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Think it’s impossible for you to make $100,000-plus as a musician (who is not Beyoncé)?

The goal is not as unachievable as you think!

Musicians can do what they love and still earn a lot without compromising their craft.

You just have to be:

  1. Willing to work hard
  2. Dedicated to your career
  3. Not afraid to monetize your passion.

The first two are easy for most musicians. It’s number three that’s usually the challenge.

Do you remember why you became a musician in the first place?

The idea of making a six-figure salary was probably not the reason. However, earning that much or more probably doesn’t conflict with why you started in the music business.

In other words, you didn’t become a musician to earn a lot of money, but you wouldn’t mind making $100,000-plus per year if you could, right?

If you answered yes to that final question, read on to find out how you can make six figures or more without compromising your principles.

Never underestimate yourself.

This is a common issue in the competitive world of music.

Of course, there’s always somebody better than you. However, that doesn’t mean you aren’t great!

If you don’t take your talent seriously and believe in your goals, nobody else will. You must be your biggest advocate, supporter, and cheerleader—even when times get tough.

If you can’t push yourself and your career to the next level because you keep getting bogged down in your doubts, you’ll never be able to earn the six figures per year you deserve.

Dress for success.

This may seem trite and tired in today’s world of anything goes fashion, but it’s true. Whether you’re a teacher or performer, no one will pay you more until you look like you’re worth more.

If you want to up your hourly rate or ticket prices, you must look the part. Not sure how to up your wardrobe game? Check out musicians you admire who are successful and model your style choices after what they wear. Just don’t be a complete copycat. Everyone wants the real “you” to shine through!

Get outside your regular environment.

Like everyone else, musicians have been sequestered the past two years because of the pandemic.

It’s time to get out and spread your wings!

If you teach, contact a local school or senior center, and offer your services. If you play music, play gigs at street fairs, schools, and other alternative venues. These are great ways to find new audiences and make new connections. It will help you make up for some of what you lost in the last two years.

Never stop learning.

Music is changing all the time. There’s always something new to learn. And how can you expect to earn more if your skill set is stuck in neutral?

  • Why not learn how to play a new instrument?
  • Consider studying instrument repair to be able to offer another service.
  • Perhaps you could add a new style of music to your repertoire.

If you do one thing post-pandemic, make it a point to constantly learn something new.

Act like you earn six figures.

Think about it: How do six-figure musicians act?

Some of the words that may come to mind include:

  • Organized
  • Focused
  • Disciplined
  • Curious
  • Energetic

Come up with your own list. Then start practicing the attributes on it.

This is taking the idea of fake it until you make it to the next level: Practice it until you achieve it.

Do something different.

You can’t change your income until you change up your life.

It’s great to have a plan for how to take your career to the next level. If you’re feeling stuck and can’t come up with a plan, just do something different.

  • Take a fresh approach to teaching.
  • Play with a new band.
  • Write a different kind of music.

Doing something new doesn’t take a big commitment, but it could inspire a new path into your future.

Brand yourself.

Think about it: When you go to a grocery store, you have reasons why you choose one brand over another.

Do you give people a reason to choose your brand of music over that of other musicians?

Not that I’m comparing musicians to canned peas; however, in order to get ahead, you have to define your brand. You must give people a reason to select you over the competition.

Explore our guide that explains how musicians can brand themselves, so they stand out with their own brand personality.

Sell more than music.

Why limit your income possibilities?

  • If you’re a music teacher, why not expand your offerings by selling instruments to your students or offering instrument repair services?
  • If you’re a performer, why not sell CDs, t-shirts, buttons, and more? (Fans love souvenirs!)

Offering add-ons to what you do can significantly increase your income. Get creative and think about what you could sell to generate extra cash.

Work Smarter, Not HARDER!

Many musicians work themselves to death trying to earn more.

Why not carve out a little time to figure out how you could work less, yet still earn more?

  • Could you perform in higher quality venues and raise your ticket price?
  • Maybe you could book your act in bigger places to generate more revenue for the same work.
  • Perhaps you could start teaching at a school with a higher per-hour lesson rate.

Make it a priority to take time to figure out how to upscale and upgrade your career so you do less but earn more.

Finally, eliminate negativity from your life.

Even if you do everything on this list, but have negative people and factors in your life, you won’t be able to get ahead.

It’s time to take all the bad stuff and toss it in the trash!

  • Do you have people who say bad things about you and your music? Have a talk or show them the door.
  • Is your instrument not as good as it could be? Make it a priority to save up to get a better one. You deserve it!
  • Don’t have a place to practice? Check with your network to see if someone has a space you could use.

Eliminating what holds you back will propel you into the future! We are here to support your musical path so that you can learn more and make the right decisions for success.