Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros

January 11, 2011

Where Passion Meets Profit - How to Make Money w/ Your Music

There's a lot of advice out there about how to succeed in music, follow your passion, do what you love and the money will follow, etc.

In this video clip, I examine two common (but confusing) money-making ideas, dissects them, and reveal what I believe to be the truth about attaining financial success with your music (or any creative talent, for that matter).

Let me know your thoughts on this. Your comments are very much welcome!


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posted by Bob Baker @ 10:22 AM   20 comments


At Jan 11, 2011, 12:23:00 PM, Anonymous Marc Ditch said...

Excellent video post. What you're saying goes for every online business, not just music. It does require some flexibility from a musician though. Many are obsessed with the type of music they're playing and not willing to change it into something people love to here. That's fine, but obviously, it might lower your chance of making a living with music.

At Jan 11, 2011, 12:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's good.

You're good.

I feel affirmed in what I do/think when I listen to you.

Glad you're "out there" offering what you do.

At Jan 11, 2011, 12:35:00 PM, Blogger Bernie said...

Thank you for some helpful ideas there - I agree that the quest to 'square the circle' between romanticism and realism presents the conundrum to be solved.

At Jan 11, 2011, 1:20:00 PM, Blogger joetollis said...

Your video was very good!
I agree that maany of us get caught up in one of those two senarios (myself included). Always chasing after the hottest new thing may lead you down a road where you could find temporary success, but may never find out who you are as an artist. on the other hand a "this is what I love, this is what I do, take it or leave it" attitude might alienate you from potential fans.
Once again you have given me some good stuff to ponder on!
P.S. I recently finished your Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook. I am in the proccess of going through it again with a highlighter. It's a fabulous resource! Thanks so much for all your help.
Joe Tollis

At Jan 11, 2011, 3:01:00 PM, Anonymous Grant Pasay said...

To add another perspective on the 'making money' front, I remember reading in The Power of Focus how they suggested that instead of your focus being on 'making money' that instead you focus on 'delivering value.'

The authors of that book were making the point that if you're only focused on making money, it's easy to only think about your half of the equation (i.e., what you want to get) while, in contrast, if you think about 'delivering value,' then you'll automatically be thinking about YOUR HALF of the equation (i.e., what value you're delivering) and the OTHER HALF of the equation (i.e., what others value...and will pay for).

Bottom line: as Bob said, if you're putting something out there -- call it value -- that others will pay for, THEN the money can follow. As for how to get your value OUT THERE, Bob's info is sure to help.

All the best,

Grant Pasay

At Jan 11, 2011, 11:47:00 PM, Anonymous Chris "Seth" Jackson said...

Thank you for the video, Bob. This is what I've been researching lately. A couple of things as an addendum to your post: 1) Test your market first and 2) don't do what everyone else is doing.

I've read Tim Ferris's book, The 4 Hour Work Week, and he discusses how to test your market first before you jump in. Do it inexpensively so you don't blow all your money and time for something no one wants. Also, I've read Ramit Sethi's Earn1k, and he had a great exercise: list 50 things that are business ideas. Don't limit yourself and don't care if it's a bad idea. From those 50, you can then start testing what the market wants.

Don't do what everyone else is doing, because you won't be noticed in the din. Who'd think that "I Can Haz Cheeseburger" would become a hit and be a money maker? So, yeah, you are right on with not jumping on the bandwagon. Radiohead and Portishead are now doing the opposite of what everyone else does and are getting great press out of it. (Not sure about their money, though.)

Thanks, Bob! I'm about to re-purchase your book. Someone stole it at a show. Hope they're getting great gigs from it.

At Jan 12, 2011, 8:55:00 AM, Anonymous Dave Yeager said...

Thanks Bob -- you're a great teacher!

It's great how you articulated that perspective. And helped point us in a creative but realistic direction.

So many factors that we don't have control over.

At the end of the day, we need to continually exercise the choice to stay open -- and not to close down. And the rest will follow...

At Jan 12, 2011, 12:01:00 PM, Blogger Chris Rockett said...

Really enjoyed this Bob.

I think you have saved people many years working on a project that does not have any demand at all.

Thanks for all your great content, I just reposted this on my blog.

- Chris Rockett

At Jan 12, 2011, 8:26:00 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Bob, you are true Philosopher! I read this in one of favorite books: "Find the place where your greatest love meets the worlds greatest need." That is on page 209 of Catherine Galasso-Vigorito's excellent book "God Will Do The Rest: 7 Keys to the Desires of Your Heart." (209) Great minds think alike. Catherine is a genius of positive philosophy, and so are you!

At Jan 12, 2011, 10:58:00 PM, Anonymous Mike Hirst said...

Always love your videos Bob! Keep up the great work. *Now I just need to find a way to make money from my free music* :-) Planning to monetize my personal brand after spreading it far with free music.

At Jan 16, 2011, 5:55:00 PM, Anonymous Markfitzpatrick said...

Great stuff Bob, thank you! I have been working with an Australian band, Circle, and understand that a balance does need to be struck with passion and profit.

Great video, thanks for the help.


At Jan 20, 2011, 8:37:00 AM, Blogger Discordian said...

really good video ..... good info

At Jan 21, 2011, 6:33:00 PM, Blogger Ben said...

First time I've been here and an excellent video to start. Realise I've read some of your posts in the past on other sites but this video is excellent


At Jan 23, 2011, 5:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with you Bob. I initially started out trying to market myself as a general online marketing/social media guru because I thought I could make a lot of money that way. I soon realized that about 5 million other people were doing the same thing. That's when it occurred to me that I should combine my passion for social media and my passion for music. This enabled me to find a niche to serve without forfeiting my passion. The ideal medium exists where you can use your passion to meet a need within a niche market.

I also totally agree with what Grant said in regard to money vs delivering value. If you're thinking more about money than you are about delivering value - then you're clearly not passionate about your work.

At Feb 8, 2011, 3:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bob, I love your blog and your work. It's inspires me very much. Greetings from Vienna, Peter

At Feb 22, 2011, 1:06:00 PM, Blogger Paula said...

Thanks Bob for this! You have stirred the creative juices in me and I'm seeing things clearer.

At Mar 7, 2011, 6:56:00 AM, Blogger jobywater said...

i think this is great! Thanks. I think if you look at what you do with your eyes open you can find a way that it benefits other people. You have to love it in the first place in order to maintain the drive., i love the title!

At Apr 1, 2011, 7:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will add this blog to my favorites, it is great.

At May 28, 2011, 10:21:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very amusing post. Thanks )

At Aug 25, 2012, 11:44:00 AM, Blogger YrLic said...

I'm one of the artists that does it for themselves. The money is coming in, but it isn't enough to replace my day job.

At the same time, I don't look for the niche and try to fill it. As Bob suggests, that's not very satisfying.

The problem today is that the availability of music is tremendous. The quality varies in both production and in form. Finding good music is next to impossible. But does that necessarily task you on your art?

There's no reason for anyone not to do what they love artistically - but they need to be realistic on making money. Unless you're out on the road, it isn't a great possibility.

Life is more than just music.
You gotta live too.


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