A lot of people who start making music have no idea how to make a living from the songs they create. That’s a big mistake…
We often hear that money is the sinews of war and it’s quite true. In a war, it’s often the one who has no money left who loses it. It’s logical, if a country doesn’t have enough money to make weapons and ammunition, it doesn’t have enough money to fight.
This analogy can be applied to music making because your most important asset in life is your time. Indeed, if you are passionate about music, it will take time to make it, and that time will come from the money your music will generate.
Your time is therefore dependent on your money. The famous “Time is Money”.
This adage is often half understood. We often think that losing time is losing money, and vice versa. This is quite true, but it is also important to know that not having money means not having time to do what you like because you will have to find this money elsewhere and surely in an activity that has nothing to do with music.
When you are a teenager and you have a lot of time to work on your music, it’s because your parents are there to bring the necessary money to the family. You have the time they don’t have, but when it’s your turn to earn your own money, if you don’t earn it with your music, you’ll have to earn it with another activity and most of your time will be spent on that.
Having the energy and time to make music after a hard day at work is frankly not easy and it is even worse when you have a family to manage.
Unfortunately, many people give up their music career when they realize that they no longer have the time and energy to devote to it.
So don’t wait until you’re good at music to think about how to make a living out of it. You need to think about it early in your career.
Why should you do that? To have a clear strategy on who to target, how to show your music, what to say to potential buyers and to be clear that your music is for sale.
Don’t just put your tracks online and let people guess that they are there to be sold because the majority of them won’t guess it at all…
And chances are they won’t even try to find it out…
So be clear about what the final purpose of your tracks is. Not just for you, but also for your audience.
Then, you are in a very interesting time because you have several ways to make money from your music.
First, if you want to have a career as an artist and/or performer, the simplest is streaming. Here I’m not talking about soundcloud or ReverbNation but about streaming platforms like Deezer, Spotify, Amazon Music, Tidal and so on. It’s crazy to imagine that you can make money when your audience listens to your music on these platforms. Why not take advantage of it? You’ll need a little bit of money at first to pay an distributor and put your music online, but you don’t get anything for nothing.
You can then create entire tracks without voices or melodies and put them for sale for performers who want to launch their careers. For example, the concept of “Beats” is very popular but it is often aimed at rappers. Nothing prevents you from making instrumental music in other genres than rap.
It is also possible, if your songs interest, that artists contact you to make them original and exclusive music for a 3, 4 or even 5 figures rate!
You also have the possibility to make packs of samples or loops for sale. It’s a good way to earn your living and free up time for your music because the packs are sold automatically on the internet.
Without forgetting online music libraries where you can sell your music to media creators; often video creators. The only difficulty is that your tracks will pass a selection to be put on sale on the site so expect to have a few tracks refused but on the other hand these sites are very popular and will give a good visibility to your music.
You will find dozens of sites that offer to sell your music or sample packs online such as Pond5, Audio Jungle, PremiumBeat, Artlist for the most famous. This, of course, for a commission.
Other sites offer you to create a sales space where you will have an absolute control on what you put there like BandCamp to sell your music, or Gumroad to sell just about anything you want in digital products. Of course, these sites take a commission on the sales, but nothing prevents you from creating your own website for that purpose
In any case, you’ll have to promote what you have to sell on your social networks and also, you’ll have to produce a lot of music to sell to hope living only from it. When I say a lot, I’m talking about hundreds of tracks and dozens of packs. It’s a very competitive market and to get visibility, you’ll have to produce a lot.
Another way to make money with your music is to give courses to create music or consulting to improve the music of creators like you. Of course, you will need some expertise to do this, but by doing music, you will definitely get it.
And finally, you can think of a way to make a living from one or more sources of income that have nothing to do with music but that doesn’t take up much of your time either. This can be courses, consulting or digital products on another discipline that you master and that you can sell automatically.
There is also the sale of physical products online but if you can’t afford to pay someone to do it for you, you will spend a lot of time developing your products or searching wholesale websites to sell them on the internet. It will be a perpetual race to find a good product and therefore less time to make your music.
So, keep in mind that if you want to have time to make your music, you have to find a way to make money for it, either directly from your music or through an activity that makes you live without taking all your time.
I hope this article will be useful to you.
See you soon.
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