How to Sell Your Own YouTube Merch
Once upon a time, it was books and their authors you turned to for your information, rock and film stars whose opinions inspired you, and big brands who influenced our purchasing decisions.
These influencers are still present today, but a new force is emerging to attract legions of fans.
2017 is the age of the vlogger.
Vloggers have an audience that authors, musicians, and brands would kill for: one that’s engaged in a way that makes them ‘devotees’ rather than just fans. Such a captive audience has the potential to be converted into a loyal customer base and provide vloggers with steady income.
However, not all vloggers are currently realizing this potential to make money on YouTube.
This article explores how vloggers are missing an opportunity to monetize their YouTube channel by selling merchandise to their customers.
Here is a quick story about YouTube creators who found a brand new income stream through YouTube merch:
Vloggers are the new gen of influencers
Everyone has different reasons for starting a vlog. Most people get into vlogging and YouTube because they feel they have something useful, valuable, or unique to contribute to a topic.
The important thing is that you know that what you have to say is unique and that people will benefit from hearing it.
Tapping into the enormous reach of YouTube, vloggers have joined a historical line of groups and individuals with the power to influence the decisions made by others.
With an easily accessible, free platform to project your message, your capacity as a vlogger to connect with your audience is greater than many of the most powerful influencers throughout history.
If you use the right strategies, you can have an army of engaged viewers who tune into your vlog because what you say is unique, entertaining or important to their lives – they believe and trust you.
Turning followers into customers
What would those successful authors, rock stars and brands of the past do with your audience
They might use it to sell more records, to get people interested in causes they support, or to transition into different market areas. One thing is for sure: they would capitalize on it.
Not everybody’s goal on YouTube is to make money, but doing so can be legitimately life changing. If means that you could one day make a living doing exactly what you love.
How can vloggers monetize their influence?
It all comes down to the connection and commonalities between you and your audience.
What are your preferences, your influences, your interests, your objections, your desires, and the things you would spend money on yourself? This is what defines your YouTube channel niche.
Answer these questions and then do the same for your audience.
This will give you a pretty good idea of your brand and audience persona, which tells you the things that your brand stands for, as well as the things your audience stands for.
This research tells you how you’re going to communicate with your audience so that they buy into your brand. It could impact everything from your channel topics, to your logo and posting frequency.
There are a number of sites that are designed to bring influencers and brands together .
FameBit is a good example of this. Its purpose is to give brands a platform for getting their product out to a devoted audience, and enable influencers to make money from the influence they hold by turning their followers into customers.
Selling Your Own Merchandise on YouTube
You might not want to sell other brands’ products, and may instead want to sell your own.
This is something that some of the most successful vloggers are already doing — it has helped the richest vloggers become >very wealthy.
Smosh, for example, have over 22 million subscribers and are estimated to have made over $7 million last year from their vlogging. They have their own ecommerce store and through it sell t-shirts, bandanas, and jogging pants. It’s a great example of a video brand/ecommerce hybrid.
One key thing is that most of Smoshès merchandise is related to catch phrases and content that their audince recognizes from their channel. It is a way for their viewers to proudly be a part of their brand and represent Smosh in the real world.
There are a number of ways that you can build your ecommerce store: you can have a bespoke website built by a designer, you can by an existing ecommerce business and rebrand it, or you can use an online platform to build it yourself.
How to Sell YouTube Merchandise
Shopify is a great example of an online platform that allows you to build your own ecommerce store in a clean and simple way, and it integrates well with video and YouTube. Most importantly for vloggers though, Shopify has collaborated with FameBit to allow you to move your vlog seamlessly from YouTube to selling your own products.
But don’t forget that you can also leverage the power of platforms like Amazon and Etsy to sell products with none of the hassle of running your own store.
You can also get your YouTube merch listed on existing ecommerce sites like District Lines.
You can even sell products directly from Facebook or Pinterest — modern ecommerce is the perfect fit for today’s frenetic multi-channel world.
How to Make Your Own YouTube Channel Merch
The first thing you will need to do is come up with a design. Spend some time looking at cool products, art, and images that resonate with you. Compile a large list of ideas for designs that you like and means something to your channel.
Then as your fans! Nothing will help boost sales like getting your subscribers involved.
Next, you will want to actually create the merchandise. We recommend a company like Spreadshirt in the USA, though you may want to shop around for the best rates in your location.
The most successful vloggers know what their audience is worth and they are making money by turning their followers into customers. Don’t miss a great opportunity by failing to learn from the best; monetize your vlogging and make it your career, not just your passion!
Thanks to our guest writer Victoria! Check out her blog below 🙂
Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on ecommerce and how writers can hone their craft. She is a passionate about using her experience to help other writers improve their skills.