💡✍️ADN #047: Turn Your Art Into Income

Oct 15, 2023

Hey Friends -

Welcome to the Artist Development Newsletter.

Every Sunday, I send an email providing actionable tips for artists and industry on one area of the music business.

Last week, we talked about how to become an escape artist.

You can re-read last week’s newsletter here if you want to refresh.

Today, we will walk through 5 steps to turn your Art Into Income.

Let’s go — ->

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Phase 1: ART

Every word you hear, every thought you think, every melody you hum, they all have the potential to grow into new art.

First — Art, in the form of an idea.

Next — Art, in the form of a song.

Then — Art, in the form of a recording.

Every little spark in your mind is a seed that, to grow, needs your attention.

Think of this creative time as the watering of the seed.

With focus and care, what seems like nothing today can turn into something that could change your life.

Your new song is art.

Your new song is an asset.

A long-term investment that your future self will thank you for.

With your new art, you’ve taken a massive step toward earning income as an artist in the music industry.


Once you’ve written and recorded your new song, it’s time to PROMOTE.

I’ve written about how to convert a listener into an engaged super fan via Social Marketing.

The same concepts apply to promoting a single song as promoting an album or yourself.

Here is how (click the links to articles for more specifics):

Like the art phase, the audience phase will likely feel like you are struggling to create momentum.

But remember, a seed doesn’t grow into a 300-foot-tall tree overnight.

Similarly, a song takes time to turn into an income-producing asset.

“The work needs doing.”

Consistency is key.


Consistency breeds momentum.

Momentum creates awareness.

Awareness creates word-of-mouth.

Word of mouth creates an audience.

And an audience generates income.

All of which takes time.

Work within a realistic Time Horizon, and remember that your song can produce income for the rest of your life if you build an audience for it.

Phase 3: IMPACT

The impact phase is where your Art and your Audience connect.

Word of mouth is happening, tickets are selling, the fan club is growing, and most importantly, it is all because people love your music.

This is exciting stuff!

In this phase, you are starting to see that your art can become income.

Any money coming in is likely from concerts and is being reinvested into travel, merchandise, and bills.

Soon, with more hard work, you’ll see how your song begins to take on a life of its own.

Phase 4: Earnings

Your music is streaming and selling.

Your merchandise #’s are going up show after show and tour after tour.

Your guarantees for your concerts are too.

This is where you can feel the power of your ART turning into INCOME.

Bills are being paid, expenses are recouped, crew is being hired, and soon money will be in your pocket.

You’ve nurtured your art, and it has grown.

You’re producing results you never would have without it.

It needed you to bring it to life, and you needed it to give you a career.

Teamwork at its finest.

Phase 5: INCOME

Finally, you’ve made it.

You’ve paid off your recording costs, your tour is profitable, and your song is streaming and selling more every day.

When you reach this stage of the process, your song holds immense value.

It is a recurring revenue stream.

  • Streaming
  • Sales
  • Merchandise
  • Tour
  • Sync
  • Video
  • Publishing

You can continue to monetize it forever.

We get so busy trying to make it that sometimes you don’t realize what you’ve done.

Take a moment when you get here to enjoy it.

You’ve turned your IDEA INTO INCOME.

Now that you know the process, it’s time to get to work :)

Action Items:

  • If you’re starting, consider your ideas and decide which one to invest in. Use this framework as your roadmap.
  • If you have songs, look at your catalog and assess where they are in the “Art Into Income” process.

See you next Sunday!

Neil Mason

Artist Development

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