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You already know about selling CDs, performing, and streaming music. Those used to be the only ways to “make it” in the industry. These used to be the only ways you could ever earn money from music.
Now we get to think outside the box. Let’s shake what “used to be” up a bit as we discover other methods to earn money with music. This is why I’m extra thankful that you’ve clicked on this article. The strategies I’m about to share with you are going to help you crack that code and have your music start working for you in some new ways.
Are you ready to dive in? Alright! Turn on your favorite playlist and let’s get going!
Check out these websites for ways to make money with your songs
Nowadays, the business of making music is (mostly) online. Which means a few different things.
First, we can search out jobs that we are a good match for and filter out a lot of the noise that won’t be a good match. There are even sites that come to you for work and you set the price and the details.
Finally, having work online means that we don’t have to move to a giant city anymore to make money from our music. This is one of the best ways to earn money from music as a songwriter in 2019.
If you have a little studio set up in your place, this is an AMAZING place to begin to find work. You create a free profile, upload samples of your work, set your rates, and have people hire you to compose, sing, do voice over work, sing backup on their tracks, write originals, and so much more! This lets you be independently contracted and can work when you want and with whom you want. Plus, you set your price.
Do you love YouTube? Do you know that most of all YouTubers get their background music from this site? It’s true! Epidemic Sound was created to be the go-to spot for vloggers and content creators of YouTube. You create an account, submit your work that fits what is trending, and Epidemic Sound will purchase your tracks from you. Then, content creators will be able to search the database and if they like your song, purchase a license to use it in their videos. What’s really exciting is that others in the business have started to use this as a place to find tracks for TV commercials, broadcast TV, films, and more. This is a great way to earn money from music.
One of the most successful placement companies out there, Taxi is a leading company that places music in films, TV shows, commercials, broadcast TV, and so much more. One thing of note with this site is that it is the first of three membership sites I’ll tell you about. You get a year’s worth of ability to submit music when purchasing a membership. However, a quick trip through their success stories makes this one to bookmark for placement.
Very similar to Taxi in that this is a membership site, RowFax lets you submit songs and session work to musicians in the recording studios! The site posts lead sheets (the music version of classifieds) and you can submit to those you think you’d do best.
Select Music Library
Finally, we have Select Music Library, a bit of a combination of Taxi and Epidemic Sound. This was created by musicians who wanted an easy way to license their music for use in videos, commercials, TV shows, films, video games, and so much more! What I love about this place is they specialize in unknown songwriters.
Offline Opportunities to Earn Money from Music
How did musicians and artists make money in ye olden days before Spotify? They got commissions of course! People hired them to use their creative work in films, commercials, and so much more. We can use those same techniques today as another way to make some money from music.
Student filmmakers & Indie filmmakers
Composing original works for filmmakers is so much fun! Send an email to your local university’s film department and say that you are a songwriter who would be open to writing original scores or theme songs for their students. If you offer a student discount, all the better. You can search out local filmmakers on Facebook groups or local meet ups and offer to work with them on future projects.
Are love songs your jam? This might be the best tip for you! As weddings grow in scale, more and more couples are looking for personalized songs for their first dance. Reach out to a local wedding planner and offer a special rate where you will write a personalized song for couples. Include a meeting with the couple to get details on their romance, as well as one revision per song included in your rate.
Different from the generalized scope of Epidemic Sound, if you love watching a specific vlogger on YouTube, don’t be afraid to reach out to them! Send them a free track and offer to compose originals for them. I have a friend who vlogs daily and is always searching for new songs. She isn’t alone!
Stuck on what to say? Use this as a jumping off point:
How are you? I saw your recent vlog about (about) and had to reach out! The song you used from (time stamp to time stamp) was so great!
My name is (name) and I’m a songwriter who plays (what you play). I think that my song (song name) would be something you’d love so click this link for a free download (link to your private Soundcloud, drop box, etc with the song). If you love it, I’d love to work with you on writing more originals for your channel!
Hope to hear from you soon!
(links to your tracks to download)
(link to your socials or website or other songs)
These can be great places to network and get your name in your local community. Call up a recording studio you’ve worked with in the past and tell them you are now available to song write for other musicians. If they have openings for a session musician, this is also a good way to meet local bands. Session musicians come in to help bring other’s musical songs to life. If you are talented on an instrument or great at backup singing, this could be for you.
Social Media to Social Songwriter
Finally, I want to chat with you about going forward as a songwriter. These gigs I’ve mentioned to you are great, but we need to think end game. I want to set you up to not only have gigs, and not just be popular online, but to be profitable!
One of the most important things you can do is to start building up a little corner of the internet that allows for people to find you and leave reviews on your amazing skills. YouTube and Instagram would be my top recommendations as places to start a following. Social media is the online handshake – the intro to YOU and what you can do for others. As you’re growing remember to leave a Call to Action (CTA) at the end of your posts inviting people to check out your work in other places. Once you’ve got a few clients, think about starting a website of your very own.
So, there you go! Now you have 10 new methods of making money with your music. Don’t worry about doing all these at once. Try one or two this afternoon and see where it takes you!
Till next time, my songwriting friends, rock on!
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