As a new or newer artist, it can be overwhelming to navigate the music industry and figure out how to make money from your music. In this article, I will share my top 5 strategies for making money as a starting musician. These strategies have helped me and many other artists succeed in the industry. So, let's dive in!
1. Start Playing Live Shows
One of the best ways to get your music out there and start making money is by playing live shows. Whether it's at local venues, open mic nights, or even busking on the street, performing in front of an audience is a great way to gain exposure and connect with fans. Even if you're not getting paid for your performances initially, the experience and exposure are invaluable, and it is also the only way to start building long term fans who will follow you just from seeing you play, and want to be apart of your journey and help you succeed. It's hard to get that anywhere without this crucial step. Get out there and play some music!
2. Sell Your Physical Music
While streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music are popular for music consumption, selling physical copies of your music can be a lucrative venture. Websites like Dollar Duplication offer affordable options for duplicating your music onto CDs. Selling physical copies at your shows allows you to directly connect with your fans and make a profit.
For example, if you sell 400 CDs at $10 each, you can make $4,000. This is a significant return compared to the minimal earnings from streaming platforms. On average it takes 4,000,000 streams just to get that some $4,000 mark. If your just starting out, or building your career, best to start here instead of focusing on streaming numbers for most people.
3. Invest in Merchandise
Once you start gaining a fanbase and selling your music, it's time to invest in merchandise. Expand your merch table beyond CDs and consider offering hats, shirts, sweaters, vinyl records, cassettes, and other items that fans can purchase to show their support. This not only generates additional income but also helps to promote your brand and build a loyal fanbase. Many a local artist who was just starting to build a fan base, was able to take the next step in their career because they starting making decent money of merch sales. Don't neglect this step.
4. Sell Your Skills
As you establish yourself as an artist, you can leverage your skills to collaborate with other musicians. This can include writing music together or featuring on each other's tracks. Collaborations allow you to share audiences and grow together as artists. Additionally, if you have developed expertise in songwriting or production, you can offer your services as a producer or session musician. These opportunities not only provide financial compensation but also help you make valuable connections in the industry.
5. Teach Others
Teaching others is a great way to monetize your skills and share your knowledge with aspiring musicians. If you excel in vocals, guitar, piano, or any other instrument, consider offering lessons or workshops. Teaching not only provides an additional source of income and it has an added benefit of personal growth as you are forced to look at your skills and talents from another angel and perspective, and learn to communicate those to others. With so many benefits from this, it really is a "no brainer".
By following these five strategies in order, you can establish a solid foundation for your music career and start making money from your passion. Remember, it's important to focus on these strategies before diving into streaming platforms and other digital avenues. Building a strong fanbase and generating income through live shows, physical music sales, merchandise, collaborations, and teaching will set you up for long-term success in the music industry.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you found it helpful and informative. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us with your questions, or leave comments below. And if you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it with your friends and like minded musicians, and consider going over to our YouTube channel and checking out all the great tips, how-to's, and free tool's we have for you over there. Be sure to subscribe for all of the future great free content as well. Until next time, happy music making & recording!