How to Start a T-Shirt Business for your Podcast

Podcasting is the new blogging.  And in similar fashion, many podcasters find themselves looking for ways to monetize their new hobby.  Sponsorships are the most popular method of monetization, but those opportunities depend upon the popularity of your podcast.  While many podcasters would love a top 10 show, many will never get that opportunity.  As a result, podcasters find themselves at a crosswords as they seek other methods of monetization.

As a podcaster, I know how this feels.  I started my podcast 1.5 years ago.  I didn’t have the downloads to attract a major sponsor (and I still don’t).  I didn’t have any courses, ebooks or membership sites to promote.  A month or two in, I stumbled upon a detailed Instagram post about starting a t-shirt business with zero upfront costs.  I took a screenshot of it and got to work.  Within a short period of time, I had my first t-shirt designed and ready to sell.  While I didn’t sell any of this particular design, I was hooked.  I went back to the drawing board and have since designed several successful t-shirts.  Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Design Concept

Since you will be primarily targeting your podcast audience, you want to leverage your persona, brand and show content.  Gary Vaynerchuk is a popular entrepreneur and podcaster.  He also has a line of t-shirts that he sells on Teepublic.  I have include a few examples below and as you can see, he leverages his content, brand and persona.  These are all aspects of your show that your audience is familiar with, so it’s a great place to start.

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Print Fulfillment Company

During the past year, I have come to learn just how many print fulfillment companies are out there.  The one thing that they have in common, is that they are all different.  Therefore, it is important to select the right company based on your needs.  Before you make a selection, know your priorities.  Obviously, making money is a part of the equation.  However, you also have to take into consideration technology requirements, customer service inquiries and branding.  Once you know your priorities, it will be easier to make a decision.

Promotion

The great thing about having your own t-shirt business, is you can promote it on your podcast regardless of the number of downloads you have.  You don’t need a media kit or any of that fancy stuff to get started.  My favorite part is wearing my t-shirts, because it is a great form of promotion.  You can also promote the t-shirts to your email list and social media followers.

If I’ve made this process sound easy, it’s because it is easy.  It’s also one of the best decisions I’ve made for my podcast.  As a result, I created a course to teach podcasters, bloggers and other content creators how to monetize with custom products, like t-shirts.  The course will be released on October 28, 2016, but until then you can sign up for the pre-launch list for the latest updates.  As a bonus for signing up, you will get access to exclusive content that’s not even included in the course (no purchase required).