Just about any musician has heard the phrase ‘but there’s no money in it as a career’. While all of us chose to take adult singing lessons for the love of music, some might want to also make singing their profession. Here are ten ways you can make money as a singer! You may choose to specialise in just one or two, however, most freelancers find that tapping into multiple streams of income allows for a more sustainable career. We’d recommend trying a few different options to see what works in your business!
The first and, possibly, the most obvious one is making money through live music! If you’re new to gigging live, we would recommend building your practice through local gigs and open mic nights. As you make a name for yourself both online and through performing live, you can aim for bigger and better paid gigs. Don’t forget, you can also livestream your performances, which can be a lucrative way of reaching a larger audience, while performing from the comfort of your own home.
Who doesn’t love a good function band? Function bands are often the bread and butter for many musicians, simply because there’s such a high demand for them to play at weddings, on cruise ships, corporate parties and other events. It might take longer to build up a following for your original music, whereas so many of us will always want to hear our favourite songs again and again. These gigs can pay extremely well, however, you must be very well rehearsed with an extensive repertoire, great stage presence and sound. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort to work hard and market yourself well, you could have great success as a function musician!
Sessions are another way to make money as a singer! You may be invited to dep for somebody on a live gig, to record backing vocals or song demos in studios or even contribute to sample packs. Building up your experience as a session musician, as well as getting equipped with a good recording set up at home, will help to build up your session portfolio. Of course, networking and having a strong online presence will go a long way to secure more work.
Royalties are a share you get for works that you have either written and released yourself, or that you have contributed your writing or performance to. Always register your songs with collection societies. In the UK, the three main collection societies are PRS, PPL and MCPS. You can collect royalties from live performances, radio play, streaming and other avenues that your music is used in.
Publishing and Licensing
Publishing and licensing your music can make your royalties go further! If you are a self-releasing artist, you are both the writer and the publisher. Singers can choose to sign the publishing rights to a publisher, which means the company will get publishing royalties, however, this could increase your royalties as a songwriter, too. Such deals are often used when songs are licensed for film, TV and advertising. It can be a fantastic way to make money as a singer!
Loops and sample packs are a great way to build some passive income! Producers rely on these for a source of inspiration and creativity, so, if you have a good recording set up at home, you can start selling these directly from your website. There are also plenty of marketplaces like Splice and Loopmasters where you can aim to sell your sample packs and attract an even bigger customer base.
As you grow your following, you can start to expand into creating your own merchandise! This is a great opportunity for your audience to support you and for you to further your brand through physical advertising. T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, stickers are all popular choices for bands and solo artists alike. Due to the growing popularity of streaming services, CDs and vinyl work well as merchandise too and are still great options to consider, should your fans request physical copies of your music.
Sponsorships are another fantastic way to make money as a singer. You will likely need a dedicated audience or a platform, however, it doesn’t have to be big or unattainable for you to start making money through brand deals and sponsorships. Many acquire these income streams through social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. If you have a great following as a live musician, you may receive brand endorsements and other perks as well as potential sponsorships.
Many artists shy away from crowdfunding, and wrongfully so! Since the royalties artists get from streaming are miniscule and fewer listeners choose to buy music, crowdfunding is a great opportunity for your fans to support you. There is no shame in asking for money towards your next single, album or other projects. Your audience is here to enjoy the fruits of your labour and crowdfunding may provide them with more or better-quality music, videos, and experiences.
With enough practice, you too can become a singing teacher! This is an amazing opportunity to make money as a singer and inspire others on their journey to becoming professional vocalists, or simply exploring singing for fun. You could be teaching private lessons, group lessons, online classes and even creating your own courses to sell! Other avenues like posting tutorials on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok can also help you boost your credibility and attract more students.
Boost your career with adult singing lessons in London!
Every musician needs a strong foundation for their career, and we are here to make sure you have the best chance of making it professionally! Our vocal coaches are passionate, dedicated and will help you make the most of your voice in a comfortable, encouraging environment. Taking adult singing lessons is perfect not only to keep developing your voice but also to network and learn from teachers who have years of experience in professional musicianship. Browse our singing courses or get in touch to find out more!
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, The art of singing
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