Overview: How Selling Your Beats Can Get You Places?
If you have a social media where you post your music and stuff then you've probably gotten a few comments saying “Check out my beat, it's fire” etc. First, you don't want to be this guy.
One time I had a guy comment a sales pitch on a post about XXXTentacion death. He got so much backlash he probably had to rethink his entire marketing strategy. You can't do this kind of stuff!
Anyways, speaking of selling beats.
People are making a full time living with this. However, it's not the success that comes overnight. Moreover, you may sell only ten beats the first year, following by 500 beat sales the year after.
The numbers are nothing, but an example. However, note that it's not a steady upward slope. It's steep, just like with most businesses.
One thing I want you to remember!
Be ready for a lot of downs. There will be ups, but we all know you fail a lot more than succeed in the beginning. We've all been there because music production is not a joke. It's one of the most competitive industries out there.'
It's profitable in the long run, but the beginning may seem like hell.
Will Every Music Producer Succeed?
As you already know, the music production market is already flooded. However, it always feels this way, even with the most profitable and perspective niches. So stay strong! All the “gurus” say all you have to do is put in as much work as you can, and you will succeed.
However, it's still a matter of luck as well. It's who you know, how you portray yourself on social, what you do. I would say there are too many factors to consider them all. In my opinion, the more beats you put out and the better you market, the higher the chance you will “get noticed.”
Once you got noticed if ever, you will be okay. However, you have a long way ahead of you!
Where To Start To Sell Your Beats Online?
Obviously, first, you need some beats. And I mean some sweet, high-quality tracks with mixing and mastering done. Then you have to render them according to the beat price, quality, and the way you want to distribute them (most often called licencing).
There is a very high chance you've heard of licencing already, but let's go over it real quick to help our fellow music producers who are just starting out, alright?
What Is Beat Licensing?
Basically, the higher the price, the better the quality. Yeah, you get more rights so that you can distribute your music in different ways, but the quality is usually the main difference. Usually, you are not supposed to use the cheapest beat leases that you buy for commercial purposes or can only use it for a year or so.
Technically, these are the rules of any beat selling website.
Do most people follow them?
Do beatmakers care?
Most of them don't have time to worry about someone using their beat in a song they upload to Spotify. And they can only do so much if they do care. Just so you guys know, rules are there, but not everyone follows them.
You render your ready-to-go beats according to the rights that come with them. The cheapest ones are basic MP3s. If you pay more, you will get a WAV file. I haven't seen anyone giving away their entire project with all loops and samples.
I don't know why it's such a big deal for producers, but I don't really care that much.
How About Exclusive and Non-Exclusive rights?
Well, this is very obvious for most, am I right? If you buy non-exclusive right, more people will be buying the beat after you.
You don't see a lot of people out there selling exclusive rights for one simple reason. Professional artists buy most of their beats from established producers they know in person or have heard of.
Independent artists don't feel like paying $300+ or even $100+ for a beat. They would much rather make one themselves or steal one off YouTube or SoundCloud. At the end of the day, that's the last thing you should worry about. Trust me on this.
I Have The Beats Ready, What Now?
How do you do that? There are a few ways.
First would be putting them up on your own website. You own this space on the Internet and promote it to get sales. This will be the best method but also the hardest. If you already know a thing or two about selling beats, you know BeatStars and RawHeads.
How Do You Know About These Beats Distribution Websites?
That's simple. Whenever you google “buy beats,” these are the top websites that will show up. And there are tens of them, and each is competing to be at the top of the search results.
BeatStars makes $1,000,000's a year, so they probably have a little more to spend than you do, you feel me? Try creating a blog on your website and rank it for some long tail keywords. People come to your blog to learn something for free.
That's How You Get Their Loyalty And Trust.
They may return for more and who knows, maybe they'll end up buying a beat or two off you.
It's All About The Image.
If someone likes you or your image, there is a higher chance they'll buy from you. That was the first option. Takes tons of work but pays off in the longer run. The easier option would be uploading your beats to the BeatStarsor RawHeads as mentioned above.
Again, beatmakers from all over the world upload their creations to these websites. Without sufficient promotion and marketing, your beats won't sell. The beats selling websites also have memberships which they make money on, so good luck trying to get places without paying because you won't get all the features unless you subscribe.
