This article, written by Founder of New Artist Model, Dave Kusek, originally appeared on Sonicbids. We’re excited to be working with them to bring you the best and most relevant content for your business!
A lot of people in the music industry call merchandise one of the best revenue streams musicians have left. Sometimes, however, getting people to buy your branded T-shirts or other knick-knacks can be difficult, especially when you’re just starting out.
Merch can become a great revenue stream for you and your band – if you have some strategies in mind when pitching and selling your merch. Here, we’ll cover four you can start implementing right now or at your next show.
1. Let people know you’re selling merch
Okay, this one isn’t exactly “creative,” but you’d be surprised how many musicians fail to do it, whether it simply slips their minds, or they aren’t comfortable playing salesmen.
We’ve all been to a concert where the excitement of the music and being with friends means we just don’t think about merch. Something as simple as mentioning that you have a merch table or even directly asking fans to check out what you’ve got for sale will increase the number of people who stop by.
If you want to really go above and beyond, take some time to walk through the audience (not during any other band’s performance, of course) and get a conversation going with fans. Carry some merch with you and make transactions right from your smartphone with a card reader like Square.
2. Make it fun
Sometimes the prospect of T-shirts isn’t enough to draw fans to the merch table. Once you actually get people there, however, the chance that they will buy greatly increases. One of the best ways to get people to walk over to the merch table is to make it an event. Don’t entirely leave your merch to some random assistant or venue employee – before and after the show, hang out there yourself!
Of course, you could just hang and talk to fans and that will certainly be effective, but, if you want to go one step further, take some time to think about how you can really turn it into a fun event. If your audience is primarily teenage girls, set up a photo booth with fun props where fans can take pictures with you and the band. If you play Hip-Hop or EDM, host a spur-of-the-moment dance contest over by the merch stand. Something fun will draw people – and purchases.