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10 Great Guerrilla Merch Ideas for Your Fan Page, Gig, Poetry Reading, or Book Launch

10 Great Guerrilla Merch Ideas for Your Fan Page, Gig, Poetry Reading, or Book Launch

If you have a passion project, you’ve probably considered ways of promoting it. After all, anyone who has a passion for anything will probably want to share their love of their craft or interest with the rest of the world.

While online promotions are all well and good, real-world items are a great way to make your project more “real” to the people you are reaching out to. Passion project promotional items or “merch”, as they’re called, are a tried and tested way to truly connect with others and make the work you believe in a part of their lives as well.

Here are 10 merch ideas you should try out at your gig, poetry reading, or book launch. You may even want to have them available on your website as well.

1.) Tee shirts

Tees are a classic promotional item for bands, creative collectives, and more. Recently, we’ve seen more and more authors and even some poets use tee-shirts to do the same type of guerrilla marketing for their projects.

2.) Custom made lapel pins

Small, yet eye-catching and tasteful, custom made lapel pins are an excellent way to promote any creative project without being too “loud” as some other methods. This makes it more likely that people will use them on their jackets, tote bags, instrument straps, and more. Which can mean your pins might continue to promote your creative endeavors for years to come.

3.) Wristbands

Wristbands are an affordable, fun, and creative way to promote your event or project. Give them to everyone who pays entrance, use them to identify event organizers, or use them as memorable redeemable drink stubs — your imagination is the only limit! Check out Wristband Creation for a wide selection of options on silicone wristbands and more.

4.) Notepads and notebooks

If you’re touring different universities or cater to a school-age crowd, these are things that will get some attention. They’ll probably be putting your name out there for quite a while too!

5.) Caps

Caps and hats are not for everyone, but when someone wears one, they’re sure to notice. A cap that promotes a poet isn’t all too common and is sure to receive a lot of positive attention!

6.) Tote bags

Everyone needs at least a few tote bags these days. Reusable cloth tote bags with your event promotions materials, album covers, book covers, or logos have the potential to keep people informed about your work for years.

7.) Special editions of your work

Give people who come to your event a special version of your album, book, or anthology to make them feel special. They’ll certainly remember it, and others who see those special editions will want to find out how to get one too.

8.) Posters

Posters are the perfect promotional tool for creative projects that appeal to a younger crowd, as well as those young at heart. University circuits are especially great places to promote with posters, as they’re likely to be attached to dorm walls where they’ll be seen by many other young people.

9.) Stickers

Bands have been using stickers to promote themselves for decades, and more poets and authors today are warming up to the idea as well. When properly designed, stickers can be the focal point of whatever thing they’re on, be it a filing cabinet, a notebook, bike bumper, rear car window, or a refrigerator. And once they’re on, they’re sure to keep your project in everyone’s mind for years.

10.) Mugs and vacuum flasks

If you have an older fanbase, they might likely be working in offices or in situations where they may want a handy personal beverage container like a mug or insulated flask. Promotional drinkware can be a great way to get other potential fans in that age group to take notice.

These are not the only items you can offer. Be sure to think about what the people you are reaching out to appreciate. This way, you’re sure to get a better result for your promotions budget.


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by Lottie Pritchard // Lottie Pritchard is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.