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6 ad-free ways to boost your Teespring sales on Instagram

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social networks and it’s also growing in popularity as a promotional platform for Teespring sellers. We recently caught up with Angela Vickers, a Teespring seller who has been using Instagram to sell products for the past several months.

Apart from advertising, Instagram is a good channel for promoting products organically, i.e. without ads. Currently, most of Angela’s Teespring sales come from organic Instagram traffic and she uses the social network to present herself as a clothing brand with products designed for specific niches.

In this post we’ve compiled a list of our top tips with Angela’s help for promoting organically on Instagram. If you’ve got extra tips to share feel free to leave a comment below!

1. Create one Instagram account per storefront / niche

Angela has 3 Teespring storefronts and each one has its own Instagram account. Keep in mind Instagram accounts only have one clickable link available in the “bio” section—so this is where you should add your store link. Angela also commented shortened URLs tend to get more clicks, so consider using bitly links in your bio.

Lucy Watson added her Teespring Store link in her Instagram bio (

2. Use all of your hashtags

Think of hashtags as lottery tickets…why wouldn’t you use them all? Hashtags are an effective way to boost content exposure and get new followers organically. You can add up to 30 hashtags in each post and we recommend you use them all. Angela also suggests avoiding generic hashtags like “#shirt” because your audience will probably miss your content—the more specific the better. If you’re not sure where to start with niche-specific hashtags try researching online, there are tons of tips and tools available!

3. Explore influencer marketing opportunities

Collaborating with “influencers” is something big brands have been doing for ages. Influencer marketing involves using a specific individual (or influencer) to encourage action (i.e. purchases) from their followers. Angela uses influencer marketing too; she focuses on Instagram accounts within her niche and organizes product giveaways for their following. Usually, she’ll send an influencer $40 worth of products and in return, they will post it to their Instagram or organize a contest/giveaway for their followers. Their content will get tons of comments and shares and Angela says influencer posts often result in more sales compared to paid advertising.

The image below is an example of influencer marketing; notice how the user tags the company’s account and uploads a photo of the products. 

The trick here is to pick the “right” influencer for your niche so be sure to check things like location, following size, and overall audience demographic. Also make sure their followers are truly engaged, avoid fake influencers (who purchase followers), and go for micro / mid-sized accounts with followings from 10k – 200k. Angel usually aims to collaborate with accounts that have around 100K followers.

4. Share quality content frequently

Angela usually posts 3 times a day and uploads lifestyle images of people wearing her products (check out this post to learn how to find your “best” posting frequency). She commented these types of images get more engagement compared to simple product mockups; Instagram is a visual platform the images you share need to be high quality, beautiful, interesting, etc. Avoid posting duplicate photos and be sure to upload original content to your account. If you’re serious about maintaining your posting frequency there are a variety of sites you can use to schedule content. When choosing images to upload it’s also important to make sure your products/designs are easily visible too. Finding quality content might be a bit difficult, so that’s why we recommend featuring user generated content (learn more in the next tip).

5. Upload user generated content

The type of content you should be uploading to your Instagram account is different than what you’d normally use on a Facebook page (i.e. no memes, viral videos, etc.). Like Facebook however, when it comes to engaging content your following is a great place to start! You can ask customers to post a photo with their item and tag you or use a specific hashtag for the chance to get featured.

It’s common for Instagram accounts to ask people to submit photos through their bio or in individual posts—you can also use a specific hashtag to make collecting submissions easier! Check out the example below:

Remember you can use the Teespring Messages Tool to ask buyers to share their photos for the chance to get featured. This is a good way to collect user generated content not only for Instagram, but for Facebook and Twitter as well; whenever Angela receives buyer photos she publishes them on her niche’s Twitter and Facebook accounts too. Learn more about post-listing promotion here.

Email subject: Get featured on Instagram!

Body (example):

Hey {{first_name}},

Thanks so much for purchasing {{products_ordered}} of my design—I’m so glad you like it! Please let me know if you have any feedback on what you’d like my next design to be.

