17: How Independent Artists Can Make a Killing at their Shows

Jumbo is waiting for Toe to arrive with the merchandise after waiting for an hour at the club, Toe finally arrives and has a bright idea. Then he reveals more ideas to make a killing at their shows.

Every artist or band that’s just starting in the music business believes if they just do enough shows then people will just come and give you money.

It doesn’t work that way, you need to learn about sales and marketing.

“What?? I don’t wanna do that!”

Every artist and musician needs to adopt the entrepreneurial mentality in order to make it in todays music industry.

If you’re an artist seeking a band to perform with, I’m sure you know hard it is to get musicians to play for almost nothing. Professional musicians need to make a living too.

Young artists and bands with little to no following must understand that it’s important to your success to learn the music business.


How Independent artists can make a killing at their shows.

Create merchandise and sell it at your shows or you can cut a deal with the musicians or barter with them. Maybe offer some of your musical services in exchange for a gig. There are many things you can do.

“Okay, so what kind merchandise can I sell?”

Here’s a good list:

  1. Album
  2. EP’s
  3. Singles
  4. T-shirts
  5. Baby Tees for women
  6. Caps
  7. Wristbands
  8. Bumper stickers
  9. Pins
  10. Underwear (Just playing.)
  11. Lighters with band logo ( I got this idea from my old band.)
  12. Wallets with logo ( I don’t see too many of those.)
  13. Download cards
  14. USB flash drives with album
  15. Posters
  16. Mugs
  17. Tumblers
  18. Email list: This is a must to build a following.
  19. Transcription books of your original music in kindle and print format. (Never seen this done before.)

Yes, you’re going to have to make an investment, but it’s worth it. If this is too much merchandise for you to handle than just start off with a few things than build from that. Don’t forget your brand must be attached on everything that you offer. Your band is a BRAND!

Artists like Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, make a killing on sales of merchandise at their shows. It’s one of their biggest cash cows.

The Lesson

  1. Take care of your band and they’ll take care of you.
  2. Your band is a business whether you like it or not.
  3. Always sell at shows, if you have to give it away to gain a fan, do it.
  4. If you want to be a major artist, think like the major artists.
  5. Brand, brand, brand!

One question.

What’s a good product to sell at a show for your merch table? Gimme some ideas.

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