Make Your Own Merch and Grow Your Brand Loyalty

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If you are an online creator, influencer, musician, or even an artist then selling custom merchandise to your fans and audience is the best way to earn on all the hard work you have put in creating your brand. Anyone can start selling merch; however it is important to identify your target audience, in order to be successful in your business. Read on to learn more.

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Making Your Own Merchandise

If you are an online creator, influencer, musician, or even an artist then selling custom merchandise to your fans and audience is the best way to earn on all the hard work you have put in creating your brand. Anyone can start selling merch; however it is important to identify your target audience, in order to be successful in your business. In order to sell merch, there are a lot of considerations to keep in mind. you must make decisions for the sake of your brand. Your merch should be your main concern at all times. To sell merch, should be more than just money and profit.

Create the best design for your custom merch

Over the years, if a brand has built a relationship with its audience that includes symbols, feelings, running jokes, and quotes that makes for good merch ideas. It is good to ask your audience what they would prefer to purchase instead of assuming it yourself.

Provide different options to choose from; for example ask your audience on youtube whether they would prefer hats, hoodies, shirts or mugs. In order to create custom merchandise, it is best to consider the different areas of the world where your fans live. This way your business can customize products fitting right for their parts of the world.

Polling your fans for their opinion and feedback is a creative way of making them feel like a part of the process. It is proven to be successful for marketing and is free research as well.

Design and create mock up products

While most merch companies offer design services, it is recommended to take upon the design yourself. As a creator, you will have a better understanding of your brand and create custom merchandise far better than someone who is just leaning about your customer base. You can hire a merch designer or look through your network to see if anyone is fluent in design. There are some things to keep in mind when hiring a designer;

You must provide context. Tell the designer what kinds of products the design will be for, who your audience is, and share any guidelines related to your business.

Explain exactly what you are looking for. It is better to over communicate with your designer, rather than under communication. Be sure to use use revisions to improve your design and provide good feedback to your designer through out the process.

Make use of mood boards to get a creative idea, examples, and references to give your designer.

There are several print on demand companies available to which can create mock ups for your products. You can share lifestyle mockups of your design and share it on your platform for advice. Asking your potential customers for feedback involves them in the design process and makes them feel part of the whole thing.

Choose a print on demand partner or manufacturer

A print on demand service allows you to automate shipping, production, and fulfillment with a print on demand printer. This is low on costs, low risk and easier to manage over all. The only problem is that products and creative base is very limited.

Most of the print on demand services are free to start on. You only pay for the products when a customer orders. Each contain a catalog of products but they mostly have phone cases, hoodies, t-shirts, mugs, hats and so on. Even if you do not go with this route, it is a good way to test drive your merch and see if the customers respond to your design. Always order staples for assuring quality before you start selling. Some colors look good online but not in real life. You can even reach out to your service’s customer support if you are not sure.

Finding a manufacturer to partner with

The second route is to find a manufacturer to create your products with. This is best suited for times when you want to create a custom product. You can get it produced, hold your own inventory to sell or work with a third party for shipping and fulfillment. This route provides you with more freedom to design the exact way you envision your products but it costs more.

There are many companies out there that can help you start, however, it is recommended to try a couple out before you settle on one to start manufacturing products for your fans. There are some things to keep in mind before you pick a partner to work with;

First, figure out the intellectual property. This is very important in case you want to partner up with someone else. Who owns the design and art work? These are all things you should have figured out. Next it is better to have a compensation structure in place with your partner and not sign any long term commitments with them.

From the beginning till the end of the product launch, it is recommended to go through any hidden costs that might come up along the way. Such as website design fees, shipping fees, picking and packing fees.

partner to sell your merch

How to sell your merch

Marketing for merch is different as compared to traditional products. You are mostly selling to existing fans rather than to new customers. This means you will already have a confirmed customer base in place as you start. There are several marketing opportunities to consider when you are planning to launch your design

Word of mouth

This is the best way to promote merch. If your merch is great then if a fan buys it and wears it, there are high chances that people will ask about it. It has to be however of high quality. Your merchandise should be worn more than twice by a fan, in order for it to be successfully marketed. Low quality merch does not perform well. The more times a fan wears it, the more exposure the merch gets. So make the product worthwhile to create word of mouth buzz.

Run a presale

A pre sale will really bring in traffic to your store. This is a great way to sell custom merch. You have a chance to get people excited for your merch by giving them a chance to purchase it before it goes on the store. They can get a chance to shop for limited phone cases, shirts, hoodies, hats, mugs. A presale is the best tool to market your products to the world at cheaper prices. Try adding printing a limited shirt design for the presale. Incorporate embroidery of your logo. You can give exclusive price discounts to the presale. People will shop more when they are saving money. This is an amazing method to sell more merch. Make sure to not compromise on quality just for profit. Low quality can ruin your business image. Lastly, ensure you have enough inventory in place when running a sale. Print more items that you know run out quickly.

Figure out Shipping

Lastly, it is important to ensure that you have world shipping in place. Your fans are amazing at creating buzz, many will subscribe quickly to purchase on sales. That is why it is better to figure out shipping and its cost before hand. Keep you inventory in check too so you dont run out on the day of the actual launch.

Promote your products in your content

Integrate your products in the content you create on different platform. For example it on youtube. As a youtuber, plug the merch in all your videos. Use your brand logo as a thumbnail, integrate the art into your introductions. It is a good idea to upload it on other social media sites so people start to subscribe to your content. Upload the merch image on instagram and tag people wearing your products. This is a great idea to sell your merch online rather than in some physical store. If you buy an online merch store then you can integrate into your content. You can sell more products this way.

Remarket to your existing audience

Running ads on youtube will remarket your merch to the audience who you sell to. You can even target new customers this way. Integrating ads on youtube videos is the best tool for this. The more people view your video, the more they become aware of your merch. They can click on the store selling it and see people wearing it, this adds to your brand identity. If you have limited resources, then this is the best way. Ad prices vary though so keep your budget and resources in mind while going for this.

Come up with a merch strategy

Merch can be as versatile as you want it to be. It can be a source of revenue through your own merch store, a collaboration with another service, or a free gift given to your loyal fans. As a content creator such as a youtuber, it is important to figure this strategy out.

Selling merch under a sub brand

At times it can make sense to create a sub brand to sell merch. The main advantage of this is that it can grow beyond the existing content and products. The sales can be slow at first but overtime the process would prove to be successful as there would be a clear difference between the products and the creator brand.

Selling merch under an existing brand

Sometimes it can make sense to leverage the name you made as a business and use it to sell custom products and merchandise. This can be an ecommerce website/ store that can sell clothing items and other products. The biggest advantage of taking this approach is that you can pick and choose what you want to do and how you want to do it. All the way from marketing to costs, this is one of the best ways to build your merchandise business.

You can promote and launch the business on other social media platform. This is free marketing and will reduce the direct costs associated with selling. You can keep the profit that is generated to yourself and have more control over the money and price. As a merch maker, it is important to have control over the major components of your business such as logo designs, price, money, shipping. You are not just printing designs on shirts to sell in a store and make money, you are making shirts and other merch items to connect with your followers.

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