If you think it’s “unethical” to make a living in the music business by finding the most efficient ways to make money… go ahead and leave this page right now.

However, if you have a strong desire for music and want to pursue it as a career… you’ve come to the right place. The fact is that most musicians DO NOT know how to make good money in the music business. As a result, they end up outside the music industry in a job that they are not happy with. In this article, I’ll help you avoid the pitfalls that keep most musicians from living off their music career so you can realize your potential with music.

In reality, making A LOT of money in the music business isn’t as hard as it seems (and is NOT something that is just for rock stars), but if you want to achieve this for yourself, you need to think about an alternative mindset than most musicians.

The reason so many musicians don’t make a lot of money from music is because they don’t know that music is a business (and should be treated as such). These people fail because they are not mentally ready to achieve great things in the music industry.

Other than not approaching their music career with an understanding of the business side, most musicians don’t make much money in the music industry because of making the following mistakes:

Thinking popularity = making a lot of money in the music industry

The fact is that the majority of the musicians who “make it” in the music industry are NOT rock stars. Being part of a popular band does not mean you will earn a good income. The truth is that some musicians (who are very popular) still have side jobs to make ends meet. By understanding this, you will be able to put “fame” aside to focus on the most effective ways to work towards your goal of making a good living with music. Sure, it’s possible to be both famous and make a lot of money in the music industry, but it’s paramount right now to focus your efforts on the right aspects of your goal.

Not working to continually add value to others in the music business

There is one very important concept to understand if you want to pursue a career in music. Whether you’re an itinerant musician, music teacher, producer, session player, songwriter, or any other profession, the people who pay you money to work with you will have to have a reason to pick you out of the thousands of other musicians who follow the same path. follow. At first, this may seem pretty hopeless, but in reality, the amount of competition you face is not a major factor. Why is this? The fact is, most musicians are too busy to focus on their musical skills while not focusing on building as much “value” around themselves as possible. Your musical skills (as wonderful as they are) are only ONE element of “value”. The other elements (which most musicians don’t focus on) are your work ethic, temperament,  business acumen and reliability to name a few. To make yourself the absolute best choice to partner with a music company, you have to work to build a huge amount of value so that any musicians competing against you will pale in comparison. This means that when a music company is considering working with you, it should be CLEAR that there is no other choice.

At this point, you might think this is an easy concept to understand (and you’re right!). Despite this, the vast majority of musicians do not take action on a daily basis to do this in their music career. As long as you have the ability to continuously add a lot of value for everyone in the music business, you have great potential to make a lot of money. It is for this reason that I train all musicians in my mentoring program in the music industry to develop a mindset to add value to everything they do.

Failure to identify multiple sources of music-related income

Almost all musicians enter the music business with the same mindset that they have used when looking for a regular job. This means that they expect only a single source of income from touring or releasing music albums.

Of course there is nothing wrong with this way of making money. Relying “alone” on these roads, however, is very limited and makes it difficult to continuously lead a comfortable life as a musician. Fortunately, it is quite easy to create many different sources of income for yourself that together make for a very stable and sustainable career in the music business. It doesn’t matter what your main goal is in the music industry, be it touring in a band, selling albums, producing records, etc… you will need to have a variety of sources that will bring you money in both passive and active ways. . †Having multiple sources of income gives you a lot of security and you don’t have to rely on a single income stream to make a living.

Not knowing your goals and having no plan to achieve them

To make more money in your music career, you need to set specific goals and have a strategy to achieve them. Don’t just have vague ideas of wanting to become a professional musician. Instead, you should focus on what you want to get out of music. Answer the questions below to get started:


  1. What do you want your annual music career income to be?
  2. What are the different sources of income that can help you achieve your goal in question #1?
  3. What actions do you need to take to set up these revenue streams?
  4. What is every possible way you can add high value to every interaction you have in the music business?
  5. What is every possible way to eliminate risk to other people in the music business?


After answering each of the questions above, you should take each step in your music career toward the specific goals you set for yourself.

The majority of musicians struggle to identify exactly ‘what’ they need to do to get the results they want in the music industry. Moreover, once they know ‘what’ to do, they struggle to understand ‘how’ to use this knowledge effectively. If you are in the same situation, the best thing you can do is find a great mentor who can train you to achieve success in your music career and make a lot of money in the music industry. By doing this, you avoid wasting your time and effort on the same frustrating mistakes other musicians make.

Not properly identifying who you are marketing to

After you understand the value you want to provide in the music business, you need to know who you are going to give it to. For example, if you are ready to release your new album, or want to create a new educational service or product on your website, who are the people who are going to buy it? Do you have a way to get in touch with these people? If not, what steps are you taking now to build a database of your fans/customers? If your goal is to work as a session musician, have you already spent time writing down all the musicians, studios and bands that might be looking for someone to work with? What will you do today to grab the attention of your potential customers?

If you’re like most musicians, you probably haven’t invested a lot of time determining who your market is. As a result, here’s what’s likely to happen: You spend a lot of time and energy creating music or educational products, but don’t make a lot of money from your musical endeavors, as you don’t yet have a database of customers willing to buy what has to offer you.

Because this is such an important factor for success in a music business career, I spend a lot of time showing musicians in my music business mentoring program how to build a database and use it to live a good life. to earn the music.

You may think that a contract with a music company means you don’t have to work to promote yourself, build a fan list or find ways to make money. In reality, however, these companies are not and will not be responsible for your music career. The key to success and making a lot of money in the music industry is for YOU to take action and build your database. This way, all your customers/fans are controlled by you.

Ending Thoughts

There are many musicians who view the music business as “deceitful” or “wrong” because it is about making money from someone’s passion rather than giving it away for free. These people probably spend their time writing songs or improving their skills on their instrument. While these are important things to work on, it’s also critical to focus on improving your “music business” skills if you want to make enough money from music without needing a day job to make ends meet.

Even though there’s no way to predict (in a single article) the specific path you’ll have to take to make a good living in the music industry, avoiding the mistakes mentioned here will give you a much better chance of achieving financial freedom. in your music career to achieve. The good news is that when you start earning a stable income as a professional musician, you can spend more time on what drew you to the music industry in the first place: making music.

Tyrone Brock

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