You might be just as surprised as I was when I was told you can't pay your rent, mortgage or utilities with the infamous 'Exposure Currency'.
I know, mental right?
This is why it's super important to have your thinking cap on when it comes to generating cash whilst doing something you love. Along the way you will get plenty of people that will try and squeeze every favour and freebie out of you, but irrespective of how philanthropic you are... bills need to be paid in order for you to live.
Can't be a music producer without electricity, right?
So the most important thing you must remember is that your income will, very rarely, come from a single revenue stream. It will come from all over the place... MCPS, PRS, ASCAP, Spotify, YouTube, Clients, Film Studios and maybe even your parents buying the 1st EP!?
Therefore it is important to get your ducks in a row and be organised when it comes to handling your finances and generating income.
Let's take a look at a few ways in which you can generate some income...
All of these ideas are typically carried out alongside your efforts of becoming a music producer, however, they are definitely a viable option to pursue full-time as well.
1. Sample Pack Creator
There are many Audio Sample Stores and companies out there that want work from you. Websites such as Hyper Sounds, Splice, Loopmasters, ProducerLoops.com, Noiiz are always looking to work with new and exciting talent and they are happy to pay for it. How do I know? Because I've done it! For one Sample Pack that covers a complete genre you could be looking upwards of $1000. Not bad eh?
If you're not sure how to create Sample Packs, here is a great link to get you started: Creating your own sample pack
2. Create Courses & Tutorials
Currently the eLearning market is now valued at a whopping $200bn+ so it's safe to say that there is money to be made. There are lots of companies out there that are looking for music producers to make content for them such as ADSR Sounds, Sonic Academy, Academy.fm + many more. Again, how do I know? Because I've done them! I've created well over 500+ hours of content over the years.
3. Become a YouTuber
This might not sound overly inviting but from the evidence I've seen on YouTube of music producers doing vlogs, it appears to be a very good career path to go down in more ways than one. Many of the music producers on YouTube have achieved extraordinary things and they work with some fantastic artists and brands.
Why? Because they are being seen as pro-active, transparent and likeable. If you vlog about things such as your processes for making music, what equipment you have, who you're working with etc, it shows that you're able to organise yourself and demonstrate initiative, which is what potential collaborators want to see.
They don't care about how your track got 10k listens on Soundcloud over a year, they want to see you doing stuff and get an insight to who you are.
4. Provide Online Production Services
Utilise your skills in the way they were intended and advertise your services on websites such as Freelancer, UpWork, SoundBetter and Fiverr to gain clients and start doing the actual work you want to be doing. From my experience SoundBetter and UpWork have been the most successful as you can do some background research on the clients that are asking for work from you.
So to conclude, the bills need paying and having the ability to manage your own finances and be self-sufficient is absolutely key. The 4 tips I've just given are 100% proven ways that you can make a living from what you love.