The marketplace of people who want, or think they want, to make a living from their music might look crowded.

However, if you take a closer look you may see that very few stalls are actually set up and most people are milling around. This means that for you the musician, composer, producer or DJ the opportunities for you to make money with music are rich for the picking.

Do you have passion?

Firstly, do you have a genuine passion for music? Check these bullet points below:

  • Do you enjoy the process of making music more than dreaming about where you want to get with it?
  • When you plan to record a new song, do you have clear ideas about how it should sound?
  • Do you listen to successful music and think about how and who is making the track sound like that?
  • Before spending money in a studio, do you find out who produces the music that most inspires you and see who might want to work with you to make your music sound at its best?
  • When you play live, do you find ways to build your fanbase by selling t-shirts and CDs and getting names on your mailing list?

Let’s make lots of money

As the Pet Shop Boys sung in Opportunities, the mixture of brain and brawn can make you lots of money. What do I mean by that? Teamwork.

Stories about how big hits were made are often very misleading. For example, look at the Wikipedia entry for Tasmin Archer’s number one in 1992, Sleeping Satellite.

Information that went round about this song’s meteoric rise to prominence went that Archer sat and recorded the whole album in her room and it was instantly picked up and shot to number one.

In fact, she co-wrote the song in the 1980s and 4 instruments were used plus 2 additional backing singers.

Opportunities to make money with music

I always think how-to books or anything of that nature misses its target audience. They spend too much time telling us how to come up with ideas, but that is the least of our worries, isn’t it?

Now you have your recording. These are the opportunities to make money from here on:

  • Jingles/songs/covers for companies radio adverts, radio presenters and advertising agencies. Also, websites.
  • Make contact with music producers for TV programmes that your music is suited to.
  • Join the PRS (£30 for life) as a composer and send your songs to all the regional, student.
  • Community, hospital and Internet radio stations. Offer yourself for interviews.
  • Make merchandise to sell at gigs.
  • Go to producers who have worked with your favorite artists, who are still current, or DJs to get their feedback on your material and see if they would give it a “finish”. The sound quality, orchestration and production wants to be able to sit next to the current chart artists on radio.

It ain’t over til it’s over. Never give up!

Guest post: I’m Sophie Sweatman, 43, living in Falmouth, Cornwall. I do two radio shows a week on SourceFM (community radio) and I do stand-up comedy for fun. Currently radio, online and press manager for Matchbox Recordings (artist services). Stop by and say hello on my website or send me a tweet @sophsweet.

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