The best way to get your music business into the green and beyond is to have multiple streamsof income! Here is a complete list of ways that I personally have used and help my clients to use.They not only helped artists to create income in their music businesses but also solved a problemfor them with how to easily network with others in the industry and form strong relationships.
“The single best thing that I did was to stay within the music scene, even if some of my income creating activities were a side hustle, they were a side hustle inside the music business. I met so many people working in the industry, it really widened my network” -Julie R. (Canada).
By doing this you can meet Musicians, Singers, Songwriters and Producers from all over theworld, widen your network significantly, even swap labour resources to get a great project outthe door under budget and on time.
In this list you will see some traditional income streams, some very non-traditional income streams, some little side hustles and some SERIOUS side hustles that will be the difference between you being able to move onto the next project or not.
The key is to get going on one or a couple of these ideas to see your money start coming in. Let’sGo!
1. PLAY LIVE GIGS
2. BE A SESSION MUSICIAN
3. TEACH LESSONS
4. PLAY DRIVE-IN SHOWS – A few of my clients acted on bringing this into reality very quickly through the summer of 2020 even with high level COVID restrictions and not only made great money but also got the attention of media outlets! Just be sure to get permission from your localgovernment authorities and be sure to follow all protocols that they require and you’ll be goodto go!
5. TEACH KIDS GUITAR WORKSHOPS – parents are always looking for activities to keep their kids occupied, interested and learning on off school days and in the spring/summer breaks. Ipersonally used this one to create a good amount of income 3 or 4 times throughout the year.Now you can do them on zoom and the cost is even less! Back then I was hosting them at my own house.
6. FB LIVE SHOWS – Add a virtual tip jar link, paypal me link or a venmo link in order to get paid. Also did you know that some royalty organizations are now paying their atists peformance royalties on FB Live shows if they have a certain amount of live watchers, call your royalty org(PRO) today and ask them about it.
7. CREATE MUSIC CHARTS – Do you have a good handle on creating guitar, other instrument charts for musicians? This can be a lucrative skill to have, charge a small amount and curn out alarge quantity and they can add up pretty quick.
8. COACHING OTHER MUSICIANS! – Yo, everyone needs a coach. My coaching business has single handedly become my #1 priority and is now keeping me feed since no live shows were an option.
9. GRAPHIC DESIGN – This is one of the many skills that Musicians wind up learning on their own for their own needs. Lots of other musicians out there need help from others who know what they are doing. I would rather hire another skilled Musician as my graphic designer than someone who doesn’t understand the music business.
10. MUSIC PRODUCTION FOR OTHERS – If you can produce for yourself, chances are you can produce for others as well. Give it a try!
11. VOICE OVER WORK – There is a growing need for voice over artists, often singers are skilled as using their voices in ways that others are not. You may not need any training to get started. Check out some freelancing sites.
12. VOCALS AT HOME – I personally made over $7000 in one year doing vocals at home by creating a fiverr and upwork account and offering my vocal services. You would be surprised how many songwriters out there need voices on their demos and tracks. If you learn how to create decent vocals form your own setup at home this can be very lucrative.
13. GETTING SYNC DEALS – Some time and effort is required but you can get signed either as an artist or for a single track by many sync agencies out there and enjoy some sync royalties.
14. CROWDFUNDING – There is a way to not sound sleazy and ask fans for money! Crowdfunding is still a legitimate way to create income for your music.
15. AFFILIATE MARKETING – Become an affiliate marketer for music products and services.
16. START A PODCAST – If you have a USB mic (you might not even need that), you can start a podcast. I started my podcast with a home recording set up that cost less than $500. I’m now over 100 episodes in and have networked with so many great artists and influential music industry people. I’ve also been sponsored. I choose not to sell advertising for my podcast, butyou definitely can and make good $ at it monthly.
17. PRODUCE AND EDIT OTHER PODCASTS – If you already have your own podcast and you find the editing and production – easy peasy – then do it for others! A great way to add income to your week.
