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Today there are a lot of ways to make money from home, but with the immense development of the global fashion industry that has been digitally adopted by mainstream users, selling t-shirts in one of the easiest ways to do it. Even the ones who are not following the fashion world at all still spend countless hours roaming through online stores in search for a unique t-shirt brand that will make them stand out from the crowd. And while there are a lot of ways to grow the traffic of your online store, social media is still the king of this game, and Instagram is the most powerful app for this purpose. Its users are the most engaged ones, and most likely to make the actual purchase through their phones. Additionally, most of them follow a brand because they truly like it, meaning that this social media network feel a lot more personal than the others that are often too sales oriented. Although the advantages are undeniable, you still need to know how to use them properly in order to establish a successful t-shirt business, and that is exactly the purpose of this guide in front of you.
Bring Your Account to Life
If you don’t already have an Instagram account, setting it up is very easy and we don’t need to mention it’s free to join. You don’t need to be concerned by the fact that you don’t have a ton of followers, but if you don’t want to look like a complete noob you should acquire a small following before you start selling. Also, make sure you create a decent amount of posts, otherwise people might think it’s a fake account.
Next thing to do is to represent your brand the best you can. This starts with a username, and the point is not to be creative. Creativity is a good thing when it comes to your t-shirt logo and design, but your profile name has to be as close as possible to the original name of the brand so it can be super easy to find.
You also need to hold back your creativity when it comes to your profile picture and stay away from the complex images. Your logo is quite sufficient, and you need to make it understandable on a small scale since it will never be seen in full size. When it comes to posting images, you may want to create a puzzle grid feed to make them connected, but you need to think through how your images co-relate. Your overall feed offers the first impression of you and your brand your potential customers will get, so you need to make sure it’s something that people will remember.
The last step is to write a killer bio. You only have 150 characters, so you need to make it snappy and attractive. It needs to clearly state what you do and who you are, and a bit of personality to spice things up. Since it’s the only place on Instagram where you can include an actual functioning link use it wisely, and know that it’s okay to change it from your page to some specific product you wish to promote any time it’s convenient.
Hashtags are your sprinkles on top – you should come up with your own, but it’s also recommendable to add ones which are relevant to your geographic location and business to increase the reach and visibility of your t-shirt business at zero cost. Although you can add up to 30 hashtags to your post you should aim for quality, not quantity, so it’s wise to go for around 10 high-quality ones. You want to receive a notification everytime someone uses your hashtags, so make sure you follow them.
Accept it’s a Process
No promotion brings immediate results, and Instagram is not an exception. If you rely solely on ads and regular posting, you’ll end up disappointed. In order to quickly gain followers and improve sales, you need to accept it’s a process, and that it has a number of steps. People are not gonna buy a product from you after seeing it for the first time, so your visitors require repeated exposure to your t-shirts before they decide to make the purchase.
This process starts with a relevant source – your Instagram influencer who will post an image with an accompanying text, and drive traffic to your Instagram profile. The percentage of that traffic will turn into new followers, who will also end up on your website via your bio link. There they need to be offered a discount code for their email address in return. Then you need to follow-up with regular emails in which you’ll offer further discounts and move them towards the purchase. The game doesn’t end with the purchase – you need to continue marketing to them to make this loop go on.
It is not just about money in versus money out, but about the long-term value of every single lead. You should look at all sales you make right after your first sponsored post as a bonus. Respecting this steps will enable you to know exactly where and how to focus your time and efforts.
Don’t Underestimate The Material World
Although we’re talking about an online business, it starts in the material world and ends in it, with satisfied customers wearing your unique t-shirt. In order to make them satisfied, you also need to go through another process inside this material world.
What truly makes an Instagram t-shirt business sustainable is your brand identity with logo to match it. Finding your niche is easy enough if you base it on your own passions, hobbies, and interests. When creating a logo, the most important thing is to make sure it speaks with your audience since it is your source of meaning in today’s saturated market. And crafting the actual design is the most fun in the whole process, but it’s not the end of it.
Before you start with your bulk t-shirt printing, you need to make sure you’ve found the right manufacturer. An epic logo and a strong brand don’t mean anything if the print makes them disappointing, so this is one of the most important steps. If you want your Instagram t-shirt business to become a successful one, it will require both – high-quality design and high-quality shirts. To achieve this perfect combo you’ll need sampling, which is a pretty exciting step since it is the moment when you see your designs come to life. There is no such thing as too many samples because it’s essential to make printing, color, fit, and size right. The satisfaction of your customers is not online but on their bodies.
These three steps are all that takes. Your business is born through the optimization of your Instagram profile, which requires a catchy name, some carefully chosen quality images, some smart words, and unique hashtags. And, as with every living thing, its growth is a process, which takes place in both – the digital and material world.
Guest Post: Nick is a blogger and a marketing expert currently engaged on projects for Media Gurus, an Australian business, and marketing resource. He is an aspiring street artist and does Audio/Video editing as a hobby.