Every musician dreams of going on tour. Not only is it a lot of fun, but it’s the best way to gain exposure and get noticed. Playing in front of a live audience puts your music directly in front of people, so they’re more likely to tell their friends about you and purchase your songs.
Unfortunately, the touring process is a bit of a vicious cycle, especially for musicians who are just starting out or looking for more exposure. Touring is a good way to make some money, but it also costs a lot of money to go on tour.
So, how can you raise the funds to put yourself out there and travel the country (or world!) playing your music? With a little bit of hard work, determination, and patience, you can make it happen.
Work a Second Job or Get a Side Hustle
Working 9-5 might not sound very “rock n’ roll,” but until you have enough money to support yourself on tour, working more hours is one of your best options. It’ll provide you with enough money for daily living expenses, and any extra money you have can be saved for the tour.
If you’re trying to get hired by a company, be sure to update your resume as well as your LinkedIn profile. A good profile should have a professional picture, updated content, and am employer-focused summary of what you can offer a company.
A part-time job is also a good option that allows you to time to work on your music career while still bringing in income. It’s a good idea to find a part-time job that’s flexible, so you can continue to do what you love. Some great examples of well-paying part-time jobs include:
Running social media for different businesses
Most of these jobs can be done remotely, and on your own time, so you can find a solid balance between music and work.
If you’re trying to put all of your focus into your music career, you might not think a full-time job or second job is right for you. But, making money is still crucial. So, why not start a side hustle? Do you have any skills or talents that you could put to use on your own time to make money? You can boost your existing income by doing what you already love.
Offer music lessons to kids, or start marketing your music online to make more money. You can even play more local gigs like coffee shops and bars to make extra cash. In some cases, you might be able to hop on tour with other musicians as an accompanist or background singer. Not only will it help to pay the bills, but any exposure is good exposure.
Crowdfunding or Donations
Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo can be great ways to raise funds for a specific cause. At the end of 2019, over 4.6 billion dollars had been donated to Kickstarter projects.
Crowdfunding can be a risk because there are so many people out there trying to get their projects backed. But, if you put together a creative campaign and get people to believe in you, you can get your goal completely funded and you’ll have everything you need to head on tour.
One way to sweeten the deal when it comes to crowdfunding is to offer incentives or rewards for people who donate money. For example, if someone pledges $20, you can reward them with a t-shirt or a CD. If someone donates $1,000, you can give them backstage passes to one of your shows when you’re on tour. Get creative with the donation process and be passionate about what you’re doing. The more you believe in your own goal, the more likely it is that people will donate.
Become a Penny Pincher
Again, making a budget and trying to figure out where you can save money probably doesn’t seem like something a rockstar would do. But, every musician starts somewhere!
There are countless ways you can save money by making a few simple life changes. For starters, you can significantly lower your energy bills by turning off lights when you leave a room, using energy-efficient appliances, and even optimizing the landscaping in your yard to boost energy efficiency.
You can also save money by planning out your meals for the week. That will prevent you from impulse-buying at the grocery store, and from going out to eat multiple nights a week.
Finally, cut out things that you’re not using or that you don’t need. Is there a streaming service you’re paying for that you don’t use? That could save you several dollars a month. Go through the things you pay for each month, and cut out what isn’t needed. You might be surprised at how much you can save with small changes.
Going on tour is truly an experience you’ll never forget. Though it can be hard work to make the money to go, the payoff can be sweet, especially when it comes to the exposure you’ll get from potential fans.