Make music and make bank! More than 150,000 Americans are professional musicians.

But not all of these musicians are alike. Some of them perform in clubs, stadiums, and concert venues to sold-out audiences. Others of them sell music online or make a living off of small performances.

There are a lot of ways for you to figure out how to be a musician. The key is that you understand your different opportunities and learn the steps of how to make money with music. 

How can you start your musical career? Do you need a marketing team to promote yourself? What are some side hustles you can try? 

Answer these questions and you can decide how to start a music career. Here is your quick guide. 

Read: Music marketing strategies to go viral

How to make money with music

How to make money from music?

Hone your craft

Building a career as a musician requires constant work on your music. You should spend time promoting yourself, but you should also spend time practicing and writing original songs.

Try to practice at least an hour a day, and the longer you practice, the better. Visit studios and get acquainted with mixing your music. 

Keep listening to your favorite artists, but branch out into other genres. Take notes on what you like and don’t like and try to incorporate the things you like into your work. 

Read: How to make money on Twitter

Make connections

Connections can give you ties to the music industry, land you paid gigs, and build a name for yourself. Posting your music on the internet can help you start to make connections. However, thousands of musicians post online, so it will be hard for you to stand out. 

You should take the initiative and contact record labels yourself. Send them your music and speak to representatives on the phone. 

Some labels run contests or submission periods during which they accept music from unknown artists. Apply to these contests. Even if you don’t get your music accepted, you can get feedback and make connections with professionals.

You can also talk to music agents and music managers. Agents book artists for shows while managers determine decisions for artists and build their careers.

Try to get yourself a manager first, as most agents refuse to book artists who are not signed to record labels. You can find managers on LinkedIn and other career websites, and some post ads looking for artists. 

You can make it as a solo artist. But you can join a band and collaborate with others on songs.

Keep an eye out for bands looking for new artists and audition with them. If they don’t accept you, keep in contact with them so you can make songs with them in the future.

Read: How to make money on Discord

Hire marketers

Music promoting marketers can spread the word about your music career. You should do some marketing yourself, but professionals can use their connections and expertise on your behalf. They can handle promotions while you focus your efforts on your music.

Marketing can mean a few different things. Social media marketing involves running Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok pages. A marketer can promote your upcoming shows and songs on these pages.

You can focus your attention on one social media platform. TikTok social marketing lets you reach out to young people and people interested in sharing songs, so consider prioritizing TikTok.

Search engine optimization marketing involves using search engines to promote your work. A marketer may run a blog and write posts with keywords that people search for. This allows content about your work to appear first in search results, and people can learn more about you. 

If you have live events, marketers can create posters and graphic designs for them. They can also place promotional materials in newspapers and internet forums.

Read: How to grow a podcast audience

Perform in public

Live performances let you hone your craft, market yourself, and develop an audience. Try to perform whenever you can and however you can. 

You can try busking, performing on street corners for money. Try to find a park or sidewalk where you can busk without bothering other people. 

Open mics and talent shows are common at cafes and bars. You won’t make money off of your performance, but you’ll learn about performing in front of a crowd. Performing your own music a few times will let you develop a reputation that you can leverage for paid gigs.

Many bars and restaurants look for live performers, often on weekends. Do your research on the restaurants in your area and give them phone calls. Make sure to promote your performances online so your fans can visit.

Read: How to make money on Spotify

Sell merchandise

You can sell your singles, mixtapes, and albums by yourself or through a record label. Yet you shouldn’t limit yourself to your music. 

You should try selling T-shirts, posters, mugs, and other pieces of merchandise. Put your name, the covers of your albums, and other graphics on them. If you’re not familiar with graphic design, you should hire a graphic design artist or marketer for this. 

Read: How to make money on OnlyFans

Try a few side hustles

Side hustles let you earn extra money, which can make the difference if you’re living paycheck to paycheck. You can sell beats and samples for other artists to use. You can also work freelance and write jingles for companies and public events. 

Join websites like Fiverr so you can be available for side hustles. You should also talk to the bars and restaurants you’ve performed at and see if they need someone to write songs. 

Read: How to make money on Quora

Modern approach to earn money as a musician

We have seen plenty musicians to go viral and become rich and famous from one day to another. However, there is usually a lot of hard work and sacrifices that artist had to take.

A very promising approach would be to create music videos and establish your own YouTube channel. Start your music career there and then take advantage of social media platforms to bring traction to your YouTube channel.

youtube channel

You can actually earn money as a musician just by having lots of views on your YouTube channel. Music videos are very powerful and can be used for basically any kind of promotion.

Ideally, hire a marketing agency to promote your music throughout the internet and that means, streaming services, online communities, hype social media channels and more. Take a look at a few examples below:

  • TikTok
  • Instagram
  • Discord
  • Reddit
  • Quora

There is many more but these are most likely the most suitable for you and offer the biggest audience reach.

In order to be able to make money from music, you need to have several revenue streams. This means being present on multiple streaming services, do partnerships, live concerts, living room concert/s, private parties and even your own merch.

If you don’t have that “business” drive in you, get somebody to help you with that and focus on producing great music. It is enough to have just music production skills and focus purely on that. Record companies will definitely want to help you for some commission.

Note: You can always offer online music lessons if things don’t go as you planned and help upcoming new musicians to get their dreams.

Read: How to make money on Reddit

Want to submit your music to music professionals?

You are at the right place! You can submit your music to our database for FREE and we will let you know if we find suitable playlist to pitch your song in.

We will also reach out to you if we believe your song can go viral and help you promote it across different platforms.

Submit your music here.

Read: Music consultancy


Learning how to make money with music requires learning about many different things. You must keep practicing and producing original music. 

Let’s look at a quick summary of ways that you can make money with music:

  • Hone your craft
  • Make connections
  • Hire marketers
  • Perform in public
  • Sell merchandise
  • Try a few side hustles

Reach out to people in the industry and try to develop a reputation amongst them. You should also reach out to marketers who can promote your work online. 

Live performances are the most effective way to build your reputation. When you need a little extra cash, you can perform on street corners, sell beats, and do side hustles. 

Get help from intelligent professionals. Signals provides marketing services for musicians. Start your account today.