Think “public” and think “triggers”. You want to sell merch that your fans can take anywhere so more people can see you. By triggers, we mean sell items that spark a specific reaction. That reaction is making people think about you when they see your merch!

Selling merch is a must for artists. Not only is it a new revenue stream, but it’s a fantastic opportunity for more exposure – and that’s something we don’t scoff at.

But where to start? There are so many merch possibilities that it can be overwhelming if you’ve never dabbled with it before. After all, it’s a business venture. But that doesn’t mean you need to whip out the pie charts and sales stats. you just need to understand what your audience wants.

Understanding Your Fanbase is Key to Selling Anything

We know that you didn’t get into music to read markets. But understanding who listens to your music, and therefore what demographics are likely to buy your merch, is ultra important to the success of your merchandise.

Rather than dive in with business lingo like “target market”, lets’ keep it music-merch specific. Double-check that you have the right merch for the right audience.

Is a middle-aged dad going to buy a tote bag? No. Is a young lady going to? More than likely.

Is a young man going to buy a patch? Possibly, but a skater is more likely to buy one than a bookworm.

And it goes deeper. You can sell lighters, gender-specific or unisex t-shirts, bracelets, hats, sweatshirts and sweet shirts with your logo on them, coffee mugs, tour t-shirts… and more.

We’re covering what you can sell tomorrow. For now, lets’ stick to how to sell it.

Be Happy With What You’re Selling

This may seem like common sense to some, but make sure that your branding and logo is completely finished. If your fans are wearing your logo and there are parts of it that you don’t like, are you going to be happy when fans associate this art with you?

Only when you’re happy with your branding should you be thinking about what you can sell. Your branding is the foundation of your public image. It’s the message you send to the world about why and how you do what you do. For more info on branding, we’ve got a branding 101 article on its way!

Stop Copying Everyone Else

Following trends is a sure way to look like everyone else. Do you think your merch will sell if this is the case? Why should I buy your shirt with a generic tree on it when I could buy thirty others just like it?

Sure, use trends as inspiration to get some ideas for your own merch, but don’t straight copy. Twist what everyone else has done or do something completely different.

You need to create something that fans can’t get anywhere else.

Ditch Merch That isn’t Sellin.

The customer is always right. At least, that’s what business philosophy says.

If they don’t want what you’re selling then they won’t buy it, so you shouldn’t be attempting to sell it. It’s important for you to understand just who your fans are so you can capitalise on what they”’ buy.

You Don’t Need Loads of Merch

The point of merch is to increase your revenue, sure. But that’s not the only point.

It’s a visual message to your fans. With this in mind, make sure you have a small number of merch pieces (no more than three of four) that have a clear message that correlates across all of your merch pieces.

For example, you could have a shirt with your logo on it, a shirt with your tour date on it, as well as a patch with your logo on it, and, finally, a beanie hat with your logo on it.

Make Sure You Actually Wear Your Merch

If you don’t believe in it, who else will?

Wear your merch on stage as well as backstage. Be seen wearing it on social media. Wear it when you go out for a meal. Wear it at your friend’s house..wear it everywhere (but do leave time to wash it).

Make Sure You’re at the Table With Your Merch

Let your fans see you! What do people love more than music? The person that made the music.

Creating opportunities for your fans to connect with you is a tried and tested means of getting them to talk about you when they go home.

Your fans want to hang out with you. They want you to know that they, as individuals, love and support what you do. Why would you want to take that away from them? If you do, you’re maximising opportunities for publicity.

When it comes to selling your merch at gigs, make sure that you do research and know what venues actually have room for you to sell your merchandise. It’s very easy to get into debt too quickly with merchandise, so be confident that you will make your money back by selling it.

Before you can get to the selling merch stage you need to be releasing music that will attract fans. To do this, you needed great sounding samples.

We at Mixxed work with a growing number of sample labels and contributors to provide you with a premium sample subscription service that’s more accessible than any before.

You’ll have access to our growing catalogue of thousands of loops, one-shots and sound effects that you can browse, download and keep forever for less than $3 a month.

Sign up today to find your sound!