How to Make $10,000/month with Your Own Print on Demand Empire in 7 Simple Steps
With the costs of living going on the upside and regular pay no longer enough to make both ends meet, it is no wonder that people look for other means of paying for the day to day expenses. One of the alternative that people turn to when they need extra cash is Print on Demand.
Print on Demand is a marvellous concept. On the one side you have the retailer who has to do the creative side of things and on the other side you have the supplier who does everything else.
Are you the sort of person that has good ideas for products?
Do you think ‘that would look great on a t-shirt’?
Do you think of yourself as someone that knows what looks good and what doesn’t?
Then this might be the ideal business for you.
The Print on Demand business is the ideal project to get somebody who is unhappy in their current situation started on the road to having their own business full time. To use a term I have heard quite a lot in recent times – it is ‘The ideal side hustle’.
I say a side hustle because there are so many people that dream of quitting their day job and see starting a business in their spare time as the way out. Most people don’t ever find their way out and some end up swapping to something that still feels like a job but with more hours and more worry. This is different gravy.
Print on Demand is different because;
- It is very easy to produce a product
- There doesn’t need to be any financial investment to get started
- There is no stock-holding to worry about
- No premises needed
- No staff to pay
- No pressure for consistent sales if it is a side hustle
- You can have your own business up and running in 24 hours
Those were not the seven steps. Just a different list of seven reasons to think about getting involved in the Print On Demand business. You have to list in sevens. That is marketing 101.
So, onwards and upwards. Let us get on to the seven steps to get your Print on Demand business up and running. Here we go.
STEP ONE – FIND YOUR NICHE
The Print on Demand business model is based on peoples affinity with something. A sport, a pastime, their dog , their family – it can be any number of things as long as it is relateable to their lives. If you want to sell somebody a t-shirt with a slogan on it, then that person must have a reason to want to buy it. He must see something in the words that corresponds to something he recognises as part of what he has some passion for or interest in.
Digital products have rapidly increased in popularity. If given the choice, many computer users would rather read a how-to guide in digital eBook format than in print. However, there are still those that prefer an actual product. Many third-party websites enable self-publishing. Lulu.com is an example. Most allow for printing on demand, reducing your startup costs and preventing waste. You can also do something as simple as printing your own ebook and placing the pages inside a three ring binder. This can also be applied to public domain products, as well.
Your first job is to choose a niche that many people relate so that any designs you come up with later have a specific audience. It needs to be specific because the more specific people’s interest is the more likely they are to buy your product. For example people who like football are more likely to buy a t-shirt with the team they follow on it than a design about the subject of football in general. Another example is that people who like dogs are more likely to buy something that relates to a particular breed than just dogs in general.
It helps if you are interested in the subject too because you might come up with some good ideas if you understand the niche properly and thoroughly. It is not compulsory though because you can easily research what sort of things are selling in the niche and come up with your own version of the winners. Search the term on Pinterest and you will see what I mean.
STEP TWO – FIND YOUR AUDIENCE
If you have chosen your niche well then there will be communities of like minded people dotted all over the internet showing enthusiasm and passion for the interest you have in mind for your business. You need to go out and find them in forums and on Reddit, Instagram and Facebook. Go anywhere your intuition tells you they might be and study what is going on.
Read and absorb what they talking about and give yourself the best chance of coming up with something that is currently relateable to them. You have to design a product to match these people’s passion and it be good enough for them to dust their wallet off and give you some cash. It could be sentiment or it could be humour. You need to gauge what is required.
STEP THREE – CREATE YOUR DESIGN
Creating good designs used to be a problem. I certainly used to feel compelled to pay somebody with graphic design skills to do my designs for me as I didn’t feel I was very artistic. Luckily things have moved on and technology has made it very simple to come up with something that looks good. Also it took me a while to realise that sometimes simple designs sell better than complicated ones.
You don’t have to be a wizard on Photoshop anymore to have a successful design. There are simpler programmes you can use on your computer and even simpler apps you can use on your smartphone or iPad if you have one.
You can see in the picture a screenshot from my Iphone in which I have literally thought of a slogan I believed was worth a try and typed it into my app. The app has a selection of templates and arranges the words for you in lots of different aesthetically pleasing formats so that it couldn’t be easier to come up with something eye catching.
The chequered background is essential and is a sign that the image has a transparent background which is necessary to print your design onto any product. Honestly , that was two minutes work and I can add that design to 20 different types of product if it works when I test it. I added it straight from my phone to Google Drive and now I can use on all my devices wherever I am. I can make a product while I am on the train if I want to.
