There’s more than one way to make money in the music industry. Many musicians forget to incorporate some of these important revenue streams into their business plan for their career. It’s no secret that musicians and other artists often start out with little to no money… or end up that way. A necessary way to stabilize the growth of your career is to educate yourself on the multiple ways your hard work can bring in money.
As a musician, you should be playing music as often as possible, as many places as you can. As an independent artist, it can actually be simpler to set up tours whenever you feel like it than when you’re a signed professional. Learn the ins and outs of the right way to be your own booker and take advantage of this valuable opportunity. Once you get some shows under your belt you can start applying to be in festivals. Festival attendance is at an all-time high
Determining what your “brand” should be and how it should be portrayed as an artist is a big deal. Lana Del Rey first started out her career under her real name, Lizzie Grant. As Lizzie Grant, she was largely unsuccessful. Then she changed the way she presented herself and became the widely known Lana Del Rey. Why? Because she created a clear, specific, interesting brand and fans knew exactly what they could come to her for. Once you’ve created your brand, be sure that your image and likeness are clear and aligned with products that further your brand.
Writing and recording original music should be at the very top of every musicians business plan. Once you record your original music onto a medium, you own the rights to your work. Owning the rights to your songs mean that you will be the one getting paid any time a commercial, artist, etc. use that song to make money.
It’s important to give your fans some fun options for branding your music. Selling merchandise online and at your shows isn’t just about making money. Your audience is paying you to then provide free advertisement for you and bring new fans to your music. It’s also probably the only source of income that you have easy control over.
So many current artists (such as Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepson) have gotten their start on YouTube. As an artist, if you aren’t taking advantage of this simple platform to further your career, you’re likely leaving experience, exposure, and money on the table. There are more than 1 billion unique users visiting the site every month. According to a study done by Nielsen, YouTube reaches more adults than any cable network. Millions of subscriptions happen each day, and some of them could be for your channel!
This means making your music available for use in tv, movies, commercials, video games, etc. Once your music is recorded and mastered, try registering it with a Performance Rights Organization. These organizations ensure that you get paid when a tv show, movie, or advertisement uses your original works.