This month we had the opportunity to speak with Peter F., who has sold over 5,000 items on TeeChip in just one month.
Hi Peter, tell us about yourself!
My name is Peter. I'm 32 years old. I grew up working on a vegetable farm in the suburbs of Chicago. I now live in Los Angeles, CA and have worked as a freelance television editor since 2009. I've always been a technophile. I used to play Doom II by connecting via phone-line and modem to other nerds around Chicago on our 16 MB of RAM PCs. I wasn't really even into the game that much. I just thought it was so awesome that I could connect to these other people like this. It was late 2011 that I realized I needed to start using my passion for technology to make money rather than just having fun. That's when I got into online marketing as a hobby. It took me a long time to get focused. I've done everything from SEO to PPV to Mobile traffic. I think I made my first $1 in early 2013 off of a monetized Youtube channel, but it wasn't until March 2014 that I made any real money, and that was by marketing custom apparel online. It was the wild-west of selling custom apparel online. I saw someone advertising a shirt in my Facebook feed that said, "Keep Calm and Let Peter Handle it." I was like, "People buy this kind of thing?" So I clicked the link. Sure enough, hundreds of sales! CHA-CHING! I had to learn how to do it.
How did you hear about us, and what made you get started?
I think it was early 2015 when I first found out about TeeChip. As I said, I had been in the custom apparel game since March 2014. My partner and I had just launched our latest venture, TeeSpy, a software tool that scours the web for top-selling custom apparel campaigns; so I was doing a lot of research trying to find the most popular custom apparel selling platforms. TeeChip happened to be one of them. I decided to give them a try for my own campaigns because they offered the best (by far) profit margins.
Were there challenges starting out selling shirts? How'd you get past them?
Yes, there were (and still are) many challenges. I don't think I have time to list them all, but the hardest one for me was Facebook ad targeting. I'm super-tech savvy, so I loved figuring out Facebook ads, setting up campaigns and all that, but the targeting... It just takes experience, research, trial/error, and so, a LOT of time and repetition; and time was something I didn't have a ton of since I was still working as a television editor during the day. It was super-simple to target the name shirts, but when I had to learn how to dig deep and do some real targeting, I got very discouraged. Imagine selling hundreds of shirts every week, thinking that you're some kind of rock star, and then literally not being able to sell a single item. It was hard. Staying motivated was my second biggest challenge. How did I overcome? I was blessed enough to find a group on Facebook. The group members were very supportive and the founder of the group, Yousef, had put together some really helpful videos on targeting. We were all just in this group helping each other. People posted show-all-case-studies, while the rest of us asked questions and followed along. In addition to that, watching people go through frustration after frustration, and spend hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars without making a dime; only to go on to eventually sell thousands of items - It was immensely helpful and motivating being surrounded by supportive, like-minded people. Even as we speak there is a member of the group who has a 13 year old daughter is fighting cancer. Many in the group have rallied around him to help make him a successful custom apparel marketer.
How has life been different for you now with TeeChip?
TeeChip has changed my life. I've always kind of been one of those people who just keeps his head down and grinds until I can't anymore, and then I look up, take a step back and take pleasure in what myself, or the team has accomplished. But now that I'm married to my beautiful wife, Kate, I have to lift my head up more frequently and plan for the future. That can be stressful. Because of what I've been able to accomplish in the last few months on TeeChip I feel much more comfortable taking those future steps. Buying a house, starting a family, and really propelling my wife and I's lives forward together. Also since I now work from home, I've been exercising 4-6 days per week, taking mid-day hikes with my dog, eating healthier meals, cooking for my wife, reading, and working on my online business full-time. It's amazing!
Any advice for people who want to start selling with TeeChip?
Advice? Ohh where to begin... First of all I just want to give a shout out to a few people, because without them I would not have been able to accomplish what I have in this industry. Kate, Yousef, Nate, Steve, Kevin, and Russell. You've been my closest allies in this game and without you guys, I wouldn't be where I am. My advice is this: surround yourself with people who support what you're doing. Never be embarrassed to talk about what you're doing. I was at first. I wasn't comfortable telling people that I had a side-business that made barely any money, where I spent several hours a day trying to sell things to people online. Be confident and be humble. The more confident you are in yourself, the more likely you are to keep going. The more humble you are, the more positive people you'll surround yourself with. Try not to get down on yourself when you launch 20 campaigns and sell only 3 shirts. When you do get discouraged, take a big step back, and just look at everything you've accomplished. All the campaigns you've set up, all the ads you've created, all the targets you've found. Take a moment and really think about how much you've learned. Realize that putting in this kind of effort without a guaranteed payoff is what sets you apart from those that fail. And after taking that moment, put your head back down and Just keep going. You will get that payoff eventually.