Good morning, Podcasters! Today we explore podcast merchandise:
- Do you need it?
- Is it worth it?
- What kind should you get?
- How do you do it?
Do you need it?
The biggest question with podcast merchandise is "Do you need it?" Are your listeners asking for merchandise? Will the time and money you need to create merch.
Is it worth it?
Buying merch can be a big up-front cost. You don't want to get stuck holding boxes of t-shirts if they're not selling. You can take some of the uncertainty out by either doing a presale or ordering a small, limited quantity.
What kind of merchandise should you get?
Obviously, t-shirts, stickers, hoodies, coffee mugs and such are popular. But there are literally thousands of ideas out there. Get creative with it. If you're going to buy merch, consider something memorable that might get others to talk about it and become familiar with your show.
How do you buy merch?
There are a ton of different options from online to local promotional item dealers. However, the two that I have had success with are Threadless and Printful.
Threadless is an online print-on-demand store. It has a good selection of items that are reasonably priced. The quality isn't top notch, but it's good.
Printful is a more robust print-on-demand merchandise dealer. It integrates with Wordpress (through Woocommerce), Squarespace, Shopify, Wix, Etsy, Ebay, and a number of other platforms. They have a great selection of merch, including bigger brands like Adidas and American Apparel. However, the prices are a bit higher, so you will have to charge a relatively high price in order to make margin.
And that's kind of the game with merchandise. You need to either sell it for a lot, or move enough quantity to make any real money off of it.
But, if you want to get your brand out there, there's demand for your show, or you have a brand in your niche that people want to put on their chests, quality merchandise may be the way to go.
Fuzz Martin 0:00
Good Morning Podcasters! Let's talk about merch. Howdy y'all. I hope you're having a great Friday. Happy Friday the 13th hope it's not too spooky for you. My name is Fuzz Martin and this is Good Morning, Podcasters!—a show where we explore marketing, advertising, public relations, and social media topics as they connect to the podcasting industry. And more importantly, how you can connect them to your podcast. The idea for this show is to provide you with practical, actionable ideas. I have no place for gurus or those who want to pump you up and make you feel good. I'm a doer. I want you to be able to do so let's do.
Fuzz Martin 0:54
Today I want to talk to you about merchandise. So here's what we're going to discuss one. Do you need merch? Two? Is it worth it? Three. What kind of merch should you get? And four? How do you do it? It'll be pretty high level. sound good to you? Sounds good to me. Let's get into it.
Fuzz Martin 1:20
Do you need merch? Let me answer that question with some questions. Is your audience asking for merch? Or do you just want to have some merch for yourself? Who is going to purchase your merch? Where are they going to wear your merch? Will merch help others start listening to your show? Do you know anyone with a podcasting t shirt? Do you know anyone who wears podcasting T shirts besides Ed canard have the greatest song ever sung poorly podcast. Depending on the size of your audience base and the rabid Miss of your audience, it might be a good idea, but it also might not. Podcasts merchandise might also be good if you're say going to a conference or trade shows speaking at events if you have a local presence, or if you have a nationally recognized show.
Fuzz Martin 2:16
So number two is it worth it is having merchandise for your show worth the money in time and involved in getting it up and running it might be but you need to be careful. Here are some things that I recommend you look out for number one, unless you have a crazy large following and brand. And you know that people are itching to get your hands on that brand. Don't buy merchandise in bulk. You don't want to have a garage or a basement full of boxes of T shirts in size, medium, small, large, extra large, double XL, et cetera. You don't want those sitting around molding in your basement. little anecdote for you, I run a nonprofit, I was convinced to purchase a bunch of T shirts for a fundraiser, which was a great event and we raised a ton of money. We also spent $2,600 on approximately 275 T shirts, and I have approximately $2,000 worth of T shirts left. It's not a good place to be. And you don't want to be there with your show. So I highly recommend not buying a whole ton of merch in bulk unless you know that you have the audience that is going to support and move that and how do you know you'll know? Or you can just ask them do a survey, do a preorder?
Fuzz Martin 3:48
And number two of is it worth it? You need to be sure that your audience is clamoring for merch. It's typically a low margin product. So unless you can sell T shirts at 30 bucks apiece, or move a lot of volume. The upfront work might not be worth your time.
Fuzz Martin 4:05
Alright, third question what kind of merch should you get for your show? The type of merch you should perch completely depends on your audience, your genre, your podcasts, brand, personality, etc. Some like overarching ideas are of course, T shirts, stickers, hoodies, coffee mugs, water bottles. There are hundreds of different ideas and 1000s of different ideas. And depending on your show, there might be some custom items that might make sense for your audience. Let's say you're on a podcast about beer. I'm looking at you Dave from beer in front. You could create custom can koozies I'd buy one of those. My wife has an education podcast. She often speaks at conferences. We've created notebooks for teachers with the show's logo on them. And they're a big hits. So depending on your audience and your topic, could be some great ideas. Get creative with it. People love free stuff, just make sure that they're going to use it, and that it also might help others. Find your show. It's all about discoverability. Right?
Fuzz Martin 5:19
And finally, how do you get your merch created? Again, unless you have 1000s of listeners each month, I don't recommend buying a boatload of merch, and hoping it sells, you might get caught holding the bag and left dropping off giant boxes of your podcast here t shirts at Goodwill. Instead, I recommend starting with a print on demand service. With our print on demand service you will get less margin per item but you won't have to worry about storing inventory, or even shipping then inventory when it sells. The items are made by the drop shipper and shipped directly to your listener on demand. There are a number of print on demand sites out there with good catalogs I've used to and I've been happy with both of them. Threadless has a very easy to set up store. You can create and point your listeners to the merchandise quality is okay. It's serviceable, it's good. I've got a hoodie from there that I wear all the time. And it's about four years old, it's worn out, but it's comfy. The other side that I use very regularly is Printful Printful is cool because it will connect with WordPress Squarespace, Shopify very easily. It also connects with Etsy, wicks, eBay, Weebly, Amazon, a whole bunch of others as well. Printful has a great catalog of products that you can choose from both for screen printing type or digital printing type products or embroidery, and they've got hundreds of easy to follow videos that will help you get started. And you can even get a start you could have a store up and running in 15 minutes. Soup to nuts, as they say, you get the set the price for your merchandise on Printful and how much markup you want to receive. They calculate the shipping. And then you can customize your invoices, the tags and clothing, your confirmation emails all to wrap your brand up. The only real problem I see with Printful is that you have to sell shirts at a pretty steep price in order to make any money. But if you want your fans to be able to get merchandise about your show, and you don't want to pay anything upfront, or you don't want to have a stock of products on hand, then I think Printful is the right store for you.
Fuzz Martin 7:43
When it comes to design and what your shows merchandise should look like that's a whole nother episode. There are a ton of different ways you can go with that. Maybe we'll talk about that on a future show.
Fuzz Martin 7:57
That will do it for today's episode of Good Morning, Podcasters! If you have questions for the show, I am very accessible. Email me Fuzz at good morning pod.com That's fuzz F-U-Z-Z at goodmorningpod.com or shoot me a DM on Twitter @gmpodcasters do episodes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Have a wonderful weekend. And I will talk to you Monday right here on Good Morning, Podcasters!