Pre note: In this article we look at three main strategies to make money from your music career: How to make money from giving out free downloads (Short term), how to make money from gigging (Medium term) and how to make money from royalty collections (Long term). This is a potentially life changing post. It should change the way you think about your music career, and give you the steps to turn it from a hobby into something that actually makes you money. Please make sure you read it from start to finish then put into action what you’ve learned. You may want to bookmark it for easy reference in the future, and share it with fellow independent musicians. But anyhow, let’s get started…
Today I thought I’d do something a little different. A lot of the guides we’ve written here over the last few months have turned out to be full resources allowing you to progress in certain areas of the music industry. What’s more, all of these guides have been free. While we aim to continue helping anyone doing independent music, we do realise there are other people out there that also help up and coming musicians. Some of these people have covered subjects we haven’t yet covered in full, so it’s definitely worth reading a few different sites to get as much advice as possible.
In order to offer you a fuller resource and help you further your music career, today we’ve listed four different music websites that we feel will help grow you as an all round musician / business person. If you know of any other good music advice websites, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.
You should by now know that it’s not easy to make it in music. There’s no doubt that you’ve got to put the work in to succeed as an independent musician, and anyone not willing to do that may as well give up now. Some people spend years working hard before they start to see some sort of decent profit, some people put in that time but never get to that stage at all.
So does working hard mean you’ll end up succeeding in music? The simple answer is no, as you can see it doesn’t. What’s important however is you understand why working hard alone doesn’t mean your music career will be a success, and what you can do to increase your chances of succeeding.
Getting your music career to take off can be a timely process. You have to work your way up through the ranks, proving yourself to possess the skills and talent required to be a success along the way. Most people don’t get signed by a major record label as soon as they post their first video on YouTube, and it can often be a good while till you start getting the recognition and sales you deserve. Because of this, it’s essential you don’t make that process any slower then it has to be. Working efficiently will mean you achieve your goals a lot quicker, and often save money on the way. Here are five tips that will allow you to be more efficient in your independent music career.
It seems like less and less people are succeeding with their music career. And I know the meaning of the word success can mean different things to different people, but lots of talented musicians simply aren’t reaching their full potential. Have you ever seen an act so talented you couldn’t work out why they hadn’t done more? Or seen a band that outshone their mainstream alternatives yet haven’t been swooped up by a label?
While there are many reasons a musician may not reach their full potential, there is one reason that continues to hold back many a talented musician: The lack of the right mentality!
Like many musicians, I’m sure at some point you’ve dreamed about making it big. To have unlimited adoring fans, enough money to live the life you’ve always wanted, and to carry on doing what you enjoy; making the music you love! This is a natural dream for all starting out musicians, though it’s not always as easy as that…
In all honesty, only a very small percentage of people make a worthwhile wage from their music. The majority of musicians unfortunately don’t break even, spending money pressing up CDs that don’t end up selling. I’m not saying that their CDs aren’t worth buying (Although some of them probably aren’t), a lot of people just don’t know what to do once they have their music on the shelves. Humans aren’t naturally sales people after all…
Independent Music Advice has today teamed up with fellow music website Music Think Tank to write a post on Why All Musicians Need To Have The Business Know How (Please check out the post and leave your views in the comments section of the site). As you may know, we here at Independent Music Advice feel strongly that all musicians should learn the business aspect of the music industry. Having talent and waiting for a record label to come and sign you up is a dying strategy at best, and one I’d never suggest for anyone to use! Due to the changing structure of the music industry, a more pro-active approach is required to break through all the noise and make your music career a successful one. Record labels are more likely to sign someone who has already proven themselves in their chosen genre, rather then someone who has talent but hasn’t build up their fan base yet. This means you need to have a ton of fans before a record label would even consider signing you, and without the ‘music business know how’ there’s very little chance you’ll get those fans.
One thing I’ve noticed, is that a lot of people take the term being independent too literally. They think that just because they don’t have to rely on a record label, they don’t need help from anyone other then themselves and their group members. But with the truth is, everyone will need help sooner or later. Unless you’re very lucky, there’s a lot of work you’ll need to be doing as an independent musician, often too much for one person.
My stance has always been the same: You need to learn to do everything by yourself, but understand you can’t do it all on your own.
What I mean by that is this; while it’s important to learn the music business inside out, you need to realise it isn’t possible to put together all the factors needed for success by yourself. You need to learn how the music industry works and what needs to be done to progress in it, but no one person would have the time to implement all the needed components without help.
As I’m sure you’re aware, talent alone doesn’t determine how successful you are in you music career. There could be two largely identical musicians, both with similar styles, image, and budget. Yet one of them could end up playing to audiences of thousands of screaming fans, the other could end up playing bedroom sets to them and their mates. But why is this?
Well to be honest, there are many factors that could make this happen, but today we’re going to look at just the one: Who you’re making music for.
So who are you making for? This one question will determine your decision making through your whole career. You’re either making music for yourself, or your making it for your audience / potential audience. When you make music for yourself, you make songs exactly as you want them, regardless of feedback of any sort. You have tunnel vision, and as long as you like the music you’re making, nothing else matters. However, when you make songs for your audience, feedback is very important. You make music you personally like, but you’re also open to constructive criticism and making your songs better. Which of the two sound better to you?