Photo by Sincerely Media
A lot of musicians today face their greatest fears during the pandemic: everything is closed, there are no concerts and all their students are in self-isolation. We’ve all been asking ourselves: how can I earn some extra money during the lockdown? Today we’ll try to answer this question.
We’ll take a look at five different platforms that allow you to promote your skills, build your fan-base and earn money by performing, teaching and composing online. There will also be some examples of musicians who managed to build their success around these platforms. So stay tuned!
IMSLP or MuseScore (+YouTube optionally)
imslp.org and musescore.com are two websites for composers to promote their music on. IMSLP and MuseScore are platforms which allow you to upload your scores, and thousands of musicians all around the world can download your music for free.
In addition to promoting your music on Musescore or IMSLP, consider sharing a recording on Youtube. A live performance adds validity to your sheet music!
The concept is easy: musicians can get your scores for free, and for you this means a free performance or recording that promotes your work. What’s great about MuseScore is that they also have a Community feature: you can add a discussion to notify people that you have a new piece coming right up.
Michio Aramaki is a composer from Japan, who promotes his works on IMSLP and Facebook. His sheet music gets up to thousands of downloads per piece. For example, his Woodwind Trio, op.1 has almost 2000 downloads. It’s a rare line-up for a wind ensemble, and that’s why musicians are paying extra attention to this piece. So here is a tip: try composing music for rare instruments or ensembles; it’s going to help you to draw more attention to your work.
Reddit is a big platform for any discussion on the Internet. r/music subreddit has over 26 millions followers! It’s a great opportunity to promote your music there for free.
For example, here’s a thread by composer and pianist Bruce Hornsby promoting his new album “Non-Secure Connection” on this subreddit. In the thread he shares some links for the followers to listen to his album and engages them to ask him any questions. As the thread gained over 300 comments, it was pinned by moderators for several days. Every person who went on r/music, while the thread was pinned, saw Bruce’s post first.
It was a free promotion for him! Though you have to be careful about self-promotion on Reddit: there are strict rules for each community, and you have to follow them to be seen and heard.
Ultimate Guitar is a platform for guitar and piano players. There are tabs, forums and articles, but today we will be talking specifically about shots. Ultimate Guitar’s shots are an online version of an open mic. You can perform your music to millions of people and connect with them in comments. UG also features best shots on the main page of the app. If your shot gets a lot of views, likes and comments, UG’s editors will add your clip to the main page, where more people will watch it.
Here’s an amazing example of promoting your art via shots: Declan Cosgrove, a guitar and piano player, uploaded a clip of him playing and singing Hallelujah to promote his free courses.
His shot blew up, got a lot of likes, comments and over 11k views, and ended up on the main page of the app. Declan drew attention to his free courses with one 30 seconds clip. Watch and learn!
We’ve talked enough about promoting your skills. What about selling your work and gaining money? Here are two different platforms to sell your courses, your music and your performance online!
Fiverr is a platform for buying and selling freelance works. There is a broad range of music and audio services: from music transcription and beat making to songwriting and online music lessons. If you have mastered a skill, you can teach it or sell it on Fiverr.
Here’s an example for you: a user called androzguitar offers a jingle or intro production on the platform starting at $15. He even appeared in a YouTube video on Safiya Nygaard’s channel a couple years ago. In the video Safiya ordered an intro song for her channel by androzguitar.
The video became viral (right now it has over 11 million views), and androzguitar went from having 400 orders to over 1000 orders just by selling his work. He is now one of the top-rated music freelancers on the platform. So his hard work paid off.
Udemy.com is a website that allows you to create and sell courses on their platform. If you know how to play an instrument, how to sing or compose, if you have knowledge of music production or DJing, you can make a course and sell it on Udemy.
Here is a piano course called Pianoforall made by Robin Hall. His course has over 280 thousand students with a 4,6 rating on the platform. It’s a truly successful freelance work and we hope it inspires you to sell your skills and knowledge online.
And if you decide to sell your works, try out the platforms we recommended for promoting your music, and let us know how it goes. Maybe you will be featured in our next article about successful musicians!
Stay safe, healthy and inspired. We wish you all good luck!
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