18. GET SPONSORED – Yes sponsorship is easier than you think. I became sponsored byBandzoogle just months into having my podcast running. Here is a 3-Part FREE Video Training that will walk you through exactly how I got sponsored (without having any contacts atBandzoogle). I include my exact email templates I used to seal the deal!
19. CREATE AN ONLINE COURSE – Knowledge based products are often very good money makers as they don’t take a lot of money to create. The profit margin is high and the risk islow. What knowledge do you have that is useful or solves a problem for others?
20. BECOME A SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER FOR OTHER MUSICIANS – A lot of Musicians do not like doing their own social media posts. If you’re good at it and you get what is needed for Musicians – why not do it for others? I also became a social media manager for multiple companies as a side hustle, it was extremely lucrative and got me through some tougher times when it comes to income creation.
21. PACKAGE AND SELL REMAINING CD’S – Again personal experience. *I realized that I had around 150 physical cd’s left from a run I had done a few years before. I sold them all”whatever you want to pay prices”. Yes I became a sales person for a while there, but I managed to sell them all and they ended up selling for an average of $15 cd brining me $2250 of income over a one month period.
22. PACKAGE AND SELL REMAINING MERCH – Same as above! Sell your sales person on. Merch that you’re holding onto is best sold at a discounted price
23. CREATE LIMITED EDITION MERCH – For your super fans out there. I’ve seen wall hangings with song lyrics, even coffee cups, limited edition runs sold at higher prices than normal.
24. SELL FAN SUBSCRIPTIONS – This is becoming more and more popular, monthly or yearlysubscriptions that gave backstage and behind the scenes access. Also for the super fans, andtakes a great amount of effort but so worth the time put in the long run.
25. CATCH UP ON ROYALTY COLLECTIONS – Have you been collecting all of your royalties that you are entitled to? Contact all of your royalty PRO’s and Associations and see if you’ve leftanything out. Common things that artists leave out are – live performance notices (you can go back a few years with most organizations). If you sang your own songs at places that wereticketed chances are you might qualify to be paid for it. Also they are now paying for FB livestreams under some circumstances and with stipulations – keep your royalty knowledge up todate! There might be money waiting for you that you never knew about.
26. APPLY FOR GRANTS – Takes time and effort, but essentially free money. Never think about agrant as an immediate fix for a lack of income, it will take some planning and be a super greatbonus in the future. Some grants can take months and months to be processed and come up for application usually only once or twice a year.
27. APPLY FOR GRANTS FOR OTHERS – Grants are another activity that many Musicians don’tlike doing. If you’re good at putting together grant applications charge a flat fee or a % fee ofthe successful grant.
28. BRAND PARTNERSHIPS – A great way to not only create income but reduce your marketingdollars is to partner with a brand similar to yours. E.g. Partner with a small clothing brand tocreate a line just for you that you get a % of the sales. Cross-promote it on each of yourchannels for a bigger impact. Creates more fans for you and them as well as there being no big outlay in costs to you up front.
29. SOCIAL MEDIA PARTNER GIVEAWAYS AND LOOPS – If you haven’t heard of a “loopgiveaway”, give it a google this might spark some new ideas.
30. GIVE MUSIC EDUCATION SEMINARS – Short burst webinars for a small fee that solve orgive education on a single topic are getting big!
31. SELL KNOWLEDGE BASED PRODUCTS – If you have knowledge on topics you can sell it. Don’t obsess over the fact that it’s all found for free on the internet. Package it in a way that is helpful and it’s now sellable. People pay for well presented and packaged information as much as they do for the information itself.
32. START YOUR OWN ONLINE PROMOTIONS COMPANY – Many Artists are looking for help promoting online, are you a master at FB or Google Ads?
33. START YOUR OWN RECORD LABEL – Be your own first Artist then add others. There are more grants available to labels than just Artists.
