The fabric of Teespring’s Community is woven from talented and inspiring individuals. One of the most special things about the community is how many of you are willing to share your experiences and learnings with new and upcoming sellers. Drake from Bacolod City in the Philippines does just that in this post! Learn how he was able to team up with his partner Zhenwei to sell over 18,000 products ($300k in sales revenue) with Teespring.
You’re based in the Philippines and your partner is based in the U.S. How did you two connect and what’s it like working with a partner in another country?
We met through Upwork 2 years ago—Zhenwei was looking for someone to help him promote his designs using Facebook ads. I replied to the ad and after collaborating on some things we found we worked well together. Currently I manage all of our ads, designers, etc. and he oversees everything including the finances, taxes, improvements, etc. I think working with a partner from another country is a really great experience. It’s also advantageous because you get to share and brainstorm ideas together which is the key to every successful partnership and business.
What was the hardest challenge you had to overcome when you first started selling on Teespring? How did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge is researching designs for new niches. The design message requires a lot of research and you have to be sure there’s a large audience for the ads to scale well. Some messages will work for certain niches/jobs but not for others. To overcome failed designs you just have to keep testing daily until you find something that works. Remember to put yourself in the place of the buyer and ask “would I buy that?”…you’ve got to give buyers something they’ve never seen before or feature a design message they can really connect with.
How has selling on Teespring impacted your life?
Teespring changed my life by giving me financial freedom and enabling me to decide when, and how I work. I went from being a chef for 7 years to doing online marketing & ecommerce full time in just a few months. Selling on Teespring allows me to spend more time with my wife and daughter and we get to travel more too. It’s also enabled me to help other people people along the way.
Where do you find design inspiration?
Design inspirations can be found almost anywhere actually. I noticed after the first week of researching design ideas I developed a habit of reading every shirt I see…walking around the mall, at the gym or wherever I go (curious if it’s just me or does it happen to everyone in the business too?). We’ll usually search for ideas/inspiration on Pinterest and then research the niche/audience using Google once we’ve gotten some design messages in mind. We do monitor trends, but focus mainly on selling to evergreen niches like jobs and hobbies.
What niches do you specialize in and in what countries?
All our products are intended for the US market right now. The niches we like selling to are Gym (Crossfit), Veterans, Construction Workers, Drag Racing and Dental Assistants to name a few. You need to be creative in finding niches because most are already saturated such as Nurses and Guns.
Example of an ad featuring a free shipping promotion to boost conversions
When you’re interested in targeting a new niche, how do you perform research?
I usually search around for whatever is currently selling and see if there’s an opportunity to sell to a sub-niche and if it isn’t too saturated yet (ex. Construction worker niche > sub niche could be Backhoe Operators). Then I’ll go to Audience Insights to check if we have enough interest to run ads. For new sellers, I would recommend looking for inspiration all around you. Read blogs and check out non-apparel products and shops that are popular (like mugs, bumper stickers, jewellery, etc.)—look at their niches and try to use your imagination to see if you could create a shirt or other products for that niche.
What are your top tips for new sellers just getting started with paid ads?
Facebook Ads don’t guarantee sales and there is no special ad recipe for your campaigns. Some people are better off starting with PPE ads and some are better starting off with WC ads…it varies per niche and product being sold. So the best thing to do is just keep on testing with different objectives until your pixel has enough fires to be considered “seasoned”. Seasoning a Facebook pixel basically means getting your audience to fire your conversion (i.e. ViewContent, Purchase, etc.)—Facebook learns who your ideal target audience is based on the people who convert…so the more conversions your pixel has the smarter your pixel gets. Facebook says you need 25 conversions per week to optimize WC campaigns…and you should have over 100 fires/conversions for a pixel to be considered “seasoned”. Also keep a spreadsheet of all your stats to monitor your daily figures which will help you in scaling effectively in the long run.
The new T2 updates include access to buyer emails, flat pricing, customizable stores, new products and more. What update are you most excited about and why?
It has to be the customizable Teespring Stores because with these stores we won’t need shopify anymore and we can have a whole line of products for a single niche on one sales page. This will increase conversions as well, plus with upsells and shopping cart we’re getting more products sold per customer at checkout.