How to Make a Living as a Musician (and Grow a Fan Base)

Despite all of Hollywood’s success stories, getting “discovered” isn’t as simple as it sounds. Hard work is part of the equation for most artists; here, Rude Girl Radio explains how to make a living off your passion for music, no luck necessary.

Become a Business-Minded Professional

Music may be an industry where guidelines are guesswork, and the “right” thing could be many things. Yet some standard business advice still makes sense even for creatives. From shaping your creativity into a brand to formalizing paperwork, taking your art seriously is an essential step.

Formalizing your musical endeavors into a business structure is often the best move. Forming an LLC is affordable using an online formation service, and the benefits include limited liability, tax perks, and flexibility. On a similar note, filing taxes as a musician can be complicated, as Turbo Tax details, but deductions for expenses could help you stretch your budget further.

Depending on your talent and goals, pursuing an agent might be on your to-do list. Though forming connections in the industry can happen through various mediums, an agent could fast-track your career development. A professional agent has relationships with venues, brands, and artists, explains Berklee College, but finding the right person to work with is the key to success.

Dedicate Time to Networking

Networking is crucial in most industries, with 80 percent of professionals saying they can’t be successful without it. Whether online or in person, networks help you find support, gain visibility, and even make better decisions. Finding new contacts is one way to network, while reconnecting with old acquaintances is another option.

Connecting with people you’ve lost touch with is as easy as using an online search engine for high school graduates in Atlanta. Quick results let you reach out and rekindle relationships, both business and personal.

Take on Gigs (of All Sizes)

Your goal in music might be to land a record deal or a high-profile partnership. To get there, it makes sense to dive right into the industry. Freelance work can land you paid gigs and help build a network of acquaintances who might lead you to bigger names in the industry.

There’s another important piece of the equation when working gigs: your brand. Being professional, prompt, and positive with everyone you interact with goes a long way toward building a positive reputation.

Personal branding should also extend to your media— your website, social media, and any marketing or promotional materials should align with your goals. Something as simple as a flier could help you make connections and schedule gigs.

Invest in Business Cards

It might seem old-fashioned, but business cards remain an excellent way to share your information. Handing someone a physical calling card makes a lasting impression, and you can personalize business cards to match your style and branding.

It’s unclear what the precise impact of business cards is on a company, but some sources claim they can boost sales. For a DJ or musician, putting your name out there is worth investing in printing business cards. There are several digital business card options out there as well.

Sell Music Products Online

Whether you’re a DJ, musician, or singer-songwriter, there are countless ways to sell music. Digital music downloads are one way to put music in fans’ hands and earn an income, but thinking outside the CD can boost your earnings and visibility.

Consider creating and selling music products like custom song lyrics, music classes, and tutorials. Or, monetize social media and attract fans with dance videos, challenges, and merchandise. If you grow a large following on TikTok, for example, you may receive sponsorship offers to promote other artists’ work or branded products.

Collaborate Whenever Possible

Collaboration takes networking a step further. Tunedly endorses collaboration as a way to learn new things, grow your audience, and lift up the music community as a whole. Approaching others with a collaboration pitch could benefit you both, even if you have different styles or fanbases.

Music may be a unique product, but managing your art as a business can pay off. From printing business cards to expanding your network and building relationships, there are countless ways to get your work in front of an audience and grow as an artist.

By Dj RootsQueen

Executive Dj

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