Marketing an online T-shirt business can be a challenge. Even if you have an interesting line of shirts, shoppers can't buy from your company if they don't know about it. Get to know your target customers well through market research. Stay informed about current trends to design the T-shirts your customers want at a price they'll pay. A memorable company name that customers associate with your T-shirts can also go a long way to building your company's reputation and sales.
Open accounts on social media sites to communicate about your T-shirt company. Offer existing customers coupon discounts when they sign up to follow your social media accounts. Learn search functionality in your accounts to join special interest networks, or find and follow users with common interests. For example, depending on your T-shirt themes, you may find potential customers by looking through categories in your account such as fashion, sports, or even food or gardening. You can also find target customers by using features such as key word, and hash tag searches. Hold your followers' attention by sharing meaningful content about your T-shirts as opposed to blatant sales pitches.
Pay for Internet advertising on websites that focus on your T-shirt themes. If your budget permits, experiment with placing a banner advertisement on selected websites. Contact website owners for quotes on their advertising rates. Experiment with different ad placements to determine which yield the most sales, before you make an ongoing commitment to pay for ad space on a website.
Contact fashion bloggers and ask them to do written or video reviews of your company in return for free T-shirts. Look for bloggers who write about your types of T-shirts through blog directories such as the Fashion Industry Network, or Signature 9. You can also find bloggers of interest by reading “top blogs” posts, on blogs such as Fashion Indie. Follow links on one blog of interest to find other bloggers. Ask reviewers to grade your company in specific areas, such as the shopping cart checkout process, shipping times and shirt quality. Positive blogger reviews can lead to customer referrals. Give all of your customers the same high quality service to encourage them to spread the word about your company.
Join special interest groups in your community to network with customers. Don't overlook the demand for T-shirts in your own community. Some customers may prefer to support local businesses. The advantage for local buyers can include speedy T-shirt delivery. Contact local boutique owners about carrying some of your shirts in their stores, to attract customers who don't generally shop online.
Donate T-shirts to community events to build name recognition for your shore. Send a press release to editors at local publications, and ask them to write a feature article about your company. Link media mentions of your company to your website to build a buzz about your business.
- U.S Small Business Administration: Marketing 101
- "Inc." magazine; How to Narrow Your Target Market; Tim Donnelly; April 2011
- "Entrepreneur" magazine; Calculating Your Ad Budget; Roy H. Williams
- "Inc." magazine; 10 Tips for Bootstrapping Your Marketing; June 2010
- "Entrepreneur" magazine; How Do I Start Talking with Customers Online?; Star Hall
- Try creating a series of keywords which have relevance to your product and or service offered the more different keywords you generate for your website, the more traffic and sales you will see.
- Always shop around for the best deal, there are tons of legitimate SEO and website marketing firms out there and there are equally a number who are unscrupulous.
Based in Reston, Va., Lydia King has been a writer and editor since 1996, working with diverse subject matter including law, government contracting, philosophy and career guidance. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in history at National University, where she is pursuing a Master of Arts in English and comparative literature.