if you don't know what niche you want to get into. You can simply type T-shirt here and see what comes up. These are the key words that are currently being searched for on Etsy. What you could do, you could do T-shirts, a Annunzio A comes up T-shirt B, T-shirt C and then see what comes up. You've got so many ideas, so many keywords.
Just go through them one by one. And then essentially what you want to do, you want to check for bestseller's. Let's say we choose T-shirts only any listing that has a batch of best seller. That means that T-shirt sells well. For example, this one right here is for Spice Girls.
We don't want to do that is trademarked. There are many, many ways to do research with Etsy. I just showed you one way to play around with it and see what you can find next. We've got Pinterest, so you could actually just type teacher T-shirts and see what comes up here and see what grabs your fancy.
What I typically like to do is I like to check out the first results. They usually have the best saves or I use an extension cord pin on top, which is this one right here. It basically sorts the results based on saves.
So this is how it works. You click on Source Buy Saves and it goes through however many pages you tell it to go through the for example, we gave it four pages. Now check this out, guys. Once it's done its analysis, it shows you the results based on saves and this tells you what are the most popular shirts. And if you see a repeating pattern, for example, school t shirts or teacher t shirts or whatever kind of pattern.
You can determine that that niche has high demand and you can look into getting into it. Another thing I like to do to try and expand on Nicias is I put the main niche that I want to research and then it comes up with all of these keywords. Guys on Pinterest. It's amazing.
Look at that. So many ideas and then expand on that and see what you can find. I also like to check out merchant former this module right here, product research, Etsy and Pinterest search. And I'd like to put any keywords I want, for example, Teisha or teacher or whatever, and then I sort it by Rippon's or saves.
And this way you can get some really cool ideas of what's currently selling and what's popular on the platform. And you can do the same thing with Etsy as well. Teach a T-shirt on Etsy, you can either sort by favourites or views. So here you can see what's currently popular again, click on it and do some further research and see if there's any demand on that niche. You can also check on other poddy platforms such as Red Bubble Speech to public and so on and so forth, and check their trending section and see what's trending currently, for example, on Red Bubble with scroll down and check best selling t shirts sale. And we can check all these Nicias guys.
You can definitely get these ideas from here. So simple. Can either check best selling or newest. I like to check news as well to see what people are uploading. This gives you an indication of what's currently in demand. Or you can check trend in which shows that people are actually buying these kind of t shirts and just scroll down and browse for ideas and just brainstorm.
You can do this with all the platforms, by the way, guys, and also consider your own interests and the communities you belong to. And one other thing I really like to use is research software such as flying research, which is the best option I currently use, has the ability to check merch by Amazon, which expands on it really, really well. You can also get inspired by other print on demand platforms.
So for example, for most by Amazon, I typically go to best sellers and then I use this filter function, advance function. I typically source by new to check what people are uploading and what's currently selling. I drop this bizarre range down to say one to 100000 and then I check Marketplace by Marketplace.
So let's start with United States, for example, do a quick search and currently this is what's just being uploaded and it's selling really well. So it indicates that there's high demand on these particular designs. And then what you need to do is you need to validate these designs, which I'll show you in a bit. You go to Amazon, you check how many people are actually in that niche and check the source if they're good or not. Typically, a good besar is below 300000. And then same thing.
You can get inspired by other purity platforms. You've got a choice between Red Bubble and Spezza in many countries. So let's check Red Bubble, for example, sought by newest search. This shows you the newest designs that have just been uploaded and you can get some inspiration from them guys. Don't worry, guys. I'm going to leave you links to everything
that I discuss in this video, especially the softwares and also discounts that have been given to me by these companies, to my audience. So make sure you check them out. And once you narrow down your niche, create a business plan that lays out your goals and different opportunities, then figure out how you execute that plan. The third thing you need to consider is you need to check your need for copyright, make sure that you only sell designs that you are legally allowed to sell, and make sure you don't infringe on anyone's copyright or trademarks.
This means no pictures of celebrities, logos or sports teams or copying designs from other designers. It's a no no. With copyright, you use common sense if your design is going to impact the copyright owners revenue and don't do it, just do a quick Google search and research. If a design in question has a copyright owner or not, don't use trademarks phrases such as Nike or Gucci, of course you can't use it.
There are few tools that help you check for trademarks. I personally use the USPTO test, which is the main one. So you just type USPTO tests. You click on here and then you click on Search our trademark database, basic word search and then you only check for live and then type the keyword that you want to check for, for example, NYK and then submit query and that's it. This shows you all the trademarks that are alive. Make sure you only consider the ones that have a registration number.
