Words by Gabrielle Zgrajewski.
During this hard and stressful time for all, now is definitely not the time to lose hope in making music a career. Although, it may not seem like there is a possible end in sight, here are some tips to get some cash flow during the gig drought. Although it is being encouraged to self-isolate and to stay away from large events, take advantage of the technology around us and offer your services:
At Home Lessons:
If you have a good internet connection and a webcam, make some money by offering lessons over Skype. Make a call out on your local Buy/Swap/Sell Facebook pages, local music groups and your own socials offering online lessons for some cash. This can be useful for those that have a basic grasp on instruments or vocals, without compromising their learning.
Offer your services:
Take a dive into websites like Fiverr that offer your services for money. On Fiverr, you can offer a range of services from songwriting and vocals to mixing, mastering and even music transcription. Putting your own dollar value to your work, it allows you to showcase your skills to a wider audience.
Create one-off merchandise:
This can be a great time waster and money maker depending on the drive you have! Scope out some op-shops for some plain t-shirts or head to your closest clothing store to get some bargains and create some limited edition merchandise.
With your one-off merchandise, go old school and make some limited edition CD’s with your tunes on it. With songs that have been released and maybe a cheeky demo or two in there of a song that is a fan favourite, but not yet recorded. Chuck this in a bundle with one of your limited edition tee’s, handmade CD and case, and a sweet little note thanking the patron for the support could go a long way!.
Exclusive Streaming Services:
If you have cash saved in the band account, you can even splash on an exclusive streaming service like Patreon. Providing fans with exclusive content and even streamed shows (which could be in supplement of a gig), patrons donate a certain amount of money each month in order to have access to the content you post. This can last past this pandemic if you keep at it and enjoy the platform!
While trying your hand at these tips, also have a look into ilostmygigaustralia.net.au and lodge any work that has been cancelled due to COVID-19. This website helps collate data of lost jobs due to the natural causes in which the industry has endured hardship from (both Bushfires and COVID-19). This data is then put forward to policy-makers to help out the live entertainment industry which is at times definitely overlooked.
If you are struggling mentally due to the issues mentioned in this article, please contact The Support Act on 1800 959 500. They are a 24/7 Crisis and Wellbeing hotline for those who need support due to serious illness, mental health, accident, injury or other unexpected problems.