Teemill Updates

7 Fashion Photography Tips

So you want to start a brand, found Teemill’s free print-on-demand store and maybe have built a shop. But how do you take it to the next level? The answer is great photography, and anyone can do it. Here are some simple tips to help you make your photography look amazing, bring your designs to life and supercharge your sales.

Great photography is the single biggest factor that makes the top Teemill accounts so profitable. The easiest and fastest way to make your store look amazing is with our brand new Magic Photoshoot tool – It allows you to create amazing homepage banners, pods and product images at the click of a button. Alternatively, you can order samples of your products and take your own photos. While this is a little harder, it can be potentially more rewarding. If you decide to go down this route, continue to read and follow the steps in this blog.

First of all, you don’t need money or equipment. Sometimes even, all that gear gets in the way. Don’t be afraid to believe that you could do all your fashion shoots on a smart phone. The real skill is how you use it: Like developing T-shirt design ideas, the trick is in putting down the camera for a second, looking, and thinking before you take your first snap.

1. Step back

Let’s say you’ve got a model, a one-off custom printed sample from Teemill, and a camera of some kind, from DSLR to smartphone.

The most common mistake is to go out and do a great shoot, framed close and in portrait then come back and realise that the web works mostly in landscape

Ecommerce stores, like Teemill, work with wide aspect ratio banners. Squeezing all your great shots into those spaces can be a nightmare. You could try stretching, copying and hacking away at your beautiful shots but there’s an easier way: Just before you take that photo, zoom out or take a step back. You can then crop out what you don’t want, make it portrait or lanscape or square or anything you like when you edit. You’ll thank us for it.

2. Copy space

Great photos get used time and time again. Chances are that you’re going to be using these shots for banners, adverts, posters and all sorts. So as well as framing wide take a look at what’s behind the model, to one side. We recommend framing with the rule of 2/3rds, where your model or subject is to one side, leaving a space to put your amazing text or call to actions in.

3. Remove clutter

When you do your shoot, try to choose a clean, clutter free backdrop. The sky or  the beach, for example. Avoid busy areas and other people. You could go nuts and get some lastolite rolls off the net to really add some colour. But the main thing is to avoid clutter. A simple, clean background will really make your product and pitch pop. Less is more when it comes to locations

4. Eye contact

The chances are you won’t be working with a professional model so you’ll need to help them out to get the results you want. They will be feeling super awkward to start with. It’s important to keep talking to them. Don’t tell them what to do or waste time posing them, try keep it natural. Amateur models tend to look at the floor, away from the camera and look serious – exactly the oppposite of what you want! Tricks to solve this are to pop a few jokes at your expense, talk a bit about zoolander and when the vibe is right, ask your model to shut their eyes, and on the count of 3 look at you – press that shutter just as they open their eyes, and you’ll capture the moment just before they get self conscious again.

Working with the same models time and again helps to build trust. Lastly, you don’t need the most beautiful model in the world. Normal people are way cooler, just choose someone like you. And remember to hook them up with a tee or something for helping you out.

P.s. A model release is a permission slip from the model that gives you the right to use their personal image for your project. Search for more.

5. See the light

Most photographers would really be better described as light painters. They see the light, watch how it it changes the colours, mood and feel of the subject and using this and a few other tricks, they can capture moments forever. Try this excersize, look through the lens and dont take a photo. Just look at the light, where it’s coming from and what it’s doing. Is it cold and blue? Or warm and yellowy orange? Is it sharp and harsh like a clear day in Winter? Or is it soft and white like an overcast Summer day? Try shooting your model facing away from the Sun, or into the Sun. The trick is to observe. Learn, and then use these lessons to design the lighting in your shoots. We like soft, warm light so do a lot of shoots in the evening in Summer, in the golden hours.

6. Continuity of style

It’s fair to say that instagram has revolutionised the way we think about photography and given lots of people the confidence to create, edit and publish their photographs. So use it – don’t be afraid to use a filter or edit your photos with software. All we’d say is work out one style, and stick to it – great brands understand that consistency itself is part of the brand experience.

