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clothing brand image

So you’ve made some awesome t-shirt designs and have received rave reviews from family and friends. Now you’re ready to sit back and let the cash roll in? Unfortunately that scenario is true mostly never. If you ignore marketing your clothing brand, only one thing will happen, which is a lot of nothing. We understand you’re likely more engaged in the creative aspect of your business but unless you have a professional marketer budgeted into your business plan you’re going to have to do some of the heavy lifting on your own. Fortunately there are many ways you can promote your clothing brand with a little money. What you will need to do is use your creativity in how and where you present your clothing designs.

Come up with your brands identity

Before your splatter your designs all over Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr, figure out how you want your brand to be perceived by potential customers. Come up with an overall feel that emulates the lifestyle your brand represents. Developing clear brand messaging is one of the hallmarks of successful clothing brands. People that are passionate about a brand aren’t that way because of the product alone. It’s a deeper psychological relationship where they identify with the overall image of the brand and want to be seen living the lifestyle the brand is expressing through their advertising.

If you’re not sure what your brand’s identity really is ask for opinions from people who you really trust. What type of personality would be interested in your t-shirt designs? Do they see your style being attractive to any specific segment of society? People who pursue and active lifestyle? If so, what kind? Are they gym people or they more inclined to get their exercise doing outdoor sports? You can drill that down ever further by asking if they like group sports or if they are more into solitary hiking or running.

When you understand who your audience is, think about where this audience is most likely to congregate and go there with a camera in hand. Take lots of pictures for inspiration, you’ll need them when you’re ready to do your own photo shoot with your products. You can collect all of your photos on a Pinterest board for easy visualization of the mood you’re trying create for your brand.

t-shirt mockup

Content Creation

Now you should be ready to create content for your marketing efforts. There are two opposing ideologies for how you should present designs. To use a model or let the t-shirt speak for itself. Both have their advantages. By using a model, the choice of model can go a long way to conveying the image you want for your brand. A heavily bearded male with lots of tattoos in a street setting can convey a trendy urban feel while a clean cut guy on campus walking to class can convey a conservative preppy feel. Likewise a female model in the wilderness walking a dog can provide a free spirit feel while a woman in a restaurant surrounded by friends can convey a feeling of modernity and popularity.

If you choose no models, the props and location of the shoot will help to define the ambience. Including a full outfit in the shoot is a popular method to showcase and entire look. Choosing the appropriate supporting clothing items is important. Here again, you need to keep your target audience in mind. If you’ve identified your audience as the outdoorsy type, you wouldn’t want your marketing picture to feature high heel shoes with flashy jewelry. Nor would you pair combat boots with a design that is supposed to appeal to a fraternity member.

posed t-shirt model

Videos are a very popular way for audiences to consume content. There are so many affordable ways for beginners to make their own video content even when shot with a phone. There are easy to use film editing software like iMovie and Magisto. Scheduling your shoot to take advantage of outdoor lighting can save you some bucks on expensive lighting equipment. Some software like Lumen5 even provides you with ways to repurpose your blog or look book content into easily consumable video ready to be uploaded to Facebook and YouTube.

Promoting your clothing brand on social media is essential and can garner some free publicity. While Facebook is a tough nut to crack without paying to play, sites like Instagram and Pinterest can allow you to gain traction by popularity. Initial success on Instagram is a hashtag game. Research other popular posts that seem to target segments of society you think would be interested in your designs and include them in your posts. Pinterest is not hashtag driven but featuring keywords in your uploaded description is how your content can be discovered by people who might appreciate it.


It’s amazing to get some help through others when just starting out. We’ve all heard the term “influencer” on social media. These people can be really tough to get in touch with since they are inundated with requests all the time and can be frankly quite expensive. Instead of chasing this strategy, look a little closer to home. Do you personally know any members of popular local bands? Ask them if they’d be willing to wear your t-shirt
to their next gig and take pictures of it. You can then post the pics on social with tags back to the band. This is an easy way to engage both your own and their fan base.

Giving away your t-shirts may not be what you ideally had in mind but when given to the right people that are willing to talk about your brand, it is often far cheaper than other methods of advertising.

Do you know anyone who operates a boutique style retail store? Would any of your designs make sense to appear alongside their merchandise? Talk to the store owner to see if they’d be willing to feature some of your t-shirts in exchange for a cut of any proceeds.

clothing brand mockup

Do you know anyone who operates a boutique style retail store? Would any of your designs make sense to appear alongside their merchandise? Talk to the store owner to see if they’d be willing to feature some of your t-shirts in exchange for a cut of any proceeds.

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