Moteefe Live: How to find a Print on Demand design that sells $250,000+

Mar 26, 2021 | Blog, English, Features, Products, Products & Features, Tips

Niche marketing weekly live stream: header image with a microphone illustration

Running a Print on Demand business can be super profitable—as long as you hit on a good design. But how do you know when something is good? In this week’s live stream, Print on Demand experts Thomas Gentleman and Aidan Kessell give viewers a valuable insight into what steps you can take to find and create a winning design that will bring in thousands in profits! 

Check out the timestamps below to see what you need to know when it comes to creating a winning design:

  • 01:56 – It’s a number’s game 
  • 03:00 – How do you know if you have a good design? Test. 
  • 04:30 – Success: the basic rules 
  • 07:05 – Your action plan 
  • 10:31 – How do you test? 
  • 14:57 – Don’t forget about conversion ads! 
  • 15:32 – Use your tests to build audiences 
  • 16:34 – Translate to scale 
  • 21:12 – Find the most successful variation

How to find a $250,000+ POD design: the key takeaways

Don’t have 30 minutes to spare?  Here’s a summary of the main points:

The invisible hand of the market

The invisible hand of the market is an idea that it’s guided by some sort of invisible mystical force, essentially market forces. The more products and designs that you put out, the more likely you are to find a winning design.  There is no template to creating the perfect design, however, it is a good idea to include readable text. 

Follow basic rules of design

If you’re offering light colored products, use dark text.  If you’re offering dark products, use lighter colored text.  Look at color wheels and understand what colors complement each other.  Understanding what is considered “good design” is a good starting point to actually creating a good design.

The Process

Brainstorm design ideas. Come up with 500 ideas.  Reach out to a designer.  Create multiple variations of your designs.  Start testing several designs at a time.  Create Facebook ads with a spend of $3-$4 a day.  Review the results and scale the ones that have potential for success. Volume is the key.  Keep testing to see what works. Persistency and volume is key.

Translate to scale

If you have an English design and want to scale to other countries next, some recommendations include Germany, France, Northern Italy, Sweden, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, and Poland.  Translating your design in Spanish can also help boost sales since there is a large Spanish-speaking population in the US—40 million people. 

If you are still aiming to increase your POD knowledge, use our free resources to help you increase sales in your POD business:

A free 13-video Teachable course taught by POD expert Thomas Gentleman.  The course takes you through creating original POD designs, advertising your product and using Facebook Ads.

Join our community Facebook group and connect with active sellers who are keen to share their experiences and knowledge on all things POD.

Moteefe’s YouTube channel features live streams every Thursday with POD experts Thomas Gentleman and Aidan Kessell.

A downloadable PDF containing common phrases in multiple languages for marketing purposes.

You can watch the full live stream on YouTube or read the transcription below.  Want to be notified next time we go live?  Don’t forget to tune in every Thursday for weekly live streams with Thomas and Aidan where they discuss all things Print on Demand!

How to find a $250,000+ POD design: full transcript

A: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to this week’s live stream, where we are going to be talking to you about how to find a Print on Demand design that sells over $250,000 worth.  All right, over a quarter of a million.

As always, I’m joined by none other than Thomas Gentleman.  Hi, Thomas. How are you?

T: I’m good, Aidan. Hello, everybody.  And yes, how do you find that that crazy design, that one that’s going to really hit out of the park?  That’s the topic.   It is possible.  We see it.  We have the data.  We’ve run the numbers.  Our analysts.  Shout out to Max, our data analyst.  We’ve run the numbers and we see it.  We don’t see it every day, though, do we Aidan?

A: We don’t, unfortunately.  But that’s what this year is going to be all about, is to try and get more of you finding more of these, to make more of the money.  And some of the people in the comments, some of them secretly might be those people, we shall see.  And they know it’s definitely doable.  It’s definitely been done.  And people are still doing it to this day.  It’s just, hopefully we can share this with you some more of you, if you can do it.

