Turn Your Musical Talent Into A Business
Here are some tips that can help you create revenue doing what you love to do most:
Yes! Let’s make it official!
Create a business name and register it as an LLC or an S-Corp, find an accountant you trust and have them walk you through what works best for your situation and the benefits.
Open a business bank account and use it for all your expenses and income in relation to your music career.
Upload your music tracks onto paid streaming platforms, invest in the best distribution company that works for you and turn your streams into money. Submit to have your music on playlists such as on Spotify, to increase your exposure which not only boosts your streams but could also potentially grow your fanbase.
Once your music is on streaming platforms you are going to want to direct music enthusiasts to listen. You have to sell your music just like you would sell any physical product. Let your followers know about your music and where to find it.
IMPORTANT - make it easy for followers to find your music, such as creating a link in your bio. Do not ask them to search for you because most likely they won't.
Gain more streams by staying consistent, work your product. Drop music, video teasers, clips. Don't let the listeners forget about you and your brand. Engaging in social media will help you gain more listeners, comment & respond to posts, ask engaging questions in your captions, and don't forget spreading love will always get you farther than spreading hate.
It will take years for you to see any real money in streams and once you start receiving your royalty checks you'll realize an artist cannot rely solely on streams. Don't get discouraged, a bigger return on your investment will be merchandise. A great way to capitalize on your profits is by using a dropshipping company. Dropshipping is an order fulfillment method that does not require physical inventory. A third-party supplier takes the order creates it and then ships the order to the customer, passing the profits straight to you, without any out of pocket expenses. Find the right dropshipping company for you that fits your needs and wants, and creates the type of products you want available to your listeners. You could also create your own merchandise whether its clothes or collectables and have physical inventory to sell at hand at events or shows. Having both options is useful and capitalizes on your sales.
Shows and Events
I might have to come back to this section and update it if we never go back to normal from covid being that shows and events are cancelled especially in popular cities such as my beloved NYC. It is truly hurting artists and event planners because a big chunk of your income will come from shows. I have hope we will return to a semi normal life so I will still discuss my tips for this and also some ideas for the time being.
Most artist get their first time stage experience from open mics, they are free and the vibes are usually very receptive to new music being that everyone in the audience is there to experience new music and/or support a local artist of their own. This environment makes it easier to get your feet wet with performing. This is also a great way to capture footage to use on social media to promote future performances.
Once you have your performing down packed and you have a good amount of followers, its time to book shows. The best deals to start off are low ticket sale shows Low ticket sale shows are show in which you are required to sell for example 10 tickets at $10. The set time is usually enough for 2-3 songs so make sure you have a performance set that will captivate the audience and leave them wanting more.
Selling tickets as an underground artist is not easy, it takes a lot of hard work but the key is to not give up. For every business it takes time to see profits and sales and your music is no different. Keep engaging, keep posting, keep creating, keep pushing, keep working on your dreams, your consistency will pay off and you will grow your audience.
Covid Shows - For now shows are limited due to covid restrictions and the social responsibility we have to each other. One way to still have shows and work on your performances is live streaming. It is not as profitable as a live show, but it will get your music heard, it will grow your audience, and it will help you practice performing. Create a background, make sure your sound is good BEFORE you go on live, and make sure to promote it at least a week in advance. Save the video and post it to allow those who didn't get to catch you live to watch.
One way to make up for the loss of ticket sales is to provide a digital payment method for viewers to be able to donate or tip during the live performances.
A website is like the home for your brand. Everything can be found in one place, your music, your social media, your merchandise and your tour dates.
Find a website provider that works for you and either create your own or hire a professional. If you don't know where to start checkout Fiverr.com, it's a great resource to find freelance services that can help you and your branding needs such as your website.
You don't have to do this alone, although you may chose to, it's always best when you create a team of people who WANT to help you or can contribute greatly to your business. It doesn't have to be a huge team it could be your as small as hiring your best friend to help record you during shows. You will know who and what you need, people that can help you do the tasks that you can't.
You also will need supporters, people who will not only buy tickets but will come to your shows. People who will wear your merchandise to shows and on a regular basis, helping to spread your brand. Again, consistency will be your key to gain supporters.
Don't Give Up
Starting any business can be extremely difficult. There will be triumphs and failures, there will be believers and non believers, there will be sweat, there might be some tears, there will be hope and sometimes the lack of it but the only way to overcome it all is to not give up. If this is what you are good at, and it's what you want to do, it's what makes you happy, then why not give it your all. You can turn any talent into a business and create income from it, not overnight it takes work, but it is much more satisfying when the product you are pushing is your own work, your own art.
Working on your dreams is not easy, but it is fulfilling.