STEP FOUR – FIND A SUPPLIER
There is no shortage of Print on Demand suppliers. Choosing your first supplier might actually be the task that takes you the longest time in this process. There is a lot to consider here. Your selling price and profit will depend on the base price you work off from your supplier so it is essential to be working with a good start price. The one drawback with Print on Demand is that the uniqueness of your design and the flexibility needed to produce one t-shirt or one mug makes it necessary to charge a bit more. So comparing different suppliers base prices is really important. I do a spreadsheet to work out who is cheaper for what.
You should also research their reputation where possible because you want the quickest possible turnaround on your order. When your customer pays you cannot keep them waiting too long as you don’t want to be fielding complaints and refund requests.
If it is your intention to list your products in third party marketplaces like Amazon or Etsy then you should look for a supplier that has an online integration already in place so that you can avoid the task of passing orders and money on to them when it can all be done nice and simply without you having to lift a finger.
You will probably have in mind what types of products you want to sell by now. If you decide you just want to sell clothing then choose a supplier that majors in T-shirts, Hoodies and vests you will probably find they have a better base price. If you decide to sell a bit of everything maybe mix it up and get two or three suppliers. The good thing is it doesn’t matter because you will never owe them any money because your orders are paid by your customers directly.
STEP FIVE – PRODUCT SET UP
Each of you suppliers will have their own system for applying your design to their product. Not only that but their system will take your design add it to one of their products and create not only a picture of it but also provide templates for you to fill out with a description and price.
In a few minutes you are out the other end with a great picture of your product on its own unique sales page. You can do this as many times as you like on as many products as you like and there is no cost to you. Make just one product or make yourself a shop full it is entirely your decision.
It is a very easy system to use. In the picture below you can see a transparent image being added to a coffee mug mock up.
Once you have your sales page then you are ready to start selling.
STEP SIX – SELLING YOUR PRODUCT
As with anything else online just because you have a sales page doesn’t mean anyone will ever visit it. Shops on the internet can be compared to physical shops. If you were thinking of opening a physical shop you wouldn’t open one at the top of Mount Everest you would want one somewhere that had lots of people around all day.
Having a sales page can be like being at the top of a mountain. Nobody will come and visit just because you have a page. You need a page that people are going to look at and not one of the millions of pages that nobody ever looks at.
There are several ways to get people to come and look at your page. You could join some of the groups of people that you researched in Step One and make some posts as part of their community. You can set up your own eCommerce store and link to the sales pages your supplier has created for you. You can pay for advertising to get people to your sales pages.
That is obviously the fastest route but you will obviously have to spend a little bit of money. The plus here is that you will see if your design works much quicker than the other methods. You can add your products to bigger marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy that have a large volume of traffic that you can feed off.
All the above will work to some degree. You will need a Facebook Page for the niche if you decide to advertise on Facebook.
Don’t stop when you have a good design make sure you get it in front on people
STEP SEVEN – ENHANCE THE PROCESS
When you have got comfortable with the process you need to keep thinking of ways to improve what you doing and making yourself more profitable. The more you design the better you become and recognising what will work in a market and what will be a flop.
Make better mock up designs for any images you use in advertising. The supplier mock ups on the sales pages are rarely good enough to work well in an advertisement.
When you have got your basic system set up and have got a few sales under your belt you can tweak the system a bit and try to get your order values up with some up-sells or cross-sells. Some of the supplier systems will offer the opportunity to offer a second product at a discount as your customer checks out. This can be really helpful if successful particularly if you have had to pay for advertising. The extra revenue from the second item can be helpful to offset the cost of advertising.
You should take advantage of the people that have shown an interest even if they haven’t bought anything by placing a pixel on your page that records the identity of your visitors. You then advertise to these people as a set of people that are more likely to become buyers than people yet to show an interest.
You should also make use of the email addresses of anybody that buys from you. As you create new products or designs then these are the first people you should let know. Dropping previous customers an email with any offers is probably the most likely way to get an order of them all.
The Print on Demand business is something that anybody can do very simply. It can be set up and running in no time. You can do it in your spare time. You can do it with hardly any investment. You don’t need any special skills. There is no pressure. It is difficult to lose money. Your supplier does all the heavy lifting for you.
You just need one good design and to deliver the traffic to the sales page.
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