A wise man said, “Never have a limit on your income.”
Example he gave:
If you sell pens for a living and someone orders a million pens, no problem! You just place an order with your manufacturer for a million pens, get them to the customer, and celebrate.
But if you do hands-on massage for a living and a recent spot on Oprah gets you a waiting list of 10,000 people, “you’ll wish you were in the pen business.”
Point being : If you make a living only providing an in-person (hands-on) service, you are limiting your income. If you were in a “while you sleep” business, there is no limit to how much you can make.
So... what about musicians?
Recently, some people suggest that the recorded music is now just a free giveaway to get people to go to the show. They say that musicians are only in a hands-on service-provider business now.
But you can see the flaw in this plan. As a musician, you must not buy into that “only earn by performing” belief because it limits your income.
What other ways can music be a “while you sleep” income-earner for musicians?
- write songs for others to perform
- creating commercial-use music (that businesses will use in advertising, for example)
- getting your music into film/tv
- paid-area access to your web-archive with all your music, even works-in-progress
- make it easy for fans to donate
- create a recognizable brand once, then license the name or model to others (like “Chicken Soup for the Soul”)
- franchise your band: train multiple bands how to sound just like you, then all can go tour, while you get royalty when they do
- creating music-education programs used by many schools
- release your unmixed tracks for fans to remix, letting them sell the remixes on a 50/50 split
Whatever income ideas you’re thinking, make sure you’re being paid for more than just your time.