I’m sorry for the cheesy headline, but it IS true. I’m going to show you how.

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This is a screenshot of my Teespring ledger

If you haven’t heard of Teespring and you have a creative and/or money-making bone in your body, you are missing out. It is fun, easy, and if you know a few things you can make a buck or several without breaking a sweat. I’m just getting started and have made $1401.67 in two campaign. The is 2170.11 gross profit minus 768.44 in Facebook ads. That includes one campaign that made $5 for every $4 spent and one that made one that made about $5 for every $1 spent and one campaign that flopped both in sales and ads.

Teespring is a site and textile printing company that lets you design and sell shirts with zero risk. You actually pay nothing to have the shirts printed because they aren’t printed unless enough are ordered to be profitable for you AND Teespring.

Here is my process.

  1. Find a niche. I look for a group of people who are passionate about their shared interest. My first successful campaign was for people who love old Volkswagens, specifically of the aircooled variety (Beetles, Busses, Ghias,…). Take a look at Teescover for some successful campaigns.
  2. Find an idea. You don’t have to create something completely original, but you have to create something different enough from other’s intellectual property that you won’t get shut down. Pinterest is a great place to search for ideas. Keep in mind that you want to appeal to as many in the given niche as you can. It is easy to subdivide a given niche with something that is too specific.
  3. Design your shirt. If you have the skills and desire, do it yourself with Adobe Illustrator… not Photoshop. The vector files are best. Don’t want to or can’t? Head on over to Fiverr.com and search “Teespring design”. Fiverr, for the uninitiated, is a place where you can find people to do things for five bucks. Also worth mentioning is odesk.com. It will cost more there but likely be higher quality work. Keep in mind that the more colors your shirt has, the more it will cost per shirt. Since you can only get so much for a shirt, you can quickly eat into your margins. Ask your designer to use one or two colors at most and no gradients.
  4. Create your shirt in Teespring. This is pretty easy. Create your account and click “Launch a Campaign” at the top. Upload your design. Place it on the shirt. You can do front and back… but that also makes the printing costs increase. Once you like the shirt, click “Next Step”.
  5. Setup your campaign. Choose your goal. This is how many shirts you think you can sell. When you increase the goal, a couple things happen. First, the margin increases (You make more $ per shirt). Second, you get to offer more colors and styles. This goal area is a bit fuzzy though. On their FAQ page, Teespring says: “If the campaign does not meet its original sales goal but is still profitable once the campaign runs out of time, Teespring will still produce the products for that campaign and count it as a success.”. My current technique is to set my goal to at least 300. If I only sell 50, and the margins are still good at 50, they will still print the shirts and I don’t lose the money I spent on facebook ads. This is another reason to have good margins. Now click “Next Step” again.
  6. This is where you add your title and description. Go look at what other high-selling campaigns are doing and steal whatever is applicable. Seriously, rewrite as little as you need to. Choose a time length. I like 7-10days because it allows me time to get the facebook ads tweaked. Give the URL a name. Be short and descriptive, but it doesn’t matter too much if you can’t get an awesome name. Click “Launch your campaign”.

Next, let’s spend a few bucks and get eyeballs on the shirts! Now we get to the bits that aren’t obvious.

  1. Go create a Facebook fan page for the niche. Spend a few minutes getting this fleshed out. Find some like minded pages and share their best content on your new page. Add a few original posts. Just make it look real. With any luck, it WILL be real very soon. My aircooled fan page had over 10,000 likes and it is only 3 weeks old.
  2. Let’s make some ads. I like to use TeeAdMaster to create the images for the facebook page. It is $27/month and if you do all this right, it will be a very worthwhile expense. Yes, I can do it myself, but this is faster and it looks great! Ads I’ve created myself seem to get lower click-through-rate than the ones I create in TeeAdMaster. I’m getting between 6-17% CTR with these. The better the CTR, the lower the cost per click is and that means more profit. You can make your own if you want. Size needs to be 1200x627px. TeeAdMaster is too easy to use so I won’t go into that here.
  3. Now lets run over to Facebook. When you are logged in, click the little down arrow on the top-right in facebook. Yes, you have to use a computer, not on a phone or tablet. Click “Create Ads”. Can’t find it? Just go here. Choose “Clicks to Website”. Enter your Teespring URL. If you love google analytics, go here and make a tracking URL first. Now, delete the image that shows up form Teespring and upload the image(s) you made in TeeAdMaster. You can upload several and it will create an ad for each image. This is great to split test and turn off the ones that don’t perform as well as others.
  4. Choose your newly created facebook page. Fill out the rest with a catchy headline and text. We are going to put these in the news feed, so try to write something that piques the target market’s interest.
  5. Choose “Shop Now” as the Call To Action button.
  6. Be sure to click “Remove” next to “Right Column” ads. They don’t convert well for these type of campaigns.
  7. Choose your audience. I find the best success by creating a list of other fan pages the target market would be a part of and searching for them under interest. Get to an audience size of between 250,000 and 750,000. You will see that info change as you change any audience parameter. Dig around and see what the other parameters are. You know your audience so use your best judgement. If you end up with fewer than 250k people, that is ok… sort of. You just might not be able to scale as far.
  8. Pick a daily spend. Start with $10 and see what happens. If it takes off, then increase the spend.
  9. Under Bidding and Pricing, choose “Optimize for clicks” and “Manually set your maximum bid for clicks (CPC)”. It will give you a suggested bid range. Facebook says to offer 20% above the top of the range. BUT I’d avoid anything higher than 30¢ per click. I like them to be around 20¢. Don’t be afraid to initially spend a bit more per click, you can adjust it down as it begins to get clicks. Bidding range will likely decrease if the CTR is good. Another reason why paying for TeeAdMaster makes sense. The money I save in lower CPC easily pays for it.
  10. Place your ad order and once it is approved (takes a few minutes typically), you are off to the races.

Further advice.

  • Don’t give up. This works. Some niche markets won’t work though. For instance, I was SURE teachers would love the designs I came up with. Some did, but they just didn’t convert like I had hoped. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a failing niche.
  • I have a spreadsheet. Let me know you are serious and I’ll share it with you. Fill out the form at the bottom.
  • Be careful of using other’s intellectual property. Your campaign will get shut down and you will lose the ad money you’ve spent.

Lastly, some of the links on this page are affiliate links. The Teespring links have a bonus for both of us if you sign up through that link.

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