3 steps to monetize your musical project

July 28, 2019

Hey guys! We need to talk about the monetization of your musical project.

We don't have to be ashamed about money. Otherwise, you wouldn't be here, reading this! Let's be honest.

Many people are unaware of this, but the selling process of your music only has three steps.

Unfortunately, too many artists/bands rush to the last step and forget steps one and two, really important steps to make money from your artistic project.

If you follow this carefully, I promise you'll be able to make money as a musician.

1. Getting fans

Of course. No fans = no money. 

First, you have to find music lovers and catch their attention before going further.

Indeed, what's the point of releasing an album, doing a crowdfunding campaign or making a video, if you don't even have fans?

It may sound obvious, but we saw it a hundred times.

Bands going into studio, spending a few thousands dollars, while their fanbase is only made of colleagues, friends and family members.

Good job!

Now, I want you to repeat after me : A real fan is someone I've never seen before. A real fan is someone I've never seen before. A real fan is someone I've never seen before.

Great. Now you have that magic sentence in your mind, you absolutely need to find and target potential fans, directly where they are.

This can be on socials. This can be through Adwords advertising or Facebook. Or when you're opening for a bigger musician or playing at a festival.

This can be on a music blog (hey hey, thanks so much to the music blog section of the Indie Music Center!), this can be on Soundcloud or Bandcamp, as long as you have the opportunity to sustainably get these fans. But get them!

So, just don't focus only on what you will produce ("what to sell"), but on potential customers ("who to sell").

You won't go anywhere if you remove fans from the equation.

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2. Get your fans engaged

There is a huge difference between having hundreds fans and having hundreds real fans engaged in your career.

Let's be realistic : their involvement is not linked to chance. You can light up a candle, and pray. It's your decision. 

But I personally don't believe in that method.

It's about the time and effort you invest in your community, by giving them chances to get involved.

Whenever you can, give them the opportunity to:

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Did you got it? That's cool! You made a step ahead.

But you have to be really careful, and not doing this randomly. It could be considered as spam.

Keep it relevant, especially because a fan can detect value.

That said, you give your fan something that is worth more to him, than the time or money he gives to you.

There are so many ways to give value as a musician, but one of the most powerful methods is to give time and respect to create a sincere and friendly relationship.

It's to be available and reachable for your fans. See the third of our 5 tricks to become a successful indie artist.

Care for your fans, have fun with them and consider them as friends, or even members of your family.

If you frequently engage your fans by creating value for them, then you'll build their loyalty.

And they will only wait for one thing in step 3 of the process, that is, to invest money in your project.

A cold and uncommitted (or bought) fanbase is almost as useless as not having a fanbase.

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3. Monetizing

Now that you made some friends, all you have to do is selling something to themEP, album merch, gigs, downloads...

If you took enought time to build an engaged fanbase for months, then your fans will find a kind of value in what you offer them.

And it will help your sales.

Let's be honest, I didn't mean you'll get billions right after the release date of your first EP. 

If you want to keep your musical project, you have to offer loads of products and services, but also expand your discography.

You have to add incoming sources and and many different offers for your fans.

But if you do this while you're working on getting new fans, and engaging fans you already have, then you'll be the winner.

To sum up

As you can see, it's like an apple pie recipe. You can't remove any ingredient.

Keep in mind that I'm only giving you ideas to help you out.

But it's all up to you to get fans et engage them.