Image via Pexels
COVID-19 has put the brakes on many musicians’ careers. It can be tough to imagine how to keep your career afloat with every gig canceled, but there are plenty of ways for musicians to make money while social distancing. Sound Lion Records shares the following guide to help you embrace your entrepreneurial spirit and find new ways to make money while you’re stuck at home.
Earn passive income
If you’ve supported yourself by making, performing, and selling music, then you’re already an entrepreneur. Consider creating a business entity such as a sole proprietorship to earn passive income, as well. What is sole proprietorship? A sole proprietorship is an entity that’s a good option for musicians because it’s easy to set up, inexpensive, gives you control, and has lower tax rates than other business structures.
Once you’ve set up a business, you’re ready to earn some passive income. One way to do this is through affiliate marketing — partnering with and promoting a brand to earn commissions from sales. Start by asking yourself what products you like and can promote. For example, if you usually wear a certain brand of clothing during live streams or videos, consider approaching them. You can do this by submitting a partnership proposal or by joining an affiliate marketing program.
Another great way to earn extra income is to pursue freelancing opportunities. You could leverage your talents to give music lessons, try voice acting, or narrate audiobooks. There are online platforms where you can advertise your services and get new clients. If you’re a songwriter, consider offering songwriting services to other musicians or talk to your agent about selling material. Writing for music blogs is a great way to combine your knowledge of the music industry with your wordsmith skills.
Boost your merch
You don’t have to limit merchandise to a new album or tour, and it can be a worthwhile income stream for independent artists. As long as your merch is relevant to your brand, you can release it at any time. Don’t be afraid to get creative and sell handcrafted items or special-release products. You can even sell branded face masks and hand sanitizers. If you don’t want to sit on an inventory, you can outsource your merch to a print-on-demand company.
Keep building your community
Your fans are your lifeblood. Keep that relationship alive by engaging with and continuing to grow your following. The easiest way to do this is through social media – consider hosting live stream events, online giveaways, or Q&As. If you do monetize your social media accounts, be sure to post quality content, be authentic, and embrace your role as an influencer.
Another way to put yourself out there (and earn some money) is to start a podcast. If you already have a fan base, you’ve won half the battle. All you need to get started is a laptop, a quality microphone, and some stories to tell. You can usually monetize a podcast with as few as 500 weekly listeners. If you’re unsure about how to find sponsors, consider connecting with a podcast ad network.
Although the blackout on live music events has cut off many performers’ largest source of income, there is a silver lining. You can use the opportunity to get serious about creating multiple sources of passive income. Then when you can start performing again, you may be in a better position than you thought possible. Use your creativity, resilience, and entrepreneurial spirit to stick with your music career. Your fans will thank you.