If you're looking to get away from offering the same old merchandise that every other musician does, you're in luck. Today I'm going to share with you a number of merch ideas you can get made up outside of the 4 usual suspects:
- T shirts,
- Posters and
I talked about these kinds of merch for musicians before, so check that out if you want to get started with any of the above. Otherwise, let's look at some additional merchandise you can offer to fans.
But first, if it's your aim to do music professionally, you'll want to check out our free ebook while it's still available:
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Your Music On A USB Stick
As you know, more and more people are preferring to have digital copies of their music instead of physical CDs and vinyl. While people are a lot more open to buying CDs at live gigs, there are still people who won't pick them up, simply because it's a effort for them to copy it from there to their computer or iPod etc.
One solution to this is selling USB sticks already preloaded with your music. It could either have an album, a collection of songs, or anything else you feel your fans may want.
So why would anyone buy this over going online and buying a digital download of your music? Well, there are a few ways you can make this offer attractive to fans:
- First of all, you can market it as a collectors item. Maybe have a limited quantity of them at a time, pressing up only say 100 or so. Or less if you've a reasonably small fanbase.
- You can put your logo or personalized design on the actual USB stick. That means the stick has value as well, rather than the value only coming from what's on the device.
- You could have exclusive videos and images on there which can't be seen anywhere else. If this is the only way to get your new and high value material, your true fans will buy it. It also makes it that bit easier to make a sale in person at gigs.
Just for the fact that you can sell this face to face, which is great if you're a good sales person, it's worth offering your music like this.
While this method does make it that bit easier for fans to share with their friends, if they wanted to share it anyway they would. So don't let that be a reason not to get this bit of merch made up.
If you want to simply offer digital downloads without the USB stick however, selling download cards is also an option.
Personalized Gig Recordings
This is something which I've had Ches Christian talk about on this site before. When it comes to giving out personalized merch, this is one of the best ways to go about doing it. By recording your live shows, as well as taking pictures with fans, you can create a made to order product with high perceived value. What's more, it'll all be available on the same day!
So your fans have just finished watching you live, and now they have the option to get a copy of the live recording. Furthermore you can take a picture with them and put that as they CD cover. How cool is that from a fan's point of view?
Of course you will need to invest in some recording and printing equipment for this to work, as well as bring it to show with you. So if you haven't got a car to bring it to and from gigs, this may not be ideal for you. If you do however, it can be a good type of merchandise to offer fans, and they'll love you for it.
Personally, I'm a big fan of keyrings. I'm a collector, and there are a lot of other people out there who are the same. In fact, if you build up a decent sized fanbase, chances are you'll have people in there who like keyrings too.
The good thing about keyrings, when used right, is they follow your fans around everywhere. Every time they go to open their door or unlock their bike, there is the chance they'll remember about you and your music due to catching a glimpse of the keyring. If they haven't looked out for your material in a while but then they're reminded of it due to this, there's a chance they'll go and look you up again when they next get the chance.
That's not to say you should go out and buy 1000 keyrings to sell or give out to fans. You should always try these kind of merch in small batches initially to see how your audience takes to them. From there you can decide how many you should get made.
Other Types Of Merch
There are a few other types of merchandise which does a similar job to keyrings, in terms of reminding people of your music when they use them. For examples, pens will do this, as will mugs, staplers and any other useful merch you can get made up. Some of your fans may work in a office, and like the idea of a novelty stapler to brighten things up and set them apart from the rest.
As well as T Shirts, how about going the full way with clothes? Caps, jumpers and the like are all things you can get made up.
One final idea, which has been around for a while but doesn't get used a huge amount, is phone and tablet cases. These are another personal favorite of mine, and one fans often take well too. Remember to make yours the best design possible though, as often fans will only buy one of these at a time. So if they like both you and another musician, but the other guy is selling a iPhone case which looks better than yours, most likely you won't make a sale to that person.
In all honesty, there are lots of other kinds of merch you can sell. Your best bet is to to go a website such as Zazzle and see what kind of merch they offer to their buyers.
Next time I'll look at how you can actually go about making your own merch along with shop to sell it from, all for free! So be sure you're signed up to our mailing list and I'll let you know when that's available.
So what kind of merch do you offer to your fans? Let us know in the comments. 🙂