If they don't have a registration number, that means that it's not registered yet. And you need to consider the class of that trademark. For example, for Teeshirt, it's class 025. So we click on this registration number right here and we check for the class right here. If it doesn't say zero to five, that means that we can use it for t shirts. However, there are many trademark applications for the same keywords.
So you need to check all of these to see if they don't have any trademark for class 025 five. I'm sure there will be, but I don't want to go through the whole thing. And that's how you check for trademarks with USPTO. Next, you can check with trademark here.
It's a bit more simpler. And then you've got Tim Hunt, which is a lot more simpler. It's usually just for apparel. So we type and I again search.
And as you can see, it comes up with many trademarks right here. We click on it. It sends us to us PTO as well. And then you. Goods and services look zero to five footwear, I'm sure there's going to be one for T-shirts as well.
So just go through the whole thing, because if you get it wrong with trademarks or copyright, you'll be in trouble financially and legally with merchant form. However, it's much simpler, especially if you're doing research by Amazon when you click on a particular product page actually comes up with these buttons. The first one to check for T-shirts and apparel in general. The second one is for pop sockets and phone cases.
Third one is for tote bags and the fourth one is for the pillows. So let's check for T-shirts, for example. And it highlights all the keywords are potentially trademarked. So click on it, see what's trademarked. You can use Sun because it's a key word in the dictionary. You need to educate yourself on trademarks and copyright to know what you can use and what you can't use.
For example, sometimes you find keywords like this. Son or mum that are trademarked by Amazon will never reject your design because you use mum or son, because it's a very common keyword and it can't be trademarks. So make sure you educate yourself when it comes to trademarks and copyright to make sure you do the right thing. Also, fly in research, have a trademark module where you can check for trademarks. You can check trademark registrations and trademark watch lists. You can actually set up keywords.
And if they become trademarks, then you get an alert, which is really good, and you can do a trademark complaint straight from the platform. The fourth thing you need to consider is source quality material and T-shirt printing options. Now, if you decide to go down the route of doing everything yourself, then you need to source quality material and decide on the best T-shirt printing options for your case.
Not all T-shirts are the same and or print jobs are the same. Like I said, quality is paramount to your brand and its success. So it's important to educate yourself and choose your blank T-shirts wisely. You might be tempted to sacrifice quality for higher profit margins, but is the sacrifice really worth it? Think about if your customers will actually recommend you to their friends or if they'll buy from you again.
So once you narrow down your choices of blank T-shirts or whichever prints on demand. Back to you want to sell it strongly, recommend it to all the samples so it can make an informed final decision. So since you're still with me here, consider like in this video, guys, and subscribe. It really helps the channel. Now, let's talk about designs. Here are a few ways you can get a head start on your T-shirt.
Business designs, find the best selling designs and niches. And if you're stuck for a T-shirt, neat idea or designs, a great store is looking at what else is popular and currently selling well in other marketplaces, social media networks, or checking them on research software. Exactly. Just like I showed you a month ago, you can use them to search for best sellers and most popular sections to help you get a better idea of what your next design or niche will be. Don't forget to check platforms like Imja or Reddit because they really have some good gems there. And as they say, Reddit is the front page of the Internet is true.
You can find some really good viral content there that you can transform into T-shirt designs. And the same thing with imgur because it has something like 250 million visitors every month. And that's crazy, guys. Also, consider checking out Google Trends to get a sense of what topics people are currently interested in. Now, the next step, guys, is validating your designs now before you invest a lot of money on your business idea.
You should definitely verify if there's a market for it and if there's an interest in your designs. Here are some of the most popular and common methods for validating your design ideas. You can do it via your personal social networks.
What I would personally do is post your designs you want to validate on social media, such as Facebook groups already and genuinely ask for feedback. You'll be surprised how many people will actually give you genuine feedback. Also, as discussed, you could check out prints on them on marketplaces such as Amazon, Etsy, bubble tea, public pressure, Zazzle, etc. . If you see a repeating pattern in the trending section or the best seller section, that means there's good demand on that particular niche or particular design. Next, the design process.
Once you have an idea for some T-shirt designs, you then either design them or hire a designer as simple as that. If you have Adobe Illustrator or similar programme, you can produce some great designs by yourself. But if you're like most people, you'll need to start with a beginner friendly software or get help from a designer.
