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OK, walk me through my first Launch

Wee caveat, there are several steps involved creating a Launch. However, we promise you'll get the hang of things in no time. This is also one of those times when we absolutely need to hear from you. This Launch process was created with efficiency in mind, but if we've missed something that can help maximize your time, please let us know. The following is a brief introduction to the flow. If at any point you need to take a break, please don't worry. We'll save your in-progress Launch in your account, here.

Step 1: Launch planning

A few things to consider prior to jumping in:
What's my audience?
Where do they congregate/communicate? Facebook? Pinterest? Email? Will I be using pre-existing artwork or something from my library
What's my advertising budget, if any?
If I'm creating a Launch to support an event, knowing it takes 10-14 days to have my shirts delivered after a successful Launch, when should it end?
What's the price flexibility of my selected audience? Will they support a price point of $40 if it's supporting a charity or cause?

Step 2: Creating a shirt

Start by navigating to our design tool which is conveniently located on the Launch Pad. In stage 3, the design phase, you'll begin your countdown with some familiar controls. You'll see a large representation of a blank shirt, an image upload button, a category of currently available shirt styles and associated colors, etc.. 

Image upload - this one requires dozens of hours of time to better communicate what an optimal image may look like, but given we're focused on screen printing at the moment, let's focus on vector artwork. If anyone has ever opened up Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape, you're familiar with the term. At its core, vector graphics are a file format that utilizes curves, points, polygons and lines drawn via mathematical expressions to describe your art. They're wonderfully flexible as they scale to near infinite size without any loss of quality. The downside is that they can be rather tedious to master as most folks are used to creating images with their cousin, the raster. For the purposes of creating your first Launch, you're welcome to use any number of raster file types like .png, .jpg or .bmp.

Once you've settled on an image, in addition to your local machine, our uploader can retrieve files from Google Docs, Dropbox and OneDrive if you're using one of those services as your repository. We started with some basic onscreen controls to move and align your images and will be adding many more in the near future. 

Colors - what brings so much joy into our lives on a daily basis are best described as controlled chaos when screen printing. Take for instance a simple (non-gradient) color wheel like this one.

 

After broken down into unique colors, or separations, it would take 13 separate screens in order to be printed. (although there are only 12 colors present, an under base of white ink is often applied to dark shirts in order to preserve vibrancy) Each of those screens add to material and labor costs, and as costs often do, they roll downhill right to your pocketbook. We've taken steps to try to control these costs by limiting each area to 8 colors maximum. Since the vast majority of screen printed shirts are printed using 4 colors or fewer, it should be more than sufficient. 

Pick a shirt - we've loaded approximately 30 very basic, all 100% cotton shirts to start. They have good size range (YXS to A5XL) and you should be able to find a suitable color, especially from Hanes, Fruit of the Loom and Gildan. One thing to watch is how each sku impacts your base price, which we cover in this article. Also pay close attention to your audience. If you're targeting fellow Tar Heels alumni, you'll find a Gildan 5000 Carolina Blue shirt just for you. There are also size differences hidden within each sku, so if you need to accommodate sizes on either side of the range, please make sure to take that into consideration.

Back - often reserved for the biggest or most elaborate artwork (fronts can be blank or used for pocket designs only), the control for choosing the back of the shirt is located just below its hem. We've also made it easy to default to the back if it shows more of your design than the front.

When you've completed your shirt design, click the big green Next button and we'll move to Stage 2, Goals.

Step 3: Setting goals

This is where things start to get interesting. You're presented with two choices that can dramatically impact how much money you can generate, and one more to pick the most visually appealing side if you've opted into front/back. The first choice is choosing your preferred side. Once you've done that, step 2 is setting a goal for yourself. Don't worry about this one too much since we've built in some flexibility once you once your Launch is live. We default to 50, but feel free to choose a number smaller or larger based on your potential audience. If the slider isn't to your liking, you're free to enter in a whole number in the box. Now that you've set up the side and sales goal, the last step is choosing your selling price. Like we mentioned above, knowing the price limits of your audience can help a great deal here. Just like the sales goal slider, you're free to enter your own value as well.

As you move your sales goal higher, you'll notice the money you'll earn per shirt also rises. This is due to one of screen printing's greatest gifts, volume. There are several costs associated with each Launch that are spread out over the number of shirts being printed. The more shirts there are to spread those costs, the more per shirt you make.

If you have an earnings target in mind, say $500, and you're working with a 3-color design on a basic shirt you'll need to sell approximately 60 shirts at $18.00 in order to hit your target. The higher your sale price, the fewer you need to sell. 

Step 4: The details

 

Here's where you let your inner Shakespearean marketing animal loose and go to town. We'll need a title for your awesome Launch, a long description that'll help your customers understand what you're selling/doing/supporting, tags which will help us categorize your Launch (features surrounding these are in the works), your unique Launch name and finally, a duration.

We chose to provide a different URL structure than normal for KarmaLaunch in order to provide you with the greatest flexibility. Had we not included your Store Name, everyone would be competing for the same unique www.karmalaunch.com/myshirt space. We've consulted with the best SEO minds in the biz, and they've all assured us that it has no measurable impact to construct our URL this way.

Launch duration is the last of the big decisions. If you're creating a Launch to support an event on the 30th of the month, you'll want to factor in 10-14 business days after the Launch ends into your decision, then set the date accordingly. If it's the 1st of the month, make sure not to choose 21 days. There's a very good chance that all or none of your customers will be happy (with either of us :) )

Once your fields are ready for the world to see and your duration has been calculated, click the Terms of Service button, then Finish! and you're ready to start promoting!

 

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