By Charlene Roth
Sedona AZ (September 29, 2021) – Although many music festivals and concerts have taken place in 2021, things are still not back to normal for those of us in the music industry. But you have to make a living somehow! Keep reading for a few tips from Sedona.biz on things you can do to get by until venues are at full capacity once again.
A Word on Self-Employment
Before we look at options, you should know that many of the things listed below are great self-employment opportunities. As such, you should treat even side-gigs as a business. To look as professional as possible, even if it is a passive income stream, you’ll want to get an Employer Identification Number, which is how the IRS tracks your taxes. Having your EIN in place also makes it easier to separate your yearly personal taxes from your quarterly business taxes. You might also consider incorporating as an LLC, establishing a legal business name, and building a website for both music and your business.
Have leftover t-shirts or keychains from your last concert? Put them online. You can sell T-shirts, records, and books.
Seek an endorsement.
Have you ever wondered how YouTube personalities make money? It’s either branded content or endorsements. According to YouTube’s Creator Academy, you don’t have to have a huge following to partner with brands. You might seek payment or “in-kind” partnerships.
Join the Army.
If you’ve ever thought about joining the Army, your music might be an even greater incentive. US Army Bands play at a number of events, boosting your clout as a musician. You’ll also receive financial perks, including a higher starting pay, tuition reimbursement, healthcare, and professional instruments at no charge. While this does require a four-year commitment, that gives you four years of experience and adventures that will only make you a better musician.
Write for a music magazine.
While music may be your forte, you are likely also skilled in writing, and you may be highly knowledgeable in the music industry. Why not take your expertise and turn it into both professional exposure and paid writing gigs?
Work in a record shop.
If your musical interest ranges from alternative to country to ska and everything in between, look for a local record shop that needs help. Love vinyl? Mom and pop music stores often have the best selection. According to Rolling Stone, there are many excellent record shops throughout the United States. All you have to do is find one.
Substitute teaching at your local school, especially if you can work in the band department, is a great way to work periodically while also having the opportunity to stay in touch with your community.
When you have a natural talent with multiple instruments, consider selling your audio files online. Microstock Man recommends selling music tracks and sound effects for cinema, corporate use, and video games.
Work for exposure.
Another option, especially if you are a young, budding musician, is to work for exposure. You might, for example, play street fairs or mall events or lend your talents to charitable organizations. You can also check local ordinances in your area to find out if street music is allowed and, if so, obtain a permit to play in public and collect tips.
The music industry continues to remain on less than solid ground. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to pay your bills. Any of the above options are viable and often sustainable sources of income for creative individuals with the drive and determination to succeed.