How to Decide Your T-Shirt Designs.

Jennifer Sanchez

Previously we talked about the 5 Strategies to a Profitable T-Shirt Business. One of the main strategies that you can't have any shirt business without is your designs. This is the foundation or base to which your whole business stands on! 

Shirt Designs is why you're here. What is your mission? Do you have a statement to make? 
Sometimes we aren't creative, but like a hobby, and sometimes we are creative but get stuck. Whatever your mission, purpose, creative strategy... you need to decide this FIRST!

I started creating shirts with songs lyrics, SOLD NOTHING! Started creating 2 trendy sayings, SOLD NOTHING! I did a full evaluation on myself and WHY I wanted to do this T-Shirt Biz thing. This led me to making shirts that encourage women... at first I SOLD NOTHING! But with a consistent plan, a constant theme, and a determined attitude I started to grow on social media and sell like crazy! 
My customers knew they were always going get neutral colors and an inspiring saying on each shirt! This began to bring followers who were buyers to my social platforms. 
You have so many choices when it comes to this major decision!

Here are few ways to fulfill this part of your business.

  1.  Build a Brand- Purpose
    1. Build a consistent brand, this allows your followers/customers to know what exactly they can expect from you.
    2. This is a longer process to growth but if you have a true purpose or mission this is well worth the wait! 
    3. Not sure what your passion is? Look at your home and your searches online... what are you looking at? What interests you? 
    4. Search for a need online that is not fulfilled! Shirts all about trees, shirts all about Fireman, etc. Find a topic or subject that gets ignored and create a way to inspire them with your tees! I love being a "Granny" but no one really makes shirts all about Grannies! Trust me, there'e always a need for each topic!
  1. Use only one print method
    1. Choose your favorite or most interested print method and sell that your product is all about that style. I.e. all vinyl, or all sublimation, or all screen print. 
    2. People have preferences so master your method and sell that! I had mastered vinyl and always showed weeding the vinyl, pressing the vinyl, and how it felt. My products are all about inspiring, but also about comfort! I insisted my vinyl was smooth and no rough edges, seems like a silly detail, but it made a difference!
    3. When you offer too many styles, people will get overwhelmed and just keep scrolling!  So pick one (or two) and really commit.
  1. Buy trending SVG's- Theme
    1. SVG's are the files used to upload and customize your design.
    2. Search what's trending on social, etsy, and google and buy those SVG's and create them for yourself. Change the colors to match what your "brand" is and make them in whatever print method you chose.
    3. Make sure you buy ones that make sense to your "brand" dont buy pony t-shirts if you are making shirts about Mama's. In other words know your niche and Target Audience!
    4. Don't worry if 20 other people are selling "Fine Ass Momma" Tees. Your color changes, and shirt colors, and brand make you unique! 
  1. Buy trending transfers- colors
    1. Follow transfer sellers on social media to see whats trending. Join their email lists to be first to see what's up and coming and buy before others!
    2. Selling what's trending takes the guess work out of what to design. Just use your colors to stay on your brand style!
    3. Selling trending designs keeps you on top of searches like google and Etsy.
    4. Transfers also save you a lot of time. No weeding involved. But you do have to make mock ups for your sales sites. Some transfer sellers let you use their mock ups, always ask first!

This is what I chose to make my brand work:

  1. Purpose: Encouraging women
  2. Print Method: Vinyl only ( unless it was wholesale, and as i grew I made those designs into a transfer to speed up my process)
  3. Theme: Minimalist (fonts all carried a matching theme, designs were only line art)
  4. Colors: Black, Tan, Gray, White only! 

People always knew what they were going to see from JennSan Designs. Even when I would launch a new t-shirt it was always on "brand" with what I sold. If I ever veered from this, I knew cuz it wouldn't sell!! And that is also a part of your growth! You have to know who you are so others can follow along your journey! Read my blog about "Realizing who I am not, Made me who I am"  to help you with this step as well! If you're not sure, they won't either! Think about who you follow on social media or online, what is consistent about them? What makes you join their email list? This is what you need to become so others take their busy time to sign up and see what else you have to offer! 

Always remember, this is more about "them" than you! Your designs aren't selling because you need them, even though deep inside you might... its about what helps them, saves them, solves their problem! Your problems may be their problems therefore making you the master of your own designs! But reality is you are here to sell to them! Make them love what you have, make them come back for more! I truly believe that when you sell what you know and love it shows. They feel you understand and they begin to have this trust for you. And yes, a T-Shirt can make someones day a completely different day then they expected! The T-Shirt industry sold $38 Billion dollars in 2022 thus far and $3.9 billion of that was CUSTOM T-SHIRTS!! 

5 Strategies of a Profitable T-Shirt Business will continue next week with... Supplies on a Budget!



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