Teemill Updates

Marketing Launch Checklist

You’re ready to go – you’ve designed some shirts, customised your store and are set to start making money selling t-shirts online with Teemill. What now? Here’s 5 things that every top Teemiller did on their launch day to set up for success.

Firstly, it’s all about awareness. The reason why people shop elsewhere instead of buying your products is not because there’s some other magic trick that big businesses have.

The top reason people won’t shop at your store will be because they don’t know about it. The goal is simple: We need to make people aware of your products, and often.

This blog contains the first key ingredients to make sure that those customers don’t have any obstacles on their journey to your checkout.

1. Add to twitter

Make sure you add your URL to all the places your fans interact with you.

The most common reason your customers will not buy your product is because they don’t know it exists, or they can’t find it.

Make sure you set your Teemill shop as your primary URL in your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and Instagram profile – and create a banner for these profiles that advertises your shop’s location.

2. Post regularly… MORE regularly!

The most financially successful Teemill users regularly post great images and amazing descriptions of their products. You might want to invest in some samples and get a shoot together so that you have some content to share with your audience. At Rapanui, we realised that the quality of our photography is directly linked to the volume of sales, and every month we do a shoot.

The best way to increase the volume of your posts is to think of some good post ideas, then sit down and schedule loads of them at once. If you link your accounts for automated syncing, it’ll all happen automatically. Be brave and post a lot, over a long period of time – the marketing rule of 7 shows it works.

3. If you have a main site, then link it in fully

If you have a separate website, this means adding a link to your store in the menu, as well as large clear banners. Teemill has a blog, Instagram gallery, page publishing and loads of plugins for major web services like YouTube, soundcloud and WordPress. Plus, the hosting is free. Consider changing to use Teemill as your main website to increase revenue and reduce cost.

4. Get some features, and keep pushing

One of the most powerful ways to help your brand break through and beyond the immediate circle of followers is to get some editorial features. If you’ve got a great story, write a press release and send it to journalists. You’ll reach new customers and build your SEO score.

5. Build your Database

Once you’re ready to launch, make sure you ask people to share your post. You might encourage them to sign up to your marketing database. Building an email database is like nurturing a plant. It takes a long time and is a delicate process. You must keep your database alive by regularly sending great photos and written content, and keep building new signups. It pays off in the long run, as you will be able to rely on your database for regular income and word-of-mouth growth.

 

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Write Better Descriptions & Blogs

Descriptions, blogs and similar texts are a massively underestimated part of online business. People read the stuff you write and the quality of your words will make or break the sale. This blog sheds light the secret techniques that professional copy writers use to effortlessly create inspiring and effective text, every time.

Whilst amazing photography can really make a brand stand out, the writing that frames the images is too often overlooked. But it’s only when we sit down to write our first description, blog or ‘about us’ page when we realise how truly difficult it can be to express a point succinctly, let alone in an inspiring, exciting and unique way. More often than not, people find writing very tough –  and avoid it if possible.

Text (or copy, as it’s called by the pros) gets read by customers who are serious – customers who are looking to buy, and just need convincing.

Poor product descriptions, rambling blogs or typos and bad grammar are all that’s needed to put the customer off in today’s hyper competitive online marketplace. That’s why most companies employ professional copy writers.

So how can I do it myself without hiring a pro or struggling on? There are some easy to use tricks to get the most out of your time and rapidly improve the quality of your copy.

If you think you get writers block, you’re doing it wrong

There’s a fantastic book called How to Fly a Horse which focuses on normal people doing extraordinary things – and how some of the people we consider to be genius does their hard work a disservice. In it, Woody Allen one of the most successful screenwriters in history) debunks the myth of his genius. He talks about how he throws away many pages for every one he keeps, and that writers block doesn’t exist: It’s just the first hurdle of writing where most other people give up. He writes 2 pages, throws them away,and tries again until he has something to keep. Remember this:

The majority of what you write will be rubbish. Delete it and try again, and again, until you have some great copy that you’re happy with.

If you don’t know what to write, start writing and keep going, like Woody Allen does. Writers block is just another word for giving up. Don’t.

Unlock the value bit with trick questions

There are some great tricks you can use to unlock more great sentences when you’re writing. Often it’s hard to know what to write, where to start, or what part of a product to focus on.

It may help to build you sentences as bullet points, and connect them all up later. To get those bullet points, these are the trick questions you can ask yourself to extract more words from your brain.

And why should I care about that?

So what should I do about it?

Sometimes you need to ask yourself this a few times to really dig out what you mean. Introduce one of your products. Then try these questions

If you’re using a comma, consider a full stop.

Sentences that go on and on like this one are very hard for customers to read especially when you’re trying to make a convincing point about a product feature or if you’re trying to explain something amazing without losing your trail of thought and when the customer reads this they tend to lose focus on the last thing you just said whereas breaking it up into smaller little chunks gives you the best chance of making a point and sounding authoritative without losing your customer along the way so it’s important to use more full stops and make your sentences punching.  Shorter sentences are easier to read. On average, twelve words per sentence is a good guide. This is particularly true of product descriptions. Give it a go!

Exemplify the antithesis of overcomplicated language

Or in other words, why use complicated words when you could use  simple ones? Some words like luxurious might be better understood as soft. A great product is a great product, an exemplary product is a distracting sentence. Keep it simple.

Write it… then Delete the first and last sentence

One of the most useful ways to tidy up your writing is to consider, at the last moment, whether or not deleting the first and last part makes the whole piece more powerful.

Often we start by talking about what we’re going to say in a loose sort of introductory tone. We make our most powerful points in the middle of our paragraphs. And at the end we try and finish it up with a few extra words.

By deleting the first and last sentence, we can strip back on waffle and really make our words have impact.

