Hey guys, today I’m going to talk a bit about merchandise. This is the first in a two (or more) part guide looking at why you need to start selling merch as a musician, and the types that you can offer to your fans.
Today we’ll look at what merch is, why you should be offering it to your fans,, and the core types of merch you should sell as a band. This also applies to singers and rappers as well, in fact even products sometimes have great success at selling merchandise. The most obvious example being Dr Dre and his Beats By Dre headphones, but selling merch can also benefit independent musician too.
So if you want to add an additional revenue stream to your music career, read on for all the info. Note, part two of this guide is now also out with lot of addition ideas for merchandise musicians can sell.
What Is Merch?
Simply put, merchandise, also known as merch in the music industry, are any addition physical goods you offer to your fans. You usually sell your merchandise, whether on your website, at gigs, or anywhere else you interact wit your fans. That said, merch can also be given away in exchange for music lover’s email addresses, or to street teams in exchange for promotion.
Do You Need To Offer Merchandise To Your Fans?
If you want to maximize the amount of money you make from your music career, yes, you do. Merch is a great way of adding additional value to your fans, as well as adding more money to your bottom line.
The thing is, for every sale of your music you make, there will be a percentage of those people who want to buy more. So for every 100 people who buy one of your albums, you may get 10 or so who want to either buy more music from your, or a piece of merch you’re selling. And two or three of those 10 might want to buy everything you offer to them. That can add up to a lot of additional money, money that you wouldn’t see if you only offered your music alone. In fact, it could much more than double your income when done right.
Musician, if you don’t offer fans merch, you’re leaving money on the table! – Tweet This
The above aren’t exact numbers, but they serve my point well enough. Everyone will have different numbers, depending on how much disposable income their target market has, how good your merch is, and how much you sell your merchandise for.
The thing that is consistent regardless of the above however, is that by offering merch to your fans, you do have the opportunity to make a lot more money from your music career. Offer more products to fans, make more money.
I’ve written a guide on how to sell more merch, so I suggest you check that out after you’ve had a look below. Below I’ll show you the types of merch you should be selling as a band, rapper, or other musician.
The Merch All Musicians Should Have
So below I’ve compiled a list of the core list of merch that all musicians should think about selling to their fans, most of which can be made on websites like Zazzle. While these aren’t the only types available, these are the proven sellers which most merchandise lovers expect to see.
This is the first thing many think of when it comes to merchandise to offer to their fans. Musicians have been offering t-shirts at gigs and on their website for years for the simple reason that they sell well!
Everyone needs clothes, t-shirts are a core clothing item. If it’s hot, you wear a t-shirt. If it’s cold, you wear a t-shirt underneath something else.
Many people use t-shirts as a way to express who they are and the things they like. If they like your music, there’s a chance they’ll get a t-shirt with something that represents you on it.
You’ll also want to offer fans t-shirts that express a way of life on it too, as not all fans will want to buy something with your name or face all over it.
So where possible, offer both types of shirts to your fans. When designed well and pushed right, t-shirts can be a best seller.
CDs aren’t usually thought of as merchandise, but they are. They’re a physical product, and they’re something fans can take away to remember the time they saw you perform.
While CD sales aren’t what they once were, they do still have their place. Although they won’t make you huge amounts of money sitting on a shop shelf, at gigs they can make you a decent income.
You see, people like to take away something from shows they’ve been to. If you put on a good performance and people like what you do, some will buy your CD.
If you can make this a live CDs like mentioned in this guide, the chances of you making sales increase greatly. So be sure to get some made, and promote them at your live gigs.
Another popular form of merchandise is posters. Well I say popular, but not a huge amount of musicians get these made up. Posters generally sell well though, so if you’ve a decent sized fanbase, you should consider getting some made.
This is especially true if your target audience are teenagers, especially teenage girls. They can also sell well to other target markets, but this demographic especially are open to buying posters of musicians they like.
If you haven’t got the biggest budget but still want to get some merch made up, you can always get some stickers made.
I’ll be honest with you here, these aren’t going to be your biggest money makers. Furthermore, they’re often best used when you use them as free giveaways to people. For example, you can give them to people who sign up to your mailing list at live shows.
That said, you can sell stickers, but only really at live shows. Most people won’t buy them for much, so if you try to sell them on your website and ask for postage as well, chances are you won’t make the sale.
If you want cheap merch that will make a few sales but be more useful for promotion and raising awareness than anything else, stickers may be right for you.
Part two of this guide out out now with more merch ideas, check it out.
So now you know what merchandise is, why you need it as a musician, and some of the types you can get started with. That said, that’s not the full story. There are plenty of other types of merch you can offer, some which will do really well for you.
Like I said this will be a two part guide, with the next one giving some ‘out of the box’ thinking when it comes to merch you could be using. I’ll be sure to send you a email when it’s out.
If you have any other thoughts of merchandise types before that though, feel free to leave them in the comments. And if you already offer merch to your fans, let us know what type. 🙂