Welcome to the “YOU CAN Make A Living In The Music Industry” podcast!

Did you know that YOU CAN make a living in the music industry? Did you know that you don’t have to be famous to do so? When we see the level of achievements artists and musicians have made from magazines and tv, we think I’ll never have that kind of success. Why bother trying?

And you know, you may be right that you’ll never have that kind of success.

But guess what? Most artists—even the famous ones you love—don’t start out thinking I’ll be a huge star one day and fill arenas full of people that will adore me. Okay, some do maybe, but most, not so much. Most of them begin their careers hoping to just make it to the next gig without their vehicle breaking down and having to spend the money they just made on car repairs. Trust me, I know. I’ve been there. Honestly, most of the major artists just wanted to make enough money to pay their bills and support a family and keep going at it.

That’s what this podcast is all about. To show you YOU CAN make a living doing what you love in the music industry and support a family. That’s what I’ve spent over 20 years doing. It’s difficult and it looks different for everyone, but YOU CAN do it!

The music industry today is very different from the pinnacle of success it saw in the 1990s. Gone are the days of landing a single song contract, having a big name artist release your song as a single and then buying a fancy new car off the royalties a few months later because it became a big hit. The digital age of music put an end to that.

But the digital age has been good for independent musicians because it gives us freedom. We no longer have to sign a record deal or publishing deal (unless that is your goal) to make a living. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, and you need to decide which path is best for you, which we’ll talk about on the podcast.

In the digital age, YOU CAN write, record, produce, publish and promote music all on your own, upload it directly to the world in an instant, and build a fan base from home. That has become a game changer for indie artists. We now have opportunities that we never had before.  

Technology lets us record radio and TV quality music in our home studios or even on our phones. It’s crazy the options we have at our fingertips now. Indie artists are getting picked to perform on festival stages alongside the major label artists. They are finding success with audiences because they know how to make high quality music and how to promote their own concerts like never before. Indie artists, songwriters, and producers are getting song placements in TV and film and are making a full time living doing only that. I have friends who do that very thing right now, and we will talk with them on the podcast.

Most people who make a living in the music industry do so because they find multiple streams of income within the industry. Have you ever thought about how many ways there are to make money in the music industry? It’s not just about being an artist or band or songwriter. That’s not everyone’s passion. Think about it for a minute. Within the music industry (and even larger entertainment industry for that matter) you can be a:

•    songwriter
•    composer
•    artist
•    musician
•    music producer
•    mixer
•    studio engineer
•    live sound engineer
•    mastering engineer
•    publisher
•    PRO rep
•    song licenser
•    sync music licenser
•    music supervisor
•    booking agent
•    artist manager
•    tour/road manager
•    promoter
•    tour sound/lighting crew
•    music/entertainment lawyer
•    music photographer
•    music video director
•    music teacher
•    music store owner or employee
•    music consultant
•    DJ
•    album/website graphic design

The list goes on and on…

The goal is to find what your passion is and pursue that. YOU CAN do it! Even if it’s a mix of passions. What skills do you have that you can combine with music? Maybe you can’t sing or write songs, but you love music and you are studying to be a lawyer. BAM! Entertainment Law. Anyone signing major contracts needs one.

There are almost endless options of what YOU CAN do. That’s how I’ve been able to do it. I make a full time living in music because I’m working in multiple facets at all times. I’m an artist, songwriter, worship pastor, guitar teacher, music store owner, producer, TV/film music producer, publisher, road manager, booking agent, live sound engineer, DJ, consultant and more. Yes, I do all these things. Not all of them every day, of course.

Some facets of the music industry automatically go together while others are extensions of my main focus. You don’t have to do everything equally either. Focus on a couple things you really want to pursue. But until you realize those dreams, know that YOU CAN apply many of these aspects to your career. It’s actually really smart because the more you know how to do, the more valuable you become to someone in need of your services.

That’s why I’m here talking to you now. I have experience or insight into something you may not. Plus, over the past 20 years I've gotten to know many people who are successful at making a living in most of these fields of expertise. Now, I want to share our experiences with you so you can be encouraged and believe that YOU CAN make a living in the music industry.

It all starts with believing YOU CAN!

John Martin Keith


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