*This is a Guest Post
Everyone wants more of it, and that includes musicians. Money is what I’m talking about, of course! If you’re DIY or full time touring band signed to a major record label, merch is a huge part
of your band and your income. So you should make the most of it, then, right?
You’re most definitely correct.
There’s a couple of ways to go about this, and they’re all going to make a big difference if you implement them.
They’re little things, too, so I know you can do it. First of all, you need to start by…
1) Hustling your merch.
I’ve been on a lot of tours, and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen a local band be out walking around before the show selling merch or ticket. This astounds me. You have a line of people who definitely have money, who are interested in the music you’re playing, who are all supporting the local scene, and you’re just going to wait for them to waltz on over to your merch table?
You need to be huslting to them on a constant basis.
2) Lower your costs.
This one is simple. Just don’t spend as much money on your merch printing.
Am I saying you should be printing poor quality merch? Absolutely not. You simply need to find a better deal.
9 times out of 10, I see bands printing merch at much higher than needed prices. Personally, I usually use
MerchHero. They cater to musicians, and they’re always great at working with deadlines. The owner is a musician
himself, so they usually do their best to work with you and get you what you need. For those on a budget,
I highly suggest checking out http://www.merchhero.com
They have some seriously killer small run deals that work perfectly for bands that don’t need 200 shirts to sell.
ProTip: When getting your merch printed, check with your printer to see if they have templates that your artist
can design everything on. This will eliminate 90% of problems that pop up in the printing process and makes it so
that the artwork turns out the best that it can.
3) Make an awesome merch store.
You absolutely must have a well designed merch store. When your artist makes your shirt designs, see how much
they’ll charge you to make a merch store layout as well. That way, your shirt or CD art matches your store design.
And when your stuff matches, let’s be honest, it just looks straight legit.
Get your merch store made up, and then link it all together.
And I do mean ALL of it.
Most of today’s music sites have integration options like BandCamp, Facebook, Storenvy, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, etc…
Link them all together, and get your fans on all of these platforms to start checking out your merch store.
I’ve seen bands generate a couple hundred a month in strictly merch stores. That money goes to buying a van, trailer, better road
cases, more merch, and recording / production costs. If you’re doing it right, there’s no reason you shouldn’t see consistent and
steady sales through your merch store.
4) Never stop producing content
This indirectly applies to merch, but if you’re constantly driving content to your merch, you’re going to have a much higher chance
that those people will buy something. It’s really just a probability of numbers. For every hundred people you drive to your merch page,
there’s a pretty decent chance that at least one of them will buy something. Those are odds you should definitely be taking advantage of!
To wrap it all up, my final advice is this: Never stop. Ever.
Never stop producing content, never stop coming out with new designs, and never stop talking to your fans.
There’s always going to be people that are willing to buy your stuff!
Now, go and hustle your shirts!