Posted: Sep 6, 2022
Category: The Musician Business
**Guest post written by Jesse Young El.
"You're an artist who's just starting out in your career. You've been hustling, grinding, and making connections for years, and you're finally starting to see some success.
Your music is starting to get attention, and you're beginning to perform at shows and venues.
Or maybe that's not your story at all.
Maybe you're rarely getting calls for shows. Maybe the venue you do get booked in is paying you very little. Perhaps your music isn't generating much revenue from royalties.
If any of these is the case, then you're really going to have to hustle differently to make additional income.
But don't worry, there are ways that you can make money as a singer or hip-hop artist beyond just shows and royalties.
Here are 5 additional ways how 👇🏾:
As an artist, you should always be looking for additional ways to make money. One great way to do this is by selling merchandise.
Merch can include anything from T-shirts and hats to posters and more.
Hand's down shirts are the most popular item to sell as merch. They're easy to produce, and nearly everyone loves wearing them.
You can easily design and make your own shirts with inexpensive equipment or have someone design and print them for you.
Or you can use companies like Fourthwall — simply upload designs to your Fourthwall merch site, set your price and let the orders roll in. When a fan makes an order, Fourthwall's partners print and ship your merch directly to your fan — you don't have to lift a finger!
Hats are another great piece of merch to sell. They can also be easily designed and produced, and they're popular among all fanbases.
Posters are a great way for shows to support their hip-hop artists. They also make great wall decor for any fan's room. Buy them in bulk and you'll make good profit off each poster.
There are endless possibilities for other items of merch you could sell. Some ideas include hoodies, buttons, jewelry, phone cases, lighters, personalized business cards, etc!
If you pay close attention, you can always learn from what other artists are doing dealing with merchandise.
Another great way to make additional revenue as a singer or hip-hop artist is through sponsorships.
Sponsorships and endorsements are a great way for artists to make additional revenue. By partnering with brands, artists can receive compensation for promoting other brands’ products or services.
IMPORTANT: The key is not to go "Hollywood" too quickly! Understand that you're just starting off, so don't charge an astronomical figure that a major label hip-hop star would.
Start off slow and increase your rate as you gain more notoriety.
There’s big money in collaborating — you just have to think outside the box.
One way you can do this is by ghostwriting for other singers/rappers.
IMPORTANT: You HAVE to check your ego here.
I know you believe you're the greatest (and you probably are).
I know you see other artists that are garbage, but somehow they are still getting bigger and making money!
If you can put your ego to the side for a bit, you could be making a lot more money by writing their lyrics.
You just have to find the right artists that are up and coming, moving and making money.
Then you can take the money from ghostwriting and reinvest it back into your music (or pay some bills).
Just don't give them your best bars. Keep them for yourself!😉
I can’t state it enough, you should always be looking for additional ways to make money. One great way is using Social Media.
But which platform do you use? Facebook Reels? TikTok or YouTube?
You should take advantage of all Three!
Facebook Reels is a great way to get additional revenue as a artist. You can post short videos of you singing/rapping, studio sessions, lifestyle/swag videos or videos of you giving your perspective on ANYTHING.
TikTok is a great way to get additional revenue as a hip-hop artist. Use short TikTok videos to build an audience and TikTok Lives to make the money from fans "tipping" you.
TikTok also has a platform for connecting you with brands for brand deals (some REAL 💰💰💰)
YouTube is a great way to get additional revenue as an artist. You can post music videos, vlogs, react to other music and videos. Build up enough subscribers and watch hours and you'll be able to monetize your videos.
Money from YouTube ads can build up quickly, especially with the right content.
YouTube also has a platform for connecting you with brands for brand deals (some MORE REAL 💰💰💰)
Podcasts are a great way for hip-hop artists to connect with their fans and build up a following. They can also be a great way to make additional revenue through sponsorships.
The key is to first build an audience and then find the right sponsors that fit your brand and audience.
Building a Podcast Audience
The key to building a podcast audience is consistency. You need to be consistent with the quality of your content and use the right tools to market yourself correctly.
You also need to promote your podcast on social media and other platforms. Use every platform at your disposal to get the word out about your podcast.
Finding Sponsors for Your Podcast (Brand Deals)
The key to finding sponsors for your podcast is to find companies that fit your brand and audience.
Don't try to sell sponsorships to companies that aren't a good fit. It won't work and you'll end up alienating your audience.
Do your research and find companies that would be interested in reaching your audience. Then reach out to them and see if they're interested in sponsoring your podcast.
But how do you know what companies sponsor podcasts?
Just find other Artists with podcasts and see who their sponsors are. Chances are, if they're sponsoring them, they'll be interested in sponsoring you too!
BONUS: Here’s a quick list of places to find brand deals:
There are many different ways for singers & hip-hop artists to bring in additional revenue, such as through merchandise, sponsorships, ghostwriting, social media and podcasts sponsorships.
By diversifying your income sources, you can ensure they have a steadier stream of revenue coming in, which can help them to better sustain your career."
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About The Author
Jesse Young El is a creator who has been working for 20 years professionally in the creative industry. He specializes in video production, content marketing, online courses and web design. On JesseYoungEl.com, he writes about everything it takes for creatives to turn their ideas & creativity into cold hard cash.