If you're a beginner in T-shirt graphic design, then the best software I can recommend because it's free and it's got everything you need fonts, graphic elements, some basic effects. It's conver and it's really good to get you going for free. They also have a premium version which is packed with features.
So give it a go. I'm going to leave you a link in the description to sign up for free and have a play around with it and see what you can create. The other option is if you don't want to invest time in designing, then you can simply hire a designer. Where can you hire a designer from? You might say, well, check out design communities like Dribble and Behance message designers and negotiate terms and prices as simple as that. You can also check out popular freelance networks like Freelancer five Upworthy.
You can find qualified T-shirt designers fast and check out their past job, successes and portfolio. And if you like someone, you can hire them on the spot. The other option is you can buy ready made T-shirt designs.
My favourite place to buy ready made designs. These vessels. And what I love about them is the fact that they also have a subscription where you pay a monthly fee and you can download a set amount of graphic elements and readymade designs per month.
And it works out much cheaper than hiring a designer. They also have design requests, Photoshop templates, which allow you to make unlimited design variations and possibilities. They have a T-shirt maker, a Mock-Up generator and much, much more.
I've made a video on how scared one Vixen's design into many designs and made hundreds of dollars. So watch it here. If you haven't done so yet, I've got a partnership with them and they've given me 35 percent off for my audience, for you guys.
So if you're interested, check out the link below, guys. Now, the next thing you need to consider the guys is creating T-shirt mock ups. This is especially if you decide to go down the route of Etsy or Shopify, then you need to purchase your own mock-ups from Etsy or Graphic River. There are plenty of places out there where you can find mock-ups then place your design on it using Photoshop or even better, use a website called Place It, where you can place your designs on a variety of mock-ups for a very affordable price. It's what I use for my Etsy store.
Personally, I'm going to leave you a link below so you can get discounts as well. I wouldn't advise using prints for mock ups because literally half of the Internet is using them. So you really wouldn't stand out.
Why should you use mock ups? You might say, well, you should use mock up so that your customers can see what the final design will look like printed on a T-shirt. And it really helps with conversion. You can always hire someone to create mock ups for you, but you can simply do it yourself with the methods I've mentioned to you. Now, let's talk about publishing your designs. Now that you have your T-shirt designs in hand, you've made your mock ups and validated your idea. It's time to start publishing your designs again.
This varies per business model that you choose if you choose to go for a print on demand platform that is also a marketplace such as much by Amazon, red bubble tea, public pressure, Zazzle, etc. . It's the easiest option because you would need mock ups. Provide them for you, it's all automatic if you choose to go for a marketplace such as Etsy, then you would need your mock ups and fulfilments partner. If you go for the third option, which is having your own store, then you'd need to choose an e-commerce platform such as Shopify or ecommerce. And you also need to choose a fulfilments partner or print the T-shirts yourself.
There are a handful of T-shirt prints on demand services out there that you can use, such as prints for T launch, Princi and Bubble Custom Care and Goossen, etc. . Some of them use direct integration with e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and eCommerce, or marketplaces such as Etsy and eBay. And the most popular one of them is principle. I'm going to leave you links for these poddy services, for you to do your research, for your specific use case and choose the one that you think would work best for you.
And the great thing is that these services will print and ship your T-shirts, your customers on your behalf every time we receive an order. Using these services is great because there's no need to purchase or hold any inventory up front, making it a great way to get started. Best of all, if you want to use your design on other principal products, such as mugs and tote bags, you have the option as well. Once your store is set up, you'll be ready to start selling T-shirts online. Then next thing you need to consider is marketing.
Now, the easiest part is finding a niche, setting up a store and uploading your designs. But the hardest bit is actually marketing your designs to reach your target audience. The level of marketing needed depends on the business models that you choose. If you go with something like merch by Amazon, Etsy and Red Bubble, you would need less marketing compared to if you started your own store, because these platforms already have a ton of traffic and as in your store, you have zero traffic, which means that you have to drive your own traffic.
Now, here are some ways to drive traffic to your designs. First, Amazon ads. Now do this. If you're trying to drive traffic to your match by Amazon listings, Etsy ads do this.
If you're trying to drive traffic to your Etsy listings, Facebook ads, do these guys only if you can install a Facebook pixel. Otherwise you'll be flushing your money down the drain. Instagram make an account for each niche, for example, the dog's niche, and start posting relevant content when you gain traction. Can see the person in your T-shirts, then Pinterest make different niche specific boards, then post your designs on them.
