We love helping creative entrepreneurs start their online clothing businesses. It’s why we offer affordable apparel mockups that make it easy to stand out, why we’ve written about how to save money when starting a t-shirt business and offer a complete guide on how to use Instagram to sell t-shirts, and why we regularly share tips on how to maximize your Etsy store.
We believe that easy-to-use mockups are one of the best ways to market your t-shirt company. That said, mockups will only work when you put them to good use. So here are 7 free ways to market your t-shirt shop.
1. SEO for Etsy & Google
If you’re new to online marketing, be prepare to hear a lot about ‘search engine optimization,’ or SEO.
SEO is all the technical ‘stuff’ you can do to make sure you show up in search results. Basically, it means using good keywords and listing your products in a way that makes Google and Etsy understand what they are.
In other words, you can’t make a beautiful Christmas sweater, give it a cute name like ‘Merry & Bright,’ and then expect Google and Etsy to understand what that means. If you want to show up in search results, you’ll have to use keywords like ‘Christmas shirt’ and ‘holiday shirt.’ You get the idea.
SEO is a world onto itself, and there are lots of guides out there (see our tips on how to improve your Etsy SEO here). Ultimately, learning some simple SEO strategies is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to market your t-shirt shop.
89% of the people on Pinterest use it for purchase inspiration, and pins that show someone using a product are 67% more likely to drive sales (that’s why flatlays are great, but it’s also great to show people actually wearing your clothing).
So what does that mean for an aspiring t-shirt company? You’ve got to be on Pinterest! And you’ve got to make great pins to display your products.
Thankfully, if you’re already using t-shirt mockups, there’s lots of room to double up on your work here. You can use Canva and your mockups to make simple yet attractive pins. Do this, and you’ll be more likely to reach an interested audience. And word-to-the-wise: use good SEO on Pinterest, too!
Instagram was one of the main tools our founder Andrea used to create her own successful t-shirt business. Insta is a visual platform, so it’s great way to entice people with your beautiful products. One of the ultimate perks is that Instagram is free to use for your marketing efforts.
And of course, rounding out your social media efforts, be sure to market your t-shirt biz on Facebook. 2.89 billion people use Facebook (yes, that’s ‘billion’ with a ‘b’). So if you don’t market your apparel company on Facebook, then you’re probably going to lose out to the stores that do.
5. Email Lists
Social media marketing is great, but it should never be your only method of marketing. Building up a social following is great, but you don’t have a lot of control over it. What if Pinterest goes under, or Facebook changes their algorithm?
Enter email lists. Use social media to drive people to your email list, and then that email list is yours forever. You’ll have an engaged list of customers who can’t wait to hear from you, and you can let them know whenever a new collection is live or you’re having a sale.
If your list gets big enough, you may have to pay to send out newsletters. But when you’re starting out, if you choose the right company, you should be able to send out mailouts for free.
So get started, even if you’ve just got a few subscribers to start. Stay consistent and use an incentive to get people to sign up. For example, we offer free t-shirt mockups to anyone who joins our mailing list!
Blogging is another great way to market your t-shirt store for free. For example, every month on our blog, we share new, well-written posts with tips for people who are trying to start a t-shirt business or sell more products. Why do we do this? Well, there’s lots of reasons!
First, blogging is great for SEO. Google in particular likes to see lots of fresh content on your website. And it helps us show up in search results that potential customers may be looking for.
Second, it’s a great way to share our expertise and connect with our audience. It lets you, the reader, know how passionate we are about helping your business grow.
Third, it lets us showcase our products in an organic way, that’s a bit more detailed than we can on social media.
And fourth, similar to our email list, our blog is ours. We have complete control, and we own the content forever. Pretty cool.
7. Partnerships & Collabs
The digital marketing world is awash in partnerships, and there’s a reason for it. When you find an influencer or company with a similar aesthetic and audience to yours, collaborating with them is a great way to double your impact. Just make sure you’re partnering with someone you trust, and who shares your values. Pair up, and watch your numbers grow!