T: So what’s the difference, what’s the big idea, what’s the difference between a design that sells a lot and a design that doesn’t sell a lot?  Do you know Aidan?  Do you know what the difference is??  You’ll be surprised by my answer.

A: I think I know the answer, but it’s a very basic response.  Is it one that just sells a lot more than the other?  Maybe?  Or is there a bit more to it?

T: That’s, that is true.  But do you know what the real answer is?  If I showed you two designs now and I said pick which one of these two designs sold more than the other, you wouldn’t know.  There’s no difference in the designs.  What this is about is volume, right?

It’s a numbers game


T: It’s a numbers game.  If you want to find the huge design, the massive design, I don’t know what it is, I can’t predict what it’s going to be, I can’t tell you, “Ah, well, what you need to do is, it’s a combination of this shade of blue, that shade of yellow that this font in this niche released on this day to this audience at this budget with these ads.”  No, that’s not that’s not the way it works at all.

The market will decide. Have you ever heard the term, the invisible hand of the market?  Well you have now.  So the invisible hand of the market is an idea that it’s guided by some sort of invisible mystical force, almost mystical force, the invisible hand.  But really, it’s just market forces.  The more products, the more designs that you put out there, the more likely you are to find a winning design to fire just to do with it.

How do you know if you have got a good design? Test.


A: I get that question a lot.  “Aidan, do you think this design is a good one?”  And my first answer to that question is,  “Have you tested yet?” Because I’ll be honest with you, I might have an opinion, but that’s my singular opinion.  The only real way to know if something is good is testing it.  Right.

T: Aidan can’t buy all of the T-shirts.  He does his best, at least half of his wages, we force him to spend on T-shirts every month.

A: Or cushion.

T: Well, yeah, that’s where your overtime money goes in cushions.  As well it should be, a great investment for the future, but it’s a numbers game.  The thing here is that you’ve got to be able to test.  You’ve got to be able to test a lot of designs.

You’ve got to put yourself into the mindset of you’re going to be successful.  This is to find a way that works for you.  I’m going to tell you one way that can work, but there’s multiple ways that can work.  But it’s definitely a numbers game.  The more you test, the more likely you are to find a design that’s going to be phenomenal.  We see tens of thousands of people launching, what, 10,000 people how many thousands of people launching designs, trying to sell them, and out of those designs, some are super successful, some are not so successful.

Success: the basic rules 


T: Again, it’s not about the niche.  It’s not about the Facebook advertising.  There are designs out there that no matter how many variations of that design or style of design you couldn’t give away in the street, that’s a separate thing.  So, the basics are normally you want to follow some basic rules.  Obviously, you want to have the rights to sell the design. It’s not a scalable design if you don’t own the rights.

So anyone that’s thinking, “Oh, well, you know, I saw this thing and I’m going to take this and…” no, no, no.  If you’re doing research, you can look for ideas.  Ideas are one thing, but you have to make them your own and you have to make sure that you’re following the rules, the law.  So that’s one thing.  You’ve got to follow the rules.  Text, it’s about the message on the shirt normally. 

We do see some images.  I’m not saying it’s all about the text.  It can be about the image.  If it’s a really good image, it really speaks to the niche.  It can do well.  But I would say the majority, 98 percent of what we see do really well is text.  You want to keep the text big on the shirt so that it’s readable.  It’s about the message.  You don’t have some tiny little message.

You write you write something.  “Oh, that’s the perfect thing.”  And no one can read it or use some hand drawn calligraphy font that nobody can read because then you’ve lost a message.  So you want to keep it readable.  You want to use high contrast where you can.  So what’s high contrast?  If you’ve got a white shirt or white product, you want to use darker text.  If you’ve got a dark product, then you want to use lighter text.

There are some colours that go well together.  There’s colour wheels out there.  So if you’ve got a main font colour, you can find some nice complementary colours to go along with it.  That will make a nicer design than just sort of randomly picking colours. So there are some basic rules of design.

A: And I suppose you have to bear in mind where these people most it’s I’m buying it.  Right.  It’s on their phones.  So it’s got to be readable because it’s going to go be on a smaller screen.

