If your goal is to make money from your talent as a musical artist, know that there are tons of different ways that you can earn a living in the industry. One of the biggest mistakes artists make is thinking that the only way to make it is to sign a major-label deal. But major label deals don’t guarantee success and there are so few people who end up getting signed. This is why you should have a plan B, C, or D, even if you are already signed. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can make money in the music industry.
Sell Your Music Independently
Let’s start with the most direct revenue stream you can set up. Being an independent artist is easier than ever, and if you feel like you have the marketing and business skills to run your own label, now could be the perfect time to start one.
One of the most important things you must do before you start your label is assemble a good team around you. You will need a financial advisor, a few producers if you don’t produce your music, an entertainment lawyer, and an accountant. You will also have to know what it takes to get your music on all the top streaming platforms.
Become a Writer
All artists should at least try to learn how to write, period. If you want to make money as a recording artist and constantly have to rely on writers, you will lose a good chunk of your royalties. And, if you can’t get signed as a main artist, being a good writer could still allow you to get work.
Not everyone knows this, but writers are some of the most well-paid and respected artists in the industry. If you manage to get good enough to win an award like the ASCAP, then you could start getting phone calls from major artists. This means that you could eventually earn royalties on records that will play internationally.
So, we would suggest that you consider following some sort of course on writing. It could also be a good idea to start looking at writing rooms and studios. Places like PIRATE, for instance, provide the perfect space for creation. You’ll have a full suite of instruments so you can work on arrangements and ideas. Not only that, but their studios are open 24/7 so you can go whenever you feel the creative itch.
Become a Backup Singer/Dancer
Another option could be to work as a backup dancer or singer. A lot of people are great singers but are missing one element that would make them interesting to record companies. Great singers will always have people who are willing to hire them as backup singers if they’re ready to do the work, however. This is where having a good agent will help. You have to go with someone who isn’t focused mainly on breaking recording artists. You have to work with someone who is involved with backup singers and Broadway productions too. You’d be surprised at how many gigs you could land if you have the talent, as well as how much money you could make.
If dancing is part of your act and you feel your vocals are what’s lacking, then you could look for backup dancer gigs instead. Not only will this allow you to stay busy, but it could allow you to get your foot in the door and grab the attention of music executives. And, if you don’t think this can happen, you should know that people like Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, and even Mariah Carey all started their careers as dancers.
The most important thing is getting in front of the right people. Once you start being recognized, getting executives to listen to you and believe in your talent will be much easier.
If you are extremely talented as a singer or musician, then you could also give classes to people. People are ready to pay top dollar to be trained by a professional, and this is a field that will allow you to work as your own boss. You could decide to give individual classes or teach whole groups. You could even go a step further and go to school so you can become an actual music teacher.
Another alternative could be to release an online course on a site like Masterclass or Udemy. The best thing about online courses is that you only have to create them once and then you can sell them over and over. This could provide you with a nice source of passive income for years.
As you can see, there are tons of ways that you can earn a good living in the music business. Keep your options open and don’t rush into signing a deal you might regret for the rest of your life.