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Make Money Producing Music on These 3 Platforms


Maybe you’re stuck inside. Or maybe you’re an introvert like me.

Whatever the case, I’m betting you want to make some money doing what you love from home: producing music.

The great thing about music production is that you can do it remotely if needed. But I think working with other musicians in-person is more fun.

The good news is, there are online platforms that connect you with musicians who are looking for producers like you.

So I’m going to introduce you to three platforms where you can make money producing music (two I use, one that’s launching soon).

How To Make Money Producing Music: Must-Know Tips

Before I talk about the three platforms, I want to cover some basic, need-to-know things if you want to succeed as a music producer.

This is from my own experience producing music for clients…

Actually be good

This seems obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. Just because you know how to record instruments doesn’t mean you’re a good music producer.

So how do you get better at producing music? Here are some tips:

  • Have a learner’s mindset: acknowledge that you don’t know everything and that you’ll make mistakes. Try to learn something new about music production regularly.
  • Study the greats: listen to the music you love. What do you love about the production? How does the arrangement flow? What instruments are involved (or not involved)? Take notes.
  • Listen to your old music: if you’ve been making music for a while, go back and listen to the first music you recorded. Pay attention to what you did badly and what you did well. Take notes.

Charge what you’re worth, not for your time

If you produce an artist’s song, you’re helping them invest in their future. That song could get thousands of Spotify streams, and the musician could get a ton of exposure and money.

And your role in creating that song was super valuable, right?

That’s why it’s better to charge what you’re worth, not by the hour. When you set your producer rates, consider what you want to make per hour compared to how long the project will take. Then quote the client a set price for the whole project.

Factor in your value and charge accordingly.

Don’t be difficult

Nobody likes to work with difficult people. Be easy to work with. It will increase your chances of having returning clients and for those clients to tell others about you.

This means you need to have clear communication, an open and positive demeanor in the studio, and a mindset that puts the song first, not your agenda.

If you had to work with yourself on a song, would you enjoy the process?

Now onto those three platforms…

SoundBetter

SoundBetter is built specifically for connecting musicians with music producers. The company has thousands of music producers, mixing engineers, and mastering engineers. All of these professionals are looking to get hired.

These professionals include Kanye West’s producer, Beyonce’s songwriter, The Killers’ mixing engineer, and George Michael’s mastering engineer, just to name a few.

The unique thing about SoundBetter is they review each and every producer who wants to join. So even if you want a free account, they have to approve of you.

This makes it more likely you’ll find quality jobs.

They also have a Premium account, but that requires another layer of review. You have to apply for a Premium membership, the company reviews your profile, and they’ll even interview you.

If you’re approved as a Premium provider, you’ll get full access to the job board where you can apply for projects. Your profile will also show higher than free users in search results.

This does require a monthly or yearly fee, but you can easily earn back what you pay in a year with 1-2 projects.

But even with the free account (which I have), musicians can contact you if they’re interested in hiring you. I’ve been on the platform since early 2019, and I’ve been contacted by a few people. But I haven’t been hired yet.

Whatever account type you choose, SoundBetter will be taking 8%.

The key to succeeding on SoundBetter is to fully complete your profile, according to SoundBetter producer Tom DuPree III.

“Everything you put on your profile is a way for a potential client to get to know you before the two [of you] ever speak,” he says.

A complete profile involves:

  • Writing a personal bio that highlights your experience and skills
  • Adding a header photo
  • Outlining the specific services you offer and the main genres you work within
  • Uploading songs that highlight your skills
  • Listing your notable production/mixing/mastering credits
  • Filling out the Q&A section
  • Adding photos of yourself
  • Listing the recording gear you use
  • Clearly stating your turnaround time

Then you’ll want to ask any of your previous clients to leave a positive review on your profile. You can also direct anyone inquiring about your services to your SoundBetter page. Then they can leave you a review, which will help you get more work through the platform.

You can sign up for a free account here.

Upwork

Upwork is not specific to musicians; it’s tailored toward freelancers in general. But it’s still a good place to find music-related jobs.

It’s completely free to sign up and get full access to the job board. But you do need to buy “connects” in order to apply for jobs. The fee is very low, and one job will easily pay for the batch of connects you bought.

On top of that, Upwork will, of course, take their cut:

  • $0-$500 earned with a client: 20% fee
  • $500.01 to $10,000 earned with a client: 10% fee
  • $10,000.01 or more earned with a client: 5% fee

What kind of jobs can you get on Upwork? Here are some jobs I’ve gotten:

  • Jingle writer and producer of multiple jingles for different businesses
  • Co-producer, editor, and custom-music creator for a podcast
  • Topline melody writer for a client
  • Miscellaneous audio-editing projects

As with any job board, you will apply for a lot of jobs and only land a handful of them. But if you stay determined, you can start making money through Upwork.

You can join for free here.

Shake

Shake by IZEA is a creative platform that’s not yet live, so I obviously haven’t tried it. But they did invite me to pre-register, which I did.

They describe it as a “creator marketplace” where you can offer your creative services. They list “influencers, photographers, writers, and musicians” as their target audience. So it sounds similar to Upwork (or Fiverr, which I do not recommend).

Shake is new and unproven. But it could turn out to be another viable way for music producers to make money online. It’s worth a try.

You can pre-register here.

I suggest trying all three of these platforms and see if one works for you better than the others. Then you can focus 100% on that one platform.

Here’s the main takeaway: you can make money producing music, thanks in large part to platforms like these three.

– – –

Caleb J. Murphy is a singer-songwriter and music producer based in Austin, Tx., and the founder of Musician With A Day Job, a blog that helps part-time musicians succeed.

FEATURED IMAGE: https://unsplash.com/photos/W3iCaxXtZZk


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About Audio Issues and Björgvin Benediktsson

At Audio Issues you’ll learn simple and practical audio production tips you can use right away to improve your music from your home recording studio.  Björgvin is the best-selling author of Step By Step Mixing and the founder of Audio Issues. He helps musicians and producers turn amateur demos into professionally produced records they can be proud to release.

We help home studio musicians and project studio producers make a greater musical impact in their lives by teaching them the skills needed to grow their hobbies and careers. We do this by offering simple and practical music production and success skills they can use right away to level themselves up – while rejecting negativity and gear-shaming from the industry. A rising tide floats all boats and the ocean is big enough for all of us to surf the sound waves.

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