They need to make money too, am I right?
Okay, we've established that you have to either spend a lot of time or some money in order to make money when selling beats (free and paid promotion).
How To Promote Your Beats For Free?
Then you can try promoting your beats for free. And who knows, this may kick start your career sooner than you think. So the most obvious way to do this is by having an Instagram page where you got your music. I mean that's the first thing that comes to mind.
Before reaching out to peeps, make sure your page looks more-less established.
Most people won't say this, but you may even buy a few likes and followers after a bit to look more “demanded” and “established.” I know so many people who do that, but they won't admit. They would say all these followers are fans and lie to my face.
I mean I am not exposing you, I am just curious in most cases. It's like a study I have on how people behave in these situations.
Don't forget to upload at least a couple of times a week.
One of my buddies uploads beats on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He also makes a little video edit for every single one of his beats, which makes his page look a lot nicer. Once he had 20+ videos, he kept uploading new videos on Tuesdays and recycling and re-uploading one of his older videos on Thursdays.
Therefore, there is no pressure to make two beats and two edits every week. He could make four in one day and be all set for a month. Not a bad side hustle.
What To Do With All The Free Time You Have Now?
First, start reaching out to people. Try targeting musicians. Let's be honest, most won't answer, but some will!
Work On Your Sales Pitch.
Just like with email marketing, direct messaging people on Instagram shouldn't be spammy. You have to think of a way to make the person reading your message to engage. Quite often you won't even be in their message list. Your DM will appear in the “requested” tab which a lot of people ignore.
This means that if you get them to follow you or follow you back, the chance of them opening the message will increase drastically. Take a look at this list of a few techniques promotion companies use to increase their following and engagement to get an idea.
Anything Besides Instagram to Promote My Beats?
Yeah, you can literally use any social media to do that. There are people on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and even Pinterest doing this already, so don't expect to be a pioneer. I know a lot of people who upload their beats to YouTube at a lower quality, and if someone wants it, there is a link in the description.
The only downside to this is 100s of people downloading your poor quality beat and using it without any credits anyways. So this is more of an exposure thing than anything else. Have a few beats on YouTube and more in the store or on your website.
If Your Video Gets Some Traction, Clicks Will Come For Sure.
You can also try Facebook niche related groups, but most people just spam there. Not worth the effort in my opinion.
How About Twitter And Pinterest?
I can see how this can work with Twitter, but you definitely need an already established fan base or a lot of followers. Pinterest is not really for music producers, but if you own or a part of a big board of the music industry, you can make a few sales for sure. Okay, next part!
What Equipment Do I Need To Make Industry Quality Beats?
Yeah, that's a little complicated. Some may say you need nothing and others will emphasize that you must have certain equipment to “make it.” I will give you a rule of thumb.
What Hardware Do I Need To Make Beats?
Okay, you probably need at least a pair of studio monitors and headphones. If you can't afford both, go for the headphones in the beginning. This will help you not just to put together, but properly mix and master your beat.
Do I Need a MIDI Keyboard?
It's really up to you. MIDI keyboard is not a must, but a nice addition to simplifying your workflow. You “feel” the melody better when you use one, but that's nothing but a preference. If you have some cash, this will be a little cherry on the top of the cake (which is your talent).
There is more hardware you may want, but it's not essential to start with.
What Software Do I Need To Make Beats?
To start, you need a DAW (digital audio workstation). I went over different DAWs in another article. Besides that, you may purchase a few paid VSTs or download free ones. You need them to create or tweak sounds that you will use in a beat.
You will also need drum samples, as VSTs don't always give you the sound you want. There are tons of them on the Internet, both paid and free.
Am I Ready To Sell Beats?
Well, definitely give it a shot even if you've only been producing for a few months. Maybe give your friends and other musicians a listen and go from there. If someone feels your vibe, there is a high chance they will buy beats from you even if they are not perfect.
Whenever I purchase a beat, I have to dig a person first. Be friendly, responsive, and professional. As easy as that.
Conclusion: How To Sell Beats Online
Hopefully, you've learned a thing or two in this article. Just like for most things you see on the Internet, do your own research. Selling beats is a long term strategy, so be wise and don't chase the quick cash.