Thanks to companies such as Printful, designing and selling your own products online has never been easier! Setting up an online shop can be quite a daunting experience if it’s your first time, but thankfully, we have already covered that topic in detail. You can find all of that information at the link below, then come back and carry on reading. I’ll wait for you.
Good to have you back! Now you’re all set up with your online shop and you’ve connected it to a dropshipping company such as Printful, it’s almost time to start selling some product. Image sharing sites such as Pinterest will help you to draw some inspiration (NOT copy) from current trends, or you might want to buck every trend there is and go off somewhere new. Which ever way you choose, give it a quick google and see what else is out there – try and make something unique yet stylish that appeals to a defined group of people – this will make your marketing efforts much easier. The recent trend of ‘Keep calm and blahblahblah’ is, hopefully, dead. Let’s keep it that way.
Creating designs can be tricky, if you’re not proficient with the necessary software. Teaching yourself how to use a decent image editor such as Photoshop, Illustrator (or their respective free alternatives) needs a significant time investment, and if you’re not used to creating images you may find yourself frustrated. Fortunately, there are plenty of freelance designers online who will be happy to help!
Once you have a few designs down, you can start to experiment with mockups. Printful offer a free mockup generator which allows you to see what your design will look like on a range of clothing and homeware, including t-shirts, dresses, leggings, socks, mugs, posters and many more! This is a great way to get a realistic view of what the finished product will look like in various colours, as well as allowing you to experiment with designs on items of clothing you may not have considered selling before. You’ll need to create these mockups to showcase your products on your online store.
Once you are happy with your designs and have the mockups set up on your store, it’s time to upload the print files to Printful.
Once your designs are uploaded you may want to order a few sample products for yourself – if you can receive mail at your current location! You can get samples at a 20% discount with free standard shipping. Samples are a great way for you to physically feel the quality of the fabric and the print, and make sure you’re happy with everything before you start selling to the general public – you could then give them away to friends and family in exchange for some honest feedback and customer ratings on your online store.
One of the biggest plusses of dropshipping is that there is no upfront cost, as Printful charges you only when they receive an order. This is a great way to start up a business with minimal cash, but needs to be considered when you are devising a pricing strategy. T-shirts on start from around $12 dollars plus shipping, but obviously the more you spend the higher the quality product you get, and there is a huge range to choose from. The price you charge depends on how much you think you can realistically sell your t-shirts for this will really depend on the kind of customers you’re marketing to, but if you are selling a simple, generic design on the lowest cost fabric you will need to reflect that in your price. Always remember to consider the shipping fees!
No training or qualifications necessary! Whilst formal training in areas such as design, business and marketing won’t be a hindrance to your plan of fashion domination, it’s not a pre-requisite. As long as you have an idea that resonates with your target market you’re half way there. If you have the ideas but not the creative skill there are a few options open to you, either (money allowing) hire out the work or get some software, lock yourself away and practice it.
The hardware needed for this work is essentially the staple toolkit of the digital nomad, a decent laptop (or even tablet) and an internet connection. I guess you might also need a graphics tablet for more complex designs. The software you need will depend on the designs you want to achieve but Adobe Illustrator is the one most of my designer friends use.
How well does it suit the Digital Nomad lifestyle?
Pretty well on all fronts, the design work can be done from anywhere you can set up your laptop and the online bit can be done anywhere you can get online. A good thing about selling products online through drop shipping is that once it’s set up, it basically looks after itself. All you need to do is keep advertising and promoting your website to help keep the residual income flowing in! Travel the world, make new friends, get new design ideas. Sounds like a good plan.