How to Become a Freelance Musician

by | Sep 30, 2020 | Uncategorized

Whether you’re interested in music as a side hustle, or something to do for fun, becoming a freelance musician seems like an attractive proposition to many.

The music industry is a bit of a weird one, because getting your music streamed or purchased is NOT the superhighway to wealth.

But if you know where to look, there are some incredible opportunities. There’s much we could cover, but in this guide, we’re going to focus on the three opportunities we’d consider the best to pursue, especially since they don’t require you to become a full-fledged entrepreneur, digital marketer, or publisher in any capacity.

If you know where to look, there are some incredible opportunities in the music business. Share on X

Here we go!

Sync Licensing Could be Your New Friend

The fast track to wealth in the music business, if there ever was one, is sync licensing and placements.

This is basically the process of making your music available for use in TV shows, films, commercials or advertisements, and sometimes even video games.

And the craziest and BEST part about it is that you don’t need to be ANYBODY to do well in sync licensing.

You don’t have to bee good-looking, funny, well-known, popular, lovable, or even talented. SERIOUSLY. This Is the closest thing to an equal opportunity in the music industry if there ever was one.

Sync licensing is the closest thing to an equal opportunity in the music industry there is. Share on X

The only skill you need is the ability to make beats. And that’s something you could learn in 20 minutes (I said COULD – that’s not a guarantee, but the point is it’s not that hard, and it does get better and better with practice).

To get your music placed, you will need to find music libraries or licensing companies to work with. Fortunately, I covered that in detail in another guide.

The number one thing you need to focus on isn’t on music libraries or licensing companies though.

First and foremost, you’ll want to get in the practice of pumping out new music all the time. This is essential.

Secondly, I recommend building relationships. Find the decision makers and people who are connected to them.

Finally, look at the licensing companies in the guide I linked to above.

Collaborative Opportunities are Where it’s at

Musicians are everywhere. All you need to do is go looking for them.

You can find plenty of artists who don’t have much of a following, and therefore would be a good fit for you to work with.

You could approach them with the idea of co-writing a track. And you could appear on each other’s YouTube videos. You could even interview each other podcast style. There are plenty of possibilities to explore.

Really the biggest advantage of collaboration is that you can get in front of a wider audience rather quickly.

Plus, you don’t need to be the best musician in the world to be able to work with others. If you’re a good hang, life is your oyster.

Just recognize you’re not going to be able to compete with, or even collaborate with, people like Jared Dines or Stevie T without paying the price, rising through the ranks and honing your craft like a beast possessed.

Still, if you’re just looking to have fun and maybe build a bit of a side income, this is a good way to go. If you play your cards right, you should be able to find plenty of people to collaborate with.

And if you keep at it, more opportunities will present themselves.

YouTube Might Propel Your Career Forward

I need to be 100% honest with you. Yes, YouTube is cool. And it is a great place to put your content. But growing your subscriber base there is not an easy feat.

These days, you can’t even monetize your channel until you’ve got 1,000 subscribers. Something I’m still working on (help)!

And you shouldn’t expect to get paid by the truckload either. Even with a lot of views and subscribers, unless it’s in the millions, your income is bound to fall in the “a few hundred” to, if you work your little tail off, “a few thousand” range.

This isn’t to say there aren’t a ton of different ways to monetize your channel. You can:

And if even if your fan base is small, if it’s engaged (and click-happy), you can make a decent amount of money. It’s all about strategy!

I also wrote an up-to-date guide on YouTube marketing for musicians recently, so refer to that. Who said I wasn’t looking out for you, huh? HUH!?

Before You Go…

I’ve got a secret. And I’m a bit hesitant to share.

But you’re here anyway, so I might as well tell you.

I’ve got several books. And there are two specifically that can REALLY help you with marketing and monetization ideas. No word of a lie!

(But don’t take my word for it, you’ll see some of the things people are saying about my books below.)

The first one I recommend is The New Music Industry, which is near comprehensive in its scope.

The New Music Industry book paperback

See what Buddy Love had to say about it here:

Buddy Love

The second is The Music Entrepreneur Code.

The Music Entrepreneur Code

Care to see what Learn Jazz Standards’ Brent Vaartstra said about it?

Brent Vaatrstra, Amazon

The choice is yours, friend. Either way, before you go, I suggest getting on the email list to receive more updates about becoming a freelance musician.

Becoming a Freelance Musician, Final Thoughts

We’ve set you up for success, and now, the rest is up to you!

It’s time to get out there. Start making beats. Shake hands. Share your works.

And the most important part of all this is to have fun. No matter how seriously you take your side hustle, you should always remember that it’s your passion.

Thanks for dropping by.

Is there anything else we should have covered? Do you have any questions?

Let us know in the comments below!