When you play a gig, you earn a payment after the show, but until you break through as an artist, it’s not enough money to cover your bills. You need to accentuate your income by any means possible, and it would help if you could boost your band awareness, too. Here are four tips for selling band merchandise.
image via Flickr user dvanzuijlekom
Amateur musicians trying to sell merchandise generally make the same mistake. They place a basic table against a wall, and they put some sort of small sign nearby that indicates what it’s for. That’s just a bad strategy. You don’t have to be a successful salesperson to understand that in order to sell a product, you need to promote.
Use an unusual backdrop in a splashy color to draw attention to the area. You can pin a poster board or even a blanket against the wall. If there isn’t a wall, you can use the table itself to anchor a supporting structure. Think about the theme of your band, and try to make your merchandise table fit with that concept.
You don’t want people milling around your merchandise, asking lots of questions about the prices. This only happens when potential customers feel confused. You can’t have this. Irritated consumers are less likely to buy. Place large, easily read signs by the products. Also, try to price everything in increments of five in order to make change quickly and accurately.
You might even consider a point-of-sale card swipe device such as Square for your smartphone. Fewer people carry cash each year, so if you don’t have the equipment to accept credit card payment, you’ll lose sales.
One of the frustrating parts of trying to sell merchandise is that you can’t convert sales when they’re most likely. That’s when you’re in the zone up on stage, blowing the minds of all the people in the crowd. While you’re delivering that high, they’re most likely to show their appreciation by buying your gear.
You can’t be in two places at once, though. So, you need to ask for help from someone who can sell your products while they’re hot. If you can’t afford to pay them, offer to split a portion of the sales with them to make up for their time and effort.
Add a Social Media Presence
You don’t have to be instafamous to sell merchandise online. You simply have to earn enough respect to garner a few hundred followers on various social media sites. If you can persuade a certain percentage of these people to buy your merchandise each week, you’ll monetize what you love enough to pay the bills.
There’s an added benefit as well. Once you establish yourself on the music scene, your legions of followers will provide you with enough money to make your dream come true. Thanks to your fans contributions, you can record at a respected music studio such as The Carriage House and make a great record all the way from the start to post production.
Selling merchandise isn’t very hard, even if you’re a novice. Simply follow the tips above in order to monetize your growing fan base.