34. MANAGE OTHER ARTISTS
35. DO RADIO PROMOTIONS FOR OTHER ARTISTS – Radio promotions is becoming an Artistsgame. Most artists know what their fellow artists need when it comes to radio promotions andare choosing to do their own using their own contacts. Take on one or two clients at a monthlyrate and work hard for them!
36. DO ONLINE STREAMING PROMOTIONS FOR OTHER ARTISTS – If you’ve figured out the”how to” on getting yourself on spotify and apple playlists, why not offer it to others?
37. SOUND TECH FOR ARTISTS – As an acoustic artist I know first hand how important it wasthat I learned how to set my sound incredibly well for a show. (LIVE AND ONLINE). Other artistsfrequently ask me how I get my sound both live and online.
38. T-SHIRT PRINTING OR SCREEN PRINTING – Fairly traditional but still needed. I have seenmany bands and artists over the years become so good at their own t-shirt screen printing thatthey start doing it for other bands and artists – a great side hustle.
39. BOOK OTHER ARTISTS – Think also online and offline shows!
40. VIRTUAL SHOW TOURS – Working great right now, find a network of people in private online groups.
41. BECOME A SPEAKER – Most Musicians can double as a speaker! Give it a try.
42. CREATE WEBSITES FOR OTHER MUSICIANS – Who better than to create websites for other Musicians that one who already knows what is needed. Platforms like Bandzoogle make this abreeze, but there are a number of artists who will just never want to learn how to do their own.
43. BUILD YOUR EMAIL LIST OF SUPER FANS – BY far the best way to monetize your fan baseis to get them all on an email list, grow trust with them, give them lots of free content and thensell them something or PRE-SELL something to them for income.
44. WRITE AND SELL AN E-BOOK – No upfront costs at all. Everyone has a story worth telling, Ihave seen money Artists do this very well and make money at it.
45. DO MEDIA PR FOR OTHER MUSICIANS – Are you a whiz at getting yourself on blogs, podcasts and in print mags? Then do it for others.
46. WRITING BIOS FOR OTHER MUSICIANS – This is an art form, Artists will pay for this, I have!
47. WRITING AD COPY OR WEBSITE TEXT – Also an art form!
48. CREATING EPK’S AND ONE SHEETS – Many of my clients have this need and I farm it all outto one great graphic designer who churns these out and makes bank on them.
49. VIRTUAL ASSISTANT OR ADMIN WORK FOR OTHER ARTISTS – Artists are notorious for being incredibly badly organized. Offer to do royalty paperwork, and organize song catalogues for other artists.
50. DO TAXES AND BOOK KEEPING FOR MUSICIANS – Have you done your own book keepingand taxes for your business since the beginning of time? Take on a couple of monthly clients andget their’s done too – for money!
51. CREATE LYRIC VIDEOS – I would easily pay someone to do this. There is a such a huge needfor lyric videos right now with video content being KING.
52. ADD SUBTITLES TO VIDEOS – I’m currently thinking about hiring someone to do this.
53. INSTRUMENT REPAIR AND SETUP – Many of my gear head friends have started these services from their own home and done well with it. Even though I know my guitar well I’d rathersomeone else who is better than me at messing with it, give it a once over, once a year and keep it in good condition.
54. PHOTOGRAPHY FOR OTHER MUSICIANS – I completely suck at taking my own pics. I would even pay someone to take 100 great insta worthy pics with my own phone if they knew what they were doing.
55. CREATE AND BUILD YOUR YOUTUBE AUDIENCE – Upload legal covers and monetize them through services that do that – give it a google! There are a few out there.
56. BECOME A BRAND SPOKESPERSON – Offset your own costs for clothing or gear by endorsing a brand online.
57. GET PAID TO REVIEW MUSIC GEAR – I don’t know about you but if I”m looking into buyingsome new gear I also go to youtube and watch a number of reviews for different opinions. Theyare popular for a reason, you can get paid for doing them. Also be careful of them for this particular reason and watch lots.
58. PRE-SELL YOUR NEXT SINGLE OR PROJECT – Get your next project out the door by pre-selling it through your own FB Group, IG feed or Website!