Alternate Revenue for Musicians
Musicians Can Generate Side Revenue With These Resources by Charlie Sunday (guest writer)
If you’re a musician looking for additional revenue streams, you’re in luck. There are plenty of great options for earning money if you know where to look. In fact, there are lots of resources online these days for those who are creative, especially if you’re open to jobs that aren’t necessarily musical in nature. You might even start a small business of your own to generate some income while you look for something more long-term. Trust Love Music has a few ideas.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Starting a business requires some planning, but there are so many tools available for entrepreneurs now that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Think about your skillset and come up with a few business ideas you might be interested in, such as:
● Giving music lessons online or via Zoom.
● Repairing instruments.
● Learning an additional skill like playing keyboard, guitar, bass, ukulele.
● Offering DJ services.
● Performing at weddings and other events
● Becoming a busker, or traveling musician.
The American Music Therapy Association suggests learning about becoming a music therapist to help individuals affected by trauma or brain injuries. Once you have a good idea of the direction you’d like to go in, set up a simple, informative website and think about how you can make the most of your new income.
Choosing the right business entity will provide some tax benefits, which is a great start. If you set up a sole proprietorship, you’ll report all your business income (and losses) on your personal tax return for lower rates. Look into how to start an LLC in California. The process typically takes three steps: choosing a name, filing for an EIN, and obtaining any required licenses or insurance. Each state has specific requirements for its LLCs, and California requires you to file Articles of Organization, Statement of Information, and a California operating agreement.
Create a Brand
While you’re running your business, you can also work on creating a brand for your music. Get your name out there by setting up live stream performances online, making a YouTube channel where you can post original content, and selling merchandise. Music Gateway notes that you can also create accounts on TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter to engage with new and old fans alike.
If you’re short on content to add to your YouTube or social media channels, you can record music lessons, podcasts, and demos. Also, you can create a unique and memorable logo by utilizing an online logo design tool. Choose from predesigned templates and customize by adding your own colors, images, and font. The more you put into your brand, the easier it will be to branch out and start earning from other sources.
Hire Out Your Services
Once you’ve established a good amount of content online that showcases your talents, think about hiring out your skills to other musicians. Writing songs, recording backup vocals, playing as a session musician, and even creating artwork or videos for your peers are all great ways to earn some extra money. If you’re familiar with the way things are done in the music industry, you might even think about offering your services as a booking agent for local bands.
You can also consider being a touring musician. You can join a band that tours, travel on your own, or sub in for other bands. In order to begin this aspect of your career, you will need to have a demo recorded so that you can promote yourself with bands or ensembles you are interested in joining. Being a touring musician can pay well if you’re able to keep up with and adapt to different musicians and styles.
Look at Your Options
Don’t forget that there are lots of money-making options available that aren’t necessarily directly connected to music. Many musicians are all-around creative people, so put your skills to work as a freelancer and write for a blog or magazine, or sign up to be a narrator or voice actor for sites that record books. Do some research to find out which tools you need at home if you’re considering a voice acting career.
If you have a great eye and a nice camera, become a freelance photographer for local businesses or media publications. If you’re a skilled typist with a good ear for accents, you might find work as a transcriptionist. There are several freelance options available these days that allow you to work from home on your own time, so if you’re looking for something flexible, check out one of these fields.
Earning extra money as a musician doesn’t have to be a stressful process. With the right tools at home, you can branch out and find new ways to supplement your income while still making time to be creative. Consider all of your options, whether it’s giving lessons, becoming a traveling musician, or trying your hand at voice acting. No matter what you choose, just choose something you’ll enjoy.