Raise your hand if you love being an artist. Keep your hand up if the greatest joy you have in life is to create content, make movies, write jokes and perform them for a crowd, make music, and share your art with the world.
The life of every artist/content creator is to create something that allows people to forget about their difficulties for even a few minutes. We find this fulfillment in our lives by making others laugh, smile, think, and cry, taking them on a journey through our souls and hoping they can relate to the life we are living.
More times than not, we do not have the financial backing to help us pursue our passion. Most of us can’t do what we love and have it sustain us as a financial means of support. We have to hold down other jobs that will allow us the flexibility to pay our bills and continue to audition, perform, and create content.
Most of us spend years perfecting the craft of our art but never receive the big break we need to push our careers to the next level. We end up giving up on our dreams to be able to continue to support ourselves and our loved ones.
However, the explosion of media platforms has given us the tools to reach broader audiences, giving us hope of being the next viral sensation. That would give us the boost to the next level, and we hope it would allow us to be able to continue doing what we love, which is entertaining the masses.
But as we know, the media platforms are not the most lucrative places for artists to make money. While some do reach levels of amazing success, the rest of us have to use other formats to make money in our craft. Many of the media platforms are constantly changing their rules and regulations that change the way we, as creators, can make money. Actors, comedians, and musicians all have a hard time earning on social media platforms, but we continue to create. We do this for the love of our craft, hoping to one day make it into a sustainable career.
Here are some ways you as a creator can begin earning income from day one to support your art:
1. Start an Open Mic Session at a Local Bar, Club, or Venue
This is the fastest and easiest way for you to get in front of an audience and show them your skills. Speak to a local venue and find out when their slowest night during the week would be. Tell them you will provide live entertainment for their crowd if they give you the room for an hour or two. Most shows will go on for one hour to an hour and thirty minutes, depending on the performance.
Once the venue is secure, then it is time to tap your natural resources for other artists in the area willing to perform. Social media groups, Craigslist, and word of mouth will all give you additional talent who will be more than happy to get on stage in front of an audience and share their talent alongside you. This will allow you to put on a full show even if you don’t yet have enough of your content to do it by yourself. You can charge a cover for the show, the venue will keep all of the food and beverage tabs (until your show is large enough to negotiate a portion of that as well), and now you have extra weekly income for performing your art.
If you are feeling extra confident, have a videographer film the event. Please make sure you get a release form from the other talent, or you can get in trouble later for copyright issues. And if the talent on your show is just starting out and too shy to be filmed just yet, then be kind and let them gain the confidence they need to be able to share their talent with the world.
Once you have the content recorded and edited, post your video on your Tellyvizion profile and share across all your social media platforms. You can then retrieve all your analytics, likes, dislikes, shares, and fan base, and we can promote to your fan base and help you market for greater exposure. You can offer the performance for free or for a small charge and be able to earn residual money from the performance as well.
2. Start a Meetup to meet like-minded artists, entertainers, crew, and producers for collaborations.
There are many places where you can start a meet up for connecting with other talent for future collaborations. Meetup.com is a great resource where you can create your group based on your location. Meetup will charge you a small monthly fee or $9.99 for a small group or $14.99 for an unlimited sized group you intend to build. Craigslist is also a great place to advertise an outing for local artists to come meet one another and chat about working together. The same goes for groups on Facebook. Craigslist and Facebook are both free resources, but you can also boost your page to the local area for a small fee to get more eyes on your post.
You can use the same venue as you do for your mic night and charge a small fee through eventbrite to be able to secure a space at a venue for everyone to hang out and get to know each other.
Now you have a second source of revenue to create your content and support yourself.
3. Need Equipment? Need a Crew? Can’t Afford to Rent or Buy?
Every city has public access television stations. All of these stations are funded through donations by other like-minded individuals who love art and creating content, plus plenty of government grants. Do a Google search looking for the public access stations in your area or local creative arts classes where they can train you to use their equipment in exchange for you creating content for their channel. It’s a win-win. This will help you become a better artist and visionary.
Need a crew? Most of these classes have other like-minded individuals who would love to collaborate on future projects and gain the experience needed to be amazing.
And of course, you can always put an ad on social media looking for a crew, and you will be surprised by how many people would love to help just to learn the craft.
Can’t afford the classes? Then volunteer your time on other people’s projects. In exchange, you will gain the experience and know-how of the equipment and process. Bam! Problem solved.
4. Volunteer! Volunteer! Volunteer!
Volunteer for everything that will help you gain experience and exposure to do the art you love. Here in New York City, many of the comedians work at the comedy clubs as greeters, ushers, and waitstaff just to get stage time in front of a crowd.
Many artists put ads in local papers looking for production assistants (PAs) to help in their films. Some jobs are free, and others are low paying. But you will be networking your face off and meeting a whole bunch of folks that you may work with in the future or even find your new BFFs who will be with you your entire career as you grow into the superstar you are meant to be.
Take the skills you already have from all of your amazing mic nights. Because if you think about it, you have now acquired project management, promotion and marketing, public speaking, negotiation, and offered them to another professional in exchange for services.
If you are a budding rock star, then give singing lessons or instrumental lessons in exchange for services. If you are a stage or film performer, find an acting class to keep your skills sharp and help promote their class in exchange for a free ticket to the class. You know what you need to grow your craft. Don’t be afraid to help others grow their business, and they will help you grow yours.
“Giving back is as good for you as it is for those you are helping because giving gives you purpose. When you have a purpose-driven life, you’re a happier person.” — Goldie Hawn
5. Crowdfunding! Calling all art lovers! Let me borrow a dollar, please.
There are many crowdfunding sites out there. Sites like kickstarter and gofundme require you to focus all your time and energy on your campaign. From creating a great video to promoting and pushing to make it go viral, this will be an ongoing project for you that will require a good month of your time to be successful. Sadly, I know many artists who did not hit the money they needed for a project and did not receive anything, making all their efforts null and void. These sites are better if you have a physical product for sale or a prototype that is going to change the market.
Patreon.com was the go-to crowdfunding site for artists and entertainers. All you had to do was create your own site and post your content, and then your friends and other viewers had the opportunity to donate money to you for your content. Patreon charges 5% of the total monthly funds earned and an additional $0.35 for all transactions, which can be costly in the end if all of your donations are micro donations of $1 or $2.
Or you can just post your content on tellyvizion and have your friends and fans donate money directly to you through our tip jar on each video, and you will keep 95% of everything you earn on the site, period.
Wow! That is a lot of information that you will have to begin researching on as soon as possible and start implementing. These are all great tools for the beginning superstar and an easy way to begin earning income as you are hacking your way into Hollywood. Plus, all the skills you will learn now will make you a better artist as you develop other talents to help you grow your career.
Please let me know if there are other great ways for up and coming artists to begin making money from day one of their craft. I would love to hear from you, and we can offer others help in their careers as they grow to become more amazing!