If your merch isn’t selling, you’re not the only one. We know how difficult it can be to connect with like-minded customers and monetize your passion. But it’s totally possible!
It all comes down to three factors: good merch designs, promoting your products and knowing your audience. These are essential to building a successful (and profitable) merch line.
Want to know what you’re doing wrong with your merch and how to fix it? Here are the 5 reasons why your merch isn’t selling.
You Don’t Know Your Audience
You can’t just make merch to make merch – you need to have an audience in mind. Otherwise, you’ll end up creating a bunch of random designs that don’t resonate with anyone.
So, what’s your niche? The thing that makes your merch standout. Take Plants with Krystal, for example. She’s passionate about helping beginner plant parents feel more confident. And she’s been able to take that same passion and sell custom, branded designs in her shop.
These designs appeal to her audience: plant parents. She uses plant puns and quirky images to connect her with followers. You need to use your niche/hobby to your advantage to grow your merch sales. Make designs that speak to that audience and you’ll find success.
You Aren’t Talking About It
T-shirts aren’t going to sell themselves. You’ve got to do some hustling if you want to make money from your merch line.
If you have a following online, of course it’s important to promote your merch. But a lot of shop owners make the mistake of forgetting about their family and friends. The people closest to you are the ones that most want to support you.
Let people know you just made merch because it’s a big deal! Merch is a tangible extension of your passion and should be treated as such. Your family and friends will be there to buy your merch.
Your Designs Aren’t That Great
We’re sorry to say, but your designs kinda suck. No offense. It’s tougher than it looks to make quality designs that sell.
Here are 3 things you can do to make profitable merch designs:
1. Don’t Do Too Much
You can’t, and really shouldn’t, try to be doing it all with your merch designs. We get that you want to be creative and share your passions with people, but it can be overwhelming. We’re saying it again, but it’s easier when you boil your merch designs down to a singular niche or interest.
2. Basic is Boring
Find your brand colors and use specific imagery that resonates with potential customers. Mila the Chi is an adorable chihuahua whose funny antics have gained her over 100K followers. She often contorts herself into positions where she’s upside down.
Her owner capitalized on this and decided to make a merch design out of it. That’s the kind of thinking you need to have when it comes to your merch designs.
3. Hire a Pro
You might just have to accept that you’re not a merch designer. Design tools like Canva make it easy for people to make designs, but even then your options are limited.
That’s why we recommend hiring a professional. You can connect with hundreds of designers through Fiverr. Search keywords like “T-Shirt design” or “podcast design” to find the right designer.
You Haven’t Customized Your Shop
Having great products is one thing, showing them off is another. Your clothing line deserves the star treatment, and you can give it that when you customize your Spreadshop.
Customizing your site is a great way to solidify your brand. Upload your brand colors and any associated imagery. The Kind Mind Co. has one of our favorite website designs. Emily, host of the podcast, used an image of herself in the banner for her shop. It’s welcoming and totally on brand. And her latest products/designs are available for purchase on her start page.
Taking the time to customize your site creates an immersive experience for your customers. They’ll feel more connected to you and your brand and sales will come naturally.
You Don’t Have Good Promotional Content
If your merch isn’t selling, you might just not be promoting it well enough. Letting your followers know about your latest merch drop is one thing, but using high quality photos and videos is another.
A lot of shop owners don’t know the best posting strategies and make common mistakes. Here are some dos and don’ts when promoting your merch on socials:
Use screenshots of your merch or shop.
Rely on stock images to showcase your merch.
Copy and paste the link of your shop in captions.
Ignore comments or feedback from your followers.
Take professional photos of your merch. Get family and friends to model your designs.
Direct people to a link in your bio to buy merch. Instagram now allows up to 5 links in your bio.
Respond to comments and repost positive feedback. Take any negative feedback and use it for your next merch drop!