Also post other people's content on those boards and niche related content. Consider doing Pinterest ads as well because they do help Reddit. This is a tricky one. Make sure you contribute to the relevance of Reddit before you decide to post your designs, because the Reddit community don't like to be sold to by people who are just there to sell. Next, we have Imja post your mock ups of your designs and add the title description along with your link, and it will be in front of millions in no time.
Here is a tip for you. Anything that is funny works really well in imgur, so take that into account when posting their marketing. Your prints on demand designs is a minefield.
We could be talking about marketing until tomorrow, but these are some of the methods to get you started. Next, guys, I'm going to give you a few tips that you really need to consider when starting your T-shirt prints on demand business, because they're really critical to the success or failure of your T-shirt prints on demand business. A print on demand business has relatively low barriers of entry. So the difficult part is standing out from the competition. So to be successful in this arena, we need to consider the following elements carefully.
T-shirt printing techniques or business model. There are three popular methods of principle onto T-shirts, screen printing, direct to garments or digital and heat transfer. Each method has its pros and cons, and deciding which one to use will practically depend on how much time you want to invest in the product's creation and which prints in partner or prints on demand platform. You choose to educate yourself around this topic to make the best decision for your use case.
The next element is design. The majority of people buy graphic tees, are looking for designs, graphics and quotes that connect with them and reflect their opinions and personality. The last thing a shopper would want is to see copied designs. Your designs won't have to be complex. Actually, many of the best selling designs are very simple, but they do need to be unique and connect with your audience.
The next thing you need to consider is quality. You can disappoint someone once, but they won't let you disappoint them twice. So make sure you design, print and T-shirt.
Quality is great if you want your customers to come back, the next elements you need to consider is brand. A strong, interesting brand is vital in the T-shirt industry, so make the right choices when deciding on your brand name, the logo you use and your messaging to stand out. The next element is inventory. You can either buy T-shirts in bulk and manage your own inventory to take advantage of volume discounts or user print on demand service to save time and effort.
By holding your own inventory, you have more control and potentially improve your profit margins. But with prints on demand, you take a lot less risk. Weigh the pros and cons before you start.
And if you're in any doubt, then prints on demand is always one of the best low risk, low investments. Business ideas job. Shippen is an easy T-shirt business model for small business owners to wrap their heads around. With services like Prince four, it's incredibly easy to start and test your T-shirt designs because you can sell your designs to your customer via, say, Etsy or Shopify, and then principal will handle the printing and shipping. Of course, if you have the budget for it, you can also invest in your own printer and set up a base of operation. But personally, I wouldn't recommend it as a starting point because you really need that learning curve.
And with print on demand services such as print for it's much easier to start and make mistakes and learn from your mistakes. So now which business model is right for you? As a beginner, I suggest you start with a marketplace that is also a print on demand platform such as much by Amazon, red bubble tea, public pressure, etc. . These platforms handle printing, shipping returns, customer service and all you have to do is upload your designs and promote them. This method is great if you're looking to run your own business passively and will give you an opportunity to test the waters and see how it works.
You also have a good margin of error because it requires the least amount of investments in product or marketing. But you have no control over anything and you can be kicked out of the platform for whatever reason, such as if you violate the terms. It's also hard to build the brand on these platforms. Now, once you start making money with the first method and you want to go to the next level and consider doing the second method, start selling on Etsy and use your own fulfilments partners such as prints for you'll still need to buy your T-shirts upfront from principle to then send them to your customers when they buy from you on Etsy or on eBay, etc. . This is what we call the prints on demand dropship in method. It's a medium risk strategy and it's easier to build a brand on these platforms, but you can still be kicked out of these platforms any minute if you violate their terms.
Now, if you feel very comfortable with the first two methods, then consider starting your own. Shopify saw this where you have full control over the business, such as the fulfilments partner, the products, if you're printing yourself, marketing, etc. , and you can build a brand and a real business, but it carries the most amount of risk and investment. So educate yourself and choose the best way that works for you to start your T-shirt prints on demand business. By the way, I've created a full course of merch by Amazon, which has everything you need, so check it out with the link in the description. Also, join my Facebook group.
You'll find the link below the description as well. I hope you've enjoyed this video. Give it a thumbs up if you like to comment and subscribe and activate the notifications to get my new videos.
Thanks for watching and I'll see you in my next video.