Selling beats has become very sophisticated over the years. In fact, it now requires the same marketing principles used by small and big businesses and advanced techniques that are more than mere common knowledge. When I first started to sell beats in 2009, it was as simple as spamming hundreds of people on Twitter with a link to your site. In fact, I did not even have a mailing list to stay in touch with customers and clients. The method I used to sell beats was crude and very unprofessional but worst of all; it did not contain any marketing principles. Today, I see many new producers still doing the old copy and paste spamming techniques which reminds me of when I first started.
Here are a few tips that I use myself for new producers getting into the online beat selling game. The main factor that will weed out true producers and entrepreneurs from part time hobbyists is the mindset. The earlier new producers (that plan to sell beats) realize this, the faster they can start making money.
Patience – This is the main obstacle one must endure when entering this competitive market. Building your popularity can take years and is very stressful as it is discouraging. I have had many moments where I contemplated whether selling beats is for me. When techniques became sophisticated and artists stopped responding to unsolicited spam, I hit a wall and had nowhere to turn. My partner was working on techniques that required a decent capital and I had exasperated all of my earnings by squandering my money instead of reinvesting. The patience came in when I had to develop and test new strategies which do not give results overnight. Learning takes time and it takes a lot of it. If you cannot be patient with your efforts, you will only set yourself back farther than you realize.
Time management – It is crucial that you use your time effectively and decipher whether you are being busy or being productive. Keeping busy does not mean that you are being productive and you can measure that by the results produced. If you have a day job or attending school, then time management is the first thing you must master. One tip is to limit checking your email to once a day during the evening in order to utilize your energy during the day time. It may not seem like such a hot tip, but new producers will realize how this life hack is essential once they have built a hefty list.
It’s not all about traffic – A common misconception that not only new beat sellers believe is that traffic is all that you need to make sales. Acquiring traffic is only 40% of the battle; the rest is in the process of closing the sale. Funneling traffic to your site is not difficult, getting people to make a purchase is. When I first started selling hip hop instrumentals I would always try to find ways to grow the traffic coming to my site. Traffic is definitely a factor entrepreneurs must focus on but it is nothing without the ability to close the sale.
Find a mentor – This is a very crucial component in becoming a successful entrepreneur. A mentor will speed up the process of success tenfold. This person will give you the exact steps and guide you on the right path. It is possible to learn everything on your own but prepare yourself for a long journey of stress and trial and error. Instead of wasting five years figuring out the right marketing strategies, why not invest in yourself and learn what you need to know in less than a year. One thing to also keep in mind is that some mentors will charge a coaching fee unless you can befriend one and learn for free.
Monitoring and analysis – You should always know the patterns of your target audience. Learn what time of the day your site or social media platforms receive the most interaction. Knowing where most of your beat sales come from will also be useful in understanding your demographics. For example, I am from California but most of my sales come from East Coast states because of my production style. I also receive sales internationally but mostly from Australia. Facebook and Google offer analytics that can help you keep track of your statistics and data.
It’s not always about the money – Making sales is essentially the goal but there are other things that are more valuable and can earn you more profit in the long run. One common method I’ve been seeing recently is contests. The logic behind this is to get people involved with what you’re doing so that they become possible customers of yours in the future. It also attracts attention and publicity towards you. Try to come up with different ways to create value for yourself without having to turn a profit from a beat. Remember that profit comes in many forms and creating value for brand is an important one.
Think long term – Most music marketing efforts don’t produce results overnight. This is where the first step of patience comes in. You will stress yourself out if you cannot be patient and continue working on certain tasks that require a long term mentality. It will also be very difficult to make investments that take months to produce results. New producers must endure this in order to reach goals and truly sell beats.
Put your consumer hat on– We as producers and entrepreneurs sometimes get too caught up with advanced marketing techniques and forget about what the customer actually wants. Most of the time it’s very simple yet we are distracted by our ambitions. Always listen to your audience because listening will help you understand their buying process. Always ask yourself if your methods are convincing or just irritating to them.
Trial and error– Don’t be afraid to test out different things. This is a key marketing principle as you must stick with the strategies that work and put a stop to ones that don’t. Once you figure out what works, you must then scale up. It would be a waste of an idea to find something that works and keep doing it at a small scale. The same goes for bad ideas as well. Even if a bad idea is earning you little income, it may be wasting your time and energy on manifesting newer and better ideas.
Professionalism and Authority– Having authority means that people actually take you seriously and will find value in what you have to say. This can only be achieved by being professional in every aspect. Put up a website and take a professional tone when it comes to business. If you use music hosting sites, upgrade to their paid features so that artists will view you as someone who can afford the need for a premium account. Having the image of a professional will go a long way and will produce more results than other producers who seem amateurish.
These tips are meant to create the proper mindset when getting into the beat selling business. These are not specific strategies like methods on building your list or promotion techniques although having this mindset is what will keep you on the right path. These are things that I’ve learned from my mentor and have changed the way I view business and beat selling. Most importantly, it has helped me double my earnings when I sell beats and keep the profits steady.
Justin Jay Beats