Sure, it is a lot easier for the independent singer to find guidance and suggestions than for the upcoming producer. However, for the latter, it just might be easier to start making money without requiring a hundred thousand fans/ subs/ followers. From YouTube ads to running your blog and getting paid to write theme songs, read on to find out the 10 ways a music producer can start earning money way before almost everyone else in the industry.
10. Pitch your talent to reachable creators.
These reachable creators can have anywhere from 20k subs to 150k subs. Anything over is usually a harder sell. And anything under might usually mean they’re not making enough money to pay you. Now, a whole lot of YouTubers, Twitch streamers, and micro-influencers, are in a crisis of a theme song. Those first 5 seconds and ending of a video. So you solve their problem! Package a custom e-mail in which you express for how long you’ve been following them, what sounds would fit their branding and content best, and why they should go with you. Mention how they will have exclusive commercial and reproduction rights over the music and that you’re seeking to grow your portfolio thus why you’re letting them get away with a very cheap price. You establish your price. If you’re thinking “but what if they become uber-famous and I only got paid $300?” stop. You’re not seeking to make long-term investments when you’re unknown. If anything, it will only boost your credibility and drive future prices up. And if you can get 5 YouTubers to pay you $300 for 30-second sound themes, and we all know producers usually work rather fast, even if we stretch those 5 out for a month, that’s $1500 extra that you didn’t have. Plus, when you’re good at it and professional, word of mouth starts working for you.
9. Similarly, pitch artists with a twist.
In a world filled to the brim with narcissists and egotistic behavior (we invented selfies! duh) people crave personalized experiences. Ideally, you want to find singers and artists on social media with less than 20k but more than 5k followers and pitch them, by e-mail, that you created a song specifically for them. Of course, that doesn’t have to be true. What you have to make sure is true is that the instrumentals you have available match the singer’s style. And then expand on that idea in the e-mail. We suggest you only throw one beat their way. Scarcity creates demand. Don’t throw a whole portfolio or link to BeatStars. You want them to feel like you woke up one morning and their image and voice inspired you to compose THIS very instrumental. Appeal to their ego.
8. Find stable gigs on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn seems to be an untapped market for musicians across the world. And yet, that is precisely where companies like Nike, Coca-Cola, Tesla, Ikea, Toyota, and anybody important under the sun that comes to your mind, find the talent they need. Take time to understand how LinkedIn works, join the platform with HD photos and a killer bio, display your past experience and take some of the relevant tests they have available on their platform, and watch how many gigs open up. You will have to apply manually to most, but chances are, if you snatch a position with a big company, you’re set for months. And will have recurring paid work as well.
7. Put together package deals with local studios.
Many times studios are not necessarily established by a producer. That’s the idea they often convey but hardly the truth. Even if the owner says they are a producer, in our real-life experience, the studio founders like to associate themselves with this world but have no idea of the difference between Melodyne and Autotune. In most of the instances, it’s someone with money wanting side income thus they invest in the gear, sound-proofing, aesthetics, then put in charge a producer or two to find the clients and make sales. But… everyone is replaceable if the right(better) conditions are met. Get your foot in the door at a local studio by making them unbeatable offers. The more prestigious the studio, the better. That means they already have clients willing to buy. And sell your instrumentals along with their studio time and engineering services. New artists get sick to the stomach when they realize they need at least 3 different people to make even ONE song happen. So the more you facilitate their songwriting process, the likelier they will shell the money.
6. Pair up with known songwriters to start THEIR business.
In this industry, like most industries, the less you publicly make the business about you, the more money you’ll make and faster. There are famous songwriters out there who work with record labels but they’re stuck to depending on the label to make money. What if they could start their own business selling songs to rookies without needing the label? 99% would go for it if they didn’t have to seek the producers themselves. So you come in the door and propose your talent to monetize both your skills together. But ideally, you want to make it seem like you’re working for them and it’s all about their highness. Seriously, you would stop making music if you knew how many creatives are utterly narcissistic. If you can get over that and play it in your favor, you sir/ ma’am will make millions.
5. Upload a whole lot of themed beats to YouTube and collect advertisement money.
We mean hundreds. If you don’t have enough of a portfolio to reach at least 100 uploads, don’t even think about it. And if you’re wondering what we mean by themed beats, we intend the famous TYPE attached to the title. Travis Scott Type Beat, UK Drill Type Beat, NY Drill Type Beat, Dua Lipa Type Beat, etc. People wouldn’t find your music using original search terms but they know what or who they want to sound like so they search for their relevant type beat. Make sure you add nice cover artworks, optimize your captions and links, and that your type beats are in sync with the current trends. Or you risk not being relevant enough to make money.
4. Get into TikTok.
Making money has never been easier for ANYBODY than right now with the likes of TikTok around. This platform is so seriously awesome that it’s beating Instagram dead in the corner by the passing minute. If you get to a thousand fans, you can go live and announce your beats on sale, ask for donations, sell your own merch. All you have to do is be creative and adapt the hottest trends of TikTok to your producer skills.
3. Sign up on freelance websites.
There is a large number of people needing music and sounds in all kinds of formats. Some parents want a minute-long jingle for their child’s birthday. Others need intro and outro music. Moviemakers need soundtracks for their projects. Singers might be seeking a rework of their already-finalized song. The more markets you have access to, the more money you make. Here’s a list for you: Solid Gigs, Guru, Fiverr, Toptal, Freelancer, Upwork.
2. Pitch theaters, circuses, and show venues.
Theaters often need time-set sounds, dramatic effects, background-type music and it is just as hard for them to obtain legal rights to reproduce that music as it is for an artist to snatch a beat from YouTube and legally collect royalties off of it. Be the solution to their problem and offer them a long-term collaboration where you provide them with their needed sets with exclusive rights to your music and in exchange, they pay you a monthly/ weekly/ quarterly set fee plus credits on their website and video reproductions. The same goes for show venues (car shows, NY Fashion Week, fundraisers, talent shows, etc.) You don’t need to be famous to get in the door. You have to be great at what you do and know how to sell your skills.
1. Run a blog for your peers.
If you’re a big reader and have accumulated plenty of knowledge in your career as a producer, you can monetize those by running your own blog where you share tips, tricks, discoveries, experiments, and build a community off the ground around your talent and name. If you had only 100 paying readers that shelled $10 each on a monthly basis for 10 of your top-tier articles, that’s an extra $1000 you didn’t have but that you’re getting only with a day worth of work invested (if we assume it takes you an hour per article then you’d be investing only 10 hours to get $1000 back). Your initial investment shouldn’t go over $500. If we consider you buying the Premium WordPress plan of $300 plus $200 in advertising for the first year. Yes, you can get a blog off the ground with only $200 if you’re properly implementing SEO rules in your articles. Google will work for you if you know what you’re doing.
From Avant-Pop to Rap and Rock music, these 50 talents need and deserve support more than the ones you hear on the radio. So pay us back for the free articles by hearing THEM out. Thank you.
Image Credits: All images in this article are courtesy of Unsplash.