What comes to mind when you think of “merch”? Is it dropshipping? Print on demand? *Insert buzzword here*?
Ok, friends. I’m not going to lie to you. That is a lot of what we do. BUT. It isn’t just putting on-demand t-shirts up for sale. Working 1-on-1 with thousands of creators over the past decade, we’ve seen firsthand that merch can be some powerful stuff. Here are our top five reasons of why it’s so great, and what inspires us and our creators to continue making merch!
Make your fans happy
I’ll let you in on a secret I’ve learned while working here 🤫 Your fans really want to buy your merch! Think about it - when you buy anything online, it’s because you already wanted it. Maybe you needed Instagram ads to let you know it existed, but now that you know…
The same goes for fans. They want merch from their favorite creators, and they are really happy to receive it! Don’t believe me? We constantly get fan letters we pass to our creators expressing how much your channels mean to them, and how they were SO excited to get the new shirt, pin, plush, etc. I’m talking full ESSAYS sometimes. Our customer service portal gets fans asking about when a creator’s new products will come out, and (no joke,) I’ve seen someone cry at Vidcon when they got to meet their hero and get that creator’s shirt signed.
And that’s what it’s really about, no?
Connect and build your community
You have tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of subscribers to your channel, but my question to you is how do you connect with those fans? Youtube, social media, Discord, livestreams, etc. We love to see all the ways you interact with them, but we notice that 99% of interactions are through a screen. Merch is one of the only physical touchpoints that lets your fans feel connected to you. It’s able to jump out of the screen and into a real, physical shirt for your fan, who wears it proudly.
We at Crowdmade are always excited to see our merch in the world, and it’s not even *ours*. We don’t live in an isolated world, and your fans will be out and about wearing your new designs, seeing and connecting with each other, and getting your name out to new people that may become future members of your community.
Turn your creative ideas into a reality
You have a successful Youtube channel, so we already know you’re ambitious. And with that ambition must come crazy, cool ideas that you’ve always thought about making happen. Don’t be shy! We want to hear about all your wackiest thoughts and help them come to life.
Did I grow up with the dream of making ambiguous characters into plushies?
No I did not.
But turns out this is a really fun industry and we love to help others make their ideas into reality. If you can dream it, we can make it happen. So here’s your opportunity to take any concept, big or small, that you want to come to life, and make it happen. How often does that happen?
Raise money for something you care about
We all care about something that could use our support too, whether its mental health advocacy, local dog shelters, or that really good mom and pop restaurant down the street. Guess what? You can ACTUALLY do something about it. Cheesy, but 100% true. As influencers, you can create change with the support of your community, and use merch to raise money and awareness for something that you care about.
We’ve had creators run successful charity campaigns that raised money for everything from koala sanctuaries to LGBTQ+ rights to education scholarships. You’d be surprised at how many of your fans would love to support the causes that you’re fighting for, and how you can make a tangible difference for something you care about.
Or...make bank for yourself
Let’s not kid ourselves - who’s going to say no to extra money? While sponsorships get you to the same end, merch can be a GREAT option because you’re promoting yourself and your products as opposed to promoting someone else’s. And all you have to do is let fans know it exists and that you’re excited about it.
Every channel needs a way to support itself. If the income you make from merch can help sustain your channel, whether its by letting you work as a full time creator, being able to hire more artists or crew, or even just buying more supplies, then we’re happy to help keep supporting the dream.