How to Start a Print On Demand Shop
Whether you’re a teacher who would like to earn extra income or a social media personality looking to make complementing products for your brand, print on demand is a source of revenue that’s often overlooked.
What is Print on Demand?
Print on Demand is a service provided to individuals or small business to have custom items made and shipped based on orders. In short, the the creator, you, make designs, upload to a site, market the items to specific groups, and the item is made once a customer orders.
How to Launch a Print on Demand Business
If you’re considering adding “merch” to your online business, social media presence, or you’re starting from scratch, it’s important to know that most successful print on demand shops are extremely niche (nee-sh) focused. Niche? What’s that you ask? A niche is a specific topic or group of people; specific grouping if you will. Niche focused print on demand businesses encompasses thoughts, ideas, feelings, terms, and behaviors of your targeted group. Because you’re focused on things that appeal to them, the likelihood of engagement increases. Engagement is what you want. You want people to talk about, share, and ultimately purchase your items. When focusing on commonalities of individuals, growth is inevitable. So, step one for creating a print on demand business is to identify your niche.
Host Your Designs
Where will your designs live? Where will you market your products?
These are guiding questions to find solid solutions to as your begin to build your online store. In addition to third party sites, some creators opt for self-hosted websites, like this one, or Shopify, to present their products to the masses. For me, I’ve opted for both the self hosted site and pairing with third party sites for greater reach. This nothing more fantastic than search engine optimization (SEO) to draw interested parties to your store. Sometimes, marketplaces like, Merch by Amazon or TeeSpring, can be a little crowded in addition to offering little to no marketing or data. Therefore, I love the self hosted option because it also gives me the information that I need to know about what resonates with buyers and what’s a total flop.
Lastly, think about time, accessibility, user experience, revenue, and profit when deciding where to host your designs.
Create Your Designs
Creating your designs is the fun part. It’s where you can tap into your inner art girl or boy, then go wild; like absolutely wild. Because you’ve already completed step one, how to launch a print on demand business, you know that identifying a niche is critical. You’ve done that right? Right? OK, good. Here’s where you tap into key words associated with the niche to create plain designs, and then identify pictures, moods, and feelings to dress those designs up some. Remember, here’s where you’ll need to stay within niche and on brand. Your designs should properly represent who you are as the creator while serving the people within your niche with high quality products. It’s a definite win-win. Try it.
Oh, if you’re saying, hey Reginia, I don’t have a design or creative bone in my body, but I want to start a t-shirt business! No problem, friend. Head over to Fivver, Upwork, or find artist online for custom work. One tip within working with contractors online, plus use a contract, NDA, and custom work with royalty-free images or you’ll find yourself in the hot seat. We don’t want that.
Promote Your Store
Promote your store, its goods, its benefits, its features, and all the like everywhere. Note, I said promote, not spam, please don’t link and run. Read a few books or articles about creating campaigns or social media engagement. Think about your people and go where they are. Use social media wisely and create community. Create the feeling of exclusivity. Promote yourself daily, more than once. Those algorithms can’t help you until you help yourself. Promote yourself, your things, and your brand. Do it with style and grace too.
Analyze Data and Respond Accordingly
What are your customers doing and where are they coming from?
This is information that you need to know. It tells you how to move, what to create, what to discount, what more is needed, and what to delete.
Let the data guide you.
Top Print on Demand Companies
Create, Promote, Grow.
Let’s talk about it.