How to Earn Real Money from Your Music

by | Oct 28, 2020 | Uncategorized

Is it time to earn real money from your music?

Are you tired of working hard for cents rather than dollars?

Here’s the thing… There’s nothing wrong with pursuing success on Spotify or YouTube.


You could be putting the same amount of time and energy into earning real money. I’m serious.

And I’m not talking about gigging or live streaming. Gigging isn’t happening right now, and live streaming takes time to build.

So, where is the real money? Let’s talk.

Just Imagine – What if…

Just imagine:

What if you didn’t need a manager, publisher, label, any kind of promotion, following or fan base, or a recognized brand, and you could still earn six-figures in music?

Not possible? Think again.

We’re going to be looking at one opportunity that doesn’t require any of the above. Then, we’ll look at two other opportunities that may require promotion and/or a fan base, but don’t require anything else.

And you can earn six-figures in any of these opportunities. Now that’s real money.

Not that you can’t earn mad stacks in music sales, Spotify streams, YouTube views, or otherwise. But have you done the math on those? I think you’ve got a much better chance at winning it big in one of the following.

Stop buying the lottery tickets and make your own luck.

Stop buying the lottery tickets and make your own luck. Share on X

Let’s get started!

#1 – Earn Real Money in Sync Licensing & Placements

Getting your music in commercials, TV shows, films, video games, and other media can be incredibly profitable.

And, true to form, you don’t need a manager, publisher, label, promotion, fan base, or a brand to make six-figures in it.

In episode 19 of my podcast, I had Juno award winning songwriter and artist Helen Austin on the show to talk about her experience in licensing and placements, where most of her career was built.

And most recently, I had Adam McInnis on episode 211 of the podcast talking about how sync licensing and placements can transform an artist’s career. If you listen to his story, you’re sure to come away feeling inspired.

Succeeding in this area of the business is mostly networking and hard work, but most of all, you’ll be spending a ton of time making music and working on your craft! And isn’t that what you’d love to be doing most?

You can create the life of your dreams by getting into sync licensing.

You can create the life of your dreams by getting into sync licensing. Share on X

How to Action This:

There are basically three ways to get into sync licensing:

  • You can work with companies like Rumblefish that have existing relationships with music supervisors. By doing so, you can put the submission process on virtual autopilot.
  • You can write for music libraries, who carry a large catalog of music buyers can license.
  • You can build your relationships with music supervisors.

This is the networking part of the business.

The “hard work” part of it is making music that’s suited to the media you’re pitching to. Learning to self-produce is essential because you need to be able to work quickly. And you should be able to make music in a variety of genres and styles. Not a bad idea to create a roster of fellow producers and musicians you can collaborate with, either.

Additional Resources:

  • Listen to the above mentioned podcast episodes – 19 and 211.
  • How To Get Sync Placements – in this article you’ll find all the nitty-gritty details you’ve got to know to do well in licensing and placements.

#2 – Earn Real Money with Sales Funnels

A sales funnel is generally built on funnel building software like ClickFunnels.

Since a confused mind doesn’t do anything, funnel builders are designed to keep all the typical website clutter out of the way. That ensures you get a higher conversion rate from people landing on your funnel.

Basically, funnels follow an ascension model where your audience is first prompted to download something enticing for free. Then, they are brought to a $37 to $67 no-brainer offer. Finally, they are upsold another one-time offer at the end (could be any amount, but $37 to $297 is common).

(By the way, not all funnels follow the same three steps. Funnels can be as short as two steps and can have about as many steps as you want).

The basic premise is that if your target customer already has their wallet out and have opted in for your offer, they’re more willing to purchase your one-time offer.

I’ve talked about some of the issues with sales funnels before. But if I’m being honest, nothing is perfect, and I’ve even gone through a training program on sales funnels (I thought it was worth it for the marketing knowledge alone).

In the music industry, John Oszajca and Indepreneur are but a couple of proponents of funnels, and there are plenty of others out there. I even had John on my podcast to talk about how it all works.

How to Action This:

My preferred funnel builder isn’t ClickFunnels or Leadpages, as great as they are (we’re even affiliated with Leadpages).

The tool I recommend (and again I’m affiliated), is 10XPro. 10XPro is more fully featured, easier to use, and offers a better experience to customers overall.


Whether you want to build online courses, a membership site (more on this later), a download hub, or otherwise, you can build just about anything you want with 10XPro.

10XPro also offers plenty of training on how to build funnels using their platform, so I will leave the specifics to the experts.

Your part in this is to think about what to offer in your funnel. Again, the key components of it are:

  • An irresistible free download (like an album)
  • An upsell (like a merch bundle)
  • A one-time offer (like your making-of video series)

Once your funnel is set up, it’s a matter of driving as much traffic as you possibly can to it daily (using advertising, content, social media, Dream 100, and so on).

(I’ve written a blog post comparing ClickFunnels, Leadpages, and 10XPro here).

Additional Resources:

#3 – Earn Real Money with Memberships

I have friends in the music industry who are cleaning up with membership sites.

Brent Vaartstra is the perfect example:

The goal of a membership site or fan club is to have a portal where you give paying members access to content (music, music videos, photos, guitar tabs, etc.), and foster community interaction. Of course, you can throw in as many bonuses as you want (like free tickets, front row seats, invites to meet and greets, and so on) to make it even more enticing.

(Just spy on other people’s Kickstarter campaigns and their incentives for more ideas.)

There isn’t necessarily a limit on how much you can charge for a membership, but somewhere in the range of $17 to $37 per month is good if you’re just getting started.

And yes, that does mean you’ve got to put some serious legwork into growing your fan base and nurturing them into super-fans to make real money in memberships.

But think about this…

The average Spotify royalty rate is $0.00331 per stream.

So, to make $3,310, you’d need to get a million streams. Ouch.

Meanwhile, you’d only need about 123 members in your $27 membership to earn the same amount. And assuming you can hold onto those members, that’s recurring revenue, which you can build upon.

I don’t know about you, but membership economics make way more sense than Spotify economics to me.

How to Action This:

Patreon is probably the easiest solution for most artists, since you can get on the platform, set up your profile, and start attracting patrons without having to set up your own website.

With that in mind, the previously mentioned 10XPro is also a solid option if you don’t mind taking the time necessary to build your site (if you’ve got additional resources, you can also hire someone to do it).

Fundamentally, you can build your membership on any platform of your liking, be it Slack or with a Facebook group. The only downside to this is that your account or group could be deleted.

To safeguard against this, it’s better to own the racecourse than to own the racehorse. In other words – beware of building on rented land!

Beware of building on rented land! Share on X

Additional Resources:

  • Profitable Membership Business – James Scharmako is the authority on membership sites so far as I’m concerned, and his course is moderately priced, all things considered.

Earn Real Money in Music, Final Thoughts

Now that you’re aware of the opportunities available, it’s simply a matter of choosing one and going all in on it.

It is possible to earn real money in music.

And, again, while you can do it on Spotify, YouTube, TikTok or some other trending platform, for the same amount of time, effort, and energy, there are better opportunities out there. You’ve just read about three.

What are your next steps? What are you going to do with this information?

I would argue that the best place to start is with my latest book, The Music Entrepreneur Code, because it covers the three keys to every successful music career – mindset, productivity, and marketing.

The Music Entrepreneur Code

Either way, thank you for joining me, and if you found this valuable, don’t forget to share it with your friends!