If you’ve been reading Music Industry How To for even a few months, chances are you know it’s possible to make a full time income as an independent musician. I’ve previously shown you 5 musicians earning a full time income and how they’ve gone about doing that, and given plenty of tips on how you too can achieve something similar.
Today though I want to show you 10 more musicians who are supporting themselves and their families off the back of their music careers. This is yet more proof that you don’t need to be on a record label to see success as a musician, and with the right knowledge you can push things forward a lot yourself. I hope this site goes a long way in helping you obtain that knowledge. 🙂
If you find this information useful and want more ideas and training on how you too can earn a full time income from your music, remember you can trail my Full Time Musician training for only $5 here.
So, let’s get into it. P.S. If you want to download a free ebook version of this article, you can get it by using one of the below social sharing buttons:
10 Musicians Earning A Living From Music
I recently (read ‘yesterday’) stumbled upon a guide by Ari Herstand over on Digital Music News.
In this guide he gets in contact with 10 full time musicians, and asks them a series of questions related to their income and how they’ve achieved that.
The article is quite long, so I’ll summarize it here for those that want all the most important parts relatively quickly. If you want to see the full guide however, you can see it here.
It’s important for me to mention that all of the people Ari interviewed were independent musicians at the time of writing this. A few of them have previously been signed in some manner (e.g. Ron Pope has had two singles released through Universal Republic in the past), but they are all currently independent. This is to show you that you too can achieve these levels of income and success. These people started out in the same situation as you and they’ve built up their fanbase and income. You can too. Read on for more details.
The Main Source Of Income For These Musicians
So how are the above mentioned full time musicians making a income from their music? Well, it varies. While the initial 5 musicians I looked at mostly made their money from gigging, Ari’s bunch have gone a number of different paths. Some of the ways they earn include:
- Gigging. This is both in the form of performing the shows, door money and making money from merch sales.
- Sales of their music. A few of these musicians mention iTunes is a big income source for them. You can get your music on iTunes by following this simple guide.
- Music streams. The first artist covered has made over $100,000 in one year from music, and his second largest income stream is Spotify.
- Songwriting. As in writing songs for other musicians to use.
- Music synchronization. Some of these musicians are making a side income from getting their music in TV shows and the like, while for others it’s their main stream of income. You can learn more about music sync and music licensing here.
- Studio work for others. Some work on other people’s projects, playing instruments or lending to their music in other ways.
- Teaching. Surprisingly, teaching is only a big part of one of these musician’s income. Dan Collins earns 50% of his income from his teaching efforts. I’ve previously showed how teaching can be a good source of income for those with the knowledge, but most of these 10 have found other ways to earn their money.
There are also a few other ways which these musicians earn, but these are the bulk of them.
What We Can Learn From This
One thing that stands out for me when looking at how these musician make money, is the variety of ways in which they do it. There are 10 musicians who have been interviewed, and there are more than 10 different ways in which they earn a income.
This shouldn’t be a surprise though; as the saying goes, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat!” Not that that I condone animal cruelty or anything. 🙂
When it comes to earning from music, what works for one person may not work for another. For example, Dane Schmidt used to make a lot of his money from touring. After he got ‘burnt out’ though, he switched his area of focus, and now makes the majority of his money from sync and iTunes.
Just because someone you know is making money from doing one thing, if you feel it’s not for you, you don’t necessarily have to do it. I would suggest you give everything a try for at least a few months to see what you think of it and to see if you can personally make it work. At the end of the day though, you need to do what works best for you.
Yes you want to earn a income from music, but you also make music because you enjoy it. Along the way you may need to do things that slightly detour from your original dream, but you shouldn’t have to do anything you really don’t enjoy. After all, there are always other paths you can take.
Now It’s Your Turn
There you have it, 10 full time musicians, and how they’re making their money. The reasons why Ari initially covered this topic and the reason why I’ve summarized his article above is because we want to show you that it is possible to earn from music, and it’s not something that’s out of your reach. With enough talent and the right business actions, you too can earn money from your music.
If you want help finding a path to doing this, you may want to check out my Full Time Musician course. I’ve teamed up with Ches Christian, another full time musician, to deliver this training. In it you’ll find tips and advice on some of the things you can do to start earning from your music. We also show you how to get in the right mindset to make this all possible, and we give you proven templates to start getting shows and more.
You can trial this training for just $5, so if you want to start earning from your music, you’ll probably want to check it out.
So, what’s your personal view on earning a full time living from your music? You you believe it’s possible? Feel free to discuss in the comments section below. And thanks to Ari for writing such a great guide originally.