How Musicians Can Make Money on

Jan 08, 2024
Singers Make Money on Soundbetter

 If you’re a singer, songwriter, or literally any other type of music service provider like mixing engineer, harpist, rapper, flautist, producer, etc. and you’re wondering if you should offer your services on, read this and your answer will probably become YES.

If you’re amazing at what you do, and you can do it from your own home studio (or at least have a partner who can record you), listen up because I’ll tell you about my life changing journey to half a million dollars on Soundbetter. 

In fall of 2018 I signed up and applied to become a premium provider. I was NOT accepted right away. BUT with a little guidance from the site admins, and friends of mine who have had success on there, I made changes to my profile that got me accepted 8 months later.  Here's what I did..

Getting started

Sign up today, it's free! Make an account, and start perfecting your profile. AFTER your profile is perfect (which we’ll talk about in a sec), then apply for a premium account. It’s worth every penny, because the visibility boost you get when you’re premium vs a free profile is life changing.

Sidenote, they won’t charge you the membership fee until you get approved. When I just had a free account, during those 8 months, I think I only got one gig. Once I was premium, it was a building process but now I average 10-20 gigs a month. 

One big secret

Not a lot of people know this, but when signing up and listing what services you provide, whichever service you list first is the page you’ll end up most visible on. So SINGERS, I’m sure you’re also songwriters, Melodyners, and rappers, but here's why I list SINGER first. I put singing as my top service for a very sneaky reason. When a client is looking for a songwriter they pretty much 98% of the time expect that songwriter to also record the vocals, right? So check this out... there is one songwriters page, but for singers there is the male singers page and the female singers page. Where do you think most clients hire songwriters from? They go to the female or male singers pages because they know they either want a male or female voice. 

This is a strategy for better visibility. There is simply more traffic to the singers pages than the songwriters page. Just look at the big difference in numbers of reviews the providers have on each.

If you're not a singer, but you offer a few different music services, go check out those services pages on Soundbetter and notice which of those services tends to get the higher number of reviews. That is the service with the most traffic ;)

Setting up your profile 

The main thing that’s going to get you accepted as a premium provider, and also hired by more people, is bragging about your accomplishments on the very top of your profile. Cringe. If you’re like me and don’t have a Grammy nom to your name, you gotta get creative. The reason this step is so important is that it builds instant trust with your potential clients. Here are some ways you can jazz up your profile with accolades:

  • List any famous people you've worked with
  • Successful producers you've worked with
  • Labels
  • Impressive number of Spotify streams
  • TV networks or shows your songs were synced in
  • Brand deals you have
  • If you have a ton of followers on social media
  • Famous recording studios you've worked at
  • Awards you've won or been nominated for

These things show clients that you’ve been trusted by others and therefore it’s worth pressing play on your demo. So how can you get creative? Did you work with a producer who has a Justin Bieber placement? You can write, "Worked with Producer,(Justin Bieber)." The famous artist in parenthesis. Boom, suddenly you have our attention.

If you’re really stuck on this one, you might even want to think about how you can acquire new accolades. Maybe it’s time to apply for the American Songwriter Contest, or reach out to an EDM label to do a release. Better yet, look at a big EDM label, look at their roster, and offer free vocals to those DJs! That’s actually exactly how my friend Diana got her profile approved. It took her 2 years, but she made it happen!

Next let's talk about your photo. It’s the first thing people see, so please no ig selfies. At least have a friend take a nice photo of you outside during golden hour. It can be like a headshot, an album cover, or of course the old singing into the mic photo works wonders as well. Just make it look professional and clean.

I recommend browsing the competition, what is everyone else in your category writing about? Most people drop one sentence to show their personality and what it’ll be like working together. Then they share a bit about their special skills. Then they’ll talk a bit about the process, the “how it works” section.

Quickly mention any important terms such as:

  • refund policy
  • use of your name policy
  • royalties policy

Then of course: call to action - tell people to contact you! 

Your Demo Song

One big mistake I see singers make is with their demo reel. If someone decides to click on your profile among the sea of other singers, this is a huge step so don’t mess it up from there and make them have to sit there for 20 seconds listening to a piano intro. Cut to you singing right away.

