Updated: Aug 17
Hey, there musician! 🎵🎶🎵
As a professional musician, you have a plethora of opportunities to generate income that goes beyond traditional means like selling records or performing live shows. As an industry insider, I can confidently say that diversifying your revenue streams is crucial for financial stability and long-term success.
In today's rapidly evolving music industry, being an entrepreneur is more important than ever. And as someone who practices what I preach, I can vouch for the effectiveness of my own strategies in generating regular, consistent income each month. To learn more about these strategies, check out my daily sales strategy here - you can use it for every single one of the ideas I'm giving you below to start bringing you more money on the daily.
The times of the starving artist are no more!
In 2023, with the rise of digital media and the online nature of the music industry, there are even more amazing opportunities for musicians to earn income using what skills they already have. 📈 And if you don't know where to begin, I've got you, boo! 🤗
Here are 50 juicy ways a musician can make extra money and never go broke again in 2023:
1 - Stream your music on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.
Ok ok, before you run out of the metaphorical door, I know ;) Spotify and Apple Music do not get great press for royalties, but I've started here for a reason. If you already have a music product, then use the motto Some is better than none. It's 100% passive income for artists. Most importantly, however, streaming can be really effective in creating band/brand visibility. It helps people discover you when they follow similar artists and it gives you great data for when you come to sell merch or release tour dates. Don’t be fearful of the (still shockingly low) royalties and don't let them put you off using this incredible resource for artists. Visibility is income.
2 - Sell your music directly to your fanbase on Bandcamp
Sell your music directly to your fanbase on Bandcamp, CD Baby, or other music distribution platforms where fans can access your work and pay you to download it. Bandcamp still do their Bandcamp Fridays where they wave their fees, so cash in on those dates by creating bundles for your fans!
"Become good at selling yourself and sharing your work - remeber, selling is just helping"
3 - Offer personalized video messages!
Offer personalized video messages directly to your fans via platforms like Cameo. I did this in the lockdown, recording personalized music videos for a Digital Christmas Card campaign, it made me over £1100 in just a few days!
4 - Merch merch merch!
Sell merch like t-shirts, hats, and stickers. An oldie but a goldie. Whether you are a covers band or an original act, selling your merchandise is so much fun! Think outside of the box when it comes to your own merch. Make it match your brand, fun tea towels, guitar plectrums, and branded band candles. Self Esteem has a fun merch line too, check out her recent ‘ 6 Music Dad’ baseball caps.
5 - Host an online concert or livestream.
Monetize them through platforms like Twitch or Patreon or your social media and offer a Paypal link. This is an effective way of generating extra income - think of it like busking online, you can take requests too and get extra tips. Fans love this.
6 - Partner with brands and get sponsored.
Collaborate with brands and offer sponsored content on social media. Great if you have bene building your online presence as a musician and had some music go viral!
7 - Make a small event and sell tickets
Sell tickets to exclusive, small concerts, houses concerts or even just meet-and-greets through platforms like Eventbrite or Patreon, or just offer it direct to fans and give them a PayPal link.
8 - Offer private music lessons.
Another obvious one but one many avoid for fear of not then being taken seriously as a musician. You only need to be a few steps ahead of a music student to be able to really help them. Post on social media that you are taking a small number of talented musicians on a 1-1 basis and see what happens! Singing lessons have paid my bills and nurtured my soul on and off for years and have taken me through some quiet months with ease and grace!
9 - Online digital course music!
Sell digital downloads of your music for online digital courses on platforms like Gumroad or Sellfy.
10 - Make money while you sleep by selling music sheets.
Sell sheet music or songbooks on platforms like Musicnotes. All these arrangements you ve made or had made for your band? Get them on Musicnotes and start making money with your music as you sleep! Check out my amazing client Anna who does this with her business German For Singers.
11 - Sell Wedding and Event Playlists
Either offer this as a bolt-on for your live show or offer it as a standalone service. This is a lovely gift for someone to buy a friend who is getting married!
12 - Sell licensing rights for your music
13 - Offer personalized jingles or theme songs for brands, small businesses or podcasts.
There are so many new podcasts coming out every day, and creators are in need of royalty-free music This is a great niche and as I am launching my own podcast soon, I personally will be looking for one, you have your first customer already!
14 - Sell behind-the-scenes content.
Sell access to behind-the-scenes content or exclusive music tracks on platforms like Patreon.
15 - Songwriting services!
Offer songwriting services for other musicians or bands. Get ghostwriting, baby!
16 - Sell loops!
Upload and start selling digital samples or loops on platforms like Splice. Hello even more money while you sleep ;)
17 - Royalty free music sales.
18 - Music production services.
Offer music production services for other musicians, singers or bands in your area or online.
19 - Create and sell pre-made or custom gaming music.
Sell custom music for video games or apps. Revenue in the Video Games segment is projected to reach US$372.00bn in 2023 (Statista) making this an incredible niche to get into and can financially support your music business in 2023 and beyond.
20 - Patreon fan membership.
Create a Patreon account and offer exclusive content to subscribers., Music makers are generating between £2k a month and in some cases £30k and upwards using Patreon to go direct to their fans. Artists like Amanda Palmer are great for inspiration.
21 - Offer music therapy services.
Offer music therapy services. If you have a degree, then you can do a Masters and be working part-time as a music therapist. The options are endless with this one and you could build a really profitable, valuable side hustle.
