Selling music in general can be a difficult task, especially if you are kicking off the ground with little traction. Everyone starts somewhere, so don’t be discouraged if things don’t catch fire over night!
Build Your Professional Network
First and foremost, the music industry is one that depends on professional networking. You have to really get out there and meet other artists, producers, and engineers. Even getting in touch with local venues can be beneficial, depending on the type of artists that perform at them. Don’t limit yourself to just artists. It’s important to keep an open mind. Remember, it’s not what you know; it’s who you know.
Start with building a portfolio of tracks to showcase your work and your style. You’ll be taken more seriously, and it’s a great complement to building a strong professional network. From there, you can focus on choosing a platform or marketing strategy to land clients.
Showcase Your Beats
When it comes to using a platform, you should utilize one that is popular. SoundCloud and BandCamp are solid options, but nothing wins over clients like a professional website. If you are new to building a website, consider putting it on hold until you have a clear goal in mind. Study up on various options (WordPress or Wix). This isn’t a must, but it’s a really nice way to display your work. Aside from having a digital showcase, be sure to carry business cards and/or physical CDs that have samples of your beats on them. You never know when an opportunity will spring from around the corner.
Start locally at first. Although it’s very possible to sell beats over the internet, face-to-face communication is key. Rappers may like your beats, but unless you have the handshake to seal the deal, you won’t get very far. By this I mean, put your best foot forward and be approachable.
So you have the professional know-how. How do you actually start selling? It’s important to be realistic. You probably won’t make a lot of money in the beginning, and that’s completely okay! Be persistent with the strategy you choose. Maybe you try meeting artists at shows. Perhaps you email or direct message artists first. You might even arrange for a simple meeting. Whatever strategy or combination of tactics you use, remember to keep with it and revisit the drawing board if needed. There is a lot of trial-and-error involved. Keep in mind, not everyone is going to like your music, but that’s part of it. You shouldn’t let it deter you from pursuing music whatsoever.
How Much Should I Charge for Beats?
A lot of producers starting out asking, “How much should I charge?” This is a tough question to answer, and it ultimately depends on your resources, skill, and experience. Starting out, pick a low rate; say $10-$20 per track. As you establish yourself, gain traction, and become in-demand, you can begin to steadily increase your pricing. Always stay flexible and open to negotiation. Remember, you want your clients to come back and spread the word! Reputation is fragile. Once it’s done, you’re done.
Learn The Basics of Copyright Law | Protect Yourself and Your Beats
Study up on the basics on copyright law, especially if you utilize samples in your music. Sampling can get you in a lot of legal trouble if the sample isn’t cleared first. Always get sample clearance from the owner. If you aren’t sure, ask! You can copyright your beats. Visitfor more information.
Finally, keep perfecting your beat-making craft! The music industry is a revolving door of trends. Things ascend and descend in popularity on the daily. Remaining versatile and adaptable is paramount to your career’s longevity. The best advice I can give it this: be a lifelong student of music. Never allow yourself to think you’re the best or that you can’t get any better. Doing so will only hinder your career growth in the long run. Above all, have fun doing it, and you’ll enjoy the grind to success so much more, guaranteed.