Your Music Is A Product

Your Music Is A Product

How to make money from your music

Most artists and songwriters focus their efforts on securing recording or publishing deals thinking that this is the best way to make money from their music. While these are great ways of making money, if you restrict your focus to getting a deal, you’re potentially leaving a lot of money on the table. With a little creative thinking, you’ll soon discover that there are many more ways of turning your music into revenue – and as a musician, you’re definitely creative, right?

Know your numbers

Your music can attract money to you, but that can’t happen until you put it in a place where it can be bought. The first step is to identify where you need to be. Then you can figure out what you need to do to get there.

So, let’s say you wanted to use your music to supplement your current income until you make enough to quit your day job. How much do you want to make? How much would you need to be able to resign and make music your full time job?

Once you’ve got a concrete idea of the numbers you need, you can start looking at how you can hit your target.

Be proactive

It’s not enough to have good songs and hope they’ll be discovered. You’ve got to get out there and actively look for ways to get in front of those who’ll pay you for your music.

One thing you can do is approach companies that have an advertising budget and offer to create bespoke music to accompany their ad. The worst they can say is no – but it may be that they’re let down by their current contractors and will turn to you when they need help in the future. Don’t be afraid to ask what their budget is and then coincidentally have a fee for the exact same amount. Your music may well be worth a lot more than you thought to the right business.

Make the most of live gigs

Many singer/songwriters make money from live performances, particularly if they sing covers. However, you can leverage these live shows to generate even more income from your audience.

Generate a QR code (very easily done online) and include it on leaflets you leave out when you perform. Tell people where they can catch your next gig so people can easily find you if they love what you do.

You might offer a free drink to the first ten people to come to your gig if they’ve clicked on the QR code. It’s amazing how effective these little incentives can be. People feel a karmic debt towards you because you gave them a tangible gift as well as the delight of listening to your music.

Don’t neglect venues either – they can also be a good source of income. You could say to them “I have x people listening to my livestream every week. I’ll advertise your venue’s specials in my livestream including your logo in exchange for £y.”

Another option is to set up a monthly subscription, such as on Patreon, so you can be paid to do what you love. Target this towards the people who already enjoy your music and grow your audience.

Regularly review your progress

If you’re trying to make money from your music but you’re not getting traction anywhere, stop and re-examine what you’re doing. It’s clearly not working, so take a step back and look at what you need to do differently. For this to work, you need to be putting in more effort than the next person in terms of looking for outlets. Stay one step ahead and you’ll be amazed at the opportunities that open up for you.

Music is a very different product these days. Everything’s about the individual, not just the art. People want to know about the person behind the songs. You are more important than you may have realised so far. You are the only thing that truly matters. You are the only you. This means you’re already differentiated from the market. You don’t need to do what everyone else is doing. You need to do you!

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