Image via YouTube.
“How can we make money as an a cappella group?”
“Well…we could do a Kickstarter…”
If you’re trying to monetize your group, there’s nothing wrong with crowdfunding an EP or album – but that’s not a sustainable income source. Here are seven different ideas for utilizing your fan base and community to consistently support your group as you grow.
T-shirts. Phone cases. Hats. Socks, maybe. Selling merchandise is an easy and popular way to raise money for musicians. Think about this: what kind of merchandise would you be most interested in buying from your favorite band? That’s what your fans want. Sites like CustomInk provide an easy, affordable way to get your group’s logo and branding out into the world. Selling merchandise at your gigs legitimizes your group and provides free advertisement every time one of your fans takes your shirt out of their drawer.
If you already have music out in the world, why not make physical CDs? Streaming may be king right now, but CDs are still a great way to literally put your music in the hands of everyone you encounter at your gigs. Sites like CD Baby let you print CDs with a professional finish that will help you stand out at every performance. Or you could try custom USB flash drives with your music and branding from sites like Disc Makers.
Performing for corporate events, private parties, etc. is another great revenue source that helps you earn new fans. Wondering how to find these kinds of events? We just wrote an article about it!
In preparation for this article, I spent an arduous five minutes on Google and found this site (and this one, too) for festivals nationwide, this site for festivals and events in my home state of Florida, and this site for festivals in my hometown of Orlando. Find opportunities near you, from the weekly farmer’s market to the fall festival! Some of these performances will pay, and all of them will offer more fans and opportunities to make connections and sell merch.
Are they cheesy? Maybe. But your group can still have a good time and get paid to deliver singing grams for many different occasions. You can try selling birthday grams, Valentine’s Day grams, and more for any holiday or special event! With the holiday season approaching, this may be a good time to learn a couple of seasonal tunes and offer up your services in your school or community!
Do you arrange your group’s music? ArrangeMe provides the opportunity to sell arrangements of more than one million songs, completely legally, through Sheet Music Plus or Noteflight. If a song is on their list, you can share your arrangements with the world and set up a passive income stream.
Patreon is a unique crowdfunding site in that it provides a continuous income stream for content creators, instead of one-off funding drives. Patrons can support your group per month or per creation (i.e., a music release or a video release). Whether you’re a high school group, a professional group, or anything else, Patreon provides a way to build a consistent fanbase.
How else have you raised funds for your a cappella group? Let us know in the comments!
Do you want free arrangements, expert advice, and access to professional a cappella events? You can have all of that and more by becoming a member of the A Cappella Education Association. Join us today and help shape the future of a cappella.