How to Create and Sell Band Merch

band members playing on stage
Photo by David Yu on

As a musician who does live shows, you will quickly come to find that one of the best ways to generate revenue while connecting with your fans is to sell band merch.

Merch is another creative outlet that works in tandem with your music and gives show-goers a piece of the live experience to take home.

When done right, it can be a lucrative part of your career.

Stay true to who you are.

When creating designs for your merchandise, you should take a look at your logo and band aesthetic to determine what would work best. You want designs that speak to your fans and feel uniquely you.

Don’t create merchandise that has nothing to do with your brand. If you’re straight-edge, beer koozies and drinkware may not be in the cards.

Heavy metal bands will most likely skew away from brightly colored merch, and artists who are charitable can create partnerships with other brands that are mutually beneficial.

Team up with people.

As just mentioned, sometimes you can collaborate with other entities to create the perfect band merch.

Local coffee shops are often down to create special blends and labels. Breweries and bars may make specialized drinks, and local clothing shops may create special edition t-shirts or hats to sell.

Don’t confine yourself to shows.

While merch tables can be a point of pride at live shows, they may be best used when done virtually.

Odds are, your band has a website folks can go to in order to find out more about your music. Create an e-commerce portion of that site to sell your merch to anyone at anytime, anywhere.

This is great for people who can’t make a live show but want to support you, or who may have missed out on special merch the night of a performance.

Go digital.

There are many non-tangible merch options available, like downloadable guitar tabs or music sheets, e-books, or video extras.

Digital content can be something sold on its own or created to enhance merch that can be held.

Have the right team members.

Are you terrible at graphic design? Do you have no clue how to set up a store online? Sometimes it’s worth it in the long run to hire experts who will ensure things run properly.

Get creative.

Everyone loves a good concert tee or patch for their jacket. What can you offer fans that they can’t get at any other merch table?

Create special edition vinyl; art books that include behind-the-scenes photos and notes on your creative process; or custom phone cases.

Take note of what works.

As with any good business, you want to track sales to see what items resonate most with fans.

If you’ve spent a lot of money on creating something like a special edition vinyl but see little return on investment for that product, don’t waste time and energy on selling that item. Look to what does sell well and replace it with like items in your merch repertoire.

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