How to make Money as a Musician ? 7 insanely practical tips

Today you are going to learn about how to make money as a Musician .  7 insanely practical tips by which you can earn not just money but a living being a musician.
Last month I was talking to one of my previous student about the same topic.
Client :- I know how to earn money as a musician with my music but I am really skeptical if I will be able to do it ?
Me :- Why do you think so ?
Client :- Well, Dibakar, I am not a business man or a marketing expert who will succeed with all the available options you are normally sharing with me
And that is the moment when I decided to write this guide.
Here I will not just throw a bunch of ideas at you about how you can earn money being a musician.
I will share a clear step by step process with each idea so that you can begin your journey of earning a living with that Idea being a musician
So if you have been thinking to take up a 9 to 5 job so that you can support your family. In this article I will try my best to provide you with enough resources so that you don’t have to sacrifice your passion because of financial restrictions.
Ok before we proceed I want to answer one more question which I normally get a lot
” I already know various ways to earn money as a musician.
Like putting up videos on YouTube and then using Google AdSense to monetize them.
Approaching a College Fest or a local authority for a live gig
Or even creating some music loops using my digital audio workstation and selling them.
So what’s the point in reading your article anyway ? “
Here’s what I want to tell you :
Like a normal day I was doing my research online before writing this article
Just to ensure and see how many people have written about the same topic
Do you know what I found? I had found 167 methods to earn money being a musician
Let me repeat that 167 methods to earn money as a musician.
What’s the irony ? We still have numerous unsuccessful musicians all around us.
Why is that ? Because an idea without a proper executable framework has no meaning.
So now that I have convinced you why you should read my article let’s begin the first point of our 17 insanely practical guide to help you earn money as a musician
How to make money as a Musician
#1. When and how to actually monetize your YouTube channel to earn money
I am sure you are well aware of the income potential of YouTube.
Because I stay in India I will recall artists like Shirley Setia, Siddharth Slathia, Shraddha Sharma, Vidya Vox, etc.
They are more or less the pioneers of the whole concept of YouTube musicians in India.
And shockingly I have seen many people giving up after these people got success. They think that the YouTube in India is already crowded for musicians.
Let me give you the first mythbusters
#1. YouTube for musicians in India has just got started mark my words
What does it implies ?
This is the best time to become a YouTube singing sensation from India
Now that you are convinced that you should not give up on YouTube yet, let me get to the monetization topic which I am going to discuss today
Mistake number 1
People monetize their YouTube channel from the first video
When you are putting up your 5 to 10 first videos your sole intension should be to gain more and more fans and subscribers
Read the above line 4 times
Because you are just starting out. You have only 50 subscribers right now. And even 45 of them are either your parents, your friends, your cousins, or maybe your neighbour too.
You cannot earn enough money from Youtube specially in India unless you have at least 10000 YouTube subscribers.
Hence you should not irritate your primary potential subscribers by showing them advertisements in between or just before your actual video content.
Mistake number 2
You don’t focus on the first 3 seconds of your video
Earning money on YouTube is all about subscribe counts. When you have more subscriber you earn money with every video that you publish.
Hence your primary objective while starting out is to gain maximum subscribers. In other words your primary aim is to convert maximum video viewers into subscribers.
Sadly this tutorial will become very long if I deep dive into this whole topic elaborately.
Thankfully I am running a lucky draw for my pilot YouTube course right now.
In that course you will learn how to start a YouTube channel for musician. How to set the tone of your brand so that you can grow exponentially. And lastly I will also discuss about how you can market your videos and stop something which I refer to as Hope marketing.
The official price of the course is ₹ 29,999. But as a launch offer I will be giving away this course to 100 lucky winners. If you think this is a course which might change your life on YouTube as a musician. Sign up on this link and try to get maximum entries by sharing the offer with your friends because truthfully it has just been 3 weeks after I have launched this giveaway and we have more than 3000 entries. The only way to ensure that you become one of the lucky 100 students I would advise you to get maximum entries possible
If you have any queries regarding the giveaway you can feel free to send me a message on my Facebook page. The direct messenger link is here
How to make money as a Musician
#2. Replicate the famous e commerce model to generate income as a musician
Now if you have read any of the famous blog posts or ebooks which are available online about earning money as a musician you must have come across this term called ‘ Selling Merch ‘
So what does it mean when someone says selling merch
Nothing fancy but a different way of saying to sell branded merchandise which are relevant to your music brand personality or even your music band if you have one
Here are few successful musicians who are applying the same method to generate and extra source of income
  1. David Choi
  2. She and Him
I am not an Astrologer but I guess I know what you are thinking right now
Dibakar they are people who have used money and skilled people to help them set up, market and run those Ventures
And we are here just starting out
Let me tell you I agree to what you have thought. It is very true that not everyone can make money by selling E-Commerce products.
After all being a musician working on your musical talent seems to be the most obvious choice.
But the sad reality is even you are aware that the competition of Living a life as a full time musician in today’s world is cut throat
And the only way to differentiate yourself from the existing crowd is to take up skills and blend them with your musical skills to create a zone of your own which nobody dares to copy.
I know all this sounds a bit psychological to you. But after working for more than 10 startups in my own life, including the fact that I am just 22 years old, I can assure you that you will repent the fact after 10 to 15 years that why did you not started to learn a skill which is different from your normal musical skills and yet could have become the major differentiator between a successful life and the life you are living.
Once again e-commerce as a whole will take 2 to 3 years of continuous study to become an expert. And that alone explains why it is not possible to write complete details about the same in this one single blog post with 7 different ideas
If you still want to learn about E-Commerce and how you can integrate it with music
You can start with the following blog