I highly recommend to treat this like a reel and cut up 4-8 bars of 3-4 different songs. Cater to the short attention spans of 2024 and showcase what you can do in about a minutes time. If you’re versatile and you sing in different tones or styles, you can have up to 4 different demo reels.

For example I have a dance reel, urban pop, a rap reel, and my cinematic movie trailer music reel. You can creep on my profile here:

The rest of the fields to fill out are pretty self explanatory - your genres, what famous people you sound like, what recording gear you have like your microphone, interface, and DAW.

Be sure you really do fill out every last box. One of the algorithmic factors for better visibility is profile completeness. This includes answering the cute interview questions! 

From there you can ask people you’ve worked with to leave you an endorsement. These will be unverified 5 star reviews, but they definitely help! Once you do get clients to hire you through Soundbetter, leave them a super thoughtful 5 star review and they will likely return the favor! If they don’t, just ask them nicely if they could write you a quick review since you’re new to the site, it would help you a lot! 

I do highly recommend if you’ve got clients of your own that you work with outside of soundbetter, to ask them to hire you through soundbetter. Yes you’ll have to give SB that 7% commission, but it is so worth the investment. Having verified reviews will help you go pro. It’ll build you a proven track record to show SB that you deserve to be on the premium team. 

Soundbetter's Commission

7% commission (plus a 3% transaction fee) is incredible for artists. Compare that to other sites who take a 20-50% cut. It’s really fair. The $99 monthly membership fee pays for itself in one gig (or $999 if you pay annually). You’ll only get charged the membership fee once your profile gets accepted, so I was not paying a fee for those 8 months I was waiting.

Think of it like you’re paying someone for their incredible marketing team and high tech website. I made my own website and I do my own marketing, and it is so much work. To only make 7% more by doing it myself is really not even worth it. I honestly rather people hire me through Soundbetter anyway because it keeps me ranking higher and thus getting more clients. 

Everyone wins

This website is really smart. Yes, it’s heartbreaking that it is such a vigorous acceptance process, but it is to all our benefit in the long run. SB only accepts new providers in small batches. When new premium providers are added to the site, they have 1 week of boosted visibility, which gives them a fighting chance over the competition. It’ll give you a chance to trigger the algorithm, and If you hustle in those first couple weeks, you totally have the ability to rank #1 and your business will start to grow fast. Between waves, it’s all about how well we’re doing that determines our ranking in visibility.

The Algorithm - here are some factors that give you a boost:

  • Response Time - you’ll show up higher on the page for your category if you have a super fast response time. When I was new, I was literally checking my email in the middle of the night when I’d get up to pee and if I had a job invite, I’d send a proposal.
  • Response Rate - if you even reply to a job invite or not. If someone send a job invite, and you decline them, it goes against you. I actually send a proposal to people I DON'T want to work with, just letting them know why I'm not a fit, and I wish them the best.
  • 5 Star Reviews - don't be afraid to ask for one!
  • When you complete a job 
  • When you get hired
  • When you get repeat clients
  • Profile Completeness
  • How long it's been since you last completed a job - if you go on hiatus, it can start to work against you. 

So should you sell your music services online? I say yes. To not only to make money doing what you love, but you never know who you’re going to meet. Gigging on Soundbetter has led me to more Spotify spins than I ever had on my own, and no I don’t even let many people put my name on their releases. It’s opened the door for sync placements, I’ve worked with incredible brands, and I’ve made lifelong friends in my return clients. Not to mention the community of talent itself. I’ve met some of my best friends who you’d think are my competition, but I don’t see it that way. We all sound different, someone is going to love my voice, and someone else is going to see you as their new go-to. There’s plenty for everyone. 

So don’t delay any further, go make your profile. I may have a head start on you but I challenge you to come after that number one spot. I believe in you, I believe in us.

Wanna learn how else you can make money as a singer online? Check out where you can get a free copy of the Master List of 35 Revenue Streams for Singers. Doing so gets you on the list to receive free invites to our monthly mastermind call. Come meet me on zoom on the first Friday of each month, and meet other singers who are just as motivated as you to really build something sustainable with our voices. 

Join to receive free invites to the SSP Live mastermind calls!

When you sign up, I'll also send you a free copy of the Master List of 35 Revenue Streams for Singers WITHOUT Having to Perform Live!