How to Fail with TeeSpring

23 replies
First time poster.

I heard about the "Teespring/facebook ads" thing somewhere and came across warrior forum doing research on how to go about it. I draw cartoons in my spare time and thought I could come up with some fun cartoon designs for shirts.

My first idea was this design:



The concept was to appeal to dirtbikers and motocross fans that were DEADicated. I bought a list of active users from facebook motocross groups from some guy on fiverr.com. That turned out to be fruitless because facebook rejected any ad I made with that Custom Audience. So I used facebooks targeting and tried three different targeting groups over a few days. Spent $13.20 in ads, got 20 clicks with a click through rate of 1% to the teespring page, and zero sales. I quit at that point because there is no way it was going to work at that point. I needed to get a sale for every $2.00 to $3.00 in ads to make it worthwhile.

You can make your own guesses as to why this failed but I will give you what I think:

The design has too many colors for a teespring campaign (seven) which makes the base price expensive and the goal becomes too high in order to make any profit. The shirt was listed at $19.99 with a goal of 50. Nope nope.

The design also fails because it is not appealing to dirtbiker or motocross people. It would be appealing to dirtbikers that like zombies and cartoons and are passionate enough about those things to spend $19.99. That's a hard niche to find using facebook targeting. And the price point is probably too high for that niche anyway.

Feel free to add any other thoughts. Would love to know how any of you internet marketers would use a cartooning skill to make some money on the side. I've done cartoons for people on fiverr.com and some other websites but I would really like to do something of my own. Doing cartoons for other people starts to become like a second job and then I start losing my drive for it. I would rather keep my hobby fun. Maybe that is why it's a hobby though.
#fail #teespring
  • Profile picture of the author JCorp
    The design looks good, but you're absolutely right about it bringing the base cost up... you would have to sell a ton of shirts to make it worthwhile.

    Cartooning/drawing skills is definitely a plus when getting into teespring since you can do the actual designs yourself and don't need to get someone to do it for you.

    Try doing simple designs... many times, SIMPLE sells... when there's too much color or too much designs, it then narrows your market greatly even if your targeting is very good.

    Share your bidding strategy with this campaign as sometimes that alone can make a huge difference.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Chicas
    TeeSpring is a tough nut to crack and it's getting a lot tougher due to so much competition. I would look for other routes to take with your talents.

    You are a pretty good drawer. What program/software do you use to create your drawings?
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  • Profile picture of the author adetutu
    You've got a great talent here. Why don't you start with product creation and write a book on how to draw cartoons. You'll sell a lot.

    You can even sell your skills on fiverr.
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    • Profile picture of the author bman46
      Originally Posted by adetutu View Post

      You can even sell your skills on fiverr.
      Then he'd really be ballin'
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  • Profile picture of the author Gambino
    As others said, you definitely have a skill for design. If I were you, I'd invest in my own online shop and create multiple shirts then drive traffic to it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marketeranas
    You got a good talent and it will work great for teespring ! But as facebook has just updated their TOS for custom audiences now its better to first build up a custom audience through data reach and then target them as this way you are getting their permission for target on facebook ads instead of just getting UIDs scraped of people through scraper !

    Now come up to the pricing . I have personally sold a lot of teeshirts on teespring and the approach which i am using is price always $19.95 and i always always use OCPM for first two days of my compaign because i want to get more clicks . More clicks means high clickthroughrate which in turn makes your ad compaign cheaper !

    Just keep tweaking designs and i prefer to do some simple designs . Your design looks cool but try with simple designs you will gonna get great results
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  • Profile picture of the author Mindz
    You have a needed skill.

    Step one : Design shirts for others and yourself

    Step Two : Create a website - With different category designs

    Step Three : Promote with face book and keep updating your content

    Or Step 3.5 Get with me and I will buy your designs to sell for myself " Deal "
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Freeman
      Don't give up just because one campaign failed. You definitely have a talent there and you can use that in any niche.

