10 Music Business Ideas for Non-Musicians

The music industry is one filled with adventure and excitement. For musicians, being an established talent is the main goal. It doesn’t matter if it’s to become a rockstar, pop icon, diva, a chair in the orchestra, or a traveling busker. What matters is to have the ability to share one’s music and have the listeners recognize the talent behind it.

But is success in the music world solely for musicians? Of course not. For those who are not as musically inclined, there is still hope to be an integral part of the music scene. Below are 10 music business ideas for non-musicians looking to penetrate the scene.

Songwriter

Just because you can’t sing a note to save your life, doesn’t mean you can’t write songs. There are a lot of singers and artists out there who can’t write decent songs, and therein lies your market. Many pop stars, and some rock stars, buy songs from songwriters all the time with some songs reaching up to 5 figures each. If you have a knack for writing songs, but can’t sing, becoming a songwriter is a good entry point into the music scene.

Booking Agent

If there’s one thing many musicians don’t enjoy doing, it’s handling the business side of things. Organizers don’t always have access to musicians, since they are usually very busy, and don’t welcome such distractions. This is where booking agents come in. These agents are the ones who handle calls from organizers, and schedule the bookings of artists. For each booking, you will receive a commission for each deal made.

DJ

For those who love playing music on their stereos and MP3 players, there is no doubt that you have at one point  pretended to become a DJ. What’s stopping you then to earn from doing the thing you love most?

Manager

A manager is similar to a booking agent in that he handles a band or artist’s business dealings. However, managers handle more than just bookings. Being a manager involves having to promote, present, project, and protect your talents. If you’re good at talking, becoming a manager is perfect.

Promoter

Many musicians out there have a wealth of material but lack the funds to promote it. As a promoter, you seek out these musicians and help fund the costs of their recordings, and promote them to various agents, managers, and publishers. Of course by doing so, you earn a commission from each successful deal that you are a broker.

Set-up a Recording Studio

If you have the space and finances, you can also set-up a recording studio, and charge artists by the hour to record their songs. Aside from recording, you can also rent out your space to up and coming bands for rehearsing. For the recording side though, you’d need to hire a good sound engineer, which brings us to the next option…

Become a Sound Engineer

If you don’t have the resources to set-up your own studio, you can become a sound engineer instead. Sound engineers are the ones responsible for mixing songs and producing the final product of each recorded song. As a sound engineer, you also learn how to run a recording studio, which can be useful if you decide to set-up a shop on your own.

Equipment Sales

More than just selling guitars and drum kits, you can sell headphones, cables, mics, mixers, recording equipment, etc. Aside from selling, you can also rent out your PA equipment and instruments to event organizers for festivals, corporate shindigs, and more.

Music Writer

If you are good with words, you can also become a music writer. Whether if it’s for an established music publication or a personal blog (which can bring in serious money if done correctly), writing about music can give you access to various musical events. You can review albums, concerts, promote new artists, and more.

Lawyer

While seemingly incongruous to the whole music business theme, in the end, music is still a business and all businesses require legal representation. From licensing, contracts, and overall protecting musicians’ rights, becoming an entertainment lawyer is serious business. Not just for musicians, but you can also represent agents, managers, organizers, venues, etc., when it comes to their own interests.

This is by no means a complete, and comprehensive list of music business ideas you can pursue as a non-musician. However, it gives you a fair idea on what you can accomplish in the music scene. Despite not being a musician, creativity goes a long way towards helping you build a career in music.

To learn more how you can build a successful career in music, check out the free Music Business video training series from James Taylor here.