Making merch doesn’t have to take up all your time. You’ve got other responsibilities in your life and getting your shop up and running should be a fun, creative outlet – not a stressful one. Look no further for some great tips on how to find time to work on your merch brand!
Do productive work in your off time to get to know yourself and your merch better. Figure out what you want your designs to look like, what your messaging should be, how you want to promote yourself and interact with fellow collaborators and customers. This will help you set up the building blocks for your site so you can learn more about what you want your shop to be in the long run.
Following these resources and strategies will help you design, post, and promote your merch within a busy schedule (and let you have fun while doing it).
Have an idea in your head but lack the design skills and time to turn it into a wearable design?
You don’t have to be a professional designer to create original, quality merch. If you’ve got a vision and some rudimentary drawing skills, you can easily outsource professional graphic designers to help complete logos and any other kind of designs for you. This is one of the best ways you can work on your merch while you focus on managing other parts of your brand.
The Spreadshirt Graphics Service makes it easy for you to upload your sketches (no matter how crude they are) and include additional details for our team of designers so we can get you a printable design you’re happy with.
Have an unfinished sketch of a dragon breathing fire and holding a pint you want to use for your brewery business? Send it in with some detail about your company and color ideas for how you want your dragon to look.
Need help perfecting a logo for your Twitch merch? Draw out possible design elements and even send in a picture of yourself you want incorporated in the graphic.
Describe how you want your style to look: is it more abstract, or is it clearly defined by sharp lines and edges? You can even add links for designs or styles that inspire you as reference for your merch design.
Pixel vs Vector
You’ll also have to determine what kind of graphic you want: pixel or vector.
A pixel graphic works for more intricate designs and gives you infinite color options, and works with fine details and complex shapes. But it doesn’t allow you to change any individual colors.
A vector graphics works for basic designs and gives you three color options, works with simple shapes, and allows you to change individual colors.
Send in your design sketches or examples as a jpg, png, gif, svg, or pdf file.
Our graphics service costs a one-time fee of $19.99. We get back to you with your finished designs via email within 1 to 3 business days and even offer refunds should you not be fully satisfied.
Other design platforms like Upward are always an option, but you can end up paying as much as $70 an hour for a designer’s services.
Getting your designs finished and ready for print is one of the most important parts of developing your merch brand. Now that they’re fully realized by professionals, you can start thinking about how you want to market your shop.
Map Out Content for Socials
Once you get your merch designs on your shop items, it’s time to start the promotion process.
If you already have a solid following on your personal social accounts that you want to use, stick with that. But if your personal page content conflicts with the messaging of your merch, it would be best to start individual socials for your shop.
You can launch an Instagram and Twitter in a few minutes and use your design/s as a profile image and for other initial content.
To direct followers to your shop and anything else you want to promote, use link in bio tools that create a link that houses it all. Include links to your shop, other socials, about me info, and consistent brand coloring and images depending on which tool you go with.
As far as content goes, you can create stylish and cohesive image layouts when you use a design tool like Canva.
Instead of just laying out your products and taking photos of them, or using just stock model images, try different templates, fonts, and graphic elements to coordinate your merch with particular messaging or stories: sale info, new item updates, tell the story behind your designs, etc.
Upgrade from a free account to a premium plan to give yourself even more design and image options.
You can easily build social images and feeds that feel stylized and professional, yet are still interesting to look at.
Posting content to your socials isn’t something that’s going to eat up a lot of your time you’ve set aside to work on your merch, unless you’re running a major business account. But if you can’t catch a moment in your day-to-day life to post on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, use Hootsuite: a social scheduling tool.
Their free version allows you to link your main social accounts so you can post right from Hootsuite. Upload images and add captions and hashtags. Schedule in advance and view your content calendar to see what days and times you’ll have posts going out.
This can even help you determine what posting strategies and times work best for your audience based on the engagement you get.
Fine Tune Your Shop Page
This can happen at any point in the design process, preferably after you upload designs to your merch.
Play around with themes that work best for you. Do you want it to be clean and simplistic, or feature large background images? Make your homepage your About Me page so people can get to know you and your merch right off the bat. Even feature certain products. Maybe tanks and water bottles now that it’s summertime.
Outsource a logo design for your shop to one of our designers, or use Canva again using the appropriate measurements.
Make sure that you utilize the ability to add social links to the top or bottom of your page. People will think you’re more reliable when they see that you have a social presence and are passionate about your merch on multiple levels.
You want your shop to feel well thought out and complete by the time you’re promoting it and people are clicking the link. It should feel the same as your Instagram or Twitter page does: stylish and inviting with a clear focus on your designs and how they relate to you.
If you already have a website or blog, you can also embed your Spreadshop as a shop section with access to the source code of your website page.
Struggling with shop settings or having technical difficulties? Check out our Spreadshop Help Center that answers common questions and provides links to previous blog posts that address different issues and offer suggestions and resources.
Cross Promote Merch
Just having your shop and promoting it on socials is only going to expose your merch to so many people. You need to think outside of the box and promote your merch in a way that provides multiple benefits for people.
Cross-promotion is a marketing driven promotion that targets customers of one product or service with the promotion of a related product.
You see this all the time whether you’re aware of it or not. The most obvious example: Youtube.
Creators (especially the big time ones) are always cross-promoting. They’re talking about where you can buy their new book, their newest makeup collaboration, where you can listen to their new podcast.
Youtube might be their main thing, but adding in different revenue streams helps build their brand and define themselves in multiple areas while still primarily being known as a Youtuber.
And it shouldn’t be shameful.
Launching your own Youtube channel or podcast definitely takes some thought, though. Begin to develop video or episode ideas and ideas for possible guests in your free time.
But this can also be done in a way that doesn’t really feel like work.
If you haven’t been able to see your friends because of COVID, or if they live across the country, make what you’re doing a chance for you to reconnect with them. If you look at it as a catching up, collaborative kind of conversation, you’ll be more inclined to devote your time and energy to it. This will also get you a better end result.
Continue to use the images and about me info you have on your shop page and socials and tweak it slightly for the necessary platforms.
You may also find that content you used for social posts will work in this process. Make a video for a sale that’s going on for your shop, or about your latest merch drop and why you’re excited about it.
Showing the person behind the merch and more of your personality is going to make people feel like they’re more connected to you and they’ll be able to trust you more.
You don’t need to have all the time in the world to work on and strengthen your merch brand.
Finding your passion is half the battle.
Be sure to open your own merch shop today!