One of the best ways to promote your band (and to earn a few dollars) is by selling band merchandise like t-shirts, stickers, tumblers and other collectibles.
If the items are good, it would benefit your band’s image; it would make people think you are legit and that you’re on your way up.
But how do you promote those promotional merch?
Of course you probably won’t need a lot of effort in the marketing department if you’re already famous, but what if you still do not have the KISS level of fame, then you should put in a lot of effort in promoting your band merch.
Here are some ways you can promote them without spending big bucks.
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T-shirt Design Contest
So why don’t you promote the product when it’s still a concept?
Well, in this case, there’s not even a concept yet. If you think you have a good number of hardcore followers online, throw a t-shirt design contest instead of hiring a professional art director/designer.
This will not promote your band and help you get connected to your fans, it will also save you some money.
Post their entries on your facebook page and ask people to vote. Make sure you give credit and reward the winner with something good.
Tip: Don’t give monetary rewards because that would appear too business-like. Instead, make it fun. One good idea is playing at the winner’s house, wedding, or party for free.
Give Away Some Items
Once you have your cool goodies ready, throw other contests whether online or during gigs. Post trivia questions on Facebook and just randomly select a winner.
You can also give ten of your most loyal fans -those who are always present at your shows and are always sharing your music online.
Just make sure your contests are fun- better if they’re funny.
Make press releases about your exceptionally cool merchandise, compile good behind-the-scenes photos, and submit them to music bloggers and journalists.
For the more famous ones and for magazines, it is advisable that you mail to them your merchandise.
Read how you can get a better chance at getting featured in print media and blogs.
Put Download Codes on Your Merch
To give your fans more motivation to buy your merch, add your download code to some of the more expensive items like t-shirts. This might push them to buy your product.
And if they have your merch, it might convince others to become interested in your band.
Bundle it with Your CD
This is similar to the one I just mentioned.
To increase the value of your CD, include a “freebie.” This will make your goodies look really good, too.
Let Celebs Wear Your Shirt
If you are famous (or lucky) enough to know some celebrities, let them wear your shirt. Take a photo of them wearing your items and spread the photos online.
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.