Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Secret To The Merch Table

In Music 3.0, we use music as a promotional tool and not as a moneymaker for the band or artist. Where the artist really makes money is from gigging and merchandise. This income stream concept isn't really all that different from any time in the past though. In fact, one of the most powerful music attorneys in LA once told me that most famous recording artists have always made 95% of their income from touring and merch, not record sales.

Even if merch is really where the money is at, most musicians have a natural aversion to selling it (or selling anything for that matter). Yet one simple act that doesn't directly involve selling can help you make up to $500 a night from the merch table. Here's a great tip I found on a post by Daniel Kohn and his askkohnny blog.

In his post, Kohn talks about a band he saw where the lead singer would announce during their show, "After our show, we're going to be hanging out at the merch table, so come and say hi." He wasn't specifically selling anything, just announcing that the band would be available to chat later and where to find them.

At the end of the set came another announcement from the lead singer - "Thanks again for coming. We are xxxx. We'll be at the merch table so come and say hi," who immediately jumped off the stage and headed for the mech table where he was followed by fans.

At that point, nature took its course, and fans began to look at, then buy the merch as they were talking to the band (and buy and buy). It's a brilliant, low-key and low pressure way of getting people to look at your merchandise, which is always half the battle.

This one simple act can make a big difference in your merch sales, and that's the one place that you can be assured of making money these days, especially if you're just starting out. Remember, you don't have to physically sell anything yourself, just be there and talk to fans. Can you imagine what the sales would be like if Bono did that after a U2 concert?

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