In our previous article, we covered how you can make money from online streaming. Let’s continue the topic and explore how you can make money from selling merch.
How do you sell merchandise online? That’s a question we’re going to answer in this article, aimed at music producers that want to make extra money and promote their music selling t-shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs and videos.
Selling things like t-shirts and band merchandise became very popular in the 1960s. Expressing yourself culturally and through music became important for many people.
And when bands realized that devoted fans promoting your music are great for publicity, it went on from there.
We still love to express ourselves. And you don't shy away from showing our appreciation to the artists whose music you love.
Get Promoted By Your Fans
We all love to wear and own merch from our favorite artists. There are many ways to express your artist brand, from hats, t-shirts, and hoodies to iPhone cases and keychains.
But that’s not all. The internet has opened the doors to digital merchandise, which is a great way for fans to connect with their favorite artist.
Physical Merch (Clothes And Accessories)
According to an article from Spotify, best-sellers in the clothes area include black t-shirts and tour tees. They also recommend pullover and zip-up hoodies and raglan t-shirts.
When creating your range of merch, aim for a smaller but more focused collection. You don’t have to create every type of clothing and accessory there is. Go for the classics that people want to wear.
The important thing is also to make your merch unique and high-quality. Aim for breathtaking designs and get help from a designer if you need it. And don’t cheap out on your brand.
Few fans will wear a bad fitting, low-quality t-shirt more than once. But if you create comfortable clothes that last, they will wear them proudly as often as they can.
If you have a following but don’t sell merch yet, ask your fans what they would like to have. You and they will represent your brand, so make sure it's something you both want to wear.
How To Create Your Merch (Clothes And Accessories)
Besides crafting the clothes at home in your garage, the most common way to make your physical merch is to let specialized companies do it for you.
My recommendation to finding a clothes designer is by starting on Google with the search keywords "design your own clothes," "create customized t shirts," or similar.
Before starting, make sure you have a great design representing you as an artist. If you need, pay a freelance designer to help you. It’s a great investment as your photos and logo represent you as a brand. And most people prefer professional over amateur designs.
How To Sell Your Physical Merch
The cheapest and easiest way to sell physical merch is by letting a custom retailer handle stock and shipping. Most of the popular companies offer this.
For example, Spreadshirt allows you to sell on their marketplace or connect your own Shopify store to your products that they design.
They then handle the entire supply chain, from keeping your products stocked to printing, delivery, payments, and customer service.
That means, after you have your designs, your only job is to market your products and make people buy. The rest is taken care of.
You can also sell merch through Bandcamp, including your music and other digital downloads.
Digital Merch (Videos, Patches And More)
Digital merchandise can take many forms but is essentially something you can transfer digitally to someone over the internet or through USB sticks or similar. Its purpose is usually to make your fans get to know you better.
Ideas for digital merchandise can include studio walkthroughs, personalized videos, behind-the-scenes production sessions, and exclusive patches.
If your fans often ask you for explanation videos behind your latest track, you can release videos as digital merch. Or if they ask how you make your drums or lead sounds, you can sell an explainer video going through all the steps and secrets in detail.
But don’t get greedy. Availability is also great to build a solid fan base. By selling everything you make, many fans can get frustrated.
How To Make Your Own Digital Merch
With a camera, decent microphone, and screen recorder software, you can create epic studio sessions and behind-the-scenes videos that your fans love to see. Higher quality is critical, so if you want to pursue digital merch, invest in great equipment.
If you want to sell patches of your most famous sounds, you can put together packs and sell them. You can also record videos on how you make them.
You can also put together packs of exclusive unreleased music and sell that to die-hard fans. If you have a great following, it might be worth looking into.
Lastly, you can also create content in the form of PDFs. Take help from a designer to make it epic.
How To Sell Your Digital Merch
You can sell digital merch in many ways. But ultimately, you want to exchange your digital download for money. There are several services to help you with that.
Shopify is a common choice for artists who wants to sell digital merch. If your artist's website is on WordPress, you can integrate Shopify with their plugin and start selling there.
You can also create emails and or landing pages with your offers and handle them manually.
The previously mentioned Bandcamp is another option that also can host digital downloads together with physical merch and your music.
Today, it’s easy to start selling your merch – physically in the form of t-shirts, hoodies, other clothes, and accessories and digital as videos or patches.
All you need is your finished product and a follower base – and you’re good to go.
But remember that giving for free sometimes is more valuable than selling. Don’t aim to monetize everything.
If you want to get down the path of making money from merch, it’s often best to do it in a balanced way.
And make sure what you sell is as awesome as you, your music and your fans.
Learn How To Make Music Good Enough To Sell (From Scratch)
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Thanks for reading, and see you in the next article.
About the author
Pelle Sundin is a Swedish music producer and writer, active with his chillout project PLMTRZ. He also produces psytrance. When he's not producing, he surfs, skates, and chugs coffee.