Despite the massive industry and the high-stakes competition, owning a T-shirt business can still be extremely profitable. But that is if you do it right. Much like any other business, a T-shirt business requires a lot of effort to become successful. There are so many other companies doing the same thing you are, and that entails the need for strategic marketing and unique ways to grow your brand.
However, you probably don’t have much capital for marketing after buying all your materials and sublimation heat press machine. If this is the case, here are some effective yet relatively inexpensive ways to market your business and help get it off the ground:
1. Start a business blog
A blog is an effective marketing tool for almost every other type of business. It is a way to provide valuable content to readers and promote your brand at the same time. Moreover, it serves to show your audiences that your website is up-to-date, which is an important factor in gaining customer trust. After all, when a website looks barely updated, how can customers be sure that you’ll be able to address their needs quickly?
Write at least two weeks’ to a month’s worth of content before you launch your website. Apply SEO strategies, but do not make your articles all about SEO. Similarly, don’t make every article a promotional piece; otherwise, it can make readers feel that you are just pushing your products instead of providing actual valuable content. If you can’t write the articles yourself or simply do not have time to do so, there are plenty of online freelancers that will be happy to do it for you.
2. Use social media
In the age of social networking, almost every business uses social media as a marketing platform, and that is because it’s an extremely powerful tool for marketing.
With social media, you can reach more people than you would with a business website alone. Facebook is a standard, but you can also promote your T-shirt business on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and other relevant websites. Using these platforms for business is free, but you will have to shell out money if you want to reach a wider audience.
Nevertheless, you can set a target audience based on certain demographics and you can set a limit on how much you want to spend per week, which means you can tweak your ads to reach more target customers for less.
3. Leverage email marketing
Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to generate leads and boost sales. That said, start building your email list as soon as you launch your business. You can run an email marketing campaign for free using MailChimp as long as your contacts are under two thousand. But if you go beyond that, upgrading your limit is usually inexpensive.
However, email marketing can only be effective if you send the right content. Keep in mind that most people don’t even open promotional emails, so be sure to make it worth their while when they do click on your message. Here are several ways you can achieve that:
- Invest in valuable content
- Relay the message through graphics, as much as possible
- Keep the text short and easy to digest
- Include a call-to-action every time
- Don’t send promotional content for every email
- Offer a discount, promo code, or free time to entice people to open your message
- Avoid spamming; send emails regularly, but not frequently
- Pay attention to formatting
- Optimize your emails for mobile
4. Offer your services locally
Unfortunately, a business doesn’t explode overnight, especially in the T-shirt industry where competition is ridiculously high. That said, a great way to start marketing your new business is to offer your services locally, be it to local sports teams, retail stores, hospitals, or non-profit groups. If you leave a good impression on them, you can count on word-of-mouth marketing to increase your business’ reach in the community or even beyond.
5. Boast about your equipment
If you’ve invested in high-quality equipment, why not boast about it to your potential customers? On your website or social media pages, share information about your equipment or tools and demonstrate what kind of quality they can produce. This way, potential customers can turn into actual paying customers because they are confident in what you can do with that type of equipment. The best part? This marketing strategy will cost you absolutely nothing.
Starting a T-shirt business is never easy, especially when there are so many other businesses to compete against. Luckily, there are lots of cheap marketing strategies that you can use to increase your business’ reach and help it gain traction, starting with the best ones mentioned above.