Also, I’ll be featuring customer photos on my Instagram page so feel free to post a selfie wearing your new item and tag @TravelTees – you can also send me the photo via Instagram message. If your photo is featured I’ll be sure to tag your account so you know it’s been posted.

Thanks again and have a great day!

Kate (Founder of Travel Tees)

We often feature images submitted by influencers, sellers and customers on Teespring’s social channels. The image below was shared by Ashley James, an influencer and Teespring seller based in the U.K. Use the hashtag #TeespringFeatured for a chance to be spotted!

6. Cross promote to grow your following

Angela says cross promoting other brands on her account has helped her get a lot of new followers, and as a result, sales!

For example, if you sell to a “fishing” niche you might try re-posting a picture from a rod and reel company and say they make a great product. You’ll tag the company in your photo and maybe they’ll respond with nice comment or like your photos…and this interaction could lead to a collaboration. I guess you could compare this to posting in a Facebook group…when you post you hope that the users of the other products will gain access to your posts, which will expand your audience and validate your products (by association). Another example would be if you sell fitness themed designs on Teespring and cross-sell a brand that specializes in yoga mats or if you repost a photo from a meal prep guru—this may spur them to repost something from you, which can help you get new followers.


Ready to put these tips to the test?




42 responses to “6 ad-free ways to boost your Teespring sales on Instagram

  1. md.monirul islam says:

    Apart from advertising , Instagram is a good. Instagram is one of the fastest growing social networks and it’s also growing in popularity as a promotional platform· for Teespring sellers .thank you.

    1. Harsh says:

      I’ve been using Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to promote my designings, but still I don’t get any sales.Please some one help me to get sales !!!!

      1. Luiza Jordan says:

        Keep up the good work–this kind of thing doesn’t happen over night! Sounds like you’ve got the right idea. Have you been ordering samples to promote your product? It might also be worth revisiting the meaningfulness of your design and make sure you’re targeting your audience in the right way (whether thats a new or existing audience)

  2. Daniel says:

    All the advice is great and all, but half of it doesn’t pertain to getting started on Instagram…which is the hardest part. People aren’t going to collaborate with you when you just get started. You’re going to have to build your following solo for a while. Asking people to send photos in their shirts requires sales…And sending influencers shirts or running contests is still money out of your pocket if you have to pay for the product.

    1. Kim says:

      You hit the nail on the head and this is the problem with articles like these, they always seem to ignore the person just starting up. Ends up being a waste of reading time.

    2. Ashley Barker says:

      I agree 100% ….. I’ve only sold two shirts and I started almost a month ago. My designs are good but no one will actually buy one! But I get alot of likes and comments on Instagram though, ughhhh!

      1. Dex says:

        That’s me too! I use twitter, I get tons of likes and retweets. Yet hard to sell. Spending money on designs not adverising. Should I spend?

        1. Aamir Ali says:

          I’ve been designing t-shirts and promoting them on Instagram for the past 3 months but there have been no sales yet. I’ve tried different strategies to get a ton of traffic to my storefront and boost my sales but nothing seems to work.

    3. Humza says:

      I agree 100%. I have tried to use Instagram to promote products and have built a bit of an audience but no one will collaborate because i am still too small of a company.

      1. Dex says:

        Lets work together. I do political shirts. Maybe we can team up. Dm me on twitter @Nicethreads1

        1. Helm wears says:

          Drop your Instagram handle let’s connect

    4. Charles says:


    5. Bharat says:

      Use for lifestyle mockups

  3. kery says:

    i really need to make sales been growing my instagram for a while now yet no sales.

    1. Mo.nizar says:

      I just started creating products on teespring, needed some advice from someone who’s getting started too, did you make any sales yet? can you help please ?

      1. the arstist says:

        Nope, no sales yet, it takes upto 6 months to build genuine audience. So we should keep exercising our patience muscle. And there’s no loss even if we decide to quit as we didn’t invest any money. So don’t worry or get tensed just keep calm and hustle going on ! Hope it helps you.

