Leveraging Your Talents And Your Skills

Guitarist© 2011 Vinny Ribas

As a singer, musician, songwriter or band, you have talents and skills that can be used to your benefit in other ways than playing the usual gigs and selling your CDs from the back of the room. Here are some out-of-the-box ways to leverage your talent and skills:[private_member]

Barter with other musicians

You can trade your skills for theirs. For example, you can offer to play on a singer/songwriter’s demo in exchange for him or her singing on yours.

Barter as if it was cash

You can barter your skills for non-music related goods and services. For example, do you know someone who is getting married, or whose daughter is getting married? Do they have something that you can exchange for playing at the wedding?

You can teach more than just lessons

Of course you can always give lessons on your instrument. But have you thought about the other skills you’ve acquired? Thousands of artists would love to learn how to perform better on stage, how to market themselves, how to book themselves or even how to use home recording software. If you have these skills, you can get paid for sharing them.


If you have become very adept at something, or you are passionate about it, you can blog about it. For example, if you’re a guitar player, write blogs about your favorite players, new players you’ve discovered, about guitars, effects or other gear. The possibilities are endless. Blogging accomplishes several things. First, it establishes you as the expert. Secondly, it makes people want to meet you in person (come to your shows). Third, you can always mention your music, even if the topic is unrelated. And lastly, if the blog gets popular enough, you can possibly sell advertising or get sponsors.

Get press

The press loves to tell stories, not just report facts. If something about you is interesting, such as having an interesting background, a unique playing style, a fascinating hobby or an unusual expertise, you might be able to gain considerable press. Find a publicist who can weave a great story about you.

Write a book or e-book, or record an audio or video training.

I know numerous artists who have written books about something they are good at or knowledgeable about. It’s a great way to create an additional income. Many hit songwriters have written books about how to be a better songwriter from all different perspectives. There are several books on the Nashville Number System written by studio musicians. Vocal coaches record and sell vocal training CDs. The list goes on and on.

Marry your music and your hobbies or other interests

It is an amazing and unparalleled joy when you find a way to marry your musical skills with a seemingly non-related interest. For example, if you love football, you can write and/or record songs about the sport, write songs about individual teams, specialize in playing tailgate parties, play benefits to raise money for your local Pop Warner League, or high school team to buy new uniforms. You can sell football-related merch, perform in a football jersey and even report scores from stage. You might even have a guitar made where the body is shaped like a football. With enough ingenuity, you could probably build a career as the ‘Football Singer!’

Further a cause or a nonprofit; Bring attention to a problem

You have the ability to use your notoriety or your skills to get people’s attention. You can use that ability in any number of constructive ways, such as bringing a cause to the forefront. An example would be to record a song about an autistic child to raise awareness of the condition or to raise money for your local Autism Society. You can also showcase your political views, again by writing and performing songs about them, or by volunteering to perform at political parties and rallies.

The bottom line is simply this. Take a personal inventory of the skills, talents or knowledge that you have, and then think of ways that they can be used to either generate income, help other people and/or further your career on and off-stage.[/private_member]

About The Author

Vinny Ribas

Vinny Ribas is the founder and CEO of Indie Connect, an artist management, consulting and training company. The company also hosts networking and educational events and has published an app that connects people to the Nashville Music Industry. During his 40+ year career, Vinny has been a full time musician, artist manager, booking agent, songwriter, studio owner, producer and the Entertainment Director for the NV State Fair. He has also coached over 1000 artists and songwriters. He is a sought after speaker and has authored over 400 music industry articles. Vinny is also the CEO of Top 4M Entertainment, an independent film and television production company.