Reasons why influencers make their own merchandise
by Merle van Wieringen
If you are familiar with YouTube, you probably noticed that the popularity of this platform has increased in a different kind of way. I think we can say that the ‘influencer hype’ is originate in the last decade. I mean, I don’t think you told your parents when you were a little kid that you wanted to become an influencer and look at you now! Time has changed and so is the media nowadays.
It’s no secret that YouTube has been dominating the online video sharing industry and is now replacing the traditional media. Because of this, the start of a new time area has begun. There are now hundreds and thousands of individual creators that are busy on YouTube. You can range these creators into vloggers, beauty influencers and even gossip channels are a thing now. You see, because of this amount, many creators and viewers have stepped up their game to outshine themselves: using professional cameras to shoot their videos/ photos, hiring managers and even video editors. But the question still remains: if all the creators are so busy with making nice media content and sharing videos, why are they creating their own merchandise as well? Well, this is why.
Merch is equal to branding
You see, whenever a creator starts a new channel with a name, new content and an own fan base they already own a brand. This is because they distinguish themselves with their own personal channel. On the other hand, if the creator has a limited amount of views and followers, it becomes a lot harder for them to make money out of it. But as you know, there are a lot of influencers who do have the right amount of followers to monetization, maybe you are one of those as well? Some of these creators have realized that a good way to monetize oneself as an online influencer, is to design and create own merchandise apparel. By doing this, they hope to out-bring their name and their brand in the form of apparel, and so they try to bring more attention to themselves.
Some great examples of popular influencer stars who created their own merch are Liza Koshy (with a channel that comes with 16 million followers), Logan Paul, Casey Neistat, Patricia Bright, Lily Sign (Superwoman), Emma Chamberlain, and many, many more. If I would list all of the successful creators and their merch, I would probably be here the whole day. It maybe sounds a little bit strange that famous influencers are selling clothes online, but this practice has actually become common for most content creators with an adequate following (most of the suitable influencers have more then 100,000+ subscribers).
But WHY do they create online merchandise?
Well of course, every influencer has his or her own personal reasons to create and design merchandise. This can be an individual choice, but there are four most relevant reasons for influencers to start their own merchandise, and we wrote them down for you.
Multiplicity of income
Nobody blames any influencer for wanting to make as much money as they possibly can. This is why the adage say, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. Most of the influencers rely on AdSense (this is the money they make by placing advertisements in their content and videos), and sponsorships (collaborations with other brands). But starting to create and sell personal merchandise can be another way to significantly increase the influencer’s income.
A research of Tube Filter said that influencers that are selling merchandise can earn up to 10 times more revenue than the ones who rely just on traditional methods. As you may experience yourself, influencers own most of the time very loyal and enthusiastic fanbases, who are ready to support their favourite influencer at all times. Whenever they upload something, they will always manage to leave a comment or a like. So, if this influencer creates merchandise as well, the followers will probably be as supportive as they always are and so the stock will sell. Whenever the quality of the products is good, the clothing is stylish and comfortable, and the sizing ranging is inclusive, there is a big chance that the influencer merch stock is likely to sell out pretty fast.
Giving Back to the fans
Another reason why influencers sell merchandise can be a way of showing their fans love, in the form of giving something back to them which they can wear to show their support. Most of the fanbases includes teenagers or young adults, and this particular audience desire to feel like they are part of something. Especially when this is something they can share with others who have the same interests as them.
If the influencer handles it correctly, selling merchandise can also strengthen the relationship between the influencer and his fanbase. But only, if the influencer gives his or her fanbase the opportunity to give input in the process, such as feedback or making suggestions. This can result in a collaboration between the influencers and the fans, and together they can create the perfect merchandise. This will probably lead to an increasing of the selling as well.
Further Brand Growth
With the number of followers it’s not crazy that influencers are aware of their popularity and the influence they have. But they can arrive to the point where they realize that they want to do more than just influencing by internet and they may choose to grow their brand and make it more mainstream. If the influencer creates apparel with their brand on it, not only will this brand begin to circle in the digital world, but also in the real world when people see each other wearing the merchandise.
At that exact moment people can walk up to the fans of the influencer, asking where they bought that t-shirt and wondering what it means and why they like it so much. This will lead to expanding the brand and gaining a wider reach for the influencer. You don’t even need to own social media anymore to recognise some of the influencer’s famous merchandise such as Logan Paul (Marvel). This kind of influencers became so popular that they are considered to be a mainstream celebrity, and that’s exactly what you want to achieve.
Not all the reasons why influencers sell merchandise is because of commercial reasons. But another relevant reason why influencers create personal merch is in a way to be creative and try new things. It may seems as if content creation and selling clothing are two totally different things, but actually these two are not that different from each other. Both are forms of self-expression, which is one of the main reasons why influencers do what they do.
When we were little kids, we all tried to be creative in our own way for example by designing "t-shirts", but actually we were just painting on white t-shirts. Which didn’t make our parents happy. As we got older, the need to be creative is most of the time expressed by the pressure to get good results in school, graduate, and making money. This is the reason that many influencers embrace their childlike creativity, which may have been lost in the pursuit of success.
This is why influencer Merch is the Way to Go!
As you can see, it is pretty obvious that selling merchandise can be a very effective way for influencers to go down, especially once they have established the perfect number of followers. There are some points they have to be aware of before starting creating the merchandise. This includes a good quality merch company to work with (like Yeefu), creating and designing good stock and setting affordable prices. If you have this 3 key points set, you’re good to go. Start by listening to your fanbase about what they want and need, you can do this for example by creating various polls and Instagram post to figure out what suitable design, type and sizing range will sell out the best.
Creating merchandise doesn’t have to be a long, heavy and tedious process. At Yeefu, we created a very simple and clear process for you wherein we will do the best we can to get you the perfect merchandise. You just lay back and let us do the hard work. So, if you are an influencer looking for an easy platform to create and design the perfect merchandise for your fanbase, check out our website for further details! Let’s hope that we will see you and your creative ideas soon…