The Rise of the Influencers: 2018’s Hot Marketing Trend

influencer marketingAccording to Forbes, influencer marketing looks to eclipse digital marketing as the latest way businesses can garner more customers. “Many businesses have just gotten the hang of digital marketing,” you may say. “Now, I have to switch gears—again?”

 

No, a business doesn’t need to completely switch gears to adjust to this trend. Especially when one realizes it’s just an old friend in a different suit of clothes.

 

Influencer Marketing a New Twist on Word-of-Mouth

 

We’re talking about word-of-mouth advertising. The kind where a happy customer tells a potential customer how good the business’s product are. The kind that causes loyal brand evangelists to tool around town in T-shirts that proclaim “Coke.” As we know, custom printed T-shirts and promotional apparel can make a difference in getting the word out about a business, so what is the difference with influencer marketing?

 

The only difference is that with influencer marketing, a business needs to concentrate on attracting what marketers call “influencers.” People who are changemakers. People who are on the cutting edge in their industry. They don’t have to be celebrities, even though some are.

 

Get the Imprimatur of an Industry Leader

 

Remember that old ad for E.F. Hutton? The line from an E.F. Hutton customer, sitting on a plane, “Well, my broker’s E.F. Hutton. And E.F. Hutton says…” Everyone cranes their necks to hear from him—because–when E.F. Hutton talks, everybody listens.

 

It’s like that with influencers. Look for those kinds of people to become a product’s evangelists, and the world will listen. At least the corner of the world in that niche.

 

An expert dog trainer, for instance, whose protégé has taken dogs destined for the killer’s needle and made Schutzhund or agility champions out of them will have great sway in the minds of canine sport fans—if the mentor endorses the lesser-known trainer publicly. One doesn’t have to be Cesar Millan to have people in the Schutzhund or agility niches notice greatness.

 

Nike has gotten that message since they went viral with Michael Jordan’s wildly successful Air Jordan line. They’re still getting it with soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. To the tune of a cool $500 million.

 

Get That Industry Leader to Notice Your Work

 

A business doesn’t have to be a huge company like Nike to take advantage of influencers in its niche. A restaurant, for instance, that has a specialty that they do extraordinarily well will get tons of traction from the say-so of a local food critic.

 

People whose life trajectories have been transformed by a product, too, are superb influencers. Their passion—and the obvious change that the product has wrought—can go far to promote the business who makes the product. When they—for free—get on social media and tell all their friends who need the same kind of transformation, who wouldn’t climb on to that bandwagon?

 

Seek out Influencers and Partner for Profit

 

It goes without saying, then, that a business needs to seek out those that can be influencers for its flagship products. A music studio’s prize pupil who wins a scholarship to Juillard—that’s an influencer. A local dress shop whose prom gown the local prom queen sported in all her glory.

The town’s sports hero who eats three of a restaurant’s hamburgers before he competes on the field.

 

All these people can be a brand’s influencers. All the business needs to do is to leverage their clout—online, in promotional gear, and in the buzz around town.

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Five Ways To Save Up to 75% On Custom Printed T-Shirts

custom printed t-shirtsThe cost of promotional printing can sometimes be high when you are on a limited budget, so how can you save money on custom printed t-shirts to promote your business?

 

We get many calls per day inquiring about printing small quantities of shirts.  People call for quantities ranging from six units to several dozen units, but the simple truth is, it’s very difficult to get a good deal on such a small quantity, because of the set up of the job

 

 The Basics Of Saving  On Custom Printed T-Shirts

When you order custom printed shirts for silkscreen printing,  physical screens for printing need to be made, and that is incorporated into the price of the shirts. By ordering more shirts, you can always get a much better deal.  The more you print,  the better the price. this is why quantity matters.

 

A Look At The Numbers Of Custom T-Shirt Printing

So let’s say you need a dozen white shirts printed with only one color on the front. Ordering just three dozen shirts would save you over 50% per unit. Ordering six dozen would be an even better deal.   Take a look at these estimated numbers:

12 white shirts, printed with one color on one side only= about $13.50 each

36 white shirts, printed with one color on one side only= about $6.50 each

72 white shirts, printed with one color on one side only= about $4.00 each

144 white shirts, printed with one color on one side only= about $3.00 each

 

You can see that even changing your quantity slightly results in a much lower price. This is why quantity is the number one variable to consider when you are trying to save money on printing.

