Dear Record Label: When Should My Band Start Selling Merchandise?
In a band? Have no idea how to go about getting a label to take you seriously? We've got the answers you're looking for.
In our new series, "Dear Record Label," we went to Roadrunner Records -- home of Slipknot, Rob Zombie, Opeth, Megadeth, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Trivium and more -- and asked them the tough questions young bands should know the answers to. Each week, we'll be bringing you advice from members of the Roadrunner staff to try and get you on track to get noticed.
This week, the advice comes from Roadrunner Records Senior Director of New Business Development, Dan Goldberg.
When should I consider beginning to sell merchandise? What kind is most effective?
DAN GOLDBERG: It’s always a good idea to have merchandise available, even in the early days of an artist’s career. Before getting into accessories, or cut and sew garments, it’s best to start with the simple, time tested T-shirt. They can be manufactured in relatively small quantities for an affordable price, and everyone wears them. Keep your designs simple, but make them stand out. It’s a good idea to hire a professional designer. Simple doesn’t mean unhip, or forgettable (see the Black Flag logo). When you’re first starting out, give shirts to your friends, family, as well as other musicians. If you have music, you should sell it with the shirt for a discounted price. Everyone likes a deal and everyone likes a t-shirt.
And if you're an unsigned band, be sure to check out Roadrunner's Sign Me To website, which allows unsigned bands to display their music, move up charts based on fan ratings, get reviewed by Roadrunner staff and maybe even get signed!