10 Advice for any Music Band that Need Custom Merch
If you’re a musician hoping to share your music and gain some extra profit, then you gotta go big on merch.
11:56 06 August 2021
With the intense competition, no gigs thanks to the pandemic, and low streaming royalties, custom band merch is the best avenue to earn more money. Most bands can’t survive without it.
I know it’s a little nerve-wracking going through all the unfamiliar processes of making band merch. Moreover, trying something new with a large sum of money involved is just too much of a risk. And if you just released an album, any amount is too big to throw away!
To help ease those worries, here are ten pieces of advice you need to know if you are planning on releasing a custom merch:
#1 PREPARE YOUR LOGO
Before you plan and order your first ever merch, I highly suggest you ready your logo.
It’s something you must do because that will be the logo or brand image that would be attached to your name wherever you go. From that very first logo you have, you can add some little flairs around or within it to match the theme of your music release or merch. Slap your logo on a tee or mug, and it’s ready for selling!
#2 FOCUS ON YOUR FANS’ DEMOGRAPHICS
Not everyone is your customer.
After having your logo, you can now decide on what type of custom merch you will have for your merch release. There are tons of different merch items you can choose from and you can narrow them down through making a list based on your fan base demographics. What do your fans want, basically.
For example, if you have more female teen fans then it would be best to have wearable merch items in smaller sizes instead of having XXL ones. Also, having jewelry for your merch release, like bracelets, would definitely not be a fan favorite of a fan base mainly composed of men in their 40’s or 50’s.
#3 ASK YOUR FANS WHAT THEY WANT
Get it straight from the horse’s mouth.
Next thing to do after narrowing them down is to ask for your fans’ opinions. You can reach out to them through your social media platform or through their emails from your mailing list.
You can try having a poll or a post with a question. These can be done to help them pick the type of merchandise or design (if you’re on a tight budget) they want.
#4 CREATE ATTRACTIVE DESIGNS
As soon as you identify the kinds of merch you want to release, you can now create specific designs for that kind of merch. In creating a design, you can ask a friend, hire a professional, or do your own.
You can even ask your fans to create a design for you!
#5 ALWAYS INCLUDE AT LEAST ONE WEARABLE MERCH ITEM
I urge you to follow this advice because having wearable merchandise has many benefits. First, fans love them. It’s one of the things seeked by fans on a merch table or online merch store.
Second, is the fact that they are your most mobile advertisement. It trumps your flyers, tarpaulins, and physical and online ads. What’s more is that it does not cost you additional cost like ads do, they’re very much free.
#6 DECIDE ON THE TYPE OF FABRIC PRINTING TO USE
If you’re having a wearable merch, then it’s best to decide on what type of fabric printing you will use for the printing of your, let’s say, shirt.
There are various ways to have your design printed onto their substrate but the best for people selling them is either screen printing or direct-to print (DTG). Both are great for bulk orders and are fast during production.
Screen printing is better though, so I suggest visiting Swaggin screen printing if you’re in Los Angeles. However, if you’re far from LA then you can search the internet for screen printing or DTG shirt printing near you.
#7 RELEASE A PHYSICAL ALBUM
Another advice that surely needs to be considered. Fans are becoming more and more bored with streaming music through online streaming sites.
To upgrade their listening experience, you can try releasing your music with a physical album. You can have a small number of copies so that you won’t have to worry about not selling all of them.
#8 HAVE BUNDLED MERCH ITEMS
You will definitely have at least three types of merch item so there’s no reason to not offer a bundle merch. You can have your physical album, a shirt or hoodie, and maybe a poster or sticker in that bundle. This would surely help your fans who’re on a tight budget and yourself who’ll be worrying about the unsold units.
#9 CHOOSE A GOOD MANUFACTURER
No matter how great you vision your merchandise and how much you design them better, if you choose to order from a bad manufacturer, your merch will not look its best.
To choose a good manufacturer you have to pick one that has a good reputation. This can be decided based on the recommendation of the people you trust or the online reviews you see on the internet.
Another thing to consider is their work ethic and attitude. To assess this, you can try visiting their shop if they’re near you. You can also try contacting them through a call or email.
#10 LOOK THROUGH YOUR MANUFACTURER’S WEBSITE
Most of the information you will need to know about them would be there. If you look through their website you will find their portfolio, samples, and the products and services they offer to their customers.
Make sure to choose a manufacturer that offers additional services like screen printing fulfillment services, merch warehousing, and product designing. This way makes them a one stop shop, a shop where you can acquire all the services you will need for a merch production.
I cannot imagine a musician without at least three different merch items for each album release. Custom merch items are very helpful to musicians both in finance and marketing, so I’m pretty sure no one would not grab and take advantage of it.
If you’re serious about earning money so you can create music long-term, you gotta make awesome merch!