How to Make Money as a Musician as the Pandemic Continues

Updated: Feb 18

COVID has hurt us, but there are things we can do

Guest post by Charles Carpenter


The pandemic has been hard on people working in a wide range of industries from hospitality to healthcare, but musicians are some of the hardest hit by lockdowns and social gathering restrictions. As Indie Collaborative members know, indie musicians have been struggling to book gigs, connect with fans, and gain traction during this difficult time. But don’t hang up your hat just yet! There are many other realistic ways to monetize your talents to earn an income right now. Here are some ideas to get you started!


Network in Your Local Music Scene


Networking is one of the best ways to grow your career in the music industry. If you’re having a hard time finding gigs right now, talking to other musicians and producers could be a great way to drum up new opportunities. Don’t limit your networking to people in the music industry. Remember that other creatives, like videographers and digital marketing professionals, might want to hire you to write original music for their own professional projects. Plus, being active in your local music scene can inspire your creativity and push you to work harder for your goals.


Sell Products Online


Selling stuff online is a great way to generate passive income while you pursue other music projects. All you need is an attractive website and an engaged fanbase, and you should have no problem selling vinyl records, hats, shirts, stickers, and other fun merch. Don’t limit yourself to physical products. You can make good money selling digital products as well! You can sell beats, instrumentals, background music, sound kits, video courses, and even software presets for popular music apps.



Double Down on Social Media


Keeping your fans engaged is important for ensuring there are always people out there willing to pay for your merch, sign up for your courses, or otherwise pay for your products and services. Being active on social media is one of the best ways to stay connected with your fans—and reach new ones! Post regular updates about your musical projects and remember to respond to comments. And try to post a variety of content like live streams, videos, stories, reels, and images to keep your fans interested.


Launch a Crowdfunding Campaign


If you need money to buy new equipment, produce a new album, or take your crew on tour, crowdfunding could be a great way to generate some quick income. Music Industry How To suggests launching a Kickstarter campaign and creating a professional video to explain the purpose behind your project. Offering appealing rewards like VIP concert seating or free merch can also encourage people to support you!


Freelance on the Side


There are also many non-music-related ways to make money while you wait out the rest of the pandemic. Thankfully, many remote roles will give you plenty of flexibility and control over when and how you work, so you should still have time to focus on your music career on the side. Look for ways to translate your existing skills into a marketable freelance position. For example, if you have experience making your own music videos, you may be able to find work as a video editor. If you write a lot of song lyrics, perhaps you would enjoy freelance writing. Lean into your skills and you’re bound to succeed!



It’s been a little disheartening to be a musician during the pandemic. If you feel like you’ve been struggling, you’re not alone! But you don’t have to wait around any longer to start earning a living income again. Use your musical skills to launch new income channels or start a freelancing business on the side. You have many options so don’t be afraid to try a few until you find what works!


Are you looking for musicians to collaborate and perform with? We welcome professionals at all levels, in all areas of entertainment: songwriters, producers, performers, managers, photographers, dancers, make-up artists, session musicians, set designers, sound engineers, comedians... the whole gamut! It's free to join us and have your profile on our website.


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