T-shirt business has become a profitable business investment for a long time. However, if you want to succeed, the shop owner must know how to find a specific niche. The following tutorial will guide you on how to find the niche market as well as the best products, how to design the best products for the T-shirt market.
What is a Niche Market?
“A niche market refers to a small yet specific and defined segment of the population. The niche markets do not exist by themselves but are created according to the needs, desires and identified requirements that are hardly or not addressed at all by other companies that develop and offer goods and services to satisfy them.” (Business dictionary)
There are thousands of niche markets and new ones are created every day! There are two main types of niche markets:
- Those who want to address a passion
- Those who surf the web daily
Find Your Niche
You’ve probably already realized that t-shirts are everywhere. From online marketplaces to city street corners, it seems everyone wants to sell you their designs – and if you don’t have a unique selling point, your products will get washed away in the t-shirt tide.
That’s why you need a niche.
From day one, you should be thinking about what sets you apart from all the other t-shirt sellers out there, and why people will want to buy your t-shirts instead of your competitors’ products. Don’t panic – I am not talking about attaching jetpacks to tees or totally rethinking fashion. It can be much simpler than that!
A good place to start is to think about why you’re creating t-shirts. Aside from making money, what is it that made you google how to sell t-shirts online? Some people do it to raise money for charity, to raise awareness of mental health issues, or to express their love of a TV show, book, or film.
Good to know… 75% of consumers prefer brands to personalize their messages, offers, and experiences. Consider providing a customizable design to engage customers and boost sales.
Here are some other things to think about:
- Pain points faced by your target audience – how could you address their needs?
- Are you jumping on a quick trend, or designing for the long-term?
- Do you have a unique angle? For example, the environmental impact of your t-shirts, or the story your designs tell?
It’s pretty clear that your niche ties closely to your target audience, so try to put them at the heart of your brand.
How to Choose a Niche?
In the t-shirt business, like all other businesses, it’s very important that you not only know how to choose a niche but also how to define it.
You can define one or multiple t-shirt niches.
Your niche is your target market or a highly focused, specific type of people that you want to sell your products to.
Bear in mind that you cannot sell to everybody.
Attempting to do so would just waste your time and make your brand forgettable.
So what is a niche anyway?
“Teenagers” isn’t a niche quite yet because there are so many kinds of teenagers on this planet.
That’s not focused enough.
Selling t-shirts to all types of teenagers is very risky because you’d still be shooting at random teenagers.
And that’s a total waste of time.
Having a niche means you can draw a clear picture of your market.
From what they’re wearing, what colors they like, what music they listen to, where they hang out, and most importantly…what things they’re willing to pay for.
The best time to define your niche is before you even start creating your t-shirt designs.
That way when you’re done printing your shirts, you’d have a pretty good picture of whom you’re making your t-shirts for.
The reason for this is simple: It’s impossible to sell marketable shirts without knowing your market.
Find the best-selling designs
Now you know how to find niches (really, it’s not that hard and I’ve seen hundreds of beginners just get started and immediately blow it up), let’s take a look at crafting a scalable campaign.
I am literally going to all but give you a fist full of cash with this. Finding 1 scalable saying is great, but finding the holy grail is what we would like to be able to do, not just the once, but consistently.
So what is a scalable saying? Take our previously mentioned nurse shirt above. Targeting our badass nurses and the sub-niches gives us the ability to create multiple designs/campaigns from the one saying.
This is how I was able to have the success that I have had online. By consistently crafting campaigns that were scaled out to dozens of sub-niches each and every week.
So how do you craft these sayings that haven’t been done to death?
Simple! Research the best-selling shirts and blend the sayings together to create a new, unique phrase that hasn’t been seen before.
How to evaluate your niche market ideas
Now that you know what to sell online, you need to make sure there’s an audience for it. At the start, your niche market and products are just ideas—a hypothesis of what you think will resonate with your target audience.
While targeting a niche as your focus will make it infinitely easier to find potential customers and convince them to buy from you, you need to be sure there are enough buyers in that niche to make it viable. If you determine your niche is too small to generate reasonable interest and profit, consider pivoting to a different audience within that niche or promoting a different product. You won’t really know what will resonate until you try.
Even if you do achieve success early on, niches change and it’s up to you to evolve with your audience and adjust your positioning over time. You might even introduce new products to your line as new opportunities present themselves.
Here are some ways to evaluate your niche market idea:
- Build your audience first. Kickstarter campaigns generate buzz and awareness about products before they’re even developed. While this may not be the route for you, you can still introduce your idea and gain followers before the idea has come to fruition through email opt-in pages, social media campaigns, and other online tactics. This way, you’ll have an engaged group of potential customers ready and waiting for when you do launch.
- Test before you invest. Start with a small batch of products and run a campaign to your targeted audience. Solicit feedback from customers who’ve made the first purchases, or send a few out to influencers and ask them what they think. It’s important to get feedback early on, especially if you’re developing a new product, so you can perfect it before it goes out to the rest of the world.
- Dig deeper into your niche. You already did the keyword research to identify your niche market, but you can go even more in-depth. Analyze blogs, social media, influencers, and other key areas in your niche to gain insights. Can you solve a problem that repeatedly comes up?
- Research consumer trends in your market. It’s important to be up-to-date with what’s happening in your chosen niche. Resources like Facebook IQ, Think with Google, and Nielsen consumer research will help you understand consumer pain points, desires, and breakout trends. Set up Google Alerts for related keywords and regularly monitor social media conversations to stay on top of what’s trending.
When it’s time to actually market your product, remember to hone in on your specific audience’s needs and commonalities. What makes this niche market different from the broader market, and how can you appeal specifically to their wants, needs, and preferences?
Handbags offer a huge market, for example, and there are many niches with many different uses for a handbag within it. You might have new moms who want a handbag that can be used as a diaper bag, you might have college students who need a bag to hold their books, single women in need of an evening bag to hold their phone, keys, and credit cards, vacationing moms who want a large beach bag to hold their family’s gear, and many more.
Understanding the unique needs of each niche makes it possible to speak directly to them in your marketing—you’ll have a greater chance of attracting a buyer’s attention and winning their business by making it clear that your product is specifically for them. Choosing a niche is not easy, but there are a few tips and notes that have helped you. Besides the objective factors such as the market, customers, trend… the most important factor is you. Wish you to find your own business market successfully!