As a band, you are surely already very aware of how much people love buying your merch. This especially goes for t-shirts. You can see people everywhere wearing shirts with prints of their favorite band’s logos, album arts, and so on. Now, band merch sales usually happen at shows. However, what you should know is that you can make use of one of the best social networks out there for that particular purpose – Instagram.
When you look at the facts, Facebook users are growing older, and Twitter isn’t what it used to be anymore, while on the other hand, Instagram is gaining popularity like never before. Next to being the place where you can follow celebrities and learn about new trends, it’s also the place where brands (and bands) can draw more customers. After all, it’s the one social media channel that is based on images, so what better place to show off your band’s t-shirt designs and sell them to your devoted fans?
So, skip the mistakes that a lot of brands tend to make when trying to start a t-shirt business (some of which could certainly apply to your band efforts), and jump into the game.
Well, besides the aforementioned fact that Instagram is based on images, there is the fact that it has about 800 million users that are active on a monthly basis. The engagement on this social media platform is high and beats other channels. Also, due to the fact that it is a mobile app, a great number of its users is most likely to purchase products online.
Finally, because a huge number of its users follow the brands that they like on a daily basis, and feel like they are forming a personal relationship with them this way, it is the best place for your band to interact with people and show off your best merch, including, of course, your creatively designed band t-shirts.
Of course, next to your top-notch Instagram page, you still need a website as your main storefront, so consider the options of what kind of eCommerce platform is the best choice for it.
Make your sales obvious
While you will generally hear the advice that you need to be “as human as possible” on social media, the fact is that people who followyou will also look at your products. So, if you dedicate a post to the different t-shirt designs that you are selling, be bold about. Make sure that it’s obvious that, next to being a band that creates the music for their fans, you also need to earn money for your efforts.
Therefore, proudly show off your shirts and other merchandise. It’s always a good idea to think of great pre-order bundles that include your new album, a t-shirt, and other kinds of merch that your fans will be crazy about. When you post a photo that is marketing your pre-orders, make sure that everything that the bundle contains is obvious, and post the bundles right next to each other, so that people know what their choices are.
The key to selling your band’s t-shirts
Quite often, you will see people wearing band t-shirts that were custom-made, either by some shop that has no affiliation with you or by themselves. Sure, some of these look fine, while others are obviously pretty low-quality, but your main task is to come up with the best possible original designs for the ones that you intend to sell. Sure, you can just go for the latest album’s cover, but that is what most people do, and for less money. So, try to make really unique shirts that contain certain design elements that are relevant to your band’s image. Take parts of lyrics and include them in a unique way, using a lettering that no one else will come up with. If you are a genuine band that intends to create unique music for your fans, you need to do the same with your merchandise.
Now, when talking about quality, this means that you need to work with a top-notch company that is going to make shirts for you that are above all the rest. Look for a business that provides the option of high-quality bulk t shirt printing, and get a whole batch of merch ready for your pre-orders, shows, and shops.
Then go to your Instagram and make a post for each one of the designs, with the appropriate hashtags and captions. When it comes to hashtags, it is important that you focus on specific phrases and words that describe your band and brand. You don’t want to go for popular hashtags that basically say nothing relevant about you and seem like a desperate attempt to sell. Also, make your captions go well with your image, and don’t write intricate paragraphs that take the attention away from what really matters.
Finally, it is a clever tactic to make some of your sales limited, so that people go for those CTAs quickly before you “run out of stock”.
Instagram is probably the best place for you to sell your band t-shirts. While your website remains the storefront, Instagram is the place where people follow your band and will see the detailed images of your merch that will entice them to buy it. Be bold about your sales, and make sure that your designs are above any “copycats” out there that will certainly sell shirts with your band on it. Finally, affiliate yourself with a company that does high-quality t-shirts, so that you can offer your fans the best of the best.
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- Says Jeffery Kalmikoff, Former CCO of Threadless.comStart your own clothing company and become the next Mark Ecko, Obey, or Johnny Cupcakes! Learn how to dominate the t-shirt business.