Monday, July 9, 2012

music monday: beginner tip #2

How was everybody's weekend? Ours was great, except for the very long drive home from Tampa yesterday! We hit two major traffic jams, Lorelei threw up, and we ended with a severe rain storm. We finally rolled in just before midnight, and I have to say, we haven't been so happy to be home in a long time! Thankfully we got home safe and healthy, so we can't complain too much! Today's music monday post is the second in a series of quick tips for "beginner" musicians. Hopefully you'll find them helpful, especially if you're just getting started.

Last week's tip was to collect those email addresses, which is something you can do whether you're selling merch or not. This week's tip is for when you've got a few things on the table and you're ready to sell: make it easy for people to buy your stuff.

1. Carry cash. It doesn't have to be a grand amount, in fact, I'd say any more than $150-$200 is probably unnecessary for most. Even if your band is broke and you can only swing $50, get a bank envelope or something similar and have change available. Keep your pricing in mind (do you need lots of $1's or $5's for breaking bills at your price points?). Your customers and merch volunteers will thank you when you come prepared.

2. If you have a smart phone or iPad, use Square. For a long time I didn't accept credit cards because card readers are a hassle. When I started using Square, I was shocked at how many people will stick around at the table when you accept cards. Over time, I've captured enough sales in cards to convince me that it's smart and worthwhile for an artist to do it if they can. There was only one situation in which we had no signal for the Square to work, but most venues have a cell signal or wifi available. Don't turn customers away if you can avoid it!

3. Have clear signage at your table that explains your pricing in a simple, easy-to-read way. I've seen everything from professionally printed custom signs to laminated squares with "$10" written in sharpie. However you do it, make it clear what's for sale, how much it costs, and advertise any special packages!

4. Have that email list available at the table for those who aren't ready to buy, and send out an email detailing where they can purchase your merch from behind their computer screens. Link to your shop, iTunes, etc...

If you're a musician, what do you find works best at your table? Any tips to add regarding making it easy for people to buy your merch?


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