Earning a living from music (solo acts)

If you want to be the next Taylor Swift, then it’s going to be a long road but if you want to earn £2-4k a month from music, then it’s going to be easier. Hopefully you enjoy playing live and do like it more than working in a call centre, a cafe, bar or whatever and are willing to play for cheap to begin. Remember until your big in 5 years, you should be willing to work atleast 20 hours a week. Playing atleast half of that.

Be honest:

I spent 5-8 years trying to be a self published writer and finally i realized i just wasn’t good enough. My stories were just for me, swords, dragon, elves and full of typos, i did a lot better when i stopped trying to make money from it. Making money from art is hard, not many actors, singers, painter, models make it. So be honest are you in the top five in the area? can you sing well, are willing to practise guitar, can write decent songs? like performing? if it’s yes then be aware this is a job, you can’t get paid doing nothing in this world. You have to do atleast 20 hours a week.

Starting out:

There are two easy ways to make money as an artist, you could focus on streams and selling rights but in the first few years focus on gigs and selling stuff. Play as many gigs as you can, play open mics and shows for £25-50 pound, yes it’s better to work for £300 but you’ll need to be playing at the local pub and doing mostly covers. You want to play a mix of shows. set a monthly goal, not per gig.

Play for different reasons:

Some show you play for money, some is to build your fanbase, some is to meet someone, some is practise. If you’re starting out, set the goal of playing 50 shows and mention your Instagram at gigs, not Spotify, streaming sucks. Go to free shows as well and support people, they’ll love it often 5-10 people makes or break a show.

How to get more shows/ build fanbase:

  • Busk/play open mics
  • www.gigrealm.com
  • email pubs directly, tell them any gear you have
  • instagram message bands you like
  • pay attention to touring acts you like and email promotors

Covers for money:

Don’t be afraid to play a mostly covers show for money, try build a massive set, as some places will ask for a 2.5 hour set with one 30 min break, but often pay £300. You can make the most of this set by doing one or two originals, and building your Instagram.

Things to get:

if you want to be serious, set aside some time a week to do what’s needed. Get your own email, even: julesschenkmusic@gmail.com is ok and set notification on your phone, build a facebook page and put you’re contact detail on it. Use Instagram a lot. check out Songkick and add gigs to it, linked to Spotify. Try get people to your shows and use your own social when you have a gig. As a promoter i am keen to book people who share on social. By putting @rocket_records.brighton i can share easily.

Sell stuff:

When it come to 2023 we’re in a weird time for music. No one has a cd player, record are cool but can be around £1-2k for a run and tapes aren’t popular. That being said pretty much the entire globe listens to music on their phones. digital music is king and you can sell globally via the net. Spotify sucks and you’d do a lot better selling music, even £1 a track is a lot better than 0.04 cents and 1000 streams. Get listed on https://bandcamp.com/ it’s the best right now. Sell your albums via a poster at shows with a QR code. Chrome has QR code plugins.

Buy your own:

Clearly you want your own guitar, but consider buying a mic (shure) and stand and lead, you can get them for under £100, but get a good mic, around £65. Ask venues what they have, many won’t have more than a P.A

Author: admin