A man wearing a Ramones t-shirt holds up a jacket

Tips for Releasing Merch as a New Artist in London

As a new independent artist making money and getting attention to your work can be challenging. Releasing merch helps deal with both of these problems simultaneously. It is a source of revenue while also spreading the word of your work.


But releasing poor merch can do more harm than good, costing you money and leaving fans dissatisfied. This blog post helps you with key tips to make sure your first merch launch is a success.


Build Your Brand


Putting your name on a t-shirt and calling it a day is not enough. All great bands have a look at their branding that reflects their music and culture. Therefore, the first step is to create branding that you are proud of.


If you aren’t visually inclined, branding can be a challenge. Luckily, going to All Nighter Studios will surround you with creatively minded people. It is a fantastic opportunity to look around at what similar artists are creating for their merchandise and draw inspiration. 


Begin Small


Merch sales can be slow-moving as a new artist. Buying too much could cause your flat to get filled up with boxes of t-shirts, hoodies, and caps that you can’t shift. It could be better to buy below what you expect to sell, as units you can’t sell will eat into your profit margins.


Also, consider that fans are less willing to pay a lot of money for merchandise by a new artist. Keep to items you can stack high and sell cheap, such as posters and buttons, rather than expensive hoodies.


Stay Unique


It can be tempting to create merch using standard imagery that has been proven to work. However, you may struggle to make a dent in a crowded marketplace. A high-risk, high-reward strategy is to think of something totally different that reflects your band’s personality. Such items will be more memorable and could drive more sales.


Get Fans’ Emails


Some fans might lose touch with your work after buying your merch at one of your shows, leaving them unlikely to keep listening. Ask for fans’ emails at the merch table regardless of whether they decide to buy your merch. You can then use this contact information to create an email list, building a body of dedicated and knowledgeable fans who will keep coming back to your shows. 


Hire a Graphic Designer


The most important aspect of any good merch is that it is high-quality. Great merch will leave fans satisfied and wanting to buy more from you. Hiring a skilled graphic designer will make sure your ideas are materialised to a professional standard and help you come up with better  merch ideas.


However, be aware that graphic designers can be expensive. Only invest in one if you are sure you can sell enough to make it worthwhile. 


Sell Online and At Shows


With superb merch in your hands, it is time to get selling. The traditional way to sell merch is to have a merch table after a gig where fans who liked your music can get involved. This method can have drawbacks, such as the fact that most venues will want to take a cut of your merch revenues.


Some artists counter this issue by encouraging fans to buy directly from their websites. This is easier than ever because of the growth in online platforms that can help with your e-commerce, such as Shopify.