T: Yes, it has to be readable because it’s on the smaller screen.  That’s a good point. So people are scrolling quickly.  So it’s a numbers game.  How many designs, how many what do you need to test?  Well, it’s as many as you can.  So let’s say Mother’s Day in the US is coming up.  We always talk about it, but we’ve also got Nurses’ Day coming up, Nurses Day coming up.  I believe it’s the 8th of May.  Aidan’s got the master list there.

Ignore the typing.  That’s just something, he is replying to a comment.  He’s got the master list, but it’s Nurses Day. So is it Nurses Day?

A: It is on the 6th of May.

Your action plan 


* Clarification: at 09:33, Thomas advises coming up with 500 ideas and to get 2500-3000 designs made from them!

T: And thank you to all the nurses out there that have done all the nursing.  Very important job indeed.  So it’s Nurses Day.  If I wanted to target nursing as a niche, and you want to find that superstar design.  You need to work with somebody you need to work with a VA.  You can do this part yourself, and if you do, that’s fine.  And you need to come up with something.  In the region of 2,500 to 3,000, nurse related memes, nurse related greeting cards, greeting card messages that you can add the word nurse to, any other meme related to a similar profession.

So what’s a similar profession?  Radiographer, doctors, psychiatrists, chiropractors, 

A: Ambulance drivers, paramedics.

T: Paramedics.  There are other jobs, so if you’re broadening out from just away from nursing, you need to get more.  So you need to get two and a half thousand and maybe up to 5000 and pick out the ones.  OK, you can put the word nursing here. You can rework it a little bit.  Then you want to get those ideas into a spreadsheet. Once you’ve got them into a spreadsheet, type them out.

It doesn’t take as long as you think.  It’s only 2,500 rows.  Really, most of these things are going to be five words long.  You just very quickly get it done.

Then you want to find and as I say, make sure, you know, you don’t want to just take people’s motto’s or official sayings.  Change, where you can add in a word, rearrange a sentence, make it your own.  You should always do that. It’s about adding value. And then you want to this is where you will need to design them unless you’re going to be very busy.  You want to find a designer that you can work with long term.

It’s super important to do that because over time you will be able to give them feedback on the design briefs, on the style of design that is selling for you in each niche.  And you can try stuff together and say, more like this one, less like that one. This one sold really well.  Let’s have a few more in this style.  That font was great. This color combination was great.  And, and over time, you’ll be able to educate them and they’ll get better at designing for you and your buyers.

So it’s important to start that journey as early as possible.  If you’re serious about this, if you’re doing a design yourself, OK.  Still, you should try to work with a designer so you can scale like this.  So let’s say you’ve got two thousand five hundred, three thousand ideas.  Now, each one of those you want to have designed. How many times Aidan would you say? 

A: Well once to begin with, and I would say maybe three times.

T: Three times you want at least three variations of each design?

A: Yeah, 

T: Three or four, three minimum variations of each design.

A: Would it be worth to have some with text and an image and then some with just text maybe? 

T: Yeah, you could, yes.  Variation indeed.  That would be one of the possible variations that you can try.  So you want to.  You don’t want to.  You want contrasting variations.  So you could have an image on some.  Not every idea would work with an image, different font, different colour styles, different layouts, variations.  If they’re simple text based designs, it shouldn’t take a designer as long as you think.

How do you test?


T: So now you’ve got all of it.  Now you’ve got thousands of designs to test.  So how do you test?  Well, there are various ways of testing.  If you’ve got a page, you can’t be posting 2,500 designs on the page to try and find out which one is the winner.  If you’ve got an email list, never use an email list for testing it.  That’s not going to work.  What you should do is open a Moteefe White Label Store.

You should already have a Moteefe White Label Store, but you can open an extra Moteefe White Label Store just for the purposes of testing and upload eight different design, so not variations, three variations of the same design to that store, maybe a few more, and start running traffic to the store’s landing page just on a click.  Just all you want is the click.  Just the link click in Facebook, link click on Facebook.  And then you want to see which ones of those designs are getting the most clicks after people click through.