 

Other Factors That Determine Promotional Printing Prices

There are other specific variables that can affect the pricing:

Variable number two would be the brand you choose.  For instance,  American Apparel is a very popular brand.  It also costs twice as much as Hanes, Gildan, or Fruit of the Loom. Is it worth more? That really depends on personal taste. By choosing a basic  brand, rather than a premium brand,  you can save 50% or more.

 

 Style Of Shirt

The third variable that affects pricing is the style of shirt.  Obviously,  a long sleeved shirt will cost more than a short sleeved shirt.  Anything that is not “standard” will cost more.  Anything that is not the most basic type of shirt will cost more.  That’s why short sleeve t-shirts are always the lowest cost option. Also consider, in almost all cases, white shirts will always cost less than colored shirts. Even choosing a white shirt over the same colored shirt will save you 40% on the cost of the shirt itself.  Again, this can save you 40-75% or more.

 

Locations To Be Printed

The fourth variable is how many locations on the shirt do you want to print?   Do you want to  print just the front?  Or do you want to print the front and back?  Or the front, back, and both sleeves?  Or just one sleeve?   All of these options will affect the price.  The more locations you print on the garment, the more expensive the price will be.  Conversely, a single location on the shirt will be least expensive. Depending on how many locations you print, this can save you between 10 – 50% of your budget.

 

Number Of Colors In T-Shirt Design

The fifth variable is that the number of colors printed on your shirt will affect the price as well. If you are looking to save money, less colors equals less cost. Choosing a nice, well-balanced t-shirt design in one color will achieve better results than a poor design with many colors. Also keep in mind that when printing on dark colors, a white under base needs to be laid down first to make light colors stand out on a dark shirt, which means you are paying for an extra color of ink. With all the possibilities here,  we are talking about  a 10 to 20% savings for one versus two color, and a 75% savings when going down from six colors to one color.

 

Why Order More T-Shirts Than Needed?

But simpler than anything, as we led off with, the quantity will make the biggest difference. So what if you only need a few shirts?   Why would you want to order more than you need?   This is a question that you can only answer for yourself.  If there is a possibility for you to use extra shirts, then it will be more than worth the extra expense, as illustrated  above.  If however, you have no need for extra shirts, there really is no reason to get a higher quantity, regardless of the savings.

 

Interestingly enough, as I am writing this article, I just got a call from a client where they had a specific budget that they wanted to stay within, but in order to stay within that budget, they had to lose 25% of the quantity. In other words,  the quantity they wanted was $60 over their budget. When weighing the numbers, it became a ridiculous proposition to sacrifice 25% of the quantity that they wanted in order to save $60. They elected to go with the quantity they wanted for the extra $60. This is a perfect example of what I’m talking about.  Honestly, I did not do any kind of hard sell here.  We just compared the two quantities versus prices together and it became a no-brainer for both of us to see.

 

How Printing Prices Go Down As Quantity Goes Up

Bottom line, we’ve shown you how the price goes down with quantity, so if you can stretch your budget to accommodate  a higher quantity, it’s always best to do so. Once the set up is created,  the unit price goes down as the quantity goes up. The reason is that it is less expensive for any printer to set up and print a higher quantity of any single design than it is to set up and print a smaller quantity of a single design.

 

If there is one piece of advice I can give you  regarding printing, it is never order the minimum quantity,  because that will cost you more than anything.  Be smart and go for higher quantities, and you can save your budget over 75% or more.

 

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T Shirt Printing Design

t-shirt-printing-designSo you want to create a great t-shirt printing design, but not sure where to start.  Well, t shirts that really make you think, “wow” are always carefully planned.  Let’s go over all the aspects of a well-designed t-shirt.

T-shirt design shape

Bet you didn’t think that the shape of the design would make a difference, eh? With t-shirt printing, a simple square or rectangle can work against you, where you can take advantage of the medium.  By stretching your design to all kinds of custom shapes.  Not just lettering, but sharp lines that stick out grab attention.  Keep this in mind when designing your custom printed t-shirts.  For instance, think of a rocket ship, or an arrow, and how that sticks out.

Complementary versus clashing colors

If you were to do some research on t shirt colors, you’d find out that red on black is the best-selling combination.  Generally, you want a bright color on a basic colored garment for maximum impact.  That does not mean that you can’t get away with  a white on black or black on white design.  But if you want to maximize your sales, keep colors in mind.

