So you’ve decided that after building a blog, or a brand image online, that it’s time to launch your own merch for Instagram. This is a great idea, and it’s actually a lot less expensive and time-consuming than people think.
Whether you want to create themed tote bags, hoodies, t-shirts with fun designs on them, or hats with your blog’s name, there is a simple 6 step formula to launching a successful merch line.
Why Make Merch?
If you haven’t quite made up your mind about making merch for Instagram, you may be wondering why you should even make it in the first place. First, it creates a sense of community, within your community.
Providing your audience with the ability to purchase your merch and your designs fuels a sense of togetherness. The best thing you can do as a blogger, influencer, etc. is to grow your community’s loyalty to you, and adding a merchandise line is a great way to push this forward.
Another reason making merch is a great idea is because it provides you with a profit. You’ve spent time and hard work growing a community, this is a great way to start to monetize your effort. It’s also useful to look at other brands and communities on Instagram and see how they have grown them.
But in order to have a successful merch launch, it’s important to have a plan and an outline on how to properly execute the launch.
6 Steps To A Successful Merch Launch
While launching a merch line takes work and effort, having your plan written out ahead of time can be super helpful in helping you launch. As you read through these steps either brainstorm in your head, or on paper, with your own ideas and plans. This will help you execute effortlessly.
1. Identify Your Target Audience
Before you even start to brainstorm your designs, we suggest brainstorming your target audience first. This will help you through the design process with a customer in mind. You can do this by writing out different target audience customers on sticky notes, which will help you see the range of people in your target audience.
You don’t have to completely design just for the customer, though. You should keep in mind what your personal brand is, and what you like as well. Just don’t make the mistake of solely designing for you, and leaving the target audience without a thought.
2. Design Your Merch
The next step is oftentimes a fun step for many when creating their own merch for Instagram. This is where you get to let your creativity run wild. Whether you want something simple and black and white, or you want a colorful, expressive design, it’s up to you!
This is also a good time to decide which types of products you want to launch. For instance, if you want to do t-shirts and tote bags, you can use similar designs for those, as they both have a lot of open space to utilize. While you could use the same design on sweatpants or on a hat, you may want to switch it up because of the different sized spacing.
If you don’t happen to like design, then you can also hire an artist to do it for you. There are plenty of websites online where you can place job requests, but you can also ask your audience as well. This is a great way to also engage with them.
3. Create & Make a Plan For Distribution
Your merch designs are done and your ideas solid. Now it is time to order your merch and make a plan for distribution. This looks different for everyone depending on what platforms they already use to promote and share their content.
For instance, if you use Instagram the most, it would be great to tease the products before you launch them. Plan to share small amounts of info in the weeks leading up to the launch, that way, by the time you do launch, the anticipation is there.
4. Launch & Promote Your Merch
Possibly the best step, launching your merch is fun! You get to watch as your hard work and effort goes out into the world. This is a great time to share it to all of your social media channels, send it in an email blast, and even see if some of your friends can share it too.
Make sure you utilize popular platforms like Pinterest or Tiktok, even if you haven’t used them in the past. Both these sites are experiencing massive growth right now and are a great place for anyone to promote their content, products, and work.
5. Engage With Your Following
One of the best ways to spread the news about your new merch is by making sure that you are always engaging with your audience, even before the launch. The more you engage with your audience, the more loyalty they will feel towards you. Having a dedicated audience will make or break your launch, so this step is key.
Also be sure to make sure that if people comment, DM, or email you with questions about it, you answer in good time. This will also show them that you care about them and their inquiries.
6. Do A Merch Giveaway
Lastly, in order to say thank you to your audience for their support, you can launch a fun giveaway where the winner gets a free item, a free line, etc. If you use Instagram to do this, one great way to spread the word quickly is by having one of the giveaway guidelines be “if you share this to your story you get 5 extra entries.” This way they will share it to their stories, giving your brand and page greater exposure.
Are you ready to launch your own merch for Instagram now? Hopefully, this post helped guide you through the process and gave you an idea of what this venture looks like. Here’s to a successful launch!