So you can run this for one day, three or four dollars a day.  Now you’ve tested eight designs, the one that got the most clicks you put that you can start running ads to that and see if that goes.  Swap the other ones out.  The lowest, say the lowest three or four constantly.  You can even do this through the day.  I was just getting no clicks at all.  Do try to mess around with the order a little bit so that you’re not just if people are always clicking in the same places, you can even have different collections within a Moteefe store, really just extra tabs at the top.

So you could have five or six different link click ad sets running at the same time, even a dollar a day, two dollars a day.  You’re talking about twelve dollars now to test a lot of designs.  All of a sudden you’ve got 8t, 16, 32.  That’s just off six dollars because you’ve got the tabs.  You could put them all in separate stores and then you’re taking the best ones, the ones that are getting the clicks.  So people click through on the add.

We don’t expect to get sales figures.  If you get a sale, that’s great.  But what we want to see is the number of times that people were clicking through and then which product, which design they click on.  They’re the ones that you want to then test with Facebook ads.  That’s how you can do it.  You can tell if you’ve got a lot of these.  So now maybe after a few days you’ve got maybe, you know, you want it tested all two thousand, five hundred, you just keep on testing in the background.

You should have those testing ads running all of the time, swapping in and out of the store, designs in and out of these collection tabs within the store.

And then if you’ve got say now you’ve got 20, say you’ve got 20 designs that you want to test.

What you can do now is for each ad set you can have more than one advert for each ad that you can put different products in those with similar mock ups.  And so you’ve got one campaign, four or five ad sets and then multiple ads within each ad set that you can test.  You can do this with campaign budget optimisation, but basically you just want to test as much as you can cheaply, cheaply, cheaply, to get those initial ones that you think are going to be successful that you think would do well.

A: So to get into the data, how long would you run a test for before you start decided to start changing and swapping things around, would you just leave it two days?  And if things had literally zero, then you’d chop them out?  Is there a rule of thumb here?

T: If one is getting all the clicks, then that’s the one.

If it’s a balance of clicks across everything, which is unlikely to be, then that’s another thing you can also use.  Yeah, this is the way that I would test initially.  You can do some other stuff, but if you just want to concentrate on Facebook ads and how to test that, this is a really good way of doing it to begin with.

A: Just on the end, when you’re when you run that test, went to the store to get that traffic, is there any sort of daily spend or budget you’d put towards it?  What daily budget would you set?

Don’t forget about conversion ads! 


T: Well, you’ve got to see what you’re getting your cost per click for.  But, you know, what you’re trying to do here is you’re trying to find a design.  You know, you should be running conversion ads as well on other stuff.  You’re probably off to those two and a half thousand designs.  You’ll probably have five or ten ones that you think are going to be the best anyway.  Well, you can just try those in the normal way with conversion ads and see see how they go.

But you do want to be testing the other stuff as well because you want to find that win.  You don’t want to just sit on the rest of the designs.  That would defeat the purpose of the whole exercise.  You just got to see what works for you.  There are no hard and fast rules.  If you’re selling in some countries, it’s going to be a lot cheaper to test than in other countries.  But you just want to, you just want to get that volume built up and everyone that clicks on and clicks through, they trigger a pixel.

Use your tests to build audiences


T: You can retarget those people later.  So you’re building up some kind of audience anyway with whatever you’re doing.  And yet people say, oh, you can test on here or there or marketplaces or whatever.  No, because you want to test on a Facebook audience on the targets that you’re going to be targeting with the conversion ads.  If I go to the local, well, I can’t go anywhere at the moment. But if I was to get feedback on a design from a group of people that were using one thing and then I try and sell to a group of people that are using something else, the original feedback, it might give me a bit of direction, but it’s not going to be the same thing as far as putting in front of the eventual buyers, or at least that that group makes sense.