Now, the other thing to keep in mind is whether colors match each other.  Which colors are complementary to each other?  Take a look at this color wheel below.

colorwheel When you’re looking at the color wheel, notice that  if you were to pick blue, the color opposite, that would be orange.

These are complementary colors.  Pick one color unknown go all the way across the wheel to find the color that is complementary to it.  Orange and blue, purple and yellow are other examples. The problem is,  colors across the wheel from each other can also be categorized as clashing colors. That’s why it’s always good to use a neutral color (like black, white, brown) in between the two to offset the difference.  But here’s the interesting thing.   If you want to grab  people’s attention,  you want colors to clash.  It really depends on the effect you’re going for.

Analogous Colors

Analogous Colors are colors that are next to each other.  For instance, yellow and light green. This creates a harmonious look.  Again, this depends on the look you’re going for.   So you’ll need to experiment with colors to see what works for your particular design.  There are no hard and fast rules on colors when it comes to custom t-shirt printing.  For instance, if you have a comic book character on your t-shirt.  You may want to make it very colorful.  But if it’s a logo, you may want to make it more professional looking, which means less colors.  People actually spend years doing research on colors, so don’t get carried away with this.  Experimentation is the key.

Direct to garment printing

With direct to garment printing, you can print unlimited colors because it’s printed in in full color CMYK versus screen printing, which is printed one color at a time. This allows you to really do whatever you want in terms of colors.  It’s ideal for full color photos, for example, and is my personal favorite for creating the wow factor.

Readability of fonts

While some designers like to go crazy with fonts, what’s most important is for people to be able to read what is on your t-shirt.  So pick a font that is easily readable.  Try not to use more than three different fonts on one t-shirt, or it will look too busy. Get a nice balance by using bold or cap typeface for the main words only.  Squint your eyes and look at your design from a few feet away.  Which words stand out to you?   Now adjust and repeat the process.  When you squint,  you need to see the most important words clearly and the rest of it not as clear.

Also keep in mind your company’s branding strategies.   Remember everything that you print should reflect  your company’s image., Keep it consistent.

 T-shirt printing design in stages

Each stage of your design should take you to another level.  This is why it is recommended to create your design in a number of stages. In the beginning stages, feel free to let your creativity run wild and try out all sorts of fun ideas. Make sure you plan and create drafts to see where your creativity takes you. In the later stages you can rule ideas out,  and decide what does not work and what does.

Summary

It takes time to create a T shirt that has that “wow” factor, but you must have a strong foundation with several elements that stand out.  If it seems overdone, or to gaudy, trust your internal “cheese meter”.  Keep in mind, less is always more when it comes to T shirt design.  For ideas, look at the competition. There are websites online where t-shirts are designed and sold. Visit those websites  and look at the best-selling shirts.  Borrow ideas from them and incorporate that into your design.  You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, when there are many great ideas out there already. A shirt that’s already selling can give you an idea for a new design, so research is always a good idea.

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Promoting Your Brand Identity with Custom Printed T-Shirts

Custom printed t-shirts are a great way to start promoting your brand identity. These simple garments can really add a new aspect to your business activities, and with this short post you can hopefully get a better idea of the economy and creativity of custom t-shirt printing.

promoting your brand identityIt can be a profitable enterprise to sell t-shirts with your brand logo imprinted, and there are many large and small successful businesses to prove it. Larger companies sell company t-shirts to the public, with the dual advantage of making a profit on the side and increasing company exposure. Additionally, salespeople in practically every company wear custom printed shirts to promote the company and the brand. Some businesses whip out special tees for their staff to wear during a new product release or sales event.

Costs and the Benefits

However you intend to use them, it should be fairly obvious that custom printed t-shirts can really help to support your business. At the very least, it is the potential for direct company promotion and advertising that makes custom printed t-shirts such an attractive proposition.

There is naturally a bit of overhead involved with purchasing custom printed t-shirts to promote your business, but now that modern technology has helped lower  t-shirt manufacturing costs, even the smallest companies can have shirts printed for relatively little expense.

They might be relatively small, but the costs are still there, and if you are a new business owner such costs may concern you. So what can you do to lower the expense? Popular ways to reduce the cost include buying in bulk, printing in only one color, using basic color combinations and small, simple designs, and limiting the t-shirt color to a basic white, which can save money in printing costs. In this example, up to $1.00 more shirt.