      You may want to start following people on Facebook and joining groups to learn more about how to run the Facebook campaigns.
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      • Profile picture of the author cademan
        Originally Posted by hpgoodboy View Post

        Unfortunately those intestines have more the resemblance of a tail
        and then the color...

        If you would draw something that is a little easier to "decipher"
        you could very well sell a truckload of shirts.
        You're completely right. The design needs to be easily readable and you are right about the intestines. I was told about this before going with it by someone else, but ignored them at the time. I should have listened.

        Originally Posted by Listhoven View Post

        You are a pretty good drawer. What program/software do you use to create your drawings?
        I have used lots but for this particular design I used Sketchbook Pro for the lines and then vectorized and applied the colors and text in Adobe Illustrator CS3. If the colors needed shading and highlights I would go into Adobe Photoshop for that. I may experiment with some vector shading using halftones if I end up doing another design.

        I have a bunch more of my older stuff on my deviantart page at gatorvenom's deviantART gallery if you want to see more.

        Originally Posted by adetutu View Post

        You've got a great talent here. Why don't you start with product creation and write a book on how to draw cartoons. You'll sell a lot.

        You can even sell your skills on fiverr.
        The book would take a lot of time but you might be right. The problem is that I've learned from some past failures that having a good product doesn't mean much without good marketing. I have done fiverr and have done as good as can be expected there. Having a normal day job and a family it can get overwhelming.

        Originally Posted by bman46 View Post

        Then he'd really be ballin'
        I get your sarcasm. Your completely right. I've made over $800 on fiverr but I earned every penny and had to stop because it became draining. $800 might sound like a lot but it's not when you're getting it in such small amounts at a time. I would much rather do something of my own with some passion than pump out the stuff I was doing on fiverr.

        Originally Posted by Gambino View Post

        As others said, you definitely have a skill for design. If I were you, I'd invest in my own online shop and create multiple shirts then drive traffic to it.
        Might give it a try. I've got nothing better to do with this skill. Marketing will be my crutch.

        Originally Posted by Mindz View Post

        You have a needed skill.

        Step one : Design shirts for others and yourself

        Step Two : Create a website - With different category designs

        Step Three : Promote with face book and keep updating your content

        Or Step 3.5 Get with me and I will buy your designs to sell for myself " Deal "
        Same as above. Will give it a go.

        Originally Posted by Jason Freeman View Post

        Don't give up just because one campaign failed. You definitely have a talent there and you can use that in any niche.

        You may want to start following people on Facebook and joining groups to learn more about how to run the Facebook campaigns.
        Will do that.


        Thanks all for your time. I didn't expect such awesome responses. I will keep pounding out cartoons and see what happens. You are a cool bunch.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dmarketman
    The motorcross niche does have some super passionate fans so it shouldn't be that hard to find buyers. Just narrow down your targeting, focus on fan pages that have lots of comments and engagement. Custom audiences will be a bit tricky because of FB's new TOS but still doable.

    You got the design part down, I would say stick to 2-3 colors to keep costs down, and print on dark or black shirts. Those sell the best.

    Good Luck man
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Drop your goal from 50. It's too far away and will make it harder to get those first few sales. I always use a goal of 30 at the most.

    Make sure you buy the first tshirt yourself so people do not come to the page and see 0/50 sold. There should always be at least one sold so as to make getting those other first few sales easier.

