Money-Making Techniques for Musicians When Performing Isn’t an Option

by Courtney Rosenfeld, Guest Author

Photo credit: Pexels

Although every industry has felt the impact of the pandemic, entertainment has been struck particularly hard. Over the last year, performers of all stripes have been unable to practice their craft in public venues. Although restrictions are loosening up as vaccinations are underway, we still may be several months away from safe and lucrative public performance. 

Mage Music shares some ways to make money off of your music when you can’t get out to gigs, as well as how to plan for when things pick back up. Let’s get started: 

Sell Your Services 

Running your own business gives you a way to make money while maintaining the flexibility you need to develop a music career. Thankfully, many musicians have marketable skills they can offer to people looking for practical creative services. For example, you can offer freelance audio editing services to podcasters, businesses, and other musicians. You can also sell subscriptions to video lessons

Starting a business takes some serious research, however, even if it’s just a side gig. Take some time to consider the best structure for your business. Many self-employed people choose to set themselves up as an LLC for the tax advantages and reduced paperwork, although the process can seem overwhelming. Online formation service ZenBusiness streamlines and simplifies the registration process, and you won’t have to worry about filing required paperwork as time goes on, as they automate such tasks and remove the risk of making costly errors. 

You should also do some basic research into how much you need to be saving for taxes. Self-employed people typically set aside a third of their untaxed income so they’re ready when tax season comes around. 

Perform Digitally 

Performing in public isn’t your only option these days — there are plenty of avenues to promote your music online. For example, you can use social media to share clips of your music and build a following. There are also several musician-oriented streaming sites you can use for live online performances. 

Consider collaborating with other artists online, as well. This is a great way to make the most of both audiences while also flexing your creative muscles and discovering a new sound. It could even wind up turning into a long-term collaboration that takes you both further. 

Finally, you can make a career off of your online production, or at least bring in some extra income. Use subscription sites like Podia to generate income from your digital work. Followers can pay small amounts each month to thank you for your work and, if you have enough supporters, that figure adds up, fast. This is where the social media work we talked about above really pays off since dedicated followers are far more likely to interact with payment services than new ones. 

Plan for Re-entry 

We are in the process of opening back up. Do you have a post-pandemic plan? If not, now is the time to make one. Start by reaching out to local bars, cafes, and other venues to see who is starting to schedule gigs. Since many of these venues will be on the hunt for performers, this could be your chance to get your foot in the door. 

If you haven’t done so already, now is the perfect time to record an LP to show venues your work without dealing with an in-person audition. Take some time to think about your best songs or covers and showcase them on a short album. You can also look into making one or more music videos, which can make you more attractive to venues and boost your social media standing. 

It’s been a tough year, but we’re approaching the finish line. We’ll be performing live again before we know it. In the meantime, we hope these tips help you generate income and reach your goals. 

Love to sing and perform? Contact Mage Music today to book a lesson! (661) 279-6800

Courtney Rosenfeld is an author and creator of the website, where readers can learn more about the gig economy.