How To Grow Your T-Shirt Business Outsourcing Designs
To say that I am having an absolute blast in my new business adventure would be a HUGE understatement. Designing shirts, marketing those shirts and then seeing some designs take off is beyond fun. If you throw in the fact that I can make rough drafts of designs or create artwork that will be used on my shirts with my daughters, this is almost the perfect business for me! The ongoing challenge for me is learning how to use Adobe Photoshop. I would still consider my skills to be at the novice level. If you have skills similar to mine and are looking to scale your business in any fashion, you have to outsource making designs.
Being that I am a loyal Fiverr buyer and seller, I started to outsource some of my design tasks to Fiverr sellers. The problem that I ran into was that sometimes my unique designs were recycled to other Fiverr buyers without my consent and / or knowledge. If I had a general design request or purchased any “prepackaged” deal offered by a Fiverr seller, I was often given other t-shirt sellers’ designs – meaning the Fiverr seller would basically copy pixel for pixel shirt designs that he completed for someone else or used an image that they found it on Google. Both of these practices are potentially opening you up for copyright violations. Please note that this was my experience and you may have better luck than I did.
My next attempt at outsourcing was by hiring virtual assistants / graphic designers. Three of the five did not work out. Two of them I still use. One designer is absolutely amazing but can only work every few days. For example, I will give him 5 designs on a Monday and I normally will have them back by Thursday. I pay him $8 per design and he does five at a time. His work is awesome and worth every penny. The other designer that I use only wanted full time work. Thus, I pre-pay him $350 for two weeks of work (or about 50 designs). He also does spectacular work but hiring a designer at $700 per month without income coming in can be a costly undertaking for someone just starting out.
Design Pickle To The Rescue
What exactly is Design Pickle? Design Pickle is a graphic design company that specializes in providing personalized graphic design support for small to medium-sized design jobs. They use the cloud for all of their work. The company is literally creating a new way for graphic design to be delivered to customers. Their design services are sold on a subscription basis. There are limitations to using Design Pickle. For example, I can not have them create custom art work for a Children’s Book that I am writing with my older daughter. However, all of my graphic design work that is simple in nature has been moved to Design Pickle.
I originally used Design Pickle to help me scale my t-shirt business but I have used them to grow my online presence with making custom banners for my t-shirt store, custom logos for another business and even Facebook profile pictures for a new Fan Page launched to help me promote my t-shirt designs. Most design request are turned around in about 24 hours. I typically request 2 – 5 designs per day – they do not work weekends. Thus, my total completed designs are between 75 and 100 per month. Using my independent graphic designer rates, I should be paying between $700 and $800 for this amount of work. What is Design Pickle charging me? The monthly subscription fee is only $370!
Who else would benefit from Design Pickle’s services? Any medium to small business that does not have an in-house design staff. Design Pickle will complete designs for small projects – think business cards, simple website logos, flyers, brochures, etc. If you are not savvy when it comes to using design software, then the Pickle will become your best friend! Russ Perry, the founder of Design Pickle, stresses the fact that their services are geared toward solutions for small to medium-sized projects in small business or solo entrepreneur models and not for mass producing or supporting the main structure of a company. Design Pickle does not generate copy. Thus, any text you want on your material(s) will have to produced by you.
How Does It Works?
Users of Design Pickle upload their requests through the “jar” which is an easy to navigate process where you briefly describe your task, give desired sizes and upload any samples that you may have. My designer will produce the materials for me to approve via email. I then reply with any changes or revisions. They will reply with any changes that you requested. This one-to-one customer service is great for small business owners like myself.
Here are some tips that I have discovered. First, the more information you can provide during the request will result in you getting closest to the design(s) that you wanted. For example, if you request a unicorn holding a flower, you will get a unicorn holding a flower. The unicorn may or may not be what you were thinking. The flower may be the wrong color. However, if you request a unicorn standing on its hind legs with a red rose in its mouth, you will get exactly what was requested. Second, Design Pickle is not going to be efficient at really intricate designs being made from scratch. All of my custom designs that require intricate work go to my virtual assistants / designers. All of my simple graphic and / or word only designs go to Design Pickle. Third, do not ask for too much. I keep my requests to 5 designs per day. This almost always results in a 24 hour turn around time. Fourth, do not have 20 jobs in the jar to be started. I have found it best to have one request open / completed (with any revisions) before requesting another batch through the jar. In your welcome videos, you are encouraged to request designs or batches that should not take more than 30 minutes to complete.
As stated above, there are alternatives to design pickle but there are risks. Other similar services may be chearper, for example Undullify. Where Design Pickle crushes their competition is that you have your own dedicated designer. These designers are not recycling old designs. Every request is unique and is yours. Meaning you do not have to pay a separate fee to use the designs commercially. Some Fiverr sellers charge extra to give you license to use it commercially. Thus, your $5 Fiverr gig turns into $20 after paying for a few revisions and getting the license. I have heard of other t-shirt seller using Upwork. For me, this was way too time consuming between sorting through the initial replies, hiring a person and then going through the entire process over and over again.
Curious about Design Pickle? Take advantage of a discount that I secured for followers of my blog! Today is October 16th, 2016. For the rest of October, you can get 25% off your first 30 days by using promo code: oct2516 at check out. Be sure to go through my link to get the promotional rate. Check out Design Pickle here.