If you are looking for Sustainable Strategies to increase your artist income, you’re going to love this!

There are three key components to increase your income as a musician. We’ve gone over Part One and Part Two already, so if you haven’t yet take a second to catch up on those.

As the head of a music PR firm, I have the pleasure of speaking to a lot of artists who are looking to earn more money with their music. Most call me inquiring about PR wrongly thinking that getting more music blog exposure will be a path to a sustainable living.  They are sadly mistaken.

PR has its place and absolutely has many benefits

The longer I do this work the more convinced I am that artists should save their money on PR campaigns and invest in sustainable strategies that will help them to earn money.

The most effective way do this is with a long-term marketing plan, which outlines a full overview of the entire landscape and then drills down into the short and long-term goals which are unique for every artist.

my agency strategizes with artists and their teams to create comprehensive musician marketing plans that focus on how to structure the next year of your music career so that monetization becomes a reality.

Smart businesses always start with plans. Writing a business plan is the only way any business has a roadmap or a chance at investment or monetization. And sadly I rarely meet artists who have taken the time to put together a long-term music marketing plan.

This is a three-part article focuses on one of the many components we address in our marketing plans, which we now call Total Tuneups.

Click To Read More About Musician's Total Tuneup

The first 2 parts of this increasing artist income series have covered:

increasing artist income pt 1

Part 1. Increase your number of fans.

Studies have proven that it is much harder to make a new client and get them to purchase something than it is to get a client who already knows and trusts you to purchase from you over and over.

In this post, I will help you to stop wasting time on Facebook ads and tweeting till your fingers go numb and instead help you focus on the thing that is 40 times more effective.

increase artist income pt 2

Part 2. Increase the frequency of purchase

This means: how often your fans buy from you combined with what you offer.


In this part, we’re going to focus on 3 types of Sustainable Strategies – Pre-Sale, Ongoing, or Crowdfunding.

Experiences are the foundational element for each. They may take some long-term planning but they are incredible ways to connect with fans.  I suggest you can choose whichever resonates with you. Don’t be afraid to try a few out and see what sticks!

 First step: come up with some unique ideas for fan experiences and merchandise. Second, come up with your strategy on how to implement them.


Pre – Sale – Never Squander The Chance to Earn Money From A New EP or A Full Release

We sadly see this all the time. Artist put so much time into recording and creating a new body of work and strategize the release by going straight to hiring a PR firm or a radio promo company but skip a very important step – monetizing the actual release.  Just posting it to Spotify and iTunes won’t make you money.  You need to make each release an experience opportunity for your fans.


Create Sustainable Ongoing Monthly Pay

Volume.com is an amazing place to build experiences around your album or EP launch through livestreams and fan club experiences. It’s an easy way to create recurring revenue for yourself, while giving your fans the VIP experience month after month.

Artists of all levels are working with them and spending some time on the site will give you loads of inspiration.

A great statistic to keep in mind from Volume is: 60% of fans are asking for more to buy from their favorite artists. Volume also boasts a 92% subscription retention rate month over month.


A 30-Day Sprint to a Big Goal

Whether you’re recording an album, making a music video, planning a tour, creating merchandise, or just trying to pay the bills, creating a crowdfunding campaign not only allows you to sustain a career as an independent musician – it also gives your fans the opportunity to take part in all of the unique experiences this post and series alludes to.

Give them the chance to support you, and they will! Plus, you’ll probably get some more exposure along the way – and new fans never hurt 🙂

In the end, if you offer your fans things that they really want, they will pay a lot of money to get them. In this day and age, what fans want the most is the chance to make personal connections with the musicians they love, and support them on their journeys. Give them that chance, and you’ll be amazed what happens.

Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are incredibly popular with musicians, helping you raise a large amount of money over a set period of time.

However, crowdfunding takes planning and a system.  I learned this over and over again as I coached many artists through the crowdfunding process.

I wrote a book that guides you through exactly what to do each and every day for all 30 days – if you would like a free chapter of CROWDSTART which is a #1 seller on Amazon in the Entrepreneurship and Investing categories category click here.

 Crowdfunding for musicians

If you have friends who have completed successful campaigns and you are thinking “they are so lucky!” They probably aren’t really that lucky at all.

Luck = careful planning.

How to avoid this: Here’s a little formula that I keep on a post-it note above my desk: hope is for suckers, action is for winners! Read my article about how to pre-prepare for a successful crowdfunding campaign here.

How to fix this: Create a detailed plan that involves personalized high touch to people that have money. Focus on your campaign every day and follow through. This will make you “lucky” in the end. My book Crowdstart will walk you through this plan step by step.  Come and download a free chapter.

Make It GOOD

Experience Ideas

Sustainable Strategies require thought! There are thousands of ideas out there for different experiences you can offer your fans. Check out Volume and Kickstarter and click around to see what resonates. In the meantime, here are a few basic ideas:

  • Backstage meet and greets
  • Dinner with the band before a gig
  • Bowling party
  • Wine tasting
  • Coffee shop hang
  • Bar hopping with the band
  • Skype guitar or drum lessons
  • Custom-written songs for fans
  • House concerts
  • Cover song requests
  • Custom Happy Birthday videos on social media

Fun Merchandise (No one really wants another T-shirt!) 

We touched on merchandise a bit in Part 2.  We just wanted to reinforce the idea that unique and exclusive merchandise offers can bring in a lot of revenue and they become a cornerstone of your sustainable strategies.

  • Exclusive downloads
  • Jump drives loaded with music
  • Bundled packages
  • Vinyl
  • Hand-drawn artwork
  • Handmade items (bake a cake! knit a cap!)
  • Yoga mats, coffee mugs, shot glasses, water bottles, boxers – get creative!

The best thing about experiences is that they’re a relatively easy thing for you to give to fans. It’s also invigorating to meet and interact with people who are really psyched about your music.

Are you thinking about your long-term plan for monetization?  We would love to help you with a Total Tuneup.  This is a custom-built plan created by our badass team of Musician Marketing Plan writers. A Huge part of these plans involves long-term sustainable strategies.

Click here to arrange a call with Ariel of click on this banner to see if this investment is right for you.

You can’t monetize until you understand your fans.  This exercise will help you to create a fan archetype.

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