If you’re a small, independent artist, you don’t have the resources to outsource products and design merch. Making band merch is something you have to do yourself.
Spreadshop makes the merch process seamless from the initial creation, to listing it in your shop, to ordering inventory in bulk for your in-person merch table.
Now that live music is fully back in full force, there’s no better time than right now to get in on the demand.
Making band merch is all well and good, but you’ve also got to sell yourself. Give it your all on stage, engage with your fans and show them why they should be invested in you.
So, let the battle for the best band merch begin!
Set Up Your Shop
With so much band merch out there, you want whatever you’re selling to be original and stand out from the rest of your competition.
If you’ve been making music for awhile it’s likely that you already have a band logo that a bandmate sketched out on a notebook somewhere. Are you questioning if it’s ready to be on a t-shirt and other kinds of merch?
Our graphics service will touch up any incomplete designs for you in any style with corresponding colors of your choice to make them print quality ready. No need to be an expert designer here.
We have a diverse lineup of artists from around the globe that are making band merch specific to their style and genre of music.
Pick Your Designs
Determine what designs standout the most to you and see how other artists are incorporating different elements of their sound through band mascots, instruments, location pinpoints and more.
This should be a collaborative process if you have bandmates. You don’t want to have a band squabble on stage over a merch design gone array. That’s a bad situation for everybody.
And if you’re going to be playing an event like a battle of the bands competition, why not make exclusive merch for it?
Add the name and date to the back of certain shirt designs to make it feel like an official piece of merch someone would get at a festival like Lollapalooza. Fans love it when they have something that’s exclusive. That t-shirt will always bring them back to that show and your set.
You’re also going to have to decide how many options you want to have for your band merch.
When you’re just creating band merch and you don’t have a set in stone fan base quite yet, it’s best to stick with the band merch staples: t-shirts, hoodies, stickers, pins.
You can add some more options to your online version of the shop, but if you’re going to bring items to a battle of the bands or any other kind of in-person event – stick to the basics.
Promote on Socials
Social media is going to be the way most of your fans come to discover you. If you don’t have an online presence, you don’t really exist as far as they’re concerned.
It’s important to repost and share events you’re involved in. Tag Spreadshop and other bands that are involved. You’ll be promoting yourselves to different fan bases and expanding your social reach in the process.
You always want to make sure you’re providing your followers with all the ways they can connect with you: your merch shop, Spotify, socials, Patreon accounts, anything you’ve got going on.
The best way to have all this information in one place is by using a link in bio tool like Linktree or Lnk.Bio. Figure out which one is right for your needs by reading our blog about The Best Link in Bio Tools for Merch Sellers (LINK BLOG).
Having all these destinations within one link will make it easy for your followers to find where to listen to your music and allow them to actually find your merch shop efficiently.
But people also want to see what the merch looks like in real life.
This creates the perfect opportunity to get some professional photos of your band if you don’t have any yet. Wear your merch and take full band shots and solo band member shots that you can use on your site in an About Us section, for example, and for other social media use.
These photos would even be great to submit as promo to future festivals or events you’re working with. Spreadshop would happily share these images and give people the chance to learn more about your music. Plus, it’s another way for us to promote our own event.
Build a Merch Table
If you’re going to be involved in a Battle of The Bands, you’ve got to have a merch table.
Let me tell you, people are eager to buy band merch after being away from live music for so long, and your band better be prepared.
You can fulfill orders from Spreadshop in bulk to make sure you have the products you want available (and make sure to get the wearable merch in a range of different sizes).
It would be good to consult with the people running the event to see how many people are going to attend based on ticket sales or signups of some sort. That way, you don’t go overboard with your merch order and are left with a bunch of extra merch.
You could still sell it at future shows, though. Just something to keep in mind depending on how much inventory you wanted to have available at all times.
And feel free to get creative with your merch table to attract interest.
Make it Interesting
Lay out your smaller merch items on a table – stickers, pins, water bottles or other small accessories – with small cards listing prices. Hang up your t-shirts and hoodies behind you so people can see your designs far away.
Make a banner you can hang on your table with your band name on it. Have your social handles displayed somewhere, whether that’s next to you wearable merch or available for people to pick up on little business cards. Vistaprint is a business card option to consider.
It would also be nice to have your band photos you may have taken visible. Go to Walgreens or Walmart to have bigger, high quality images printed.
Your merch table should feel like an extension of you and the music you make.
If there aren’t live events for you to play in-person, you can still have a merch table when you do virtual shows and festivals.
If it’s an Instagram Live, make a comment and link your shop, or have it as part of your caption if it’s on a platform like Youtube or Vimeo. Even have one of your band members or all of you wear your merch so you can take a break during your set and promote your shop. Mention any exclusive deals or new items you might be dropping soon.
All of this self promotion might make you feel uncomfortable, but it’s all a part of building your brand and creating awareness for your band.
If you care about what you do and are deeply passionate about the music you’re making, it shouldn’t feel like you’re “selling out” – you’re just offering more.
You need to know their interests and viewing habits so you can connect with them and drive them to places like your Spreadshop to buy merch or something like Bandcamp.
Bandcamp is a site specifically for artists that allows you to directly profit from your content. Offer paid downloads of your music and even host your own concerts for an admission fee of your choosing.
Since Spotify offers back very small streaming revenue, this is a great option for artists that don’t have the means or ability to tour to make money. Set up your own concert and merch table from your living room, essentially.
Be active on your socials and interact with your fans. Ask what they want to see from new merch drops? You don’t want to offer merch that people wouldn’t wear.
Keep your demographic in mind, too. Is your audience made up of mostly teenage girls, burly men with beards? There’s probably not that much overlap in their fashion sense.
Making band merch will open you up to new opportunities. You’ll start to think of your band as a brand in a way that doesn’t feel overly corporate or stuffy. You’re just sharing what you love and furthering your music by taking it to a whole other platform.
Live music and the merch table are back, so go out and rock some faces (and sell some t-shirts while you’re at it).
Be sure to open your own Spreadshop today!