Translate to scale


T: So the keys are volume, volume.  The key, you’ve got to work with other people if you want to hit it out the park, if you want to make a, if you want if you want to find that design, that can go absolutely crazy. And then,  OK, even then you’ve got you’ve got your win, or you’ve got your good, your good winning design and you say it’s not going to sell $250,000.  Well, the concept.  Well, because now you can translate that into other languages.

A: Yeah. You could also translate to other niches now. 

T: So well, other languages to begin with, other languages to begin with, is the key test, other niches separately, you might be able to use the style or translate, or transfer over to other niches, but definitely other languages. And if you’ve got a design that selling that’s that’s done 200, that’s done 50,000 in sales, which is not that just not out of the you know, we see that on the regular, as they say, on the regular.

How many countries, Aidan?  How many other countries do you have to take that design in?

A: As many as many as it will sell in.

T: To get to 250. 

A: Oh, well, I do know this. Five.

T: Five.  Well, at least five here.  So, which five countries?  I’ve got an English language design targeting nurses I’ve tested.  This one’s winning.  I’m getting good sales.  It’s looking like it’s going to do really well. It’s got some sales.  It looks like it’s going to hit that 50k barrier.  Which other five countries, four countries are you going to try next?

A: What the first thing that comes to my mind, Germany.  And because you can double back, like we mentioned, the last live stream.  With Germany, you can target Germany and Austria.  And so that’s the next one then after that, France.  And I always remember that you had some great success in Northern Italy, so Italy would be the next one.  And also I would never forget Denmark, Sweden and Finland because they’re very untapped.

T: The Netherlands, of course, of course, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Norway.  You can’t advertise alcoholic, alcohol, anything any reference alcohol there if you are running anything to do with alcohol.  However, on any platform, there are some very specific rules that you must follow.  So always check the provider’s terms and of service.  So yes, you’ve got all of those countries.  I would also try Poland. Poland is a very interesting market that people aren’t really getting going for at the moment.

But I think it’s very, very, very interesting.  So, yes, you’ve got that.  And you’ve got to scale out.  You could take that concept and you can run it out across all of those countries. 

A: Marcus in the comments mentioned Spanish, Spain, and also there’s a lot of Spanish speakers out there.

T: So you can try Spanish in the United States, 40 million people in the United States actually speak Spanish in Spain.

In Europe, not quite as a great market for POD as some other European countries.

But if you’ve got something that’s working, it’s always worth trying.  In Spain, you will get some sales there.  Maybe just try targeting the cities. But yes, it is a market.

A: And just to put out there, it’s to sort of set a goal.  I don’t I rarely get people ask me for Polish translations.  So if you do have something that you want to give it a try in Poland, please reach out to me.  I’ll be more than happy to get those translated for you and to see how it goes.  Right.  And it’s definitely one of the countries that I get the least amount of translations, but it could be one of the best ones to get.

So, yeah, pop me a message for those.

T: Excellent.  And so there we are.  That’s what to do.  That’s how to do it.  Get out there.  If you are going to embark on this journey.   Let Aidan know and he’ll offer all the support that he can, we’ll be very keen to see how successful you can be.  And, you know, don’t be lazy.  So many people out there that I know could be crushing it that are kind of moving along, doing okay, not testing that many designs, ups and downs, looking for reasons why it’s not working well, well 98 percent of the time, it’s the design. 

If you had had six variations of that design or slightly different wording, then you probably would have found a winner within it.  One of the biggest money, money losers is designs that kind of do OK where you haven’t tested the variations because it’s not just the… I’m not saying they might make some money.  And you should run those and keep running those and scale those as much as you can, but you should always be looking for the variations of that design that are going to make more money than that.

Find the most successful variation


T: So when you do find something that’s working, get three or four other variations of that design to reach out to Aidan and he’ll get it done for you.  We’ll get it designed for you.  That’s something that we do for people that are selling well on Moteefe.  So if you have got a design that’s selling well and while we do set the bar pretty high for “well”, but not too high.  And it also has to be something that we can help you with.

