Making money as a musician in today’s world requires that you use abnormal tactics to do what you want to do…

…and usually that includes doing something that you don’t want to do.

Luckily, more musicians are discovering the power of eCommerce, which is essentially the practice of selling goods and services online. Amazon, for instance, is the king of eCommerce, hands-down; it has a net worth of almost two billion dollars just from selling goods from their website.

Now, you may never become a billionaire (or maybe you will – never say never!) but you certainly can aspire to make quite a bit of money, from a handsome middle-class income into the hundreds of thousands.

Regardless, one of the ways musicians make money is by starting an online store to not only earn an income, but to also support their brand!

Start With Your Logo

If you’re going to launch any kind of brand, you’re going to need a logo. There are a million ways to go about this, but here are a few key pointers:

Start with your color scheme. The colors that you choose for your brand are some of the most important because they determine how your customers subconsciously perceive your business. If you’re a “professional” business you’d want to choose a darker shade of blue, white, and an accent color. If you want to be perceived as a “cool” or “badass” brand, use black with an accent color and make black your dominant color theme.

Choose your logo icon. Every good logo has a purpose – it either invites intrigue or it hints at what your business does. If you’re a musical performer and you sell albums and tracks, your logo is going to be the face of not only your store but your music brand.

Ask yourself if you like it, then get a second opinion. Whatever you choose to create, always get a second opinion. You should be open to constructive criticism because other people will tell you what you can improve upon and help you to see things from a different angle.

Choose A Platform

An ecommerce store isn’t going to be easy to set up at first, but luckily you have plenty of options to make it easier for you!

Here are a list of popular platforms to build your website store:

Shopify

WordPress

Squarespace

Wix

Etsy

BigCommerce

WooCommerce

Wix

3DCart

SiteBuilder

Magento

OpenCart

Zen Cart

No matter what platform you choose to build your online store in, you should be ready to pay monthly hosting fees and additional costs. These costs shouldn’t exceed a range of $13 – $100 per month, depending on what additional features you add to your website.

Put Your Inventory Together

When you run an online store, no matter the industry, you’re going to want to have a solid list of items that you’ll be selling in your virtual storefront, divided by different types of categories (color, size, etc.).

The way retail works, whether online or in a brick-and-mortar store, is a series of events that happen with your products.

You’re the retailer in this case – you get to do the fun creative stuff and worry about the selling part. You don’t have to work in a mine and collect all the raw materials, work in a factory, or drive a semi to your store.

So, yeah – being a store owner is a pretty sweet way to make money.

When you put your inventory together, you’ll need to either purchase the goods in bulk (requires up-front capital) or learn about dropshipping (here’s a great article by Shopify).

You’ll be selling the items for more than you bought them for, which is called your profit margin. For instance, if a single t-shirt that you want to sell on your store cost you $10, then you could sell it for $15. Since the extra $5 (the difference between the retail price and the wholesale price) is half of the $10 you originally bought it for, you’ve made a 50% profit margin. Not bad!

Taking Payments Online

While all of this information is pretty bland, it’s extremely important that you understand how it works. Making money as a musician requires efforts beyond just playing for other people – it takes some traditional money-making methods like running an online store. The cool thing is…

…you can work from home.

If you can set up an online store that’s attractive, fast, and easy to understand, then your fans should be happy to purchase merchandise from you directly from your website. The difference between selling your merchandise on Amazon and selling on your own website is that you get to keep 100% of the profits.

Well, except for the fee that you pay to the payment processor.

There are several payment-processing platforms that you can integrate into your website, but here are some of the most popular:

PayPal

Stripe

Square

Due

Flagship Merchant Services

Adyen

There are many more options, but these are some of the world’s most-used platforms to take payments online!


Remember that to make money as a musician, your online store will be a virtual retail outfit that is supporting your musical endeavors. It’s easy to get lost and give up, but if you view your musical brand as a business – and more so if you register as a legal business – then you’ll have a way to build a life for yourself and do what you love to do.

Paul Cassarly
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