(I’m excited about today’s post because this is something I’ve been working on for the past five months. Now I’m ready to talk about it.)
Not too long ago, I knew nothing about how to run a Facebook ad to sell a product. Okay maybe just tried it once. I ran an ad for an iPhone app I had to try and get more users. I wasn’t sure if it really helped. I probably was doing it all wrong. Still I tried.
One day in March I came across someone selling a course about how to make money selling your own t-shirts online. This seller was your typical internet marketer. He said how easy it was. He said he earned over $100k in a month. He made it seem like anyone could do it. He knew how to sell.
So my eyes got big and dreamt about the money I could earn if I sold my own designs. Selling t-shirts had been on my mind for many years. I just never thought I could make that much money from it.
I bought the course, which was really cheap. The course was just okay, but I knew nothing to start anyways. Soon I had my first t-shirt design uploaded and ready to sell. I created it myself with my basic Photoshop skills. I created an ad and started running a Facebook ad campaign. I learned to test it out with a $10 ad budget. If no one bought a shirt in the first $10, then stop the ad. It was a way to test out the design and buyers.
My first design got to $10 and no one bought. I stopped it.
Still I was interested in this. I liked the process. I joined a couple Facebook groups to talk and learn from other people. Some were just beginning, some were having success, while some were still struggling.
The next twenty designs and ad campaigns failed. I spent $10 each time to test it out, and despite thinking people would love the shirt, no one was buying.
The highest I got was 3 shirts. I thought I had an amazing design and targeted the right audience. I lost money on that campaign because each day I spent $10 and ran it for seven days hoping at least ten shirts were ordered. The reason I needed ten orders is because the website I was using to print and ship these shirts is Teespring.com. They make it easy for anyone to sell shirts. Just upload a design, set your price, and if at least 10 shirts are ordered, then the shirts get printed and shipped. They handle that. They just send you money.
If it doesn’t reach at least 10, then no one will get charged and no shirts will be printed.
So no upfront costs and no need to keep any inventory.
I learned it wasn’t as easy as I thought. I couldn’t just make a shirt, and advertise it. Twenty-one failures proved that. I tried selling shirts to dog lovers, coffee lovers, hot sauce lovers, lawyers and more. It would have been easy to quit after so many failures. I wasn’t ready to quit yet.
Finally on the 22nd campaign I had a winning design. It was stupidly simple. It was just a cute message I found on Instagram and targeted towards pediatric nurses. It took less than five minutes to create it in Photoshop. Once I ran the ad, I had a sale before I spent $10.
After the campaign ended seven days later, 17 shirts were bought. I spent $81.72 on ads and earned $112.25 for a profit of $30.53. It wasn’t a huge profit, but it was a successful campaign finally. It took a few more failures before I had another successful one when I sold 32 shirts.
Here is that shirt. As you can see I was targeting butchers, and giving them a funny shirt.
After my first full month, I just about broke even. I cashed out $1,106.87 from Teesrping, but paid just about that much in Facebook advertising. Some people might be discouraged, but I was glad I broke even.
In the month of May, I kept working hard. I was flat out was obsessed with it. All my free time was spent on this. Because I was trying to find the right audience and sell them the right design, I had more failed campaigns than winning ones. But the winning campaigns were massive.
I had my tipping point
The month of May I was finally profitable! I finally was more consistent with my campaigns and selling designs that my customers wanted. All the struggling I had before was finally turning around. All the hard work I put in was now starting to show me massive results.
The month of May was my tipping point. Since then I’ve been profitable every month.