Spreadshop makes it easy to make and sell your own merch, but promoting and generating merch sales can be an endeavor. There are mistakes every first-time shop owner makes. There are ways to avoid them, though.
Being authentic and connecting with your audience is key. If your merch doesn’t resonate with them, they’re not going to buy it. That’s why it’s important to get specific and tap into your niche. It’s better to have a small group of supportive followers than a large community that doesn’t engage with your content/endeavors.
We hope knowing these 10 common mistakes merch sellers will save you some time and frustration when you launch or revamp your merch!
Word of Mouth
Its cliche, but word of mouth is still one of the most effective tools for businesses big and small. Thanks to the different social channels we use, it’s more amplified than ever. If you have merch or a new project you’re working on, no one’s going to know unless you talk about it. And it doesn’t have to be something profound, either.
It can be as simple as directing someone to the link in your bio at the end of a TikTok or Twitter post. It’s important for social content to be informative and have a call to action so your followers will engage with your content. And the content doesn’t have to be related to merch, necessarily. It’s just a good reminder for people who might not see everyone of your posts on their feed.
Word of mouth can mean good old-fashion networking, too. Talking about your brand at in-person events or community spaces online is important to see growth. You’ll attract potential costumers and collaborators the more you intersect with different creators. And it’s only going to make you feel more comfortable talking about your merch.
Don’t Want to Hear It
Creating merch designs that resonate with your customers AND generate sales can be difficult. So, why not go directly to the source? Your followers have a different perspective of your brand and content than you do. They might know you better than you know yourself. They’re more likely to catch on to the fact that you repeat certain “catch phrases” or have mannerisms you do over and over. Use this to your advantage to help create merch that has a meaningful connection to your audience.
If your followers are more involved in the design process, they’re more likely to buy your merch. It shows you value their opinion and understand how important they are to your success. Here are some ideas for how to engage them:
– Ask an open-ended question in posts
– Run a poll so people can pick their favorite design
– Go live to talk about your merch
Having Trouble Finding Your Audience?
Having a niche is going to make it easier for you to market your brand and connect with the right people. When people launch their merch lines, they often don’t take the time to think about who their target audience is. As a result, they end up merch that appeals to a wide range of people, which can be difficult to market effectively. It’s important to have a clear understanding of who your target audience is so that you can create merch that speaks directly to them.
Someone like Clueless Bushcraft, for instance, knows who his audience is: people who want to survive in the wilderness. His brand of content is a subsection for people interested in wildlife and the outdoors, but it’s niche enough to be its own thing. Like his audience, he’s new to learning a lot of these things. His merch features catchphrases he uses and other fun graphics. This survival 101 design fits perfectly into his brand. Having a niche may sound limiting, but it actually gives you the power to fully be yourself.
Build on Your Brand
As a shop owner, it’s important to make sure that your merch designs are an accurate reflection of your brand. Unfortunately, many shops don’t take the time to flesh out their designs, resulting in merch that doesn’t feel authentic or representative of who they are trying to sell to.
If you want your merch to be a true reflection of your brand, there are a few things you can do. Take the time to design your merch with intention. Consider what message you want to communicate with your designs, and make sure that they are cohesive with the overall aesthetic of your brand. Canva is a great tool for this. You can upload your brand colors and any logos you may have. Plus, they have a large stock library of images and graphics to choose from.
But don’t be afraid to experiment! Try out different design elements and see what resonates with your audience. Then you can ask for their feedback on socials. This will make the design process feel way less intimidating.
Make Your Shop a Stylized Experience
How your website looks will directly impact your sales. If it looks unfinished, people won’t feel comfortable making purchases. Spreadshop gives you the power of personalization, so use it to your advantage! We have different themes you can use to highlight different aspects of your brand. You can put your products front and center, or make it feel more like a part of your brand. Our classic theme allows you to have a banner on your homepage. This is a great place to put a picture of yourself or team.
It gives customers reassurance to see you took the time to have these details. It also will make you feel more confident when you’re out there selling your merch. Having pride in your brand will only propel you to achieve greater success.
You Don’t Have to Do it Alone
People often think they have to do everything on their own when it comes to their merch line. But that’s not true! Asking for help from friends and family can be a huge help. And you never know, they may have some great ideas for product photos or merch design. Use the people in your life and you’ll be surprised at how much support you have.
If there are small businesses in your community that you admire, ask them how they found success. Most people are more than willing to help people just starting their business journey. At Spreadshop, we have so many small business owners that use as for their merch needs. Selling merch is a great tool to grow your small business.
Compliment Your Merch With Great Photos
Most of the time your merch designs don’t sell themselves – you’ve got to put some extra effort in! That’s why you need to have high quality photos of people wearing your merch. It seems simple enough, but it can be a determining factor on whether your followers connect with your brand or not. It also makes for great social media content.
Shop owner Nikki Connected is killing it with the merch photos on her Instagram! People are going to buy her merch cause they follow her Youtube channel and like her content, so it only makes sense for her to be in the pictures to make that connection stronger. This way, she’s the face of her brand without having to put photos of her face on a t-shirt. If you don’t feel comfortable being in front of the camera, recruit people in your life to be in photos. Use it as an excuse to get together with friends you haven’t seen in ages. Plus, you’ll get a nice memory out of the experience.
Amplify Your Merch With a Microphone
Some people get nervous about the idea of “selling” something. But if you have the platform, you might as well use it. Don’t be scared to cross promote your merch. Your followers follow you for a reason and would love to show their support. Talk about it on a podcast you host, or your Youtube channel. You never know who might be interested in buying some merch to support your work!
Plus, merch is a great way to make extra money and keep your fans happy. So go ahead and give them the chance to show their love for you by buying your merch!
Merch Makes Good Content
Since we have so many products, you can find any kind of merch you want to feature in your content. The easy way: wear a t-shirt whenever you go about making your everyday content. But there’s ways to make your content AND merch feel more stylized. Incorporate unique items like fanny packs and bucket hats when you’re making trendy or fashion-related videos. Even use merch as a way to teach your audience something.
Clueless Bushcraft made a TikTok testing our water bottles in frigid temperatures. He discovered that our insulted water bottle prevented water from freezing, and that our regular water bottle would come in handy if you needed to boil water. He found a unique way to promote his merch but still provide value with his content. These are the kind of tips and tricks that his audience wants to learn from him. How can you use merch in your content?
Figure Out Your Brand
You already have all the tools needed to build a brand, you just don’t know it yet. Celebrities and corporations aren’t the only ones capable of branding. Creators, artists and more are in a position to brand themselves. And it doesn’t have to feel overwhelming.
Spreadshop is here to help bridge the gap between creator and consumer. Merch helps deepen that relationship and is essential in building a brand. But you may think: “What can I make for my merch?” You have an online presence that’s worth something, whether you have 100 or 100,000 followers. Discover what makes you unique and sets you apart from other creators. Your followers should be involved in the process. Find your logo/brand imagery, identify what you want to say that’s going to make an impact. Building a brand isn’t as daunting once you start to break it down.
If you avoid these 10 common mistakes, there’s no telling how far you can take your merch. Open your own Spreadshop and start making and selling your own merch for FREE!