Music artists get their revenue from a bunch of different sources. Be that album sales, live performances, music streaming, or selling on demand merchandise.
Needless to say, the world hasn’t been kind to artists that rely on live performances to generate revenue these past few years. While stages remained empty, one thing has been certain: the music industry still thrives.
In the words of IFPI Chief Executive, Francis Moore: “Some things are timeless, like the power of a great song or the connection between artists and fans.”
So while some revenue streams for music artists have faded, others become more prominent. If you’re in the music business, and you’re not selling merchandise yet, you’re missing out on a big piece of the pie.
We’ll run you through how you can get started selling low risk, on demand merch, starting today.
How to set up a band merch store
There are several ways to get started in e-commerce for bands and musicians. Setting up an online store can be done within an hour with a self-serve platform like Shopify, if you know what you’re doing. But where do bands get their merch?
Sourcing the right type of products and getting them printed can be a little more challenging. Do you print shirts in bulk? If you’re just starting out and don’t have a massive fanbase just yet, this might not be your best bet.
And then there’s merch distribution to consider. You could try to stock up on merchandise and ship it yourself. But then what about warehouse management?
Besides, you’re an artist, so if you’re doing all these things yourself, where will you find the time to do what you love most: creating more music and art?
Why print on demand merch?
First of all, let’s take a look at the most low-risk strategy to sell merchandise to your fans: print on demand (PoD). With a print on demand merchandising strategy, you work with a supplier of white-label merch like hoodies, t-shirts, or bags.
This supplier customises products for you with your personal artwork, sells them on a pre-order basis, and takes care of fulfilment and shipping for you.
Meaning you won’t pay for any products until after you’ve sold them to your fans. And that you won’t need to stock up on any inventory yourself. A merch on demand strategy like this is especially powerful for up and coming, independent artists.
If you’re just starting out building your music career, you might not have the funds to stock up on inventory in bulk. You might not want to risk losing the money involved in that investment when sales go south.
Which is why independent artists should consider opting for a low-risk, frictionless merch on demand strategy to add a new revenue stream to their income.
Sell on demand merchandise in 3 simple steps
Convinced that selling on demand merchandise is the way to forward your music career? This doesn’t have to be complicated at all. We’ll run you through setting up a strategy like this in 3 simple steps.
1. Design your artwork
Obviously, the first thing you’ll need is to design your artwork. Of course, you should consider using the designs for your album covers and individual gig posters. But feel free to go wild and use artwork that celebrates you as an artist.
Think carefully about the designs you pick for your merchandise. After all, your fans will be wearing these designs on their shirts, hoodies, or even place it on their walls. Make sure your merchandise designs represent who you truly are, as an artist.
2. Choose a product type
Next up, decide what type of merchandise you’re going to sell. This can range from bags, sweatshirts, hoodies and t-shirts, all the way to drinkware and wall art. You could even go wild and have your designs printed on things like lighters or mobile phone cases.
One thing you’ll have to consider is whether your artwork designs will fit these product types well. Does your artwork contain intricate and elaborate details? This might work better printed on a large t-shirt or hoodie, instead of a coffee mug.
3. Print and distribute your merch
Next, you’ll need to find a supplier that prints and distributes merch on demand. There are several solutions out there, but we suggest you consider your fanbase: where do they live? What type of shipping options are available to this location? What are the costs involved in this?
Answering these questions should help you get a clear idea of which merch on demand service would work best for you. To give you an idea of what’s possible, let’s take a look at the merch on demand product we developed and launched ourselves, Fanbace.
How Fanbace lets you do all these things on one platform with zero risk
With Fanbace, you’ll be able to start selling on demand band merchandise in 60 seconds. Literally. Not only that, but you’ll be able to sell locally produced merch, without risk, stock, or limits.
No knowledge of e-commerce is needed, so the only thing you’ll need to bring to the table is your own artwork or design. Simply sign up for free and start creating your first merch by following these steps:
- Pick a product type
- Upload your artwork / product images
- Preview your mock-up product designs
- Set a retail price
- Choose product colour variations
Done? You’ve just created your first band merchandise using Fanbace. You’ll still need to connect Fanbace to either Bandcamp or Shopify, but once this is done, you can start promoting your first real artist merch.
We’ll take care of all shipping and distribution for you. There’s no investment in inventory needed, and you’ll only be charged for products that were actually sold.