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3 Ways To Earn Money As An Independent Musician

Revenue Streams & Independent Artists

Historically, there has always been a specific set of ways for musicians to earn money from their music, From touring, merchandising, and music sales to sync placements and paid appearances. Today, we can add this list of income streams to something that has been altered by the internet. Artists, specifically independent artists, have a plethora of new income streams related to more than just the release and promotion of their music. By selling services that artists already possess, like singing or production skills, indie musicians can now earn money from side projects such as production, vocal instruction, or content creation.

Just with anything that the internet provides us, it is important to research the value and legitimacy of these additional revenue streams to make sure the time and effort it takes is worth the possibility of return. As such, I have compiled a list of revenue streams below that I personally have seen to be successful in providing additional income to independent artists.

Acquired by Spotify in 2019 and bought back by the original founders in 2021, SoundBetter is a double-sided marketplace bringing musicians - vocalists, drummers, producers, engineers etc. - together with worldwide job opportunities. To date, they have paid musicians over $60 million dollars in revenue.

As a creator, you can sign up for an account for free, which gives you access to your dashboard and the ability to search and find other artists on the platform. In order to access the current job listings and respond to them, however, you must sign up for the premium account tier. With this, you also have the power to set your own rates. Your services and skills are valued at a rate you see fit. This freedom is a beautiful part of Soundbetter, giving negotiation power to the artists!

2. Music Lessons

If you make music in any capacity, you have a skill that people desire to learn! No matter if it's production, vocal, drumming, or ukulele skills, these are things that you have the power to earn money from.

There are a few ways to approach giving music lessons. First, there are platforms similar to UpWork and Fiverr where you list yourself as a teacher available to book specific lessons. A few platforms that offer this are Lesson Face or Musika. These platforms allow you to set your own rates and schedule and offer a professional-looking webpage to showcase your services. Another benefit to using a platform like this is you don’t have to spend as much time, energy, or money trying to gain traction for bookings. When people approach these platforms, they are already interested in music lessons and can easily match their needs to your specifications.

Another way to approach music lessons is to offer them yourself, with no middleman. This route puts more of the marketing and awareness burden on you but can also provide you with more direct communication and, in turn marketing and re-targeting abilities to people who find you. Obtaining data from people who search for you can assist in not only marketing your music lessons more efficiently but can also benefit you when you go to release more music. Using the data from this is a great starting place to market new music when it comes time!

Getting music placed in film or television is obviously a great way to earn income as an artist. But instead of recommending sync placements in general, I want to highlight Songtradr specifically. Even if you do nothing else to exploit your music in this way, you should be a part of Songtradr. Spending 10 minutes a day on the platform can allow you to submit to sometimes up to 10 opportunities.

It is free to signup and submit to these opportunities, and the only cost to do so is in your time; You must upload your catalog and metadata to the site along with checking the opportunities available every few days. Other than time and metadata, there is nothing that pitching your music on Songtradr requires! However, if you are like many artists I know with limited time, reach out to me today, and I can assist you in getting your catalog on Songtradr!

Start Earning Additional Revenue Today!

It can be hard to sustain your passion when you don’t have a steady income stream, and my hope for you with this article is to give you a jumping-off point of ways to earn more money. It is a lifelong task to pursue music as a full-time career, and creating sustainable revenue streams for yourself can take time. It’s important to invest in yourself and your career now! If you require any assistance getting started in any of these areas, please contact me! We can set up a consultation to discuss what direction is best for you and how to proceed.


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