5 Ways to Make Money As A Musician in 2022

5 Ways to Make Money As A Musician in 2022

Being an independent artist these days seems like more of an expense than an actual career choice – at least that’s how it can seem when you first get started! If you want to make money as a musician, it can seem impossible at first.

 

But the truth is, with the proper income streams, marketing strategy, the right systems, and some hard work – you can take your expensive hobby to a side hustle, and eventually to a career that actually pays the bills.

 

Of course nothing happens overnight, but the vast majority of success doesn’t have to do with being the greatest singer or musician in the world. Often the ones who are the most business savvy and have the most drive are the ones who find their way to the top. 

 

Let’s go over 5 ways to make money as  a musician.

 

Playing Live

 

Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way. You are going to have to play live if you want to deliver your music to the masses. Gigging is the primary way most artists make their income these days, so there isn’t any way around it! There are two ways you can go about this:

 

  1. Playing venues
    1. Actually getting out and playing in front of a crowd is the best way to get exposure. Once you have honed your craft and carved a name for yourself, you can easily be bringing in a few thousand dollars a night!
  2. Live Streams
    1. This has become much more popular as of late, and new platforms are popping up making this incredibly easy to do. Home studio equipment is getting better, and cheaper. So there is really no reason to not be doing this if you are serious about trying to make a career out of this! Hosting these on private platforms enables you to sell tickets to the events or snag some donations during the performance

 

Dropship Merch

 

If you are an artist who is trying to establish a brand you need some swag. With ecommerce platforms like Shopify there is really no reason to not have some merch available for order. The great thing about drop shipping is that you don’t need to have stock on hand, deal with making merch, or shipping it! You can have tons of different items for sale without the large expense of actually stocking it all. The margins aren’t as good, but for an indie artist removing the hassle of dealing with one off print outs and shipping is well worth it!

 

Crowdfunding

 

Most artists scowl at the thought of crowdfunding or asking for money. But you would be VERY surprised at how supportive your (maybe small) fanbase can be. When done correctly, crowdfunding can not only have gigantic benefits towards you and your career, but it can also strengthen the bond between you and your fans. People love being part of something, and if they are into your music there is a great chance they will want to support you if it means they get a VIP seat on the ride. 

 

My favourite platform for this is Rocket Fuel. They are totally redefining the way crowdfunding for musicians works!

 

Memberships

 

If you want to make money as a musician, memberships should be near the top of your list! Small monthly subscriptions to behind the scenes content and special events might not seem like much at first, but they are a very low barrier to entry, you can make them extremely valuable, and once they start stacking up they can really provide you with some great financial support!

 

Sessions & Playing For Hire


This is for those of us who are in the top percentiles of talent levels. If you are very talented at playing your instrument, odds are you can hire yourself out for sessions and play in the bands of other artists. Not only does this help build your network, but sessions can end up paying pretty good sometimes. Especially once word starts getting out about how great you are! If this sounds like something you would be interested in, I recommend you check out SoundBetter – it’s a marketplace for session players and a great place to start!

Bonus:

Another great way to make money as a musician is by licensing previously recorded songs! You can do this with SongShop – try out our Pro Membership for free HERE!

Have any thoughts on this topic? Let me know below!

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