5 Money Making Tips for Your Music Business

Follow These Tips to Get Investors and Self-Funding for Your Music Endeavors

The number one struggle of nearly everyone in the music industry is money. How do you find the money to complete your projects? This short guide to money and the music industry will walk you through some of the options you have for funding your music career while you're still up-and-coming. 

Before You Apply for Music Industry Funding

Guitar case with money in it
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Applying for money in the music industry is a big decision. Sure, the money is helpful, but there are some definite downsides you need to consider very carefully. 

Just like with any other loan or funding source, where you get the money and how you plan to spend it are the most important factors to consider. You want to make sure a short-term cash infusion will not lead to long-term debt that may hold you back. 

Be prepared to write a business plan, or enlist someone knowledgeable to help you. It should be clear to both you and your investors how you plan to spend their money, and why you're worth the risk. 

Before You Work With a Music Industry Investor

Man sitting on computer with headphones
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Working with an investor can be the best thing or worst thing that ever happens to you.While the infusion of cash is almost certainly welcome, depending​ on how the investment is structured you may be relinquishing a level of control over your music. Think carefully and consider all the angles before accepting any investment, angel or otherwise. 

Music Industry Investors

The best ways to spend music business funding.

Just who invests money in the music industry anyway? It's a similar cast of characters as those who invest in startup businesses, including angel investors (who don't take a stake in the investment) and venture capitalists (who often take a significant stake). Arts councils and music industry organizations are also potential investors for up-and-coming musicians, as are record labels and distributors. 

Before you go this route, determine how involved your investor expects to be in running the business side of your music career. Ideally, you want someone who has experience in the music industry, who can help you build your business. 

How to Write a Music Funding Application

Woman on computer in sunny room
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Arts councils and public arts funding bodies are popular sources for music funding (where they exist, anyway). The application process can be tedious, and one wrong step could blow your chances of sourcing the cash you need.

Applying for this kind of funding requires you to be able to clearly and succinctly describe your music project, and explain why it's worth funding. Be cognizant of deadlines and follow instructions for filling out the application forms to the letter. 

Don't Spend Money You Don't Have To

Musicians recording music. Credit: Blend Images - Andersen Ross / Getty Images

 There are a lot of ways to get cheated out of money in the music industry, but if you're savvy, you can minimize your risk of getting fleeced. Don't fall for common scams, like paying for a list of music industry "insider" contact names and numbers. Don't pay to play any shows for "exposure."  There's no landlord on earth who will accept exposure as payment for rent. It isn't worth it. 

And don't shell out your hard-earned cash to pay for some so-called expert's advice. While there are legitimate consultants in the industry who may be able to offer guidance, look into their other clients and their track record before writing them a check.