Before you just jump in and start spending money on anything; you need to get into the music business state of mind. Think about what your fans buy from other bands that are similar to yours. When you're just starting out it's easier to not reinvent the wheel if you don't have to. For example, if you're playing shows with bands that are selling out on 7inch vinyl every night, then you might want to invest your dollars into pressing up some vinyl to sell. It's as simple as doing what's already working.
Another trick you can do to sell merchandise is to create merch bundles. Merch bundles could include a shirt, CD, hat, and a sticker. This works out for everybody. You discount all the merchandise in the bundle because the customer is buying in bulk so the customer gets a deal, and you move more product and make even more money!
There's a great connection between music merchandise, money, and advertising. This is what's so brilliant about your music's paraphernalia. You mark up the merchandise and sell it for a profit, then people advertise your music by wearing and using your merch. In these great words: People pay you to advertise your music!
In today's music industry it's essential to connect your music to the internet. When you're making up t-shirts, stickers, buttons, etc, one of the best things you can do is put your bands website address on the merchandise. For example, if your bands name is "The Johhn Brothers" you want your sticker to say "TheJohhnBrothers.com". This gets people associated with your website.
A great part of having a band in this day in age is merchandise companies are moving toward on demand inventory and drop shipping methods. This means you don't have to have a box of Cds sitting under your bed that you may never sell. When someone buys a CD or a shirt online the order goes to the merch manufacturer and they make and ship the product directly to the customer. If you're interested in this option make sure you shop around for a company that drop ships.
So if you're an indie band or just a solo artist, merchandise can become a great channel of income to help you move forward with your music career. Visit www.HBMusicMarketing.com for free tips and current information on Independent Music Marketing.
Doug Van Kempen is the founder of HB Music Marketing. Doug has spent the last decade and a half recording, producing, and marketing independent music. For more information on indie music marketing visit his website at www.HBMusicMarketing.com [http://www.hbmusicmarketing.com/].