A better Lemonade Stand

And once you have a basic idea you can approach me anytime on my Facebook page once again the link of my Facebook messenger is this one and I will be more than happy to help you with starting out and will teach you how you can blend E-Commerce with your music to generate an extra source of income
#3. How to get offers for live gigs that actually makes you money
I am a student of IIT Kharagpur. And if you were not living under the rocks for the past years of your life I am sure you have heard about one of India’s or even I should say Asia’s largest socio cultural fest called spring fest.
Probably the budget of our cultural fest is around 2 to 2.5 crores. The fest goes on for two and a half day and last year we had celebrities like Armaan Malik, Vishal-Shekhar and many other international artists.
Why am I sharing this with you? You are not Armaan Malik or Vishal Shekhar who will get a chance to perform a gig at spring fest yet. But that does not mean that you cannot get an offer for a gig. This particular scenario actually shows that there are audiences who are waiting for you to approach them for a live gig.
Now what most people do is try to work on their talent and wait for someone to offer them a live gig. Whereas originally when people don’t yet know about you, it is you who should try and approach College Fests.
I am not asking you to approach IIT Kharagpur or even NITs. They are pretty big fests but you can approach your local colleges just try and send out some of your best YouTube videos to them and you will be shocked to see the amount of positive replies.
Just before I end this section I want to tell you that there are certain type and kind of people who believe that musicians should never be paid for a live gig. They share a logic that they are providing a platform to an artist who is yet not that famous and hence they are not liable to pay you for the same.
Hence always outreach to local clubs and colleges for live gig opportunities but never ever compromise with the payment you think you should deserve
#4. Learn basic music production and start applying your knowledge as a DJ and earn at the same time
The headline is self explanatory but I Would Still like to share with you why this is relevant to whatever form of music you are practicing.
There are two types of careers in the world of music which are valued the most
Number 1 vocalist
Number 2 music producer
If you are a music producer you already know the importance of having knowledge about various instruments and as well as vocal techniques which singers uses to produce a better finished recording.
And if you are a singer you should know at least the basic intention of a music producer while creating and recording a track. Because after all you will have to work with a music producer in most parts of your life. Except if you really don’t want to work as a playback singer or even don’t want to record your own music at Studios ever.
I hope that makes it clear why having a very basic knowledge of music production becomes essential. And as you might have guessed becoming a DJ is like the first pedal of becoming a music producer. In other words if you know the tricks and tips of creating a DJ track or remixing an existing song you are ahead of the existing crowd who are fighting to get into the singing career
Now let’s assume you are learning the basics of music production which are like cutting, editing, pasting your tracks, mixing and even mastering them. What could be the obvious way to earn money from a skill which you are still learning ?
You got it! That was the topic of our discussion. Becoming a DJ is very easy and your knowledge as a musician will in fact take you higher and above the existing crowd of DJs who have no knowledge of music but all they know is to burn some CDS
#5. A basic music production knowledge will help you sell beat loops and earn money
Loop is a standard term that is used for music beats. There are plenty of official websites that let’s artists to upload and sell their beats.
Beware not to copy someone else’s beats. You might even end up in jail. If you have gone through my last point. And try to learn basics of music production to become or try your hand at becoming a part time DJ. Creating loops will be a piece of cake for you.
Here are few websites which have a full fledged business based on just selling music loops or beat loops. Which simply indicates that there is a huge market for you to Cater the same service at an individual level.
  1. Audio Jungle
  2. Play On Loop
#6. Introducing the concept of crowd funding – Crowdfund your next music work and earn money like anything
I hope 80% of Indian musicians or in fact 90% of them are totally unaware of the concept of crowd funding. It is simply a process where you put up your next project in front of the crowd and ask them to fund your initiative.
In return you offer them your services which you think you can provide without spending money but yet is valuable enough to give it away to the crowd.
I know this topic is very confusing if you are listening to it for the first time. But here are few popular Indian as well as International crowd funding platforms which are famous among artists including singers, music producers, actors, comedians, etc.
  1. Wishberry
  2. Kickstarter
I guess you will find enough information to start your own crowd funding campaign at any of these websites which I have linked above.
Still if you have any confusion just let me know in the comments below and I will try my best to deliver a complete course about how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign that actually helps you as a creative person.
#7. Give away the knowledge you have earned selflessly to earn huge sum of money
Most people in India especially musicians have a conditioned mind that tells them not to share knowledge with their fellow musicians
Why ? Because they think sharing would bring up more competition for them. As if the existing competition isn’t enough.
But the truth is when you start sharing your knowledge people will start to look at you as an authority or an expert. In other words, they will talk about you among their friend circles which ultimately is called mouth to mouth promotion.
If you are from India I am sure you have witnessed the phenomenon of the viral mouth to mouth promotion of the song Selfie Maine Le Li Aaj by Dhinchak Pooja.
Obviously she was not teaching anything to anyone but it is an example of how people becomes your promoter for free.
Lastly if you think you don’t see any platform where you can teach other people your musical knowledge – ping me on my Facebook Messenger. I will let you know how you can start teaching others virtually from home without even investing more than 2 to 3 hours per week.
So I will end this post here. I have more ideas to earn money being a musician. If you want more ideas then simply send me a text on Facebook messenger saying ‘ I need more ideas ‘ and I will soon publish an ebook which will be available in PDF format
Meanwhile on Wednesday I had sent out an announcement to my Facebook Messenger subscribers asking the methods they use or they plan to use to earn money as a musician.
And I had promised them that the best entries will be published here. So here are the best ideas which people have shared
My plans are
1.  to open a music studio
2. make my mark in the industry
3. i will create my own music brand, which will led in promotion of artists
– Ankit Mishra