    Go to google images and type in best motorbike tshirts and you should get plenty of ideas for tshirts that are already selling. Don't try and reinvent the wheel. Just model designs that have already worked.
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    • Profile picture of the author bdpop
      Consider building a fan page to start developing an audience for your designs. Also, until you've tipped a few, I would recommend starting at 20 or even 10 shirts until you get the groove. Hang in there though! You do have talent!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Katie Rich
    I visited your blog. I love monster and rabbit, especially the Halloween sketch, and the cartoon style people.
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    • Profile picture of the author Gabby12
      Marketing requires testing and more testing. You ran 1 design and one campaign and spent $13 dollars and stopped. Not a good feel for what works. Do that ten times and I'm sure with your design skill you will get some winning campaigns.
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      • Profile picture of the author cademan
        Originally Posted by Katie Rich View Post

        I visited your blog. I love monster and rabbit, especially the Halloween sketch, and the cartoon style people.
        Thanks! You must have really went through my blog to get back that far. Glad you found them amusing.

        Originally Posted by Gabby12 View Post

        Marketing requires testing and more testing. You ran 1 design and one campaign and spent $13 dollars and stopped. Not a good feel for what works. Do that ten times and I'm sure with your design skill you will get some winning campaigns.
        You're so right on that. I've got another design to try now in a different market that will be one color so the base price will be much lower.
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  • Profile picture of the author AceOfShirts
    It's interesting to read about people that weren't successful with TeeSpring.

    I am a custom shirt printer and run several different custom shirt sites. I am trying to find a "niche" that I can provide to shirt sellers that didn't have success with TeeSpring.

    I have one idea that should work really well, I just need to finish a few other projects first.
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  • Profile picture of the author colmodwyer
    Originally Posted by cademan View Post

    Spent $13.20 in ads, got 20 clicks with a click through rate of 1% to the teespring page, and zero sales. I quit at that point because there is no way it was going to work at that point. I needed to get a sale for every $2.00 to $3.00 in ads to make it worthwhile.
    Here's your immediate problem. 20 clicks is completely insignificant. You can't make any decisions based on that. So it's kind of funny you think it's your design, when most everyone else here thinks it's awesome.

    It could be your design for sure, but at this point you really can't say either way.

    Judging by the fact you had someone from Fiverr supply a list for you, there's a good chance your marketing is way off. Might be prejudice on my part.. but paying someone $5 to do list selection for you doesn't seem wise to me.

    Cheers
    Colm
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    • Profile picture of the author cademan
      Originally Posted by colmodwyer View Post

      Here's your immediate problem. 20 clicks is completely insignificant. You can't make any decisions based on that. So it's kind of funny you think it's your design, when most everyone else here thinks it's awesome.
      Honestly, I didn't know. Thanks for pointing it out.
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  • Profile picture of the author J Bold
    I do think you gave up too early to truly test this but spending more money doesn't guarantee anything, either, unless you are good at testing.

    One idea for you is to make a site where you sell designs to other people selling t-shirts on teespring. If you can get awesome, fast designs to people you could potentially make a killing.

    It's the oft-heard idea of selling the shovels to the gold miners hoping to strike it rich rather than digging for the gold yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    I don't see many adults wearing that design. Looks like something for a childrens t-shirt.
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    • Profile picture of the author cademan
      Originally Posted by DubDubDubDot View Post

      I don't see many adults wearing that design. Looks like something for a childrens t-shirt.
      That is probably one of my main problems. My style of art is too kiddie for an adult. All of the likes and shares for the design were from young teenagers. I just noticed that facebook can target ads to parents of 13 to 19 year olds. That may be a better target for my designs.
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      • Profile picture of the author JCorp
        Originally Posted by cademan View Post

        That is probably one of my main problems. My style of art is too kiddie for an adult. All of the likes and shares for the design were from young teenagers. I just noticed that facebook can target ads to parents of 13 to 19 year olds. That may be a better target for my designs.

        Yup, now you're starting to think outside the box. This is what it takes to make it online despite the amount of "competition".

        You say your style of art is too kiddie for an adult. You've got the talent, so I know you can easily come up with designs that cater more towards adults. It's just a matter of making some tweaks.
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  • Profile picture of the author jmorris18
    Hello Cademan , I sent you a PM. I look forward to your reply.

    Thanks ,
    Jason
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    Jason Morris

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