Creativity Versus Economy When Promoting Brand Identity

You might think it is sensible to be as frugal as possible, but sometimes being frugal might not be the best idea. If you are using your shirts for promotion, you want to stand out and catch the customer’s eye in any way possible that is appropriate and in line with your business philosophy, and how are you going to stand out if you only have a small, simple logo, basic colors and printing on the front side of the shirt only? In short, it might cost you more in the short term to be creative and purchase more creative custom printed t-shirts, but that extra creativity can lure more customers in and drive more business…if you do it right.

So how do you weigh creativity vs. economy? Whether you are selling tees or promoting your company with them, you should first think about what you can afford, and then, how much creative freedom you have to work with.

Creative Ideas and Examples

There are so many great ideas for custom t-shirts that you can use for inspiration, but never forget that it is always best to be original, or at least as original as possible. Customers take more notice when they see something unique and distinctive, and this can be very powerful once they associate it with your business and your brand.

It could be a catchy slogan, an interesting set of colors, or something completely outside the box. You could use a witty remark or resort to toilet humor. Humor often works well with marketing t-shirts, especially when there you can get away with making fun of people because it is relevant to your business. For established companies and brands it is usually better to use unique color schemes, phrases and logos on your marketing tees, rather than relying on cheap tricks. Take a look on google at company t-shirt images and you’ll be sure to get some ideas you can incorporate. Seeing what the competition is doing is always a good move. If you need help, please feel free to contact us.

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Family Reunion T-Shirts

Nowadays, custom printed t-shirts are cheap enough to buy for almost any occasion. They might not be the most suitable apparel for events like weddings and baby showers, but they are great for those less formal occasions where you aren’t forced to wear suits, dresses, ties and the like.

family reunion t shirts

For your family reunion there is no need to rely on boring formal wear, and you can do much, much better than just going casual. Why not make things fun and interesting with your own custom printed family reunion t-shirts? Family reunion t-shirts are great because they bring a sense of unity to the occasion, and are very useful for such things as helping family members to identify each other. Now, while it’s still warm out is the perfect season for t shirt screen printing, so take advantage of that!

When it comes to having custom t-shirts printed for a family reunion, you have two main options: to go with a conventional design, or to do something a little more creative.  A conventional design would usually include the family name, the reunion date and the place, for example “Smith Family Reunion, Oct 1, 2013, Columbus, OH” and a picture of a tree. Conventional designs are a very popular option, and especially popular for larger families that are meeting for the first time in a long while.

In terms of creative designs there is practically no limit to what you can do. Slogans like “It’s a family thing” or “Our roots run deep” are no-brainers. Going with the style, logos and fonts of a much-loved film or TV show is always a popular option, for example, putting F.A.M.I.L.Y in place of the Friends logo, or using the distinctive logo from The Godfather.

Some families like to keep it kosher, while others like to be more daring. If your family shares a sense of humor, your reunion tees are a great excuse to have some fun – “Why be sane when you can be a Johnson?” (Of course, it doesn’t have to be as tasteful as that! : )

Planning Family Reunion T-Shirts

You don’t want to be the only one at your family reunion wearing a custom printed t-shirt. Your relatives might be grateful, but you might look a little silly on your own. This is why you should plan and coordinate with other family members well before the event takes place.

Here the t-shirts can be as consistent or as variable as you like, but just like family, it is always best to have something in common between the shirts. Every family member could wear a tee with the same color, design, font, slogan etc., or the same design could be used but with different colors for men and women. Younger and older members of the family could have their own slogans…there are so many different possibilities.

Once everything is agreed upon, it’s always best to nominate one person to collect the funds, and buy them all in bulk for best pricing.  It always helps to have someone in the family who is willing to donate their own money, buy all the shirts and give them to all family members as gifts, but that’s rarely the case. More than likely, everyone chips in. Having one person in charge then becomes a necessity. This makes it more convenient and ensures that everyone has their tees for the occasion. Our standard turnaround for printing custom family reunion t-shirts is two weeks, though if your reunion is fast-approaching we do offer rush turnaround times.

Most importantly, whatever custom t-shirt design you have in mind for your family reunion, remember to keep it consistent as a whole, being that’s what it’s all about…connection.  Have fun!

 

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