Great Tips for Indie Artists on How to Finance Your Music Career
As an independent artist in the music business it can be tough. At times it can be difficult and outright frustrating. You have to do twice the work. You have to build your own team. You have to make a name for yourself with no corporate backing. Last but not least you have to finance your music career yourself. This can be a challenging task for indie artists. The reality is most independent artists still have full time or part time jobs. This makes it a challenge for the artist to balance their income and work schedule. This is why saving and managing your finances are very important. Here are 8 great saving tips on how to finance your music career as an indie artist.
1) Financial plan
When managing and saving money the 1st thing you have to do is create a financial plan. This allows you to save with structure and purpose. This way you’re not just randomly saving or randomly trying to achieve goals. With a financial plan you can save and work towards building your career step by step. Like anything, if you’re wondering how to start a career in music, the 1st thing you need is a business plan. The biggest aspect of that business plan is the finance section. For example, if you want to accomplish a particular financial goal by a certain date, it’s easier to achieve that goal with a written plan. Also it’s been statistically proven that when you write down plans and goals you’re more likely to achieve them.
2) Only buy what you need
One of the biggest factors with saving money for most people is unnecessary spending. This also applies to indie artists with their music careers. If you’re an independent artist, trying to find your music career, while also working you’re going to have to manage how you spend. You’ll need money to pay your bills, living expenses and support your career. The reality is you may not have enough. The best way to tackle this is to only buy what you need. You may have to temporarily sacrifice spending on your wants until you get the career you desire. Then when you can afford it you can buy what you want and need. In the meantime only buy what you need. Don’t worry about being materialistic or trying to keep up with the joneses. You have to want you music career bad enough where you’re willing to sacrifice a few things. Instead of upgrading to the latest phone every time a new one comes out be happy with the phone you have. Instead of shopping for clothes every paycheck, try doing 1 big shopping trip that will last you for the next 2-3 months. Eliminate leisure activities such as:
- going out to eat
- going to the movies
- going to amusement parks
- paying for paid apps and subscriptions
3) Utilize free platforms
Another great way to save money and finance your music career is to utilize every free platform as much as possible. If there is a free webinar, seminar, or workshop that can help you advance your career or a particular music career project take advantage of it. Event attending a free event for entrepreneurs is a good idea. After all, as an indie artist running your own career you are an entrepreneur. Any free apps on your phone that can help towards your music career as an indie artist you should utilize. For instance, if your a singer and record a lot you could always download a free voice recorder on your phone. Then of course there’s social media platforms that are amazing free platforms to help advance your career as an indie artist.
4) Save in advance
As an indie artist the key to receiving your big break is networking. Yes you can network via social media. However, the best way to network is to go where the people are, where your audience is. This means you’ll have to attend major music related events. The reality is these events cost a lot of money. But to see a major change in your career it’s important that you attend at least 2 of them and network while there. The best way to be able to attend these type of events on a small budget is to save ahead of time. You’ll have to research upcoming events in advance. This way you know ahead of time to save for them. The easiest way to do this is to have a list of all the major music events written down with their dates. Remember to start the list soon as possible this way you’re not trying to save up at the last minute. You should give yourself 6 – 12 months to save up for the events on your list. The bigger the event, the more it’ll cost. This is why you want to save up in advance. Even if you can’t attend every major music event on your list you should aim to attend 1 – 3. If there’s one you end up missing just remember you can always start preparing for the next year. Below are a list of major music events indie artists should attend to help advance their career.
5) Invest but don’t go broke
One of the keys to saving money is to know when you’re over spending. Another thing you have to understand is the difference between an expense and an investment. With that being said it’s important to know how to invest in your music career but not go broke. If you go broke and aren’t able to provide for yourself, you won’t be doing yourself or your music career any good. Yes you have to put money into your career. However, you have to do it with strategy. Meaning you don’t want to spend on unnecessary tasks and events. Also you don’t want to pay for unnecessary services involving your music career. For example you wouldn’t pay for a particular class where you could get the exact same information for free off of a Youtube tutorial video. Or you wouldn’t want to try to make it to event music expo or festival on the planet. You’d be guaranteed to run out of money. What you would want to do is narrow it down to the most important ones that you feel you will benefit from the most. This way you’re investing in your career versus endlessly spending on it.
6) Get a side hustle
Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that having a side hustle is the key to winning. No matter what industry or career you pursue you need money to finance it. One of the best ways to finance your career while working a regular job is to have a side hustle. The reality is it’s close to impossible to reach your goals without one. This is because most of the time the money you make from your job has to go to your bills and living expenses. Your side hustle money is what you can use to manage and finance your music career. The best way to utilize your side hustle is to make it something you’re already good at. It can also be something linked to your music career already. Whatever you decide to choose as your side hustle just make sure you’re doing all you can to attract new customers. Make sure your utilizing every opportunity. But the most important thing to remember with your side hustle is to not let it take away from your music career. Some great ideas for side hustles are listed below:
- doing hair
- doing make-up
- small event planning
- freelance writing (resumes, business proposals, web content)
- event singer
- musician (piano, guitar, drums, violin, etc.)
- uber/ lyft driver
- web designer
- and many more
7) Start a coin bank
As silly and trivial as this may sound starting a coin bank is a great saving tip for your music career. It may seems childish. You may think it won’t help much with money but you’ll be surprised at how much you can save with a coin bank. The coins actually add up pretty quick. Each time you get change, break a dollar or find change, simply put it in your jar and don’t think about. The key to really seeing a difference with coin jars is to give them the time to fill up. Don’t go in them to get change from them periodically. Don’t try to cash them in after a month or even 3 months. Try to wait at least a year before you cash your coins in. Who knows, you may be able to cash you coin jar in after a year and attend one of those major music events with the money. Maybe it’ll pay for your flight or ticket to the actual event.
8) Get rid of your debt
Unfortunately, there are a lot of endeavors people would love to pursue but can’t due to finance issues. A lot of these finance issues are rooted in debt. If you’re an indie artist with a job and responsibilities, you probably have some type of debt. No matter how big or small having debt can negatively affect your life and career plans. You may constantly have to pay on a credit card. You may have a monthly car note. These debts add up and hinder you from financing your music career. This is why it’s important to strategically get rid of your debt. Don’t try to pay everything off all at once. This is something you have to plan out as well. If you’re not sure where to start there are plenty of sources on how to get out of debt. Below are a list of great articles that give amazing methods on how to get out of debt.
- 8 ways to get out of debt
- 25 ways to get out of debt
- 11 ways to get out of debt faster
- 10 biggest mistakes people make when getting out of debt
These 8 tips on how to save and finance your music career are only the beginning. There are so many ways to economically invest in your career. There are countless tips and ideas on how to manage working a regular job while still pursuing your dreams. The key is to not only create a plan but to actually work the plan. With these 8 tips you’ll definitely be on to a great start.