written by
David Hooper

Nobody Wants Your Cheap Podcast Merch

Podcast Promotion 3 min read

If you've spent more than 10 minutes on a trade show floor, you've no doubt seen more than your share of "promotion items" from companies who want to be remembered after the show is over. And it's easy to think, "If all these companies are making [insert promotional item here], I should do something similar for my podcast.


The best thing you can do to be remembered after a conference is have real conversations with people and exchange business cards, so it will be easy for you to reconnect with them later. And when you do reconnect, send a book related to the conversation you had or something that will actually help the person you've just met, not a cheap pen or water bottle.

Here's a gallery of dozens of podcaster business cards.

How To Do Podcast Merch Right

Should you decide to do promotional merch for your podcast, the main rule to follow is "be visible." In other words, make sure your promotional items have a good chance at being seen.

This can be done with something simple, such as a sticker. I have several on the back of the clipboard I use for my podcast episode notes:

I see these stickers every time I do a podcast episode. And when I have guests, because they see these stickers too. Stickers are great if you can get somebody to put one in the right place.

Where is the right place? That depends on you and your podcast. But once you know, coming up with effective promotional items for your podcast is easy.

Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history. And people who love history are often book lovers. So host Liz Covart made bookmarks:

These aren't just any bookmarks – they're made from recycled tires. They memorable, they stand out, and they'll last a very long time, promoting the podcast easy time they're used.

Have a podcast about beer? If so, your listeners are going to need coasters (rubber or paper).

Have a podcast about cooking? Measuring spoons work well.

Travel podcast? Luggage straps and luggage tags are great for people who travel.

Anything goes when it comes to promotional items for your podcast as long as the item meets these two criteria:

  1. It will be used.
  2. It's related to your podcast.

Something that sits on a desk (or shelf) also works.

Gary Auerbach is a World Frisbee Champion known as the Frisbee Guy. So he gives out miniature discs as business cards:

Even if people don't use it, it's memorable and it's related to what he does.

Also memorable when somebody hands you one...

Musician Morgxn created a custom version of the popular puzzle game to promote his music, giving them out to radio station programmers, booking agents, and others in the music industry.

Does Morgxn have anything to do with a puzzle game? No. But a Rubik's cube is a classic desk toy that's memorable and likely to be used.

Final Thoughts

Creativity trumps price. A cool and memorable sticker can have more promotional value than an expensive desk toy or other promotional item.

The main thing you need to consider when purchasing promotional merch for your podcast is, "Will this item be used by the people I want to reach?" If so, take the punt. No promotional item is perfect and the majority of things you create will be junked, but if nothing else, you'll have a reason to reach out to people or approach them at events and get to know them.

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