Revenue from merch can be a fantastic way to supplement your income as a performing musician, with the additional bonus of providing free advertising. Here we look at the basics of getting into the merch game, from design to sale.
Guest post by Matt Holland of Gigsalad
As a performer, you’re always seeking out new ways to gain more potential clients. Buying and selling merch is a great way to advertise while providing you additional income. If you’ve never considered creating your own merchandise or always thought it would be too complicated, it’s time to reconsider! Here are the basics to buying and selling merch.
Before you start buying and selling your own merchandise, first consider your brand and design. If you create a brandand design that people will love, you’ll naturally attract more buyers. A well-designed product receives more attention and will guarantee more buyers.
Consider a company that you love. Think about what the company communicates with their logos, colors, and design choices. How can you do the same thing with your own design? If it is within your budget, find a professional designer for your merch and branding. The product will be reusable for advertising, you’ll have something you’re proud of, and it will result in more purchases and hopefully, fans and clients.
There are a number of options available when it comes to buying your merch. Shirts, buttons, stickers, mugs, and more are available to display your brand. Feel free to get creative! After you decide what type of merch you want to sell, find a supplier.
For music distribution and CDs, our friends at CD Baby are the best in the business! With CD Baby, you can not only set up digital merch and get your music on streaming services but also order physical CDs that look great. Want that classic analog sound? Get your music on Vinyl with Disc Makers.
For clothing, the options are nearly endless. The supplier you choose should depend on the type of clothing you wish to purchase. However, the main thing to keep in mind is quality. Create a comfortable shirt and people will want to wear it. This seems simple, but it can easily be overlooked when you want to save a few dollars. For shirts, we recommend 5 Cents T-Shirt Design but you can also find a large number of attire possibilities on Merchly. Keep in mind that you often receive deals for ordering in bulk, so be prepared to make a large order to increase your return.
Miscellaneous merch like stickers, coffee mugs, and buttons can be a unique way to attract those fans who would not otherwise purchase your merch. Smaller, cheaper items are good to have in stock for giving out at events. A creative sticker or button will attract attention and can help you be memorable after the gig is over.
After you decide on your various merch it’s time to get it to your fans. Sell your merch in as many places as possible — online, through social media, and at appropriate live events. Do what you can to get your branded merch in front of as many people as possible. Here are a few ways to get your merch into people’s hands.
Create an online store. The first place you should be selling your merch is online. This is by far the easiest way to sell your merch and the most effective. By creating a website with Bandzoogle, you will have an easy-to-manage built-in online store where you can sell digital and physical merch.
Bring your merch with you to your gigs. When appropriate, set up a small table at the event to display your products. Most of the time, it will only be appropriate to sell your merch at public events. However, the occasional private event, like a House Concert, may also be acceptable. Of course, consider the mood and environment prior to selling anything and always get approval from your client beforehand.
Push your merch on social media. Plan a giveaway or competition that can get people interested. Everyone loves getting free items and when they do, those items become a conversation piece and more advertising for you. Additionally, hosting a giveaway is a great way to interact with your fans and increase your web presence via social media.