You have a talent for music, but how do you avoid being the so-called starving artist and make money doing what you love? Well, unfortunately you might not be able to avoid the starving artist pitfalls entirely, but if you stick at it and follow these tips, you might be pleasantly surprised with the outcomes. You can take your skills and experience and turn them into income with time and persistence. Here's what you need to do.
Find People Who Are Already Successful You need to surround yourself with people who have already achieved some level of success in music. You must take into consideration that there is a social aspect to the music business. Make a great effort to be on the inside of success instead of on the outside. People are generally more than willing to share how they became successful. Seek out those people and heed their advice, because they have already put in the long hours and found what works and what doesn't. Don't start at the top with the most successful artist; go a little more modest and local, and join groups or clubs of other artists so you can learn from and support each other. You should also think outside social media networks and meet people face-to-face!
When approaching these other artists, be very purposeful. Don't express that you're a fan (even if you are), but do be respectful of their work and curious about them to help put you on a more equal ground. Think about how you make friends. You find things in common to discuss. Do that with the artist you're hoping to learn from. You have a common interest so it shouldn't be hard to strike up a conversation.
Your NETWORK is your NETWORTH!
Create What People Want No, don't be a sell-out, but you're not going to make money if you only create music that others are not interested in. Find the audience you want to reach and create musical works that you think they'll want to buy. From time to time you can think outside of the box more and get ultra-creative, but you need to create things that you know people are going to want. Keep your own style, but try to be a little flexible sometimes.
Get Your Music Out There You have to begin to make a name for yourself. Get your music out there in the public. This might mean giving things away to become known. In the early phases, encourage others to share your music freely in this manner just to get your name out there.
You need to actively promote your music as well.
Take Criticism You can't grow as an artist if you can't take criticism. Listening to what people are telling you about your music and taking action on it will get you to a much better position of being able to sell your work. At the same time, understand that you also cannot please everyone. Don't change your work too much to conform to the critics. If you know you delivered good quality music and plenty of others that you know and respect agree that it's good material, then don't bend over backwards trying to change something. Pay no mind to critics who are clearly not a fan of yours.
Appreciate Your Fans
You can offer a little extra something to those loyal fans who keep coming back and buying more. Think about how any other business works. Take for example a laundry detergent company. They might give out coupons for "buy one get one free". That keeps people coming back for more. You can do similar things, like offering meet and greet if someone purchases some concert tickets, or providing signed merchandise. Customer appreciation is important to any business, even when your business is music. You can make a living as an artist. You have to be willing to educate yourself and put in the work to do it, though. It is not something that will happen overnight, but you can turn your skills and experience into income.