In this piece, Chris Richardson discusses the advantage that DIY artists have when it comes to maintaining creative and business control, the challenge of making money in the music industry, and how you can start successfully charging more for you music.
Guest post by Chris Richardson
Isn’t it great to be a musician nowadays? Think about it: you don’t have to sign with a huge record label to get your music out there. There are two other options: an independent label and a DIY approach. With these options, you get a huge advantage: creative control over your work.
Then again, there’s a big disadvantage to being an artist today: it’s hard to make money. Technology definitely helps you get noticed. The Internet also supports your creativity and tells you exactly what your target audience wants to listen to. From an artistic perspective, it’s the best thing that has happened to artists. However, the opportunities the Internet offers also mean that anyone can record an album with minimum gear in their bedroom. This means less money spent on production. It also means more competition. What does that mean? Prices dropping.
Norah Jones agrees; it’s not easy for young artists in today’s world of music. “It’s really hard to make money playing music these days,” – she said. “It’s really hard for young people, nobody’s buying records, nobody is even paying very much for streaming services so it’s messed up for young people right now.”
Is there a way to change things? What can you do to start selling your music for a higher price?
Brent Morgan is a nice example of a musician using technology the right way. He found a way to make $10,000 per month by playing music from his home. How? Simple: Periscope.
Experiment with it. Figure out how it works (the listeners will tip you if you’re good). Then, take the chance!
Play at College Shows
You still don’t have a huge fan base that would buy your music for a higher price? You can explore the college market. You can get gigs if you connect with the National Association for Campus Activities and the Student Government Associations.
Don’t Be Just a Musician; Be Something More
You’re not promoting yourself just as a musician; you’re also promoting yourself as a person. This means that everything you do makes an impression. Musicians are not tweeting just about their music. They are social activists, too. They fight for causes. How does this help you sell your music for a better price? Well, it helps you get fans. It helps you connect with your audience on a deeper level. You do the math.
Use Content Marketing
You want to sell music? You absolutely need a great website. Why do you need content marketing when you just want to focus on your music? – For the sake of promotion. You’ll have to engage your audience through calls to actions, ads, infographics, videos, and even blog posts. If you don’t know how to handle content marketing, you can invest in a writing service like Essay Geeks. You can get any kind of original content completed for an affordable price.
Use the Top Music Distribution Services
You have to be where your audience is. iTunes is not the only place where people buy music. In fact, many artists don’t even qualify for iTunes. If you try distributing your music across different channels, you may not be able to handle the workload. Distribution services can do that for you. Try TuneCore, Loudr, and MondoTunes.
Blockchain is a transparent database with no central authority to control it. The data you introduce into it can’t be deleted. You use it to link a song to the people who participated in its creation, and get the payments via Bitcoin. When someone listens to a song, it will automatically trigger action for everyone included in its creation.
When you sell merch at live events or through your website, you’re not only spreading awareness for your brand; you’re also making money. It’s strange to see how many artists ignore this concept, thinking people wouldn’t buy their stuff. They will if you sell it right. That’s a significant additional income you can count on.
Tour merchandising goes beyond the T-shirt. You can sell any kind of item that comes to your mind. Take a look at what Metallica is selling through its official website. Christmas ornaments, anyone?
Remember: it’s still possible to make money with your music. You just have to try hard. Promotion is not easy, but you have so many options that it never gets boring. Explore and enjoy! The money will come.
Chris Richardson is a journalist, editor, and a blogger. He loves to write, learn new things, and meet new outgoing people. Chris is also fond of traveling, sports, and playing the guitar. Follow him on Facebook and Google+.