A composer sitting at his piano bench with music notation in hand

6 Ways Composers Can Make Money During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for composers, and even as we move into the recovery period, the live music industry is still finding its footing. If you’re a composer, your income might still be suffering from a lack of work opportunities. But by livestreaming performances, selling sample packs of your music, and even writing about your industry, you can get back on your feet. Here are a few money-making strategies for composers who have been unable to perform because of the pandemic. 

Gain Passive Income Through Your Business

The bust of one of several possible classical composers

Officially forming your business and establishing digital passive income streams is one of the best ways for composers and musicians in general to continue earning money during these tough times. For instance, you could create an online music course that participants can download anytime. Once the course is up, you can simply provide customer service while gaining income!

When you form your business, you’ll need to get an assigned EIN number online; this is commonly known as a Tax ID Number. The IRS uses Employer Identification Numbers to track payroll taxes. When you have an EIN, you’ll find it much simpler to file your federal and state taxes on a quarterly and annual basis.

Earn Money Through Licensing

Sync licensing is just one way that composers can earn money even without contributing their music to a live performance. New Artist Model recommends focusing on a specific genre for your niche, submitting your tracks to music libraries, and networking with other creators and corporate clients whose projects might be a good fit for your sound. You can do this entirely online!

Start a Composer’s YouTube Channel

A young person looks at the camera while preparing to play a music score setting on a piano

Starting a YouTube channel could be a great way to get your name out there as composers. Eventually, you can monetize your videos to boost your income. You can record yourself playing songs, upload instructional videos for people who want to learn about composing music, and begin growing a broader audience. 

YouTube also enables live streaming for creators, so you can host live virtual performances and accept donations from viewers. Anyone who has live-streamed knows that you can schedule live performances in advance and earn more by encouraging viewers to become monthly members of your channel.

Sell Commissions

Selling commissions basically entails working as freelance composers. While it may be difficult to get commissioned to compose music for live performances at the moment, musicians may still need compositions for virtual performances, outdoor performances, or even future performances that they are preparing for now. You may want to start networking with local choirs and orchestras. The more conductors you can get in touch with, the better – you never know where you might find your next opportunity!

Contribute to Industry Publications

Finally, music-related gigs aren’t your online option for boosting your cash flow during the pandemic recovery period. You can also contribute articles to trade publications that are geared towards other people who work in the music industry. Consider which subjects you consider yourself an expert on, and start creating a list of article ideas, as well as publications that might be likely to accept your work. Writing can be a great way to get your creative juices flowing again and teach others about a subject you love while making some extra cash!

Composers: Marketing Yourself

Composers: A songwriter or composer with a guitar working on some music

To successfully sell yourself, your brand, you need to be mindful of your website and social media as marketing avenues. This doesn’t require hiring a fancy web design agency either. You can easily build a beautiful and elegant website through builder sites like Squarespace or Wix, complete with options for visitors to shop or book online. You can also add fun features like a custom logo design specially created by you. A free logo maker gives you all the necessary design tools to craft a custom logo befitting your brand and aesthetic. Once you have a logo set up, you can simply add it to your website and your social media sites to ensure brand consistency.

Composers everywhere have had trouble making a living since the pandemic began. But during this recovery period, you can find new ways to repair your finances and rebuild your career. With these tips, you’ll be able to share your music with the world again. 

Photos via Pexels

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