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How To Make A Living In The Music Industry

Being self-employed can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also be challenging. Filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and if you happen to be an artist trying to make a living in the music industry, you know exactly what I'm talking about. 

But then throw a global pandemic in the mix, and we are all in trouble! During the pandemic, the music industry was one of the hardest-hit industries, and many of my musician friends didn't make it through. They either found new jobs or began learning new skills, and I found that completely heartbreaking. But the truth is, it doesn't even take a global pandemic to see that happen; the pandemic just brought it to our attention. Unfortunately, this happens daily in the music industry. So many artists give up because it's just too difficult to make a living in the music industry. 

The best way to make a living in the music industry, or anywhere for that matter, is to have multiple income streams. This means that you are doing different things within the music industry that generate an income. For example, I currently have five streams of income in the music industry, and that's how I can make a living in the music industry.

Before I give you three ways to make a living in the music industry, I want to clarify that these are ways for you to make a living in the music industry. I do not promise a multi-million dollar career, I am just giving you three ways to generate an income in the music industry as an artist. 

1. Gigging: Now that the pandemic is mostly over, we can get back to gigging. A great living can be made from gigging, and I have a few tips to help you get regular gigs.

- Have a great EPK. This stands for Electronic Press Kit, which is usually a link to a digital folder that houses your assets. This includes two high-resolution promotional pictures, a recent bio with your recent achievements plus links to your socials, and a promo reel, and this can either be live or staged but should be a good quality recording to show what you do.

- Advertise your gigs on your socials. I can't stress this enough; venues will take an act that promotes their gigs over an act that doesn't time and time again. 

- Have good quality equipment. Turn up to your gig well dressed and with good quality equipment.. oh and you better be a good quality act as well! 

2. Demo singing: It only takes a laptop and a few cheap bits of equipment to record a demo vocal. Put yourself on a site such as Soundbetter, a site for people looking to hire musicians and singers for their projects. With a little bit of research and practice, you can learn to record yourself, which will then allow you to hire out your services for things like demo singing or background vocals. 

Hiring yourself out as a singer or musician gives you a chance to practice and be better at your craft and is a fantastic income stream. 

3. Teaching: This one isn't for everyone, but if you have experience and know what you're doing, you can teach. This can be a very lucrative source of income. 

Teachers bill themselves between $70 and $100 an hour per student. That means you only need to teach for 10 hours a week, and you are generating an income of $1000 per week from teaching alone, and because you're a self-employed business owner, the tax man may not even touch any of that (make sure you have a good accountant).

So let's take a look at the possible weekly income from these three sources of income alone.

1. Gigging - Let's say you do just one gig a week. The standard soloist fee in Australia is $350 for 3 hours, although in the US it is largely based on tips, this can be made in one night. 

2. Demo singing - let's say one track for the week, that's about $250

3. Teaching - 10 students per week for a 1-hour lesson is about $1000 per week.

That's a total weekly income of $1600 for the week, and it's less than 20 hours. So that gives you another 20 hours that you can work to generate more income. 

Don't get sucked into believing that you can make a living from selling your music only. The artists that can do this are huge, they are well known and have a massive fan base. Just because you can't make a living from selling your music doesn't mean you can't make a living in the music industry. They are two very different things. 

If you are serious about having a career in the music industry, then spend some time researching. There are many other ways to generate income in the music industry. I will be creating a bunch of content on these to help you out in the coming months. 

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