Looking to make money in the music industry?
Then you better throw away your preconceived notions and open up your mind, because it doesn’t always come from places you think it should, when you think it should.
The good news? You can definitely make more money in music. The bad news? You might have to change, grow, learn new skills, and build more connections.
We’ve already looked at how much money you can make from music, now here’s what it takes to make money in the music industry. So forget watching television during practice houses, instead focus on getting your music on TV!
Making Money From Music Takes An Openness To New Opportunities
So much has been said about the need to focus and why you should say “no” to more people, more often.
And yet, Grant Cardone, in his book The 10X Rule, suggests that we should say “yes” to everything until we get to the point where we absolutely have to say no!
I’ve been teaching guitar for about 13 years now, but in 2013, I decided not to go back to teaching. I wanted to re-brand myself and focus on online marketing.
This actually put me in a bit of a tight spot financially, and about nine months later in spring 2014, when I was given the opportunity to fill in for a guitar teacher who just had a baby, I jumped at the chance.
Since then, I’ve been hired on by a local music store to teach once or twice per week, and I substitute for multiple teachers several times per month.
Here’s the thing; I’ve had a love-and-hate relationship with music instruction, but believe me when I say I’m all in today. It has proven to be a great source of income over the long haul, and until I can replace it, I’m going to keep on teaching.
Likewise, there may be some things that you really don’t enjoy doing, but still pay you a good amount of money.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could stop on a dime, re-brand yourself, and suddenly be just a sound engineer, just a songwriter, or just a guitarist?
I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t work that way. People’s minds will not change easily once they’ve lumped you into a certain category. Therefore, you have to go to where the work is.
What does the world want from you? Pay attention to that, because that’s where you can add and receive the greatest value.
You Can’t Make Money From Music Without A Willingness To Learn New Skills
On my blog, I’ve listed 16 different ways I’ve made money in the music industry. There are literally dozens if not hundreds of ways to make money in the industry, but the reality is that most never pursue more than two or three.
I have a lot of income sources that have absolutely nothing to do with recording or performing, from renting out rehearsal spaces and freelance blogging to online marketing and landing page development.
I’ve had to learn a lot of skills along the way, because I know that no one is more invested in my own dreams than I am. I’ve learned to write songs, produce, engineer, code websites, design graphics, write content, draw and color illustrations, run marketing campaigns, and more.
In fact, I just learned another new skill in the last couple of weeks. I already know my way around website platforms like WordPress, Movable Type and Joomla! pretty well, but in addition to that, I just picked up how to use Bootstrap to develop landing pages. My knowledge and experience keeps on growing in different areas.
And you might think that I live in the music capitol of the world, but I don’t live in Nashville or Boston, and although I do live in Canada, I don’t even live in Vancouver (“Hollywood North”), or Toronto. I’m in Calgary, Alberta, where musicians daily complain about the lack of opportunity, a supportive scene and the ability to be seen and heard.
Take from this what you will, but sometimes you really do have to take the lemons you’ve got and do something creative with them!
A Willingness To Work Harder Than You Think You Need To
Most entrepreneurs I know don’t chase an illusion most of us call “balance”.
It’s a false concept, really, because if you had balance in your life, that would mean that you’re kind of okay at a lot of things, but not great at any one of them.
You would probably be in debt, because the average person is. You would probably watch five to six hours of TV every night, because the average person does. You probably wouldn’t read too many books outside of school, because the average person doesn’t.
Napoleon Hill says:
There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.
What many people tend to miss is the burning desire part. If you had a burning desire for something, wouldn’t you go after it with everything you had?
The long of the short of it is that, in music, you’re going to have to wear many different hats. You’re going to have to do things you don’t want to do. You’re going to have to give up some things so you can go after others. You’re going to have to meet a lot of people. There’s just no way around it.
The mistake most people make is not that they sacrifice their relationships and health on the alter of short-term productivity. It’s that they try to negotiate a shortcut where none exist!
There’s so much more I wish I could say here, but there just isn’t enough time or space.
If there’s anything I could add, it would be that you need to meet people. I’m not saying that I’m the best networker in the world. I was painfully shy for most of my teens and early 20s. I’ve “lucked into” a lot of great connections and relationships, though there is something to be said for being in the right place at the right time.
What are you not doing right now that people are demanding of you? What opportunities have you pushed aside because you think they are “beneath” you? I would encourage you to take a second look at those things, because they might end up being the key to making more money in the music industry.