Music & Money: Being a Full-Time Musician...

November 2018


I have always pursued music as more than a hobby. Through this blog, I aim to help others build a sustainable income. Danelle Harvey, music industry coach and author, shares this goal. (She’s also a fab musician and songwriter!)


In this post, I’m talking about her bestselling book, Music & Money. If you aspire to be a pro-musician, you’d probably benefit from her insights. Below are some positive changes I’ve made to my business based on her advice. 


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Music & Money reached #1 on Amazon’s bestseller list in multiple categories, including Music Business, Sports & Entertainment Industry, Performing Arts, Time Management, and Sales & Selling.


The book highlights ten common mistakes music-preneurs make, and how to avoid these. Danelle also shares moneymaking ideas and strategies. You can order Music & Money *here in the US, and *here in the UK.


Let’s run through the parts I found most helpful…


  • Banish the 'starving artist' mind-set

It’s a common myth that indie musicians have to be poor. Some people take pride in calling themselves 'starving artists' (no judgement – I’ve been there!) The problem is that to make money, you should treat your music as a business. 


I doubt Steve Jobs or Alan Sugar saw 'starving' as an option – so why should you? I believe mind-set influences outcome. I explored this when blogging about conquering self-doubt and the power of positive thinking


If you think you’re bound to make little money because you’re an artist, that’s what will happen. Believe that YOU CAN and YOU DESERVE a lucrative music career. This is the first stride towards success. 


Danelle told me, “People think there’s no money. The more people I can get out of that myth, the better. We can help causes we care about. I want us to know our greatness. I care about women deeply.”


Music & Money was written for women. This makes sense because Danelle works with female musicians as a coach. In the book, she describes how building her music career helped her escape domestic violence. Although the book is aimed at women, I think the information is also useful to men.


  • Building a brand

Treating your music as a business is helpful here too. Who are you as a music maker? What’s your USP? 


It’s rare to find a business (national or local) that doesn’t have specific branding. After reading Danelle’s book, I made my branding consistent across all platforms. For example, following a re-brand earlier this year, my Facebook and LinkedIn headers became inconsistent with my website. 


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My previous LinkedIn header


My new headers match my website and newsletter, as well as my Twitter and Instagram artwork. 

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My new LinkedIn header

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My new Facebook header


These are small changes, but they strengthen my identity as a business. Danelle delves deep into branding, and I’ve got plans for 2019!

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  • Add strings to your bow

My cousin recently visited a music college. Apparently 79% of their graduates work in music. One reason for this is that they help students build multiple income streams. 


Danelle suggests ways musicians can do this in her book. For example, she suggests bloggers join affiliate schemes. As a keen blogger, I already do this. However, Danelle also advises creating your own affiliate scheme. This means anyone who recommends your product or service, and gets you a sale, earns a commission for their effort. 


This can increase your sales, plus you’re supporting someone else by helping them make additional income. This is why I’ve launched my own affiliate program. For every person you refer to my lyric writing service, you earn 10%. Interested? Learn more and apply


Danelle told me, “Operate like a business. Build many layers of income. You have to know what you’re doing, and believe you’re worth it. You get what you believe.”


  • Failing to plan is planning to fail

Many musicians tell me their biggest struggle is time management. It’s something I battle with. Music & Money is full of organisation and time management tips.


Here are two things I do regularly now:

  • A weekly strategy and review session: 1pm every Monday

  • A weekly research session: 1-3pm every Thursday


Danelle’s book is small but mighty – how I like my non-fiction! Music & Money is full of useful information AND you could read it in a week. She told me, “I want to cry with the emails I’m getting. People say they are earning more already. I want to get rid of the 'starving artist' mind-set. Give people who never thought it possible a step-by-step plan.”


Download your copy:

US: *

UK:​​ *

*Links marked with an asterisk are affiliate links. This means, at no additional cost to you, I earn a small commission if you make a purchase through the link(s). I only recommend products that I believe to be helpful and useful. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals. 


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Please visit my Patreon page to learn more. I talk about why I joined Patreon in this blog post.