When did you last step out of your comfort zone? Introducing new ideas into your law business is a great way to keep things fresh for you and your current and potential clients. But some ideas like t-shirt design just don’t seem, well, lawyerly.
That’s the impression I had about designing and selling tee shirts. Is this something a lawyer would do?
At first blush the answer was no, and I put the idea on ice until I met Dave Espino, multi-passionate entrepreneur and prolific Udemy Instructor. Dave has over 42 courses on Udemy. We met up again at the Udemy Live conference this year, where he encouraged me again to use my Merch by Amazon account to create another income stream.
You know me. I love gadgets and tech. I registered for Merch immediately when I learned about it in April. Then, promptly forgot about it. Can’t blame me, though. Processing took more than 4 months for my application to be approved. My account was just about to expire when Dave gave me the talk, so I’m eternally grateful to him for his generosity.
For those who don’t know what Merch by Amazon is let me break it down for you.
Merch by Amazon
MBA is a Amazon selling platform that allows you to upload a shirt design that Amazon will print-on-demand (POD) and sell for you (taking their cut, of course). It is insanely easy to start and a little harder to master. But some folks have mastered it, including Dave’s course creation partner, Daniel Caudill who made $65k in his first 6 months on Merch.
How does Merch work?
The basics of Merch are pretty simple. After being accepted into the program, you will be permitted to upload 10 t-shirt designs, two at a time. Originally, the limit was higher but Amazon is getting swamped with applications and more designs so they are throttling things a bit. You add the design. Amazon uses their humgo printer to make then ship your shirts to customers.
Your designs live on Amazon. You can promote them or wait for organic search to do the trick. You’ll be using keywords in your description and bullet points that will attract buyers to your t-shirts. Having the right strategy for finding popular trends, keyword and topics is what makes MBA interesting and frustrating. It’s a bit of trial and error, although you won’t be alone since there are many Facebook groups focusing on Merch coaching.
How do you create the designs?
Good question. This is the really fun part to me. You can design them yourself! There are several great tools to help you.
MerchDesigner is fun and super simple. It’s the best tool to start off with and comes recommended in Dave’s Merch Guide. Totally drop and drag.
Wordswag is a topography app that make super good-looking social content. You want this app. Wordswag provides you with a picture from their database, offers a variety of cool fonts and effects to choose from as well as quotes and promotes the content for you too. Gosh, I’d marry Wordswag if it were a man. It’s that helpful.
I’ve been using Wordswag for a year to dash off things to Instagram or Twitter. Thanks to Texas Gal Treasures on YouTube I discovered how to use the app to make amazing t-shirt designs. It’s a multi-step process so we’ll leave that to another day.
Best of all, you can outsource your Merch t-shirt design either on Fiverr, Upwork or other freelance sites. (Im testing one now). I’ll share my process once I get all the kinks ironed out.
Why try Merch by Amazon t-shirts?
If you’re a gadgethead like me, you already want to try Merch, just because. Not a gadgethead?
Merch by Amazon is a good passive revenue stream to pursue. Everyone likes a fun t-shirt. Everyone needs a side gig in this economy and this could be yours. It’s simple, fast and has the potential for longevity. You earn $500 a month extra by selling just 2 shirts a day at 19.99, which is very doable with a strong design/keyword combo.
I’m not a fan of adding a time-suck to your schedule but this feels a little different because it’s a novel way to add a passive income stream that doubles as marketing. Clients will begin to see you everywhere and you become the ‘top of mind’ trusted advisor they think of first. Here are a couple of ways I can envision you using Merch in your law business (or any other business)
You can create networking and income opportunities like:
–Branded t-shirts for you and your staff
–Client focused t-shirts (be careful about advertising ethic rules)
–Sponsoring local sports teams
–Creating low-run t-shirts for local businesses, groups or your clients
What else can you think of?
Eager to get started with Merch? Here’s the link to sign up for Merch and the link to Dave’s Udemy Course My tees are below to give you a few examples (click to purchase). These are the first few with over 100 more designs to come.