Being an influencer is a sweet gig. You get to constantly engage your creative side when making your content, and you can interact with people from all over the world through the power of social media. You also get a crowd of fans who are eager to know more about you!
But being an influencer isn't always sunshine and roses. Constantly creating content can become exhausting. And because of the nature of social media, it can be hard to bring in a steady stream of income.
If these are things you're struggling with, don't worry. We've got a solution - making and selling merch!
Tons of social media influencers out there have their own merchandise lines. It seems like influencing and merchandise go hand in hand!
But if you're just starting out, creating your own merch can be overwhelming. Never fear, though. Here is a complete guide to making and selling merch as an influencer.
Why Sell Merch?
There are tons of reasons why people - and social media influencers in particular - sell merch. Although it may seem intimidating at first, it has countless benefits. Let's look at a few.
Advertise Your Brand
First of all, making and selling merch is a perfect way to advertise your brand. This is why so many businesses or organizations print custom t-shirts.
The more people that know about you, the better. So, getting your logo and name out in the world is a great idea. And that's very easy to do when you're selling merch.
People will buy your merch and wear or use it while they're out and about, which serves as free advertising for you. When someone wears a t-shirt you designed, and another person sees it and wants to know more about it, you increase your customer base!
In turn, more people will learn about you through merch. Then, they will either consume your online content or they will buy your merch or both. Either way, you win!
Diversify Your Revenue Stream
Creating social media content is a great and fun way to make money. The problem is, it's not always the most reliable source of income.
The amount of money that you make depends on how many people consume your content. Plus, there's always the danger of being demonetized if something goes wrong with a video or a post that you make.
Creating your own merch will help lessen that problem. Instead of relying only on your online content for money, your merch will help bring in another stream of revenue. That way, you'll be free of financial stress!
Create Community in Your Fanbase
People will always want something that reminds them of a celebrity they love. Common interests are what bring people together. Two people wearing the same merch will have an instant connection, so when you create merch, you're fostering friendships!
Making and selling merch will also bring you closer to your fans as well and help you build relationships with them. Merch is a way to give back to them and show them your appreciation for their support. Not to mention that you'll make some great money since there will be high demand for merch among your loyal fans!
Access Your Creativity
If you're a content creator, chances are that you're a fairly creative person. But sometimes making the same kind of content over and over again can get tiring and even boring.
Making merch opens up a whole new avenue for you to explore your creativity. You'll be able to try your hand at something new and feel a different sense of accomplishment when you create something. It's an exciting way for you to explore your identity and express yourself.
Types of Merch
Influencer merchandise can take lots of different forms. It all depends on what you think your fans will appreciate most. Here are a few popular merch items.
Custom t-shirts are probably the most common merch item, and it's easy to see why. They're extremely versatile and easy to customize. Everyone, regardless of age, size, or gender, loves a good t-shirt.
Designing custom t-shirts as merch is also fairly inexpensive and easy to produce. You can get a lot of shirts for a great price!
There's no question that your merch supply should include t-shirts. Whether you're just starting out or have been running a merchandise line for years, t-shirts will always be in high demand.
Hoodies are another excellent merch choice. Like t-shirts, it's hard to go wrong. Everyone loves wearing a comfy hoodie, and they suit every single body type out there!
It's a good idea to promote your custom hoodies during the colder months because of how cozy and warm hoodies tend to me. Chances are that your hoodie purchases will skyrocket during the winter!
Hats are an excellent merch item because they're statement pieces. Since you tend to look people in the face, it'll draw attention to your custom hat and it'll be easy to see your logo or design.
Plus, there's lots of diversity in the types of hats that you can stock up on. Baseball caps, snapbacks, beanies, buckets hats - there's something for everyone.
As a household staple, a mug is a fantastic object to print your custom design on. It'll be a good daily reminder of your brand every time someone drinks their morning coffee, which will also associate your brand with warmth and good feelings.
Mugs also make great gifts for someone who's a fan of a certain influencer, which is another good reason to stock up on them. If you don't know someone's size for a t-shirt or hoodie, you can't go wrong with a classic mug.
Another great merch idea is to print custom bags. This can mean backpacks, drawstring bags, tote bags, purses, and more. It's a very diverse option, which is fantastic.
Bags are good because they draw attention easily. Someone walking down the street with a tote bag that displays your brand will catch more than a few eyes. It's an effective street advertisement that will draw new fans into your influence!
How to Make Merch
Making and selling merch might seem like a complicated process, but don't worry! It's actually quite simple to make your own merch.
The first thing you'll need to do is to decide on a logo or a design. This is a great opportunity to access your creativity and express yourself! You can also commission an artist to help you if you want merch design ideas.
You'll want to create a design that encapsulates who you are as a creator. Feel free to experiment with it!
There are lots of ways that you can do this, but the easiest way is with an online design program. There are some programs out there that will help you create mock-ups specifically for t-shirts, hoodies, or other merch items!
Once you have your design mock-up and you know what you want your merch to look like, it's time to think about printing methods and types of materials. Different materials will work better with different printing methods, so do some research before you decide on either one.
For example, sublimation as a printing method will only work well on clothing that is mostly polyester. However, sublimation is great for printing on ceramic mugs! Whatever type of merch you want to sell, look into the materials and printing methods that are best.
Once you've decided on your design, your printing method, and your material, you're ready to place an order for your very own merchandise!
How to Sell Your Merch
Now that you have your merchandise ready to go, you'll need a way to get it into your customers' hands. The most efficient way to do that is online.
An eCommerce website or an online store is a great idea if you're selling merchandise. That way, you can sell to people from all over the globe.
Platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, or Shift4Shop will work well for this. Some social media sites also have business features, like Instagram. So, if you're an Instagram influencer, you can use that to your advantage.
You also need to look into payment and shipping options. There can be multiple ways for people from different countries to buy your merch using different currencies. PayPal, Venmo, or other similar sites would be good to research for this.
Promoting Your Merch
Marketing your merch is key. If no one knows you have it, no one will buy it! So, you need to get the word out on the street.
If you're a video creator for a platform like TikTok or YouTube, an easy way to promote your merch is to wear it in your own videos. That way, all your followers will hear about it and tell their friends. You can also encourage other influencer friends that you might have to wear it in their videos or content to help spread the word.
You should also make use of other social media platforms outside of your niche. If you're a YouTuber, promote your merch on your Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, not just in your videos. Social media marketing is very important, as you well know!
There are other ways to get the word out, too. If you have an email list, you can notify your followers about new merch drops. You can also promote and sell merch at meet-and-greets or other events.
Learn More About Making and Selling Merch
Making and selling merch is one of the smartest moves an influencer can make. Not only will you bring in more money from merch, but it will also be better for your brand in the long run.
Shop now to find t-shirts and get your line of merchandise started!