Contrary to popular belief, there is more to the music industry than being discovered by a major label.
If you are among the pool of talented musicians or songwriters who are looking to generate steady cash flow from your talent and skills but have not made it to the big time yet (and are perhaps not looking to either), take a look at these six ways to boost your income.
One of the most straightforward ways to monetize your musical talent is to start teaching others. You can do this either online (via a video conference app like Skype or Zoom), or in person.
Of course, you can also teach songwriting, a combination of playing and writing, or whatever else you feel you can instill in a fellow musician.
You can start by using social media as a means of advertisement: Instagram is great for building your own brand and getting your name out there. You can also pay for an ad on the platform, and slowly gain a steady stream of inquiries.
Teach + Earn
You can also combine the teaching aspect with generating an online income by starting a YouTube channel.
You can teach people how to play a particular song, how to tune their instrument, how to freestyle, improvise, you can give lessons in harmony, and so on. Or, you can simply jam and attract people that way.
After you’ve gained some traction, you can start running ads on your channel and even become quite the influencer in the niche – but do bear in mind that growing on YouTube will take some time and a lot of effort, so this may not be the fastest revenue stream you can look into.
Working as a session musician or a session singer can also be a great way to monetize your talent.
You will be hired by other musicians or songwriters to record a track or to play in a band, and this can range from studio work to live performances. You will not be earning anything from the potential royalties of the music you help create, but you will get paid per session.
This can be a great way to both play, get in touch with new people, work on a style you may not be all that accustomed to, and earn some extra money.
If you prove yourself reliable and a great talent to work with, you will easily be in high demand. You can even make a striking career out of session work, if that’s what you are looking for.
Rent out your kit
Renting out some of your gear is also a great way to earn an income, simply by utilizing something you already own, without having to do actual work.
On the other hand, you’re always risking damage to your items, so make sure you’re very clear on the reimbursements you will require in case something gets damaged. You can also take out insurance on some of your gear.
You can work with bands and individuals who need your gear for a session, a performance, or simply to practice – in fact, you can rent out an instrument to people who are looking to learn to play, but can’t afford one. Another option is to rent out to clubs, restaurants, bars, and other venues that don’t have their own equipment.
There are also plenty of jobs available online for those who have musical talent. You can work on all kinds of different platforms, where you will be paid per job, or you can establish your own brand and work from there.
Anything from recording music to music editing, to journalism and teaching is often available. You can most often work from the comfort of your own home or studio and make your own hours. This can be a great plus if you’re also trying to focus on your own music at the same time.
Apart from being a session musician, you can work on recording all sorts of music: jingles for ads and other radio pieces, background music for film or online videos; you can work on demos, and so on.
You don’t have to play if you don’t want to: you can do the composing and lyrics, work with others on blending everything together, or even be the driving force behind an entire project.
You can be hired by someone for a specific task, or you can create your own library of work and sell your music online or directly to brands and companies.
Having a musical talent (or any other talent), at least in the modern world, almost always means you have a way of earning an extra income at your fingertips. The only challenge is knowing how to monetize it, but the internet can help you with that. And once you start looking for extra work, you’ll find there are plenty of those who have zero musical talent and would be happy to hire you to help them out.