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How to Make Your Beginner T-Shirt Business Look Professional

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Selling print-on-demand t-shirts is one of the most lucrative ways to make money online today. However, that also means the market is filled with a lot of amateurs. In order to make your fair share of the t-shirt pie, you need to position your t-shirt business as more professional than the rest — even if you're just a beginner yourself. Thankfully, with some care and consideration, you can easily make your business look legit and draw in loyal customers. Here are two tips to start with.

Always Use Professional Designs

When you're starting out with a low budget, it can be tempting to make your own design or use a free stock illustration from the internet. However, this is one of the quickest ways to lump yourself in with the rest of the amateur businesses customers ignore. The vast majority of free designs have been used hundreds of times over. Plus, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Many so-called "free" designs on the internet are actually stolen from legitimate designers, which could land you in legal hot water if you get caught selling them yourself. And, unless you have professional experience with Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, anything you design yourself will clearly look like it was slapped together to make a quick buck. Instead of resorting to these options, invest in the services of a professional designer. It may cost you a little more upfront, but it significantly increases your chances of actually making a profit on your shits.

Create Model Mock-Ups of Your T-Shirt

These days, many online t-shirt printers will provide you with a 'mock-up' (computer-generated image) of your design on an actual shirt. While these mock-ups are great for seeing how a design will look before selling it on your website, they're not the best for actual selling. Most amateur t-shirt businesses use these mock-ups as the sole images on their product pages, doing nothing to show the customer that they're buying real, tried-and-true apparel. Images of a model wearing the t-shirt, on the other hand, make the product seem more real. Seeing someone else wearing the shirt acts as a sense of social proof for buyers and helps them imagine themselves in your clothing. Thankfully, you don't need to hire a model and a studio to get these photos — just search the web for t-shirt mock-ups with models. After purchasing a mock-up, all you need to do is open it in Photoshop and paste your design into the designated area. The computer does the rest, generating a model photo that looks just as professional as a real photoshoot.

To learn more about online t-shirt printing, consult a resource in your area.