People should be able to look at your photo and immediately catch on that it’s your brand, even if there’s no logo. Continuity means developing a style and being consistent with it.

This includes choosing your models. Make sure you pick models to match your target audience, and if you can, work with the same model to get the same look each time.

7. Go outdoors

There’s only one way to make a great brand, and that’s with great photography. And there’s only one way to do amazing photography, and that’s get out there and start practising! Go out now and shoot some stuff, then come back and review your shots. With every photo you take, you’ll learn something.

Next: Get a sample

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Building Links for SEO

Backlinks tell Search Engines that your Teemill store is trusted and relevant. Build quality backlinks and you will be rewarded with traffic and profit by search engines.

The world has changed so much that the top spot on Google might just be worth more than the best storefront on Oxford Street. Best of all, this prime high traffic space is available to anybody, anywhere, with the right content, skill and appetite for working hard at Search Engine Optimisation. In short, you can go from zero to masses of traffic (and with a Teemill print on demand shop, that means profit) without having to spend anything but a little quality time. A big part of that journey will be building backlinks.

Backlinks are simple links that link from other websites to your website. This is an example link.

They are called backlinks because they link back to you (not from you!) – this means you’ll need to convince other people with a website to give you a shoutout and link to your store.

The words that link to you count too. They’re called the anchor text. In the example link, the anchor text would be “this is an example link.” And as it links from Teemill blog to Rapanui, it’s a backlink for Rapanui – from this blog.

Furthermore, the website that links to you will be taken into account. Think of it holistically, as if that website is a person endorsing you. Are they trustworthy, respected and relevant? (A winner of Crufts endorsing your dog t-shirts would score well, a bank robber would not).

A good backlink has the following attributes:

  • From a trusted, quality website
  • From a website that is relevant to your products
  • A genuine endorsement in a write up, article or blog
  • Contains anchor text words that are relevant.

Ads, social media accounts, paid links, poor quality links or loads of the same spammy links will only harm your Search Engine Ranking Positions (SERPs).

So how do we build backlinks?

There are loads of articles out there online about building great quality backlinks. Techniques range from investing in viral videos to infographics, PR to just plain old asking for a link.

The thing is, it’s not about quantity. It’s about quality. One link from the BBC would do more for your search engine reputation than a year of spamming message boards.

Our advice is to start with a quality press release and get news and media sites talking about you. You can read up on the blog about how to write a press release. Remember to add a quality link back to your site inside your press release!

Once you’ve built your press release and sent it to some reporters, you won’t see change the same day.

SEO is a mixture of quality, trust an relevant words – so naming your products and writing great quality descriptions using words that are relevant to what your customers might be searching for is important.

The rankings take time to brew – often months.  Stick to your link building strategy, even if you build one quality link a day, you’ll start getting some organic traffic.

Remember, backlinks mean free daily traffic from people who are looking at buying your stuff. It’s worth it.

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T-shirt Model Studio Photos

The technology in the latest update completely changes the quality and professional identity of stores built on Teemill, making your products look incredible and saving you a huge amount of time and money.

The technology is built on our original design-to-tee image manipulation software, which prevents you from having to take a photo and upload it every time you want to sell a t-shirt.

Once upon a time we built our own brand and realised that great photography was at the heart of strong sales. We’ve made years of photos from our library available to you, editable, to feature your designs with your branding, in Teemill.

Professional quality photoshoots can be done at the click of a button from your desk, using Teemill’s Magic Photoshoot. We’re constantly adding new resources to the tool, which you’ll find anywhere you might normally need to upload a photo – like on your homepage, menu, product page or category pages. You’ll see you’re able to magically take a model that suits your demographic, add your design and change location or backdrop before saving up your shots and adding it to your store.

No more stress organising shoots, ordering samples, finding models, buying equipment or wasting time in post-production.

You can rip out a professional quality shoot in under 10 seconds with Teemill, and boost your T-shirt sales dramatically.