My plan of earning money as a Musician:-

1) Money can be earned by writing Lyrics and sell it to another person who wants it.

2) Money can be earned by doing stage performances in which payment of music artist is there.

3) Money can be earned by collab with another Artists who wants me to collab with them and they are ready to pay.

4) Money can be earned by posting Music Videos on YouTube channel if views and subcribers are there according to YouTube policy.

5) Money can be earned by sell my song to person who wants it to purchase.
Kunal Sharma
I teach guitar to some students
Rushi Nagare
Happiness is when your hobby turns into a paid job. But for that one really needs to work harder and harder. You need to show your work and potential to the world and the best way is social media. When you upload your videos or covers on the social platform and people share it a family of supporters is formed. Then you start getting dm’s and calls from various kinds of people some appreciate and some do it for business. Business in the sense of collaborations or various gigs This is how a musician can grow. Promote your talent as much as you can 🙂
– Pranav Verulkar
I want to be a full time musician and I want to make money from live gigs and giving the tutions on vocal production and by teaching Indian Classical Music.
– Ishaan Nigam
Earning money as musician I tink with doing a lot of concerts right
Nd if am a gud composer I can go wid creating music nd writing songs nd making a video. Of it releasing on YouTube I think
Spoorthi Pallipadi
If you have liked this article I would request you to share this with your friends because it really takes a lot of hard work to construct something like this and I don’t want anyone living anywhere in the world not to know about these techniques
Live Musical, Stay Raw! Peace

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