22 - Sell custom music audio dramas or radio plays.
Create the soundtrack, and soundscape, produce the sound effects, and create the opening and closing titles!
23 - Sell personalized ringtones or sound effects.
I mean, it's not 2002 so I don't know how many people want personalized ringtones, but phones still have them, so it's worth a try! I met the guy who made the crazy frog ringtone and literally retired aged 30.
24 - Offer music transcription services for other musicians or bands.
25 - Niche blog.
Create a niched blog on either music production, music in general or any other thing you are knowledgeable and passionate about or YouTube channel and monetize it through ads, affiliate links or sponsorships.
26 - Sell personalized music playlists for workouts or meditation.
27 - Voiceover!
Offer voiceover services for commercials or animated shows. Voiceovers (especially for singers) are an extremely profitable way to monetize your vocal skills and it can be done from the comfort of your own home with not too many start up costs.
28 - Get crafty!
Create and sell music-themed merchandise like posters, vinyls, or even home decor items you’ve upcycled with a musical twist or theme.
29 - Sell Songwriting Workshops!
Offer in-person or online songwriting workshops or seminars. You could offer many services underneath this, like “write a song for a loved one” and give it as a Christmas gift.
30 - Music for NFT.
31 - Offer music supervision services for films or TV.
Offer music supervision services for films or TV shows, websites like Motive Major Music is a great place to get researching.
32 - Sell Custom Music for Social Media!
Sell custom music for social media ads or branded content, or sync your own music!
33 - Offer composition services for orchestral or choral music.
Start local and see what is in your area and reach out to them, see if they need any help.
34 - Sell rights to use your music for live events or conferences.
Sell rights to use your music for live events or conferences. Event music and conferences need music and often (unless they are in a venue) don’t have PRS licenses. So selling rights to your own catalog of tunes for these events is a great money maker.
35 - Sell music-themed courses.
36 - Sound Design.
You can offer sound design services for films, TV shows, or video games.
37 - Sell personalized music playlists for parties or events.
38 - Offer bespoke music scoring services
Offer bespoke music scoring services for theatre productions. Check out ArtsJobs Uk for any theatre music production jobs that may arise.
39 - Youtube influencers, music clips.
Sell custom music for YouTube channels or creator's videos opening and closing clips.
40 - Sound editing.
Offer sound editing services for films, TV shows, or video games. Put an offer on fiver to get started.
41 - Sell personalized music playlists for road trips or travel.
42 - Offer mixing or mastering for other bands.
Offer mixing or mastering services for other musicians or bands. Offer one-off songs or offer a package so they get a great deal and you make more money in one go.
43 - Sell Custom music for meditation or relaxation apps.
Sell custom music for meditation or relaxation apps. The healing and wellness industry is worth an epic The global wellness market is valued at over $5.3 trillion in 2023 (stat taken from wellnesscreatives.com) so carving out a niche in this area would be a profitable way to earn extra money a a musician in 2023.
44 - Offer music arrangement services for orchestras or choirs.
Offer music arrangement services for orchestras or choirs. Another niche service that you can start by asking any local orchestras or choirs f they need help with.
45 - Sell custom music for corporate presentations or training videos.
46 - Music editing for podcasts or audio dramas.
Offer music editing services for podcasts or audio dramas. Maybe they have that music but need a pro like you to edit it.
47 - Sell personalized music playlists for holidays or special occasions.
48 - Sound FX!
Offer custom sound effects for films, TV shows, or video games. This may take you a while to create a bank of sound effects but this is a great semi-passive income model. One man I know brings over 7 figures a year as a musician doing this!
49 - Sell custom music for escape rooms or immersive events and experiences.
50 - Sell custom music for virtual events or online conferences.
Virtual events or online conferences are here to stay! The online education industry is another big market where your music can be enjoyed. You can make money online as a musician by offering customized songs for online training academies, challenges, courses, and webinars!
See! There are so many ways you can do this!
Having an entrepreneurial mindset is crucial to weathering the industry's ups and downs. Staying focused, choosing one side hustle that will complement your main recording, touring or live band career is a smart move. The feast and famine cycle we all experience as musicians can not only hurt your financial stability, but also really negatively impact your happiness, creativity, and overall well-being.
By embracing entrepreneurship, getting together some extra revenue streams, and adopting a positive mindset, you can build a thriving and sustainable music career that brings you both financial success and personal fulfillment.
How do I know? Because I'm doing and so are many other countless musicians around the world!
The only question is, what will you spend your extra money on? More amps? Holiday? Extra beans? ;)
If you would like any help with getting your idea off the ground, marketing yourself in a really authentic way, and flexing your musician entrepreneurial muscles then you can do one of two things come and join me in the FREE FB group, or join my monthly marketing and mindset membership for entrepreneurial musicians - The Ship!
Hello! I'm Kerri Layton.
Singer, booking agent, and music industry mentor with 16+ years of experience, I help professional musicians achieve work-life balance and thrive spiritually, financially, and creatively. Through personalized coaching, group programs, and masterminds, I heal various aspects of musicians' lives and businesses, enabling financial sustainability and unlocking their full potential. My mission is to empower musicians to release their creative visions to the world and share their talents while achieving productivity and balance. With a freebie that has helped over 100 musicians get structure in their day and make money, I understand the challenges of being a freelance musician and offer support and structure to help them succeed. Let's brin
g more music into the world and help musicians thrive doing what they love.