Take Action

Login to your Teemill store and add a photo to a product, homepage or category to launch our magic photoshoot tool.

 

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Writing Great E-commerce Copy made easy.

Our latest update, Magic Copywriter, includes a cloud-based copy writing bot that can generate professional quality product descriptions and specifications at the click of a button, increasing your sales and saving you time.

Writing great e-commerce copy, like product descriptions, is tough when you start out. Sometimes veteran copywriters don’t realise just how hard it can be to get a quality paragraph down. We know it can be tough. But people read this stuff. In fact, we believe that a quality product description is the single most underrated part of the e-commerce skill set.

To make it easier for Teemill users, we’ve developed a piece of cloud based ‘AI’ software to write captivating product descriptions for your store when you get stuck for words.

Our tool generates a unique passage of high quality copy for your product in a tenth of a second. It means you can complete a product upload on Teemill to a high quality and faster than ever before.

We will be expanding the vocabulary and integrating machine-learning feedback to optimise the delivery of content that the customers engage with positively, and reducing combinations that customers are less enthusiastic about.

We will also be expanding it to cover other areas where text is needed, like on the homepage or in categories as we learn from this upgrade and review.

This feature is available now, exclusively on Teemill.

Take Action

Log in to Teemill and create a product description with the Magic Copywriter tool now.

 

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The 80/20 Rule in Business. Focus on Sales, not Differentiation

The 80:20 rule is an important business lesson that all great brands understand. It’s the reason Apple does not sell skateboards, and the reason that Teemill doesn’t offer loads of different products.

We do a lot of things at Teemill that on first glance can look like restrictions or limitations. In reality, most decisions like this are well thought through and taken in the best interests of people looking to build a successful business on Teemill – we hope you’ll agree.

If you’re wondering why we don’t sell more products like bags, accessories, phone cases and novelty items, it’s actually for your own benefit.

The 80:20 rule is a timeless piece of business knowledge that every experienced business person can relate to. It says that 80% of your revenue will come from just 20% of your product lines, and the remaining 80% of your product lines will only make up 20% of your sales. A lot of startups fail because they don’t understand this thoroughly enough.

Some brands and startups fail as they get distracted differentiating and developing lots of different product types. Successful businesses tend to do only one or two things well and focus their time on getting sales.

Take this graph for example. It shows how t-shirts and tops form almost all the sales demand on Teemill, whilst bags, accessories and kids stuff is tiny in comparison.

focus

This explains why we do not offer loads of different products on Teemill. We only offer the products that will make you lots of money. It’s now easy to resist the temptation to waste your time developing new designs for trainers, lanyards, phone cases, backpacks and caps – because you can’t! Instead you now understand that 80% of your revenue will come from just one or two t-shirt designs, and if you want to be successful, you now have some spare time to invest in building a better store. They need to be amazing, and you need to do some work to get the traffic and hype.

Make your best products look amazing with great photography and product descriptions, then focus purely on increasing your traffic and getting sales through PR & marketing. Already got some great designs? Ask yourself how you’re going to increase your traffic and sales. That’s the fastest way to make your Teemill a success.

It’s helpful to consider that there’s not much new under the Sun. Businesses on the banks of the River Nile in 2000BC probably had the same growth ambition, drive and innovation as your business on Teemill. The Roman grain merchants or Victorian cotton sellers faced the same issues on sales, awareness, brand reputation and product quality. History can’t tell you exactly how to run your Teemill store, but it can light the path. There’s not one successful business out there that succeeded by differentiating when they should be driving sales, or developing products in new categories when they were ready to win through in a bigger one.

In fact, the worlds greatest book on business growth, Good to Great by Jim Collins, dedicates an entire chapter to this exact point.

That’s why we choose the products we have on Teemill carefully. It’s to help guide you make a success of your Teemill project, and protect you from the temptations that lead to failure.

Take Action

Increase your sales with marketing, PR and traffic. Read more blogs about marketing

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