But if you reach out to Aidan he will get design variations done for you as well as translations, we’re here to help.  Your success is our success.  So.  Yes.  Yes, Aidan. 

A: Yeah, 100 percent, if you guys have got something that’s, you know, showing some initial success, it doesn’t have to break the world.  Literally, if it shows that initial success message me on Facebook and I’ll be happy to get it, get everything sorted out for you, get the translations, even, get it redesigned if it really does show some promise.

And in the link in this in the description, in the YouTube description.  There is a link to our Facebook group where I can be found.  You can find me.  You can pop me a message.

T: You should be trying two or three variations of your winning designs always.  That’s another thing people aren’t doing.

A: If you were to set yourself a goal and how many tests you should launch per week, what would you go for? 

T: What do you mean?

A: So would you would you be trying to test set yourself a goal of…

T: I just said find 2,500 designs.

A: Yeah, but per week.

T: Well, you didn’t ask about other people.  You asked about me.  The whole point of this is to find two and a half thousand ideas and then get them designed by a professional, by a designer.  You can find these people cheap out there.  You know, this is how you reinvest in yourself and success. You can do this bit by bit and drip through, drip through it.  If you’re paying a designer on a monthly retainer, then you can find designers to work with you to do simple test text based designs to get this done for three, four or five hundred dollars a month, maybe six hundred dollars a month for a really good designer, that’s full time. 

You know, that’s the way to do this.  If you’re just testing well, just test as much as you can.  But if you really want to go for it and scale up and try and make this year absolutely massive and hit it out of the park, you know, you hit four of these designs a year.  That’s an awful lot. It’s yeah, it is work. But along the way you’re going to learn a lot.

You’re going to learn a lot about the market.  You’re going to learn a lot about what works and you’re going to test a lot of designs. You’re going to run a lot of ads. You’re going to get a lot of retargeting done.  And you’re going to you know, in the end, you will find a design if you keep going and test cheaply and always try to be scaling your winning designs whilst you’re testing, then you in the end, you will find that design that that propels you into a completely new level of selling.

You know, people are selling thousands of units a day, individual sellers on Moteefe right now.  And you can be one of them.  This is the way to do it.  So you want to get on and do it and make this weekend, the weekend that you commit to something like this.  If 2500 is too many for you, well, double down and get 5000.  Get as many as you can, it’s a numbers game, that’s a good market line in the sand of how many you should be getting.

500, 500 ideas.  I think actually is probably the way to do it. 500 ideas, not 2500. You turn that into two and a half thousand designs, but we know, it’s live.  So anyone that watched up to here is 500, not 2500.  If you are going to go down to 2500, then good luck to you and you can’t hit rewind. 

A: The underlying thing here is persistence, right?

It’s persistence and volume.  That’s what we’re saying, because you can’t just test 10 and give up. You need to test 100.

T: 500. 2500 ideas, 2500 to 3000 designs from 500 ideas there you are.

That’s it, and we will be back next.  We’ll be back in 2500 years with our next live stream. Aidan, what’s the title of the next live stream?  We don’t know.  We’re going to go.  We’re going to let the market decide.  But it will be an exciting title next week, 500 ideas, 2000 to 2000 to 3000 designs of that to test that you can get done.  If you, if anybody does get 2500 ideas for the nursing niche, 10,000 designs designed, then we definitely want to see that because that is phenomenal.

A: There’s a trick here though, because if you have 500 designs and then you translate all those 500 designs times that by five, you would have 2500. 

T: Well, I don’t know if you would.

OK, excellent. Thank you. And thank you, everyone.

A: Thank you very much, guys.  And quickly, Abderrahim, I will be seeing you shortly with how to do your Facebook verification.  Any questions, guys, I’m the group message to be directly more than happy to help.  Have a lovely weekend and I’m looking forward chatting with you all over the week, weekend.  And see you all next Thursday.  Thanks, guys.  Bye bye!

P.S. Don’t forget to tune in every Thursday for weekly live streams with Thomas and Aidan where they discuss all things Print on Demand!


Happy selling!

Team Moteefe