How To build a t-shirt brand on Instagram

In 2016, our founder, Andrea started a small t-shirt business on Etsy that grew to a nationwide brand in the baseball community all because she used Instagram. In 2020, She went on to sell her t-shirt business so she could devote her time to Pretty Little Mockup.

You can visit her old shop here.

In today’s blog post, we are going to be diving into how she built her brand and how you can implement the same strategies into your business.

Pick a Niche


This is the first step because we believe it’s the most important to building a profitable brand on instagram. The most profitable brands see a problem then come up with a solution. SO in Andrea’s case, she saw that baseball shirts geared towards women didn’t really exist in the space so she decided to create them herself.

Bonus tip: make sure you research your niche- you don’t want to pick a niche that isn’t profitable because that means that no one will be searching for what you are selling. our favorite ways to research different niches are google and Etsy.

Figure out Your Branding


Now that you know what you are going to sell and to who, you’re ready to do the fun part which is to figure out your branding. Not only should you think about what your brand looks like (colors + fonts) but also what you want your customers to feel like. Building a brand isn’t just about how something looks, it’s also about how it makes someone feel. People buy off of feeling and desire rather than need, so you want to speak to that emotion. If you need some inspiration, brainstorm a list of 3-5 businesses (big and small) you are attracted to and ask yourself why. What about those brands makes them stand out to you? What vibe are they giving off and how can you incorporate that same feeling into your brand?

Optimize Your IG Bio


The very first thing people see when they land on your instagram page is your bio. Think of your IG bio as the new business card. Your instagram bio needs to be extremely clear and tell your customers exactly what you sell and who it’s for. Remember that the average user only spends 5 seconds on deciding if they want to follow you or not. Make it count by having a bio thats straight to the point and not “fluffy”. Get more or our tips here

Have a Posting Strategy


Pick how many days per week you want to post to your feed and stick to that posting scheduling. Don’t bite off more than you can chew here. Start small and slowly increase over time. The key to instagram is consistency and quality rather than pumping out a bunch of posts. Once you’ve figured out how many times per week you want to post, then come up with different photo topics. So let’s say you can only post 3x per week consistently, you’ll want to come up with 3 different photo topics and maybe that looks something like this:

  • Your product (either using mockups or your own product photography.)
  • Behind the scenes
  • Customer photo wearing your product

Utilize Instagram Stories


The future is video. Instagram has made it extremely clear with the recent push for reels so focusing on creating video content will get your account seen by a lot more people than just a static post. Instagram stories are a great way to connect with your community and really let them see the behind the scenes of your business and get to know you on a deeper level. That doesn’t mean that you need to share your life on stories either. It just means posting about things that your ideal customer would want to see. Here are some examples:

  • Behind the scenes
  • Repost customer photos
  • Ask you community questions
  • Share about you

Use Hashtags


One of the easiest ways to get found on instagram is to utilize hashtags. But how to use them is important. Hashtags are a fantastic way to get your instagram profile in front of your potential customer. You’ll want to use hashtags strategically though use them in your posts to attract your ideal customer and you’ll want to type them in the search field so you can find and engage with your ideal customer.

Utilize Giveaways


Using giveaways is another great way to build a brand on instagram. If you don’t know what a giveaway is, it’s simply a contest where you give something from your shop away in exchange for an entry from someone on instagram. Some examples are gift cards or something tangible from your shop. You set the rules but we like to keep it as simple as possible to make it easy for people to enter. The reason why giveaways are so great is because it builds brand recognition and it increases the trust factor from your followers resulting in sales for your business. Giveaways are a great way to increase your following especially when you are first starting out.

Whether you want to build an uber successful brand on Instagram or just want a few extra customers to your Etsy shop every month, we hope you found this post helpful and if you want more in depth help on building your brand, check out our ebook here.

Happy ‘gramming!

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