It’s never been harder for bands and musicians to make money. But one consistent income stream continues to be reliable – and grow. Since music fans can access music so easily through streaming platforms, they’re more likely to spend money on merch by their favorite artists.
As a musician, this is a great opportunity for you to generate some income. Here’s a strategic guide to help bands and artists maximize their merch revenue.
There’s nothing more classic than a band t-shirt, and it’s the most likely thing someone is going to buy. Focus on nailing a shirt.
- Cultural Impact: T-shirts are as classic as Coca-Cola. Plus, they’re not just a revenue stream. They’re a walking advertisement for your band.
- Design Matters: Make sure you invest in cool and compelling designs. Collaborate with designers or consider fan design contests to create t-shirts that resonate with your audience.
- Quality Is Key: Don’t skimp and print on the cheapest shirt possible. The t-shirt business is competitive, and make sure you print on quality blanks, such as Gildan Hammer or LA Apparel.
Diversify Your Merch
Of course, variety is the spice of life. Offer a range of merch to get the most profit possible.
- Beyond T-Shirts: Think beyond the normal shirts and include items like CDs, tapes, vinyl, tote bags, and stickers. Stickers, in particular, are a cost-effective item – perfect for promotion or as low-cost merch.
- Unique or Limited Edition Items: Offer special or limited edition items that create a sense of urgency and exclusivity.
Understand Costs and Pricing
Do you have an understanding of how much your merch costs?
- Cost Analysis: Be aware of the production costs and set pricing strategically to ensure a healthy profit margin.
- Sales Channels: Decide whether to sell online, at shows, or both – and understand the cost implications of each channel.
Treat Merch as a Serious Business
Merch should not be an afterthought.
- Potentially a Major Source of Income: Recognize that merchandise can really drive a lot of money into your pocket, especially if you take it seriously.
- Engagement and Branding: Merch is also a form of engaging with fans and reinforcing your band’s brand.
Make More Money from Your Merch
Successful band merchandising hinges on a mix of quality products, creative designs, and a bit of elbow grease. By taking a serious approach and offering quality items, bands can improve their merch sales.