Its always about the money. Of course the love drives you to create, and the admiration of that which you create funnels extra fuel in the tank. At the end of it all, however, no one really desires to be a starving artist. La Vie Boheme may sound appealing in Rent, but will not suffice when your landlord seeks funds you can't provide.
ALL businesses must generate profits. If you're an aspiring musician, the consider yourself a startup company with a minimum of five years to reach your breakeven point (when you expect to pay off all debts). Master personal branding strategies to increase visibility and leverage a fanbase. Place as much of yourself, or rather the person/character you want people to see you as, into your overall music and performances. Know your target audience.
This doesn't differ much from a regular business strategy; but in an industry with no clear business model, it is imperative that you do what you can to hedge your bets. Thinking of ways to make your passion lucrative is not selling out, it's cashing in. It's ensuring that you always have a way to fund yourself and eat when your endeavors hit a rough patch or a natural disaster occurs. One of the first questions asked of entrepreneurs pitching startups in the non-profit sector is this: How is it going to be profitable? That question doesn't suggest how the business will pay salaries to its internal hierarchy, but rather begs the question of how the business will sustain itself.
So in reality, instead of asking yourself how you'll generate profits, the real question is this: How am I going to sustain myself? When you set this type of mandate on your art, it shifts from being a small desire to a necessity. Your survival instincts kick in and your brain reconfigures itself to accommodate your new goals.
The money has nothing to do with the acquisition of a Louvre piece or establishing a trust fund for your kids. It's not about amassing a fortune to flaunt a Bugatti in your video, or worse, exacerbate your debt. At the very crux of it all, the profits are about deepening your roots in rough soil so you can survive. Artists tend to toss money in the air in hopes of seeing returns. We usually haven't set a minimum for what our required return should be.
I'll say this until I die. Set goals. Profitability should always be one of your goals because it is what allows YOU as an individual to support yourself, even when others won't or can't. Goals should be S.M.A.R.T. ( Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely). For more on goal-setting go here:http://topachievement.
Just as I was about to rest my head, I came across this:
29 Revenue Streams for Artists: http://futureofmusic.