How to Raise Money to Make Music Professionally

Whether you’re in a band or striking out on your own as a singer/songwriter, you’ll need to invest a little cash if you want to make a success out of your music career. Instruments, recording equipment, transport costs and marketing are just a few of the expenses you’ll come up against as a professional or semi-pro performer. In this article, we’ll explore just some of the ways you can save enough to afford all of these and more.


It’s a technique as old as the hills when it comes to making a quick buck as a musician, but there are plenty of things to consider before you decide to go down the busking route. Do you need a license to perform at the location you have in mind? How will you protect your belongings, instruments and the cash you raise against theft? Will you be able to busk at busy times in order to optimize the amount you can make? How will you attract the interest of pedestrians? If you can provide a clear and easy answer to all of the above questions, you may be able to make a tidy amount out of street performing. You could sell recordings of your work as you perform – if that’s permitted by the local authority – or direct the general public to your website.

Reduce Monthly Expenses

Very few people are lucky enough to make music their full-time job. In order to raise a little more cash, you might need to take on another job on a temporary basis alongside any work you currently do. Bar work is popular among musicians as it is very flexible. If you own a home, you might consider re-mortgaging in order to release a little equity so that you can afford – for example – a small home recording studio. It’s also possible to refinance student loans with a private lender, which may result in a lower interest rate and more affordable repayments. You can change your relationship with student loans by taking a couple minutes online to find out how much you can cut your student loan payments.

Charity Gigs

Sometimes, you have to do something for free in order to make money in the long run. Be selective about the bookings you accept – after all, you don’t want to get a reputation for playing for free – but doing a few unpaid live gigs for charity is a great thing to do. Not only will you be helping others, but you’ll gain a positive reputation and get your name known. If you gain followers as a result of these appearances, that’s more people to buy your music. You may also be allowed to sell CDs and merch after the gig.


If you already have some great examples of your work, you might consider using them to create an online crowdfunding campaign. This works best if you have a major event coming up – for example, if you’re planning a tour or intending to launch an album. Your crowdfunding page should show visitors exactly how you are – so sharing a track or music video here, along with some images, can be really helpful. Explain your plans in detail and reveal the amount you wish to raise (make sure that this is properly costed). You should offer different tiers of rewards for those who invest above certain amounts, say a few free downloads, a t-shirt signed by the band or a free gig ticket. Be sure not to give away too many places at your live shows or you won’t make much money.

About the author

There’s a lot of music out there - good music. At Essentially Pop our remit is that we cover music that deserves to be heard, with a particular focus on independent artists. That doesn't mean we won't cover your old favourites - rather we hope to give you some new favourites as well.

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