  4. Fahim Sarkar says:

    Very Thoughtful And Valuable Post For All Teespring Seller.Thanks

  5. Ashley Barker says:

    I started almost a month ago and I’ve only sold two items! I’ve been using Facebook and Instagram but Facebook locked me out of my account and idk why! I’m assuming it’s because I was trying to sell products and they didn’t agree with me sharing my URL to different groups! So now I’m in “Facebook jail”…. So I’m very limited on ways to sell items without paying for promotions! Someone HELPPPPP!

  6. TRUONG CONG HAU says:

    thank you very much

  7. wayne tully says:

    Not useful for the beginner, but maybe when you are successful then most of that will apply. I’ve connected my teespring to my YouTube channel also and am just starting out creating new designs and artwork, still finding my feet with it really.

  8. Sanzu lama says:

    Just designed a best t-shirt but no commercial tools I used to sell …
    Do buyer will come in my site and they will buy or I just need to promote…:? Help me?

    1. Erica Bickel says:

      Hey Sanzu, most of our creators promote their products. You can check out our creator guide here for more tips.

  9. taibah says:

    love it

  10. pryce ellis says:

    these tips are helpful. putting out quality content is a must. it has to be from the heart. as soon as i started being the face of my brand, and attaching my story to it I believe i became transparent to my fans. my fan base has def grown in the last year, and mostly in the last 3 months. i cant really stand by the hash tag thing, i know hashes are useful, but using them can catch a lot of “followers” instead of “fans” and fans are the most important people. well thank you tee spring for always providing great service, and products. i go Pryce Ellis, if you’re interested in finding out more about me, you can type that name on any platform and ill pop up. well wishes to everyone.

  11. Papamall says:

    I found this very informative. I will try some of these techniques for sure.

  12. Simon says:

    I agree with the comments above regarding how hard it is for newbies to get off the ground due to the fact they are unknown. Has anyone tried stating somewhere on their social media accounts that orders are fulfilled by Teespring and therefore purchasing one of your products is a safe option?

  13. Simon says:

    Also, what are people’s views on disabling comments on Instagram? I disabled mine because I sell shirts targeted at LGBT people snd their families and I don’t want to spend all day moderating the hateful comments that inevitably come as they have on Facebook where I cannot disable comments. I am wondering though if I should enable the comments if it allows more engagement and hooefully some sales.

  14. Emily says:

    I’m still haven’t made not one sale and all my family are complaining about the prices . And I put them as low as they can go …and I can’t use the promo code either

    1. Lucy Ford says:

      Hey Emily, check out this resource for tips on making your first sale

  15. William says:

    I am having trouble getting my first sale. I just started less than a month ago and I’m trying to build up my audience on instagram.

    1. Lucy Ford says:

      Hey William, please check out the following resources for some more tips and tricks to help boost sales!
      – Get your first sale
      – Promotional guides

  16. Boring Panda Apparel says:

    Just started 1 month before and still struggle with my first sale, a few people come visit my storefront everyday but that’s it, any advice Sir?

    1. Lucy Ford says:

      Hey! Have you checked out our social media promotion guides?

  17. Ekeson Jay jay says:

    I have made a lot of amazing tees and other products and they have been around for months now
    I haven’t made any sales yet
    I followed all the rules strategies even paid ads yet no sale
    A lot of social media likes but no sales yet

    1. Lucy Ford says:

      Don’t give up! You can look for inspiration from other sellers on how they got their first few sales here:

  18. AS says:

    This whole article is about how to sell more if you’re already selling and are popular. It doesn’t help people who are just just starting. Complete waste of time.

    1. Luiza Jordan says:

      Hey there, sorry to hear that! The idea is that these techniques are all free and accessible to anyone. It takes time, but with hard work, anyone can do it!

  19. Lake says:

    I personally have been having issues with this as well. I have a liberty based and Gamer based business. It’s pretty much American without Politics Except maybe one shirt with a political ideology. I mean if anyone want’s help em sell some stuff that would be awesome.

    1. Lake says:

      *me sell some stuff*

    2. Luiza Jordan says:

      Hey! Have a look at the promotional guides in the training center. 🙂

  20. klyie Annet says:

    Hi guys I’m new here please help me make my first sale stay safe

  21. James Harvey says:

    Very informative and useful article. Learned a lot. Thank you.

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