Posted on November 1, 2021, 12:00 am
Music has started to make a return to normalcy in most areas. But, not everywhere is in full swing. If you’re still only working part-time, keep reading. Today’s Musician Casting post shares a few ideas to help you bridge the gap from stage to bank account.
Refine Your Business Acumen
One of the first things to do as you await your return to the stage is to remember that your music is a business. While you might be used to donning ripped jeans and comfortable shoes, you may fare better in business and by looking the part. Start by investing in professional outfits. This is especially important if you plan to get a job. This should include a jacket or blazer, comfortable slacks, and non-athletic shoes. Sorry, no band T-shirts!
Next, establish yourself as a legal business entity. Often, you want to incorporate as a limited liability company. At the very least, get a tax ID number. As you do your research, you will probably begin asking questions like, “What is an EIN number?” and “Why should I register as a business?” The answer to both is that these steps make you look more professional and can also help you keep track of your money so that it is easier to file for taxes at both the state and federal levels. Plus, if you eventually take on employees, you’ll need a tax ID number for payroll.
Money, Music, and Making Them Both
There are still plenty of ways to make money off of the music you love. One is to sell custom embroidered or screen-printed merchandise to fans. T-shirts, hats, stickers, and hoodies are all popular options. Do keep in mind here that you will have an initial investment. Nashville-based Nipper’s Embroidery explains that what you’ll spend is determined by several factors, including whether or not you’ll need a design (logo, custom art, etc.).
You can also continue to play music, but you may have to look for smaller, private venues, such as weddings or local community events. Make sure that you have an active social media presence so that you can reach out to and engage with your fans. When you do play a smaller show, ensure that you have merchandise available for purchase as well as a QR code banner, which Pageloot explains also gives you a way to reach out to customers to scan for more information.
Piggyback Off Your Talents and Experience
When you can’t work with your music directly, you can still keep your skills and talents sharp by staying in the industry. A few ideas here are to work as a crew member, teach music (online or in-person), and to sell your original song lyrics to music publishers or directly to other performing artists.
If you choose to work in a supporting role, you are not limited to music. You could get a job as a stagehand for the theater or nurture the next generation of artists at teen music camps. You can also think outside the box and take on a side job that helps you network with your listeners and others in your industry. A few ideas here include driving a rideshare, working in a tattoo studio, or moonlighting as a bartender, photographer, or screen-printer.
The world is starting to take the shape of what we recognize as normal once again. But, unfortunately, musicians continue to be the ones that suffer the most. You have plenty of opportunities to continue to earn an income while networking in your industry. Those ideas above are just a few. Let your unique set of experiences guide you to the income path that makes the most sense for you until you can get back on stage where you belong.
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