The Perks of Branded Merch Go Beyond Added RevenueDanny Ferretti
Would your jaw drop if you learned that most models cannot mount much of a lifestyle based solely on their earnings from branded merchandise? That number gets skewed even further when you think about models who have the compounded expenses of maintaining an ecommerce website, inventory acquisition, packaging, shipping and customer support — and this doesn’t even factor in the most important expense, time. Every minute you spend dealing with your branded merch is valuable time not spent on content creation, marketing or any and all of the other pieces that go into keeping your brand relevant, engaged and earning.
Most models don’t get the economics of branded merchandise. It is absolutely not about huge earnings — although the potential definitely exists for huge earnings and happens more often than you might think. The truth is, average monthly earnings from branded merchandise are going to fall somewhere between the cost of a really good pedicure and covering your car payment. But there is a lot more to branded merch than just dollars, and how you go about getting and selling your branded merch makes a huge difference in your branded merch bottom line.
This exercise is going to assume that you are not among the chosen few who can afford the time and expense of website design and maintenance, inventory and fulfillment. If you fall into this category, then you’re either selling a boatload of merchandise or you’re losing so much money that your accountant is afraid to tell you. For everyone else, I’m going to give you a crash course on why and how.
That’s “why” as in “Why should I do branded merch if there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?” Simply put, for the following reasons:
Branded Merch Attracts New Followers
I can’t even begin to tell you how many models gain new followers from people discovering their posters or merchandise while looking at similar products on ecommerce sites. New followers will find you by searching for other models as well. This is the cascade effect in its truest form. Folks may “discover” you because of a poster, calendar, coffee cup or phone case; from there, it’s off to the races when they see you have a premium site/page, or they’ll at least follow your socials.
Branded Merch Adds Celebrity Credibility
It really is true that appearance is everything, and to the average fan this can be a simple case of “If she has her own merchandise, she must be a really big deal.” While this is not always true beneath the surface, rest assured the addition of branded merchandise to your resume adds to the credibility of your brand.
Branded Merch Offers Safe Social-Media Talking Points
When was the last time you safely advertised your OnlyFans link on Instagram without risking a ban or suspension? OK, so now you post links to your Linktree page and hope for the best, right? Well, by adding branded merch into the mix, you can promote your coffee cup legitimately on IG without fear of repercussions, at least until you try and promote a nude coffee cup. That’s because branded merch gives you a vehicle for unfettered advertising that can 100% lead to your private content — and hey, maybe you’ll sell some merch too.
Branded Merch Can Be Managed by a Company
There are really a lot of choices when it comes to branded merch and I guess the biggest questions would have to be cost, potential profits and ease of acquisition. The optimal solution is print-on-demand; basically, products don’t actually exist until they are sold so there is no overhead for inventory. Customers are given product choices and once a purchase is made, the POD company creates the product and ships the item directly to the buyer.
The most widely used POD companies are VistaPrint, Printify, Fangear.vip and Printful. The main difference between these options is cost, potential profits and ease of acquisition. I invite you to compare the companies listed and make the decision that best suits your needs and time constraints.
Ultimately, the thing about branded merchandise that really stands out is that it doesn’t discriminate — and by that, I mean it doesn’t matter whether you have five thousand or five million followers — branded merch can work for you. It’s an added offering that can only enhance your brand and if it’s done right, it can truly be a profitable venture.