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hey guys would like some advice on how to proceed with t-shirt business

metrokardmetrokard Registered User regular
edited September 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
Pretty much i have a few designs ready to go problem is no one is coming to buy. I feel like no one really knows about me yet so not that many people are seeing the shirts. What are some good ways to attract people so i can get them to come buy stuff. I have had a shirt printed on shirtpunch and im working on trying to get on Ript and Teefury to help drum up support...but any other advice would be really helpful.

metrokard on

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    a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    The obvious answer would be to buy advertising on websites that have the community you are trying to appeal to. If you don't have a budget for that, I don't have any helpful advice for "social" marketing.

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    MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    Its hard to say without being able to see your designs, but I'm going to take a shot in the dark and say that you need to make designs that people want, not necessarily designs that you want to make. Remember, the word sellout is a term that unsuccessful artists created to describe successful artists with.

    Failing that, maybe you just need to be patient and give people a chance to notice you.

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    see317see317 Registered User regular
    What kind of budget do you have for your marketing? Do you have any kind of online presence for your shirts? A website to sell them through, etc?

    Easiest/cheapest idea I can think of: YouTube contest. Get your customers to make YouTube videos of them doing stuff wearing your shirts. Whichever video gets the most views at the end of a few months gets a prize (a couple of free shirts, maybe a gift certificate to some place they can get your shirts etc...). Follow the videos and be sure to answer anyone asking about the shirts. Best case scenario, someone does something brilliant that goes viral and your shirts get huge exposure. Worst case, some people still see your shirts on YouTube and the customers work as free marketing trying to get their video viewed. Downside of this is that it actually requires an existing customer base, which it sounds like you may be lacking.

    I see you've posted in the AC a few times asking questions about printing your shirts, you may think about opening a thread with some of your shirt designs as an OP. It's useful to get feedback from the other artists there (they're a great bunch of people). I'd suggest very strongly against mentioning or linking to a sales site in the OP, site-whoring is frowned upon. Though, if you ask for advice on marketing and getting your brand out, they'd likely have some pointers for you.

    If you're planning on sticking around here for a while, maybe a link to your existing shirtpunch shirt in your signature (assuming it's still available)? Maybe use one of your shirt designs as an avatar.

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    metrokardmetrokard Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    its not availabe on shirtpunch anymore its a 24 hour site...i can link my redbubble but i dont want it to be considered like I'm linking to get sales...here is my profile http://www.redbubble.com/people/metrokard

    metrokard on
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    supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    Buy advertising. It’s expensive, and to make it work you have to advertise over and over again in the same place. Unless you have an incredible product and amazing ads you’ll need to get people to see an ad between 12 and 18 times before they even notice it, and from there only a fraction of a percent are likely to buy anything. The other option is to pound the pavement and get them into stores that would want to sell them.

    Have you licensed the characters on your shirts so you don’t get slapped down by lawyers? Because if you don’t you and your venders are going to get slapped with a cease and desist order once you start trying to push this stuff.

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    SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    yeah, I like your designs but I honestly don't think advertising is a good idea if those characters aren't licensed. You'd just be spending money on a cease and desist order.

    I like your art though, and I think your concepts are awesome... you might try doing something more original, then advertising.

    Sentry on
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    metrokardmetrokard Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    It's a thin line but as long as you don't do it exactly like the official licence character your ok. The samus design was actually the one that got printed and the bison one might get printed as well...there was a guy near me that made over 100 grand just doing mets shirts but as long as he never mentioned their name or put the logo on his stuff he was able to sell as much as he wanted...even had a shirt of a player wearing a darth vader helmet http://cache1.bigcartel.com/product_images/48235561/Darth_store.jpg hell he even sells it right in front of the stadium on weekends. You just have to be careful especially with Starwars stuff George is like hunting people down now. Also i just uploaded a new design on redbubble I think its my favorite one so far so tell me what you think.

    metrokard on
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    MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited September 2012
    The reason why your friend is selling a bunch is because he has a specific target audience -Mets Fans- and he knows where they are going to be. It's a lot easier selling them to a group that identifies with what you're pitching. In your case, I'd check local comic/anime cons and rent out a booth. I can't think of another place other than cons.

    Now, if you want online exposure... you're gonna have to come up with something that makes you stand out in a memorable way because there are a lot of alternatives available. If I were you, I'd draw a small comic in which the final panel is the design on the tshirt. I'd close by saying "Get the tshirt at tshirt.com". It's more memorable than a random tshirt ad.

    Also, I'll suggest that you wear your shirts all the time. Give them to your friends to wear. Word of mouth works too!

    MagicToaster on
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    DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    edited September 2012
    Just because your buddy hasn't gotten shut down yet doesn't mean he's in the right, but you know that. The NYPD is weird and inconsistent about enforcing street vendor fuckmuppetry, but when they get you, they take ALL YOUR SHIT.

    Try designing shirts without relying on other people's IP and then promote yourself, otherwise you're likely to just waste your time and money.

    edit: What Sentry said.

    Deebaser on
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    metrokardmetrokard Registered User regular
    i was actually thinking about doing a youtube show to try and get more exposure. i did one before thought it came out alright but i never really followed it up after i did one eps. maybe i should try that out again.

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    supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    metrokard wrote: »
    i was actually thinking about doing a youtube show to try and get more exposure. i did one before thought it came out alright but i never really followed it up after i did one eps. maybe i should try that out again.

    If you do a YouTube show, you still have to get people to watch the YouTube show. It’s probably easier to successfully advertise shirts than to advertise a YouTube show about a guy trying to advertise shirts.

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    metrokardmetrokard Registered User regular
    how about a give away for charity?

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    MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    I think your best bet is to keep submitting designs to the shirt a day websites. If you can get popular on one of those you should be in pretty good shape.

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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Sentry wrote: »
    yeah, I like your designs but I honestly don't think advertising is a good idea if those characters aren't licensed. You'd just be spending money on a cease and desist order.

    I like your art though, and I think your concepts are awesome... you might try doing something more original, then advertising.

    https://nintendo.sponsorwise.com/Login.aspx

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    SubhumanSubhuman Overlord BaltimoreRegistered User regular
    I screen print myself, own a little distro too. What we did was make a youtube video for each design that we could think of a good video for... Say if you have a cycling shirt, you could make a youtube video with clips of cyclin' through the city, endos, or people drinking beer and riding bikes.. at the end of the video put your web address. Just be careful with the music you use. It's really quite simple.

    "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence"- Napoleon Bonaparte
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