"Passions without profits create pipe dreams." - Malcolm "MJ" Harris
For awhile I've been contemplating why most artists fail year after year and eventually give up on their craft.
They spend thousands on vocal/beat production and recording cost, yet only 13,400 Spotify artists (out of 7 million)
made $50,000+ (in royalties) in 2020.
We hear new talent every day and think to ourselves, "They're gonna be the next star" or "They're so talented."
But in reality, they're a struggling artist that you won't hear from again.
Why Most Artists Give Up
As an artist, we spend countless hours honing our craft, pushing our creativity to the next level with each idea.
It's rewarding listening back to something you've made in the past as you realize how much work you put in.
Feeling nostalgic of the memories you created with people and the emotions that you were going through at that time.
Like the present didn't exist and you are standing in the reminiscence of the past.
We get so caught up "in the sauce" that we distract ourselves from the true goal, living our lives through our gift.
Not to mention the constant influence of TRASH main stream artists faking lavish lives, creating the "expectation."
We put so much time and money into looking the part and playing the role, instead of executing the plan.
Thousands of dollars spent on "drip" and bottles of Henny, when their track didn't make them a dollar.
Thousands spent on music videos but they struggle to get 1,000 views.
Years turn into decades and passions into pipe dreams as they try and keep up the facade.
How To Move Forward
Start treating yourself like a business and your track/album/single as a product.
Act like you're a small-business or startup venture and come up with a plan.
The truth is, most artists have a GREAT product but they don't have the resources to promote it!
Imagine opening a new club in your area and what it would take to get your name out there.
Instantly you start thinking about all the different types of promotions you've heard/seen before.
We have all seen the flyers on Facebook, Instagram, and paper handouts.
We've all heard the 30 second radio commercials and influencer shoutouts.
And we know they hire exotic dancers and pay for artists walkthroughs and alcohol permits.
Not to mention the monthly rental fee and utility bills.
They're spending thousands from the start on promotion alone, why wouldn't we be doing the same?
Businesses don't expect to just "blow up." Why should we?
How Artists Should Budget
In order to promote yourself, you need money. (Really)
Not only that, you need a consistent source of income.
Don't expect to make a living if it's the FIRST time you're (seriously) promoting your product.
I respect any person going out there working and applying that pressure to get that BAG!
We should "be so focused on watering our own grass that we don’t have the time to check if someone else’s is greener."
Give yourself a budget based on how much money you make.
Save whatever money you usually set aside for pleasure (partying, going out to eat, vacations, etc.)
Turn that Xbox and Playstation in and cancel some of those streaming services.
You need every single dollar you can get like your life depends on it (BECAUSE IT DOES.)
Use all of your pleasure money for music money!
I know that isn't the "cool" route and I understand it may not seem enjoyable.
I know you will lose people (maybe even family) who do not understand your vision.
I know you will have sad days and days when you want to quit.
I know this will take some time (I'm 6 years deep.)
I know you will feel fantastic when you start succeeding and making a living off your gift.
I know the people you left behind won't compare to the people you meet.
I know you will be glad you took that step.
I know the hours you put in will set your business apart from the rest stuck in the needle stack.
I am more successful than my peers because I outwork them, not because of luck or my gift.
I sacrificed partying, dates, going on trips, buying clothes/liabilities, and hanging out with friends.
Instead I used that time and money to work, grow, and constantly promote my business.
Other Ways That Artists Can Make Money
*This is not financial advice nor am I a financial advisor*
I am in love with passive income and any way to generate money efficiently.
I have always been a hard worker but I grew up working hard on the wrong things.
I encourage all artists to put some of their money into investments.
Invest into knowledge and into your growth.
Invest into passive income vessels:
- Real Estate
- Vending Machines
- Car Washes
- Stocks (Apple, Amazon, Tesla)
- Crypto (Ethereum)
- Indices (Nasdaq)
Learn how to trade in the Foreign Exchange market. (This is where most of my money is)
- DO NOT sign up for a MLM or any forex group making you pay monthly.
- DO NOT trade with your real money until you master the skill down.
- DO NOT quit your consistent income source.
*Hit me up about Forex*
Take a step back and focus on getting your BAG up so that you can promote your product.
I hope some of these words will encourage you to do what it takes to get yourself out there.