The world needs music, and we’re lucky to have a lot of passionate independent musicians creating art we love.
If you have a gift for music, there’s nothing more rewarding than following your dream and engineering your own start in the entertainment industry.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of expenses involved in creating music. Things like gear, recording equipment, studio space, music video production, and marketing can cost money, and they can be a lot for an independent artist or band to cover.
But don’t get discouraged by the challenge of trying to make money with music!
In the age of grants, crowdfunding, and sales channels, there are plenty of ways to finance your music by yourself.
Here are 8 ways to get funding for your music!
Grants and Loans
If you qualify for a grant or loan, you’re in luck!
These are often substantial sums of cash that can finance whole projects, but they can be difficult to obtain.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Artist Grants
Artists grants are sums of money, usually provided by foundations or benefactors, that artists can use to cover expenses for their creative ventures.
There are a number of institutions that offer grants for artists and musicians, and if you meet their individual criteria, it might be worth sending in an application for some funds.
Of course, it’s worth noting that grants are highly competitive, and you aren’t guaranteed to receive anything, so make sure to have a backup plan.
For US artists, grants to consider include:
2. SBA Loans
If you’re an independent artist or band trying to make money with music, then you might qualify for a small business loan!
The SBA Community Advantage Loan for the Arts and Entertainment Industry can provide you with up to $250,000 to grow your brand and get funding for your album, music video, and other projects.
Like all loans, your SBA loan must be paid back over time, so you’ll need to demonstrate the money-making potential of your work, but an SBA loan can be used to cover many of the expenses associated with being an up-and-coming musician.
Crowdfunding is a way for independent creators to raise money for their projects with donations from the crowd, and with the advent of online platforms like Patreon, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo, it has exploded in popularity over the past few years.
A lot of artists love it because it doesn’t cost anything to get started (though most platforms expect you to provide rewards for backers) and it can make a big difference when it comes to financing your music.
More and more bands and musicians are using this resource to get funding for albums, music videos, and other creative projects.
I recently wrote a book that goes through all of the best practices and insider tips for doing this effectively. It’s called Music Crowdfunding Secrets: Fund Your Next Album, EP, or Tour, and it’s available now on Amazon!
Check it out if you are considering using crowdfunding to finance your music.
Here are some of the most popular platforms musicians are using to get funding for bands, music videos, albums, and more.
Founded by YouTube musician Jack Conte, Patreon has taken the world of arts and entertainment by storm thanks to its unique subscription crowdfunding model.
Through Patreon, your fans can pay a monthly subscription fee in return for exclusive rewards, which might include merchandise, community memberships, or early access to new content.
Because Patreon allows you to receive recurring funding on a regular basis, it can be a great way to raise money for your music career as a whole.
On the other hand, if you prefer to raise money for one project at a time, a rewards-based crowdfunding site like Kickstarter might be the way to go.
Musicians can use Kickstarter to set up campaign pages for individual projects, such as albums, music videos, or tours. Fans who are interested in seeing these projects come to fruition can put up funds in return for rewards.
With a community of over 22 million backers, it’s easily the most popular platform on the scene.
Indiegogo is a great Kickstarter alternative with a similar rewards-based crowdfunding model for individual projects.
It’s a bit smaller than its competitor, but it has a robust community of artists and musicians achieving their goals every day.
Unlike Kickstarter, which uses an all-or-nothing fundraising structure, Indiegogo allows for flexible funding, meaning you can keep all the money you raise even if you don’t meet your funding goal.
The bad news is that it’s very hard to make money if you don’t have a product or service to sell.
The good news is that as a musician, you have a product that never goes out of style!
Take advantage of as many sales channels as you can and use the revenue to fund your future projects.
It’s important to note that many of these sales channels will require some money to get started, but if you have the means, these are investments worth making.
6. Streaming and Album Sales
Musicians make money by selling music. This should be a no-brainer!
Nowadays, most people consume music through streaming services, so don’t worry if you don’t yet have the resources to release a physical record or CD.
Instead, look for ways to market your music to listeners through popular streaming services so that you can collect royalties.
7. Ticket Sales
If you have a strong community of followers who are willing to pay to see you perform, selling concert tickets can bring in some substantial revenue.
A major tour might be beyond your reach for now, but by starting small and leveraging the fanbase you have, you can use ticket sales to get funding for larger projects.
Merchandise includes physical products like t-shirts, posters, and CDs that your fans might want to buy to show their support.
You can sell these things online or in person at concerts.
An added benefit of selling merch is that it will help increase brand awareness of your name and might introduce new fans to your music!
The world wants to hear your music, and these fundraising avenues can make that happen.
I recommend looking into each of these to determine whether their right for you and your band.
We’re lucky to live in an age where individuals are free to pursue their creative ventures on their own. This culture of independent artistry has given rise to so many unique projects, and institutions like crowdfunding have enabled many truly talented musicians to find their voice.
If you’re interested in learning more about how crowdfunding can help you finance your music career, be sure to check out my book Music Crowdfunding Secrets: Fund Your Next Album, EP, or Tour to learn the ropes and get started!
The post 8 Ways to Get Funding for Your Music appeared first on CrowdCrux: Crowdfunding Demystified.
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