Supporting Your Music Financially
Supporting Your Music Financially
There are many ways to support your art. We will cover everything here from full time jobs, to part time jobs, to small side services that you can offer people both online and offline. Some of these are music related and allow you to use your skills for an extra source of revenue. Others are completely non-music jobs that allow you to stay flexible in your schedule and get some cash in to support the bills. We also cover a bit about affiliate programs, including our own that we offer at our company that allows you to eventually have a major passive income stream and do music full time. This is not by any means a comprehensive list of all possible jobs and revenue streams, that would be nearly impossible to compile. These are just some ideas to get you started.
Working full time while working on your music is really the best financial option. It allows you to have a steady flow of a large amount of cash, giving you the ability to put away a good chunk of savings for various music expenses. Having a degree to get higher paying full time jobs is best, so stay in school, it will actually help your music. The same goes for running your own successful business on the side, selling or doing whatever interests you.
We understand working full time can be draining, and can leave little energy for music. You’ll find yourself staying up late producing or practicing, and then performing poorly at your day job. This is just a vicious cycle of being too tired to perform well at either thing. For a lot of you, doing various contract work and part time jobs is a better option.
There are a lot of casual “survival” jobs that you can have on the side, both contracted and independent jobs. With the independent work, these are usually cash jobs that you put up ads for, and there are no guarantees that you’ll get any business. That’s why having an employer, even part-time, that has contracted you in for a certain number of hours is the safest option and the easiest form of money to make your budget with. Here is a list of “Survival Jobs” as we call them. They help you pay your bills while you work on your art.
Dog walking, Pet sitting, Babysitting, Housesitting, Academic Tutor, bartending, driving for Uber/Lyft/etc, fitness instructor/personal trainer, graphic design, resume editing, press kit creation, renting out rooms in your house, retail, sales, massage therapist, web design, virtual assistant, temp work, transcriptionist, studio assistant (some of the biggest managers started sweeping up a recording studio), food delivery (JustEat, UberEats, etc).
These are obviously just a few suggestions. Brainstorm. Think about what you’re interested in or good at. Maybe you love cats and want to groom them on the side. Who knows! Write your own list!
Fiverr – Tons of quick projects
Fiverr.com is a busy marketplace so it will take some time to build up a business here. Getting on the front page requires a five-star rating, and by a lot of customers. Also don’t worry, it may be called Fiverr but most services offer premium services for more money than $5. You can choose whatever price you like, but its best to have tiers to what you offer. Lure them in with the cheapest package, then have a few more options priced in increments above that tier. Make these higher priced services have more value for the customers money. You’ll more often than not sell the higher priced services.
The music section of Fiverr is quite big now. Some popular services that are offered include: Mixing, mastering, production, writing jingles, creating drops, making music for videos or films, being a vocalist, writing lyrics, and recording instrument samples. With Fiverr, if you’re good at something, you can offer it to someone.
There are a ton of non-music services as well on Fiverr. Graphic design, marking, animation, drawing, programming, writing, translating, etc. The list never ends. The busy users on this site often have such a solid lineup of customers waiting that it could even turn into a full-time job.
Selling Sample Packs – As a contractor or business owner
When you start your own sample company you can choose to try and register it with the distribution sites like Beatport, Producer Loops, or Splice. Most are very strict on who is allowed to sell on their stores. You have to have very high-quality samples and demos, often be a registered business, or at least have a registered tax ID. You can also create your own site to sell on. Many website services such as Squarespace offer integrated store features.
Established companies will often hire independent contractors to make sample packs for them if they like their work. Usually this means you make the entire pack and polished demo for them to submit, ready for release. You are applying for a job with these companies so be professional. If you don’t know how to write a good email, check out our previous article on emailing in the music industry. If all goes well with the demo submission, the company will buy it for a few hundred dollars on average. This is great if you are good at pumping out a lot of quick quality music, but not so sustainable if it takes you a whole day to do one track. Remember to do things that give you a good equivalent hourly pay. The quicker you can make quality sample packs, the better the money is.
Don’t stop reading! For some reason, affiliate work has a bad name. It is not a pyramid scheme or MLM program. It is simply you taking a sales job to sell anything that interests you. You sell the product or service for a company and get a commission on it. It is a common misconception that every affiliate program is a bad deal. “I’m just working super hard for hours to make one sale and make a dollar on it?!” NO! Not true! You get to pick the program with terms that you like, just like a job. There are some difficult ones, and some easy ones. That depends on who you are.
What you do need is to be good at no matter what program you choose is putting yourself out there. If you’re shy, spreading the word about anything is going to be difficult. The good news is that affiliate programs are mostly all online and usually don’t require you to talk to anyone face to face or call anyone. All you have to do is use the service or product yourself to really understand it, and then just communicate what it has done for you to anyone that will listen. People like to talk about everything online, so look for posts that are already asking for recommendations related to the thing your selling, then share your experience with them.
If you are looking for an amazing affiliate program in the music industry, check out our own program for Grow With Us. We have researched affiliate programs heavily to make it the best available anywhere, creating it to be closer to a sales job with our company than an affiliate program. Commissions are raised from a starting 10% (higher than most programs already) by performance, you have personal support from us, you get a dashboard for tracking commissions and clients, and you keep the client you bring in for life by receiving commission with every payment they make. The average spending for a customer is on average 3 to 4 figures per month, meaning it doesn’t take many people to make a good amount of extra cash for yourself. With most programs you sell one product, and then it’s over. That person can’t ever buy that product again unless it breaks or they need two. Once people join Grow With Us, they pay in large amounts on a regular basis. With this, your clients will slowly accumulate into a large group of people that you are making some extra revenue off of. Soon, you won’t have to work at all and can focus on your music full time.
Feel free to contact us any time with questions either on Facebook or our email! Also make sure to join our Facebook page, Music Industry Insiders at facebook.com/groups/musicindustryinsider.