Basic Merch Marketing Strategies for Indie Musicians
Music feeds the soul; merch feeds the body. How cheesy but that is very true, my friend.
You know that! If you’re a musician, you need to sell band merchandise in order to survive. And in order to sell, you have to know how to market your merch. Here are some strategies that could help your band generate more merch sales:
Make Sure Your Name is Big and Bold. To make sure your fans won’t get lost and buy from another merch table, you have to have a big signage. It is a must! You don’t want them to have a hard time finding your table.
Light up your Merch. Aside from having a huge and readable signage, your booth should have good lighting. LED lights are okay but you should also put some “sexy” lights like yellow lights or Christmas lights. Just don’t put strobe lights as it could annoy everyone.
Avoid Clutter. Clutter looks artsy- as if you really don’t care. But you (and your fans) would have a tough time if your shirts and CDs and posters are all cluttered. Not only that, you would have a hard time packing up the items if it’s time to leave. Organizing your booth so it looks clean and so it’s easy for them to look, easy for you to find things is the way to go.
Let it reflect your personality. Your products should be an extension of your personality and style. Make sure booth-hoppers would know it’s your booth and not another band’s.
Friends Should Hangout Somewhere else. A lively group of people chatting away near your booth and talking to you non-stop will intimidate people with real interest in buying your products.
Bundle Items. Bundle your CD with your t-shirt at a cheaper price to push those frugal fans to buy your items.
Get everyone’s E-mail. Every man, woman and child who visits your booth should leave their e-mail. Of course, ask this in a friendly manner. At least if you don’t have plenty of sales, your online marketing would improve. Every e-mail counts.
Set-up an iPod Station. Fans could pay you when they download your music or you could just ask their e-mails in return. It’s not a bad option.
Set- up a Photo Booth. If you have the extra money to set up a photo booth, go right ahead! People want souvenirs for their concert experience. Yes, there’s instagram but photos from a photobooth are ten times cooler. Of course, be ready to have your pictures taken with them.
Sell vinyl records, USB sticks and other exclusive items. Fans that will make the effort to attend your show would want something that others don’t have. They wouldn’t care so much if your items are a bit more expensive than a CD because they’ve already traveled (and spent money) just to see you anyway. Make sure you announce this to your website to convince more people to watch your gig.
Sell Hand-made Items by Band Members. If you have a painter in your band, let him paint and sell the paintings to your fans. It would also serve as a lovely decoration to your booth. Tap into each others’ skills.
Money matters. You should agree to set some money aside from every gig to put towards merchandise. Every expense and income should be accounted and uploaded for every band member to see.
Task Designation. Involve every single member of your band and give everyone a job. Someone should be in-charge of inventory, shipping items, accounting, marketing, manufacturing,
Accept Credit Cards and Debit Cards. If you have a smart phone, go to SquareUp: http://www.square.com – this app allows you to take credit cards anywhere, and they will even provide you with a card scanner that plugs into your phone! You’ll be taking more orders this way, so don’t miss out on sales by not taking credit cards!
Let them Know you have a Table. Talk about your items and your merch table in your Facebook page, website and most of all…when you’re on the stage.So you won’t sound like you’re begging them to buy, assume that they all went to the concert to have your exclusive merch. Announce it in between songs and tell them you’ll be there on the booth after your performance.
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