It can be a daunting and undeniably scary task to make a living as an artist. However, in our tech-savvy contemporary world, there are tons of easily accessible tools for the indie musician to utilize in their aspiration of self-sufficiency. Ideally, the modern indie artist should be progressive and creative in the ways they create a profit. There are a variety of ways to make money as an independent musician- you just need to be open-minded and understand your revenue can come from an assortment of places. The beautiful aspect of being an indie artist is the freedom you have- you are in complete control of your revenue! However, it’s imperative to maintain responsibility when handling your finances as an independent artist. Read below to reveal five ideas to monetize your work as a songwriter.
Utilize social media
Create a website for your branding as a singer/songwriter and utilize Google AdSense. When you sign up for AdSense, you get to pick where and what kind of ads are placed on your website. You may make money based on the number of pageviews or how many people click on an add. Be active on your social media accounts to further promote your musician brand and website. Utilize live streaming on sites like Facebook and YouTube to interact with your fans. Establishing a strong social media presence aids in getting your name out there, as well as attracts more potential fans to your website.
Set up a Patreon
Fans who sign up with your Patreon pledge to give a certain amount of money a month or per project in exchange for fun extras- perhaps, an early release of your album, a song, live online performances, and so forth. It’s a great way to get a monthly income that supports your traditional ways of making money as an artist. Be active on the site and post creative content for your patrons to engage with and experience!
Get out there in the world
Utilize old-school ways of making money, such as merchandise and physical album sales. Have a merch table at your shows- but be sure to also create an online store. I know when I’m at a show, I tend to buy merchandise from a band’s website after the event, because I’m too focused on having fun! However, it’s important to utilize both methods of selling merch, because some fans may want that face-to-face interaction. Play gigs and establish good relationships with those you interact with. Collaborate with other artists to expose your music to individuals you may not normally attract. You may even consider playing unexpected venues, such as schools, colleges, or any kind of non-music-oriented event, like a bar mitzva or wedding. Entertainment is needed for almost any kind of occasion!
Find a variety of ways for fans to listen to your music
You can license your songs to be used in YouTube videos. Some musicians get into license agreements with YouTube, allowing the use of their songs in exchange for a certain percentage of advertising revenues. There are many ways to get started with this process; the most efficient way is to research and find the best way to go forward, according to your own budget. Popular organizations that aid in monetizing artists’ music are ASCAP, BMI, and Songtrust. Consider putting your songs on a variety of streaming sites, like SoundCloud, iTunes, Spotify, and Bandcamp. The more places your music is out there, the greater presence you create, allowing for more opportunities to come your way!
Be responsible with your finances
Pay attention to your earnings and spending- be aware of your own value as a musician. Consider utilizing the Know Your Worth app, a free resource for musicians to evaluate their earnings from PRO organizations ASCAP and BMI. The app provides musicians with data about their catalogue, like the dollar range estimate of its fair market value, its top sources of revenue, and top-earning songs, for the musician to make informed decisions about their brand. It’s a great way for artists to gauge how much their songs are worth when engaging in business.
While it’s certainly difficult to make a living as an indie artist, these tips may help in creating a steady revenue to aid the advancement of one’s musical career. Investing in a variety of ways to monetize your work is imperative for the independent musician. I think it’s wonderful that indie artists have such opportunities to make it on their own. As a financially smart indie artist, you can maintain your own ideals, sound, and aesthetic, while generating an income at the same time.