Making money with your own merch is easy once you know how. Setting up your shop and taking a step back isn’t enough – you need to be engaged with your community. There are all kinds of ways you can do this in both virtual and physical spaces.
Cross promote your merch by creating engaging content across social platforms like Youtube, Twitch and Instagram. Make connections locally at events that showcase small businesses and sellers. Leverage your merch seasonally.
That t-shirt isn’t going to sell itself.
Learn more about all the ways you can make money with your own merch!
Merch on Youtube
Youtube is a great visual platform to find a new audience, and what’s more visual than merch?
If you’re already a content creator, you’re likely already doing this. But there’s plenty of room for people who aren’t full-time Youtubers. It’s never a bad idea to expand your brand into new territories like Youtube. You’ll put yourself in touch with similar users that are interested in your content – and therefore – your merch.
The purpose of your channel shouldn’t just be to sell merch, though. People are going to catch on to that real quick. You need to find a genuine way to connect with your viewers.
Your merch is probably a reflection of at least one of your passions. It could be music, sports, games, whatever. And you can turn that passion into sharable content with a little brain power.
Make it Yours
Daniel Batal – a Spreadshop brand ambassador – integrates the promotion of his merch into content that’s useful for his audience.
Since his focus is on helping other content creators, it makes sense he would talk about the benefits of merch. Using his shop as an example increases the potential for his merch and channel to make money.
You don’t need to have the best equipment, either – get creative and work with what you’ve got. If your whole thing is crafting, show people craft tutorials or react to crafting fails. Everybody loves a good reaction video. Plus, they’re easy to film.
Get your friends and family involved. Have them wearing different merch items to sneak in the advertising.
Make sure you tell people all the places they can find you at the beginning or end of your videos. Always link your merch and other socials in the description and “About Me” section of your profile.
You can even do dedicated merch giveaway videos to generate hype and increase your subscriber count.
But don’t give too much away for FREE.
Connect at Conventions
It can be daunting to set up a table at a big convention. But it’s a great opportunity to make money and promote your merch. You’re going to meet all types of people you would have never connected with otherwise. Depending on what kind of convention it is, there might be an expected demographic. If the niche of your merch is already tied to the theme of the convention – that’s great! If not, there’s ways you can alter your merch that can be financially viable.
Make small changes to your designs that reflect the theme. If it’s a springtime event, add flowers or bees. If it’s a comic book convention, tie in nerdy elements or pop culture references.
Create heightened demand by creating an exclusive design. People love things they can connect an experience or memory to.
Give your table a distinct setup that attendees can see across the room.
Get a bulletin board or hanging rack to display your merch. Have business cards and smaller items on the table.
Make sure shirts and other apparel are in plain view for everyone to see.
Going live on social media is a great way to instantly engage your followers. And it creates that FOMO feeling (fear of missing out).
Make money with your merch by talking about new designs, or just wear one of your t-shirts. So many eyeballs will be on you.
These platforms also allow you to define your niche. If you’re a gamer, Twitch should be your go-to social site for audience growth and merch interest.
Going live will instantly connect you to your demographic. You might want to promote the livestream in streams beforehand, but otherwise – it’s direct and free advertising. Having a strong relationship with your users is essential, no matter what your niche is. It will implore them to view your content when it pops up in their notifications.
And if there is a bond between you and your fellow streamers, selling them merch should be seamless. It will be more than just a transaction.
Plus, Instagram works well for a slew of demographics.
Find Your People
If you need help growing your audience, Instagram is a great way to find your people. There’s no niche that’s too specific.
Search related hashtags to find users that are interested in the kind of merch you provide. When used correctly, Instagram hashtags can be a valuable nugget to your shop’s success. They connect you with interested parties and like-minded communities that share your passion
Like and comment on related posts, but don’t lead with the fact that you have merch. That’s going to automatically turn people off. Get to know them before you start with your sales pitch. You’ll create a community just by being yourself. That way when you do go live, you’ll already have people that are invested in you.
You will be creating connections and making money with your own merch.
Many people get it in their head that they need to go global to make money with their own merch. But grassroots business development is essential.
Creating a local presence is a great networking experience for you as a business owner. You’ll make connections with customers and fellow business owners that can open doors to new opportunities. This includes connecting your business with local events. Spreadshop is one of the sponsors of a local event: The Greensburg Night Market. We first attended in June and spread (get it) the word to people who didn’t know about us beforehand. We may be an international company, but we realized that people locally weren’t aware of us. Partnering with local business owners and getting their merch shops set up helps us network with all types of clients.
Check out what events are happening in your area! There’s probably so much that you aren’t aware of because you’re not tuned in to the community. Establishing that initial communication will help set you up for success.
Amplify Your Voice
Podcasts are another great way to make money with your merch. More than half of US consumers over the age of 12 listen to podcasts, according to Oberlo. People listen to them on their commute to work, from the comfort of home, practically anywhere. You can develop a close relationship with the people you listen to and vice versa. Since most podcasters come out with episodes on a weekly basis, that relationship is quick to develop.
And it’s not hard to talk about something you’re passionate about. Think of a topic, and there’s probably already a podcast for it (and potential merch). Merch is an excellent way of generating revenue from your audience while building relationships with them on a deeper level.
Podcasting in 2021 is all about increasing listener engagement by selling merchandise that is themed to your podcast. A podcast will solidify and strengthen your merch brand.
Your merch will take the connection you have with your audience beyond the airwaves.
Tis’ the Season
Seasonal sales and offerings are a great way to drive traffic to your shop. People are always looking for themed gifts for their loved ones for the holidays. They feel more personal than gift cards.
Take advantage of holidays and optimal shopping times by running promos on your socials. Offer discount codes and create exclusive merch. People love an excuse to get festive, especially after last year. For some, it’s spooky season. For others, it’s the “most wonderful time of the year.”
Create merch designs that are only available for a limited time. This will generate a demand and interest in your shop due to the exclusivity of the merch.
If you don’t want to make themed designs, market your existing merch to interested parties. Optimize your images with hashtags and captions that engage the audience you’re trying to engage. You should be directly addressing them. If you have some extra cash, it might be a good idea to run targeted ads on Instagram and other platforms. You won’t have to do as much hunting to find your niche this way.
Develop a content strategy ahead of time so you’re not posting at random times, either. Think about when the holiday is and when your audience is most likely to be on their phone. You won’t feel stressed out and your content will perform better, too.
We hope these tips provide a glimpse on all the ways you can make money marketing your merch. Build your community, get creative, and use your own voice.
Launch your Spreadshop today!