We make our most powerful points in the middle of our paragraphs.

Next time you get to a finished piece of text, imagine if it could be more powerful without the first and last sentence.

Write on brand, relate to your catch phrases. talking points

Lastly, one of the most effective tricks is to develop some catch phrases or talking points that are on-brand, which you can refer back to time and time again. You’ll see the politicians doing it because it helps them say the right thing and relate everything they’re saying back to some well-rehearsed lines that are guaranteed to be well received. There’s no reason you can’t use the same tactic for more positive outcomes. During the course of your writing, you might come out with a sentence or two that you really like. Keep it. Next time you’re writing some stuff on the subject, these lines are a handy way to bring your sentences to a conclusion.

“And that’s why we choose to manufacture our products in an ethically accredited, wind-powered factory. With traceability from Seed to shop people can find out where clothing comes from, how it’s made and who made it.

Before long you can start writing consistent paragraphs that include your catch phrases, and mixed with all the other tips in this blog you will be creating heaps of SEO-friendly, on-brand content that’s punchy to read and effective at turning your copy into paying customers.

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Setting Goals: The 25 to 5 Game

Warren Buffett is one of the most successful businessmen in history and is well known for his down-to-earth, long term outlook. Not a talker, a doer. And so a good person to look for when trying to build your own sales through Teemill.

Whether you’re a passionate charity fundraiser or a hyper-competitive entrepreneur, there are lessons to be learned from his success and methods. So here we examine Warren Buffett’s philosophy and apply it to your Teemill account. How can you use the experience of building a multi-billion empire in your own project?

His top tip is the rule of 25 and 5. Put simply, pump the brakes and get a pen and paper: Think carefully and come up with 25 goals, achievements or things you’re working towards.

Your long-list of 25 goals might include new designs, a great photoshoot, a nifty neck label, some more twitter followers, a load of team riders, SEO and cost per click campaigns, an app, a launch party, a blog, a mixtape.

Write down your 25 things, or if you have more, condense to 25. Next, identify the top 5 that matter.

For example, you might think about great photography and realise that it completely changes the way your brand looks and feels for everyone – but that brand-specific app? Well, it’s probably going to be really hard and lets face it, it might not make that much difference. Those labels wont really add value either. But profit on the other hand? That’s got to be a top 5.

Now you have your top 5, keep them seperate. And avoid the other 20 at all costs.

That’s right: Warren Buffett’s top tip is to not do 20 of your 25 goals. And not just to not do them, but to avoid at all costs. Delete them, stop thinking about them, destroy the ideas.

They’re distractions, and will stop you ever achieving the 5 that really matter.

Give the 25 to 5 method a go now.

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The Marketing Rule of 7

The marketing rule of 7 is one of the oldest lessons in marketing. It’s stuck around because it works. Ever heard of Coca Cola? Their entire marketing strategy is basically the rule of 7. It’s an important lesson for marketers to remember.

The marketing rule of Seven frames all other marketing efforts – if you’re thinking of flyers, Facebook, cost per click, email marketing, word of mouth, SEO, or even a few giveaways, you might need all 7 of them…

The marketing rule of seven says that customers will need to see seven pieces of marketing before committing to a purchase on average.

Too often first time marketers are too scarce with their communication, fearful of overburdening their customers with too many ads, stories or pitches. One a week, for example, is often considered pushing it.

Meanwhile, the average person sees a Coca Cola advert or logo more than 7 times per day in the UK. The word coca cola is the second most recognisable word in the world, after okay.

The most common reason people don’t buy your products is that they don’t know about them. Yet.

So if you want your brand to be huge, take your foot off the brake and pump that accelerator: Get some quality writing and amazing photography together and start marketing: Publish your content, stories, posts, newsletters, tweets, posts, photos out there, 7 times a week: Minimum!

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Sustainability as Standard

Teemill may well be nifty in terms of the high tech, efficient and profitable business model but it started out as a sustainability project and continues to be a trailblazer in an era where low impact matters. If you sell t-shirts online with Teemill, that means your brand and product share that same sustainability story.

We wanted to reduce waste using technology and were inspired by a rumour than Dell only hold 1 hours stock at any one time – at that moment, we had around 6 months of stock, half of it was probably never going to sell. A complete waste that plagues the industry, which explains all the sales and subsequent race-to-the-bottom culture.

We worked very hard in our first 5 years to improve upon business as usual by building a supply chain where all our products were made from more sustainable materials like Organic cotton, in ethically accredited, wind powered factories.

We also developed a cool eco-labelling system to help customers shop quickly with a conscience. Best of all, we built some cool traceability tools so our customers could see where our clothing comes from, how it’s made and who made it.

But none of that changed the fact that without a radical new business model, we had either to bin the waste or do regular sales, eroding price and eventually compromising our values. We needed to change the system. Our focus became on inventing some way to prevent waste in fashion, some technology to reduce our stockholding from 6 months to more like 6 days, or better, 6 hours.

And what followed was 3 years of intense technology investment, the result of which is the reduction of that time to a negative figure: Products at our factory do not exist until after they are ordered.

The Rapanui factory in the UK, and Teemill – the software and hardware system we have built to make this real-time fashion supply chain –  is what makes it possible for anyone anywhere in the world to access it. It’s free, requires no previous training or experience to use – just human determination and creativity. It’s amazing to see what people create with it.

Most importantly, during that period we made a point of sticking to the provenance, sustainability and ethics of the product and locked that in: Every tee sold on Teemill is printed in the UK and made from Organic Cotton in an ethically accredited, wind powered factory with traceability from seed to shop. If you’re a 15 year old kid in a bedroom or head of fundraising for a national charity, with Teemill, all that comes standard.

Teemill is making sustainability the new normal.

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