If you’ve been reading Music Industry How To for any amount of time, you will know we’re all about teaching you how to make money with your music. Yes we do give tips and advice on how to improve your music in terms of talent, but we also put a strong emphasis on monetizing your music career and getting paid for your art. After all, if you’re blessing people’s life with a good quality service, why shouldn’t you get paid for it?
While there are a lot of ways to make money from your music, there are a few that I’ve seen work better then others for independent musicians. Yes selling your music as digital downloads on your website is a good idea, but today I want to look at more then just that. So here are a few cool ways to make money from your music career. Once you’re done, be sure to look at how to keep the money you make too.
Make Money From Performing Live Gigs
Yes, I know. Gigging and performing live shows is nothing new. Having said that, most musicians aren’t doing it right. The thing is, performing gigs can be a great way of bringing money in for musicians, IF they know how to make money from them that is.
There are a number of ways to make money from gigs. First of all, you can get paid directly for the gig. If you’re an up and coming independent musician, then this may not always be achievable. A lot of venues and event organizers will only pay musicians that can draw in a crowd, while independent musicians are often looking to play the show to get new fans.
If you can get paid gigs, that’s all very well and good. If you are approaching venues expecting to get paid but no one is hiring you, no worries. There are other ways to make money from each gig.
When you have a live show, you should always bring copies of your CDs with you. Think about it: You’re about to perform to a room full of people, who may end up talking to you. These people are on a night out, so are likely to have some disposable income in their pockets. You can let your audience know you will be coming round with CDs after, and offer them copies when the show is over.
If you impress them with your performance and say the right words, there’s a good chance that a number of them will bite. 1 in 10 people you approach buying a CD from you is not an unrealistic goal if you put on a good show, so make sure you go around after and offer your CD.
The amount of people that end up buying will also depend on the type of event you play at. Some events (E.G. Raves) are harder to sell at, as the people are often there to dance and drink a lot. Most of their money will probably be going to drinks and their journey home, so you’ll have a harder sell on your hand. Certain other types of events however are a lot easier. We talk about this strategy a lot more in the Academy, so check it out if you want to know how to perfect this technique.
I’ve had a lot of students doing well with this method, so definitely give it a try.
A final way to make money through gigs, is via royalty collection.
Collecting Music Royalties
Royalties are monies that are paid to you for use of your music in a public place. Not only can you earn royalties from performing your music at a public event, but you can also earn them from having your songs played on radio, having your song played at an event even when you’re not there, getting your music videos played on TV, and having your music appear on someone else’s release.
Many musician don’t know it’s possible for them to collect royalties when their music is played. It’s often easy to be excited about having your song played on that station or having that DJ play your music. But while that’s all well and good, if you can get paid at the same time as getting exposure, why not do so?
Relating back to making money from gigs, each time you perform at a licensed venue, you can officially claim royalties. This means that as well as the venue paying you (If they do) and you making sales of your CDs, you can also make money from just showing up and performing to the audience.
A combination of these three things is ideal to maximize the amount of money you make, but even if you only do the last two, you’re guaranteed to make money each time you gig.
Even if you don’t want to do gigging for whatever reason, you can still collect royalties whenever your song is played in a public venue or event, and when your music is played on radio or TV. Even smaller music channels are legally obliged to pay royalties, so make sure you are registered with a royalty collection company to ensure you don’t miss out on money.
There are companies such as PRS (UK) and BMI (US) that can track and collect royalties for you, so sign up and use them to bring an extra source of revenue to your music career. We talk a lot more about royalty collection and how to make money in this way in our step by step course.
How To Make Money With Music Conclusion
While there are other ways to also make money from your music, these are two largely over looked methods that I feel are important. If you’re not already making guaranteed money from gigging or collecting royalties from your song plays, you need to start doing both of these things right away.
If you’re shy about gigging, I advise you to practice and get used to it. Gigs are one of the ways many Academy members have started making money from their music careers, so I suggest you try it out too.
Have you experienced any break through methods of making money from your music career? If so, please share them in the comments section below so other people can learn from your experiences.