It’s a curious thing—it has never been an easier time to become popular around the world as a musician, but it’s also never been harder to make money as a popular act. When you are in a band or are a singer-songwriter, you need to make investments in yourself. It isn’t easy to make investments in yourself when you aren’t making money, but it’s necessary. It’s what they mean by “fake it until you make it.” So, when you are trying to make it as a musician, below are five investments you should make in yourself.
Go on Tour
One of the best ways to invest in yourself as a musician is to go on tour. When you go on tour, you are promoting yourself and what you do. It’s a form of marketing. People are more likely to attend shows when the act is from out of town. They see you as more legitimate, even if you aren’t making money. The people from your hometown will also give you more respect when you become a touring act. You immediately become more legitimate. Going on tour is a great way to invest in what you are doing, but you also need some things to sell.
Press a Record
It’s very difficult to make money on the music itself these days. Streaming pays very little, and nobody is buying CDs anymore. However, there are a lot of people who are still buying vinyl. It has, as they say, made a comeback. Vinyl is a great item to invest in because it’s a piece of art unto itself. Furthermore, vinyl has a warmer, more full bodied sound than MP3s, WAV files on CDs, or analog tape cassettes. It is, for many people, the only way to listen to music. That’s why you should think about investing in your own vinyl records. Custom vinyl records aren’t cheap, but they are a great investment to legitimize your band and have something to sell at shows.
You shouldn’t just invest in vinyl records, you can also put some money into merchandise. People love t-shirts. They buy shirts and sweatshirts more than they buy vinyl records. It’s also an advertisement for your band or project. Whether you are going on tour or are just playing local shows, you should make some merchandise that people can wear. It’s a great business investment. Think of it to kickstart your business, and your business is your band and your music.
Play Free Shows
Before you make any money playing shows, you need to do it for free. You need to get the word out about your music, band, and songs. You need to promote what you do, sell your merchandise, and create a demand for your live shows. Only when there is a demand for your live act will you be able play shows for money. Playing shows is the most important part of being a musician. It’s the only way that you can make any money in music these days. The live performance is the most central and significant part of the music industry. That’s why you should invest in going on the road for a tour.
Emphasize Online Presence
When it comes to getting the word out there, emphasizing your online presence is everything. Not only should you have someone who does your social media, but it’s also important to understand search engine optimization (SEO). SEO can help you land high up on search engines like Google and Bing. It can be combined with social media to create a digital marketing brand. Finally, it’s necessary to have your music streaming on all the available platforms even if you don’t make money from them. Think of it as a form of advertising and digital marketing.
Musicians can’t make it on their own if they don’t invest in themselves. It’s that simple. If you don’t know how to invest in yourself, start with these ideas. These aren’t the only things you can do, but they are a good start. When you make investments in yourself and your music, they sometimes pay off. You can’t go into with that mindset, but you should understand that every investment adds up. In tandem, they can help you become successful in music.
Ryan Beitler is a writer and musician. He routinely covers music.