Merch has been and always will be an important factor for many people’s money-making plans.
It’s a boost in musicians, artists, YouTubers, streamers, and other online creators’ profit because aside from the content they make and profit from, they have these merch items that give faster returns.
Having your very own merch line may be a bit different from what you usually do for your content. It’s not that hard, though, so I’m pretty sure you’ll be alright.
However, I have to admit that doing your merch line and being successful in doing it are two different things.
And of course, you want to do things right and be successful in doing it, so how about we give you some tips to help you gain the right footing to start your merch line.
Here we go!
5 Tips on How to Start Your Own Merch Line
#1 IDENTIFY AND KNOW YOUR SUPPORTERS
You may already have a lot of supporters and that’s what makes this tip a must-do.
Identifying your supporters and knowing what their preferences are will help you in a lot of ways. Since they’re many, you will surely have more people to please.
One of the best reasons in knowing them is that you get to have a clearer vision of what your designs would be, if you don’t have designs in mind yet. Additionally, you get to easily decide on what type of merch items you will be releasing.
Whether you’ll have both the t-shirt and hoodie or the cap and beanie or just either one from the two will be answered by your knowledge of your supporters’ preferences.
And the best way to know those preferences is asking them directly.
You can do that through polls in social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
You can also go live on any platform, wherever the bulk of your supporters are active, and ask them there. It’ll surely be a thrilling and memorable experience for them. It’s a kind of engagement that they love.
A good thing about asking them directly is you’ll be able to get an estimate of how many would be buying your merch. You will also have an estimate on how many would buy per merch item you’ll be releasing. This is a good strategy to ensure that you will get those sales.
#2 DO YOUR RESEARCH
Aside from researching your supporters, you gotta do some research about general knowledge you have to know when you’re in this business.
You have to know what you’re venturing into, this way you won’t get easily deceived and you won’t be clueless while doing transactions with others.
If you did your research well, you’ll be able to know and understand the options presented to you. You better learn the different screen sizes and add-ons that you might get when ordering.
There are different printing techniques and you gotta know what’s the best for your type of order, design, budget and more. You should also learn about inks and fabrics because there are inks that don’t look too good on certain fabrics.
To avoid any big dilemmas, last minute changes, and delays, it would be best to be well-equipped with this knowledge.
#3 FIND A GREAT AND RELIABLE CUSTOM MERCH MAKER
After all that research, you have to find a great and reliable custom merch maker.
The company and their staff would be the ones helping you realize your ideas, so make sure they’re a good one. And I mean not just the people, but also the products they produce and services they offer.
To ensure they’re a good one, you can try asking for recommendations from people you know. You can also read through the customer reviews given to them. Or maybe try testing their customer service by calling them and asking questions.
If you prefer it, you might also want to add this requirement to your future manufacturer: offers warehousing and fulfillment services. This is a great service most companies offer today, where they do the keeping and shipping for you.
All you gotta do is connect your customers to a website where they will be able to receive the orders for your product. You won’t have to worry about lacking space for your merch and having to ship them on your own.
#4 KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY YOU’RE INVESTING
Starting your own merch line will surely be exhausting your pocket and bank accounts.
It is an expensive move so you better have your money ready. But there are also ways to keep the costs down, so don’t worry too much.
What you have to do to bring the costs down would be to search through the internet. It’s another tedious search because, if you’re on a tight budget, you might not have enough to offer high quality merchandise to your supporters.
Don’t go settle for low-quality ones no matter how cheap they may be, because they’re just end up looking cheap. You will surely find great quality merchandise. Even though they may not be as cheap as those low-quality ones, at least they’re not as expensive as most high quality ones.
#5 MARKET THE HELL OUT OF IT
Lastly, you have to market them as much as you can.
This is the best way to create hype and gather people for your merch release. With your promotion, you might even have to restock them instead of having units left.
The best free and wide-reach way of marketing them is through social media.
You can post pictures and videos of you or your hired model wearing the shirt to entice them to buy. You can also try a more personal approach with emails using your mailing list.
Another way to promote them, would be to ask or encourage your supporters to post their feedback of your merch on their social media account.
You can also try giving them a hashtag so that when they post, they can use it and maybe have other people click it to know other’s thoughts about your merchandise.
It’s free marketing, so remember that supporters are not obliged to do it. You better not make them feel like they do.
There you go, folks!
These are the 5 tips we have for you so you can be at ease when starting your own merch line.
Remember to always do your research, always aim for high quality, and always do your best in marketing them.
Wishing you luck on this journey.
And if you want a shirt printed by us, hit us up!
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD, custom vinyl records and merch company in LA.