How To Make Your Own Merch For Free – As a creator or business, there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing an army of fans show up to support your brand.
Such fans are a blessing. Creating and selling merchandise should be at the top of your priority list if you want to strengthen the bond you’ve built with them.
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Merchandising (short for merchandise) gives your fans a chance to connect with you and advertise their loyalty to anyone who pays attention.
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Whether it’s t-shirts, backpacks, posters or coffee mugs, merchandising makes your brand a part of people’s lives and creates a new revenue stream through product sales.
When creating your trading strategy, you have the option to decide whether to launch a sub-brand or sell under your existing brand.
With a sub-brand, you can attract an audience beyond your existing products and content. While sales may be slow at first, it will lay the foundation for a distinctive brand that complements the growth of your core business.
Famous YouTuber-turned-professional boxer Logan Paul implements this strategy by selling clothes under a sub-brand called Maverick Clothing.
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Alternatively, you can leverage your existing brand by embedding your product in your content. For example, you can combine products from posts shared on your Instagram feed with tagged articles to make posts shoppable.
Creating merchandise can be as simple as putting your brand logo on a t-shirt. But there’s a systematic approach you can take to produce products that appeal to your brand’s current audience, as well as some customers you haven’t yet reached:
The first step is to analyze how fans interact with your brand. Are you more active on Twitter, Instagram or TikTok? If you usually engage with TikTok, you can assume that the majority of your fan base includes millennials and Gen Z.
You can then design products for this audience based on their characteristics and shopping habits. Better yet, why not ask them what they will actually buy? You can ask them through Instagram Stories, Facebook groups, or email if you have a list.
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Asking your audience for feedback also has the advantage of making them feel a part of the process and the resulting product you create.
Now that you have an idea of what your fans want, you can move on to creating products that suit their tastes. At this stage, your creativity will determine how successful you are in producing goods that people love. While it’s possible to get noticed by just selling hoodies and t-shirts, creating and selling unique merchandise is a great way to freshen things up and stand out in your space.
It gets exciting here. Designing your own product is a great way to exercise your creative impulses while making something your audience will love. You can check out websites like 99Designs and Dribbble for ideas and inspiration.
When it comes to the actual design, you can use programs like Adobe Photoshop to create your graphics. The tool allows you to integrate the vectors needed for screen printing and embroidery into your design. However, they have a learning curve and may not be the best choice for those with a busy schedule.
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Fortunately, you can always hire a commercial designer from Upwork or Fiverr. However, when choosing this path, consider the following recommendations:
Once you have your designs, use a print-on-demand app like Printful to create mockup versions of your products. You can share these mockups with your fans and ask for feedback. Doing so will help validate your merchandising ideas while keeping your fans involved in the process.
Once your designs are complete, you can start thinking about how to manufacture your product. Popular options include:
Print on demand. This strategy allows your brand to automate manufacturing, shipping and fulfillment with minimal risk and cost. The downside is that depending on the supplier you choose, you have limited product and customization options.
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Make it from scratch. You can find a manufacturer for a specific item you want to sell, share the design with them, and get the product. Of course, this option offers more flexibility to create the exact item you have in mind. But it requires capital and requires more work from you.
If you choose the print-on-demand option, Shopify integrates with several popular print-on-demand services. While each service has its own product catalog, they generally allow you to create phone cases, pants, and other popular merchandise. The best part is that most of the services work on a dropshipping model, which means that they pay for the products when the customer orders them.
That is, it is always better to check the quality before starting to sell. Images and typography may appear one way on your computer screen, but may present differently in person. You can order samples to check the quality of the goods you are interested in before introducing them to your audience.
Now that you’ve developed your product, it’s time to get it in front of your existing fans and new customers. Below we’ll share a few marketing strategies you can use to generate interest in your merchandise.
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Note: Try one or two strategies, then compare the results to determine the ideal promotion method for your product.
Assuming you already have a fan base, word of mouth marketing will be your most effective promotional tool. You can create word of mouth by encouraging your audience to promote your brand using your products.
The easiest way is to run a social media contest asking people to try your products and tag them in their reviews. In return, you can offer a reward that your audience will find valuable, such as free shipping or early access to new products.
You can also create a branded hashtag that they can use for stories and images they upload with your merchandise. This will help you gather all the activity around your contest in one place and make it easy to track engagement and results.
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While word of mouth is one of the best ways to generate excitement about your product, it’s only one option. You can also increase your chances of making a sale by using the various channels available to reach customers.
If you have an eCommerce store on Shopify, you can easily sell your items by connecting your store whenever your followers live. Some of the channels you can explore are:
Commodity Market is an e-commerce site that manages products from various creators. Some charge a listing fee, while others work on a commission basis for every sale they bring you. Sites like Represent , Hello Merch , and MerchNow are some of the marketplaces where you can submit your products along with other creators.
Before listing, be sure to check the rules and regulations of the market you want to sell. Most trading sites have their own terms and conditions for the products you can sell. Going through this information will also help you understand how commissions work and what percentage of the total sales price is paid to the seller.
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Retargeting allows you to promote products to your existing audience based on specific criteria, such as whether they have already made a purchase or followed your Facebook page. Many digital platforms allow you to create retargeting ads, including Google, TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube, and Facebook.
To start retargeting, install the desired platform’s ad pixel on your website (here’s how to do it for Facebook). Some platforms also accept customer emails to build an audience of fans to retarget. Once you have a custom audience at your disposal, you can retarget them with ads featuring your merchandise to drive engagement and sales.
Good merchandise comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be functional or just cool to look at. Regardless of how you choose to connect with your audience, think about who they are, what they like about your brand, and what products they might be most interested in buying.
When you choose the right merchandise, not only do you give your fans something to remember and support you by, but you also increase brand awareness and generate new revenue on an ongoing basis.
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As always, some of them are easier to work with, while others are more advanced. However, there is something for everyone. Let’s not waste any more time and see what our options are and then see our verdict.
Adobe Illustrator is Adobe’s first “big gun”. Adobe Illustrator is the industry standard vector graphics software. Using Illustrator, you can easily create high-resolution vector graphics suitable for screen printing, embroidery, or any other method of printing on a T-Shirt. As a result, Illustrator is the best T-Shirt design
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