The simple guide to selling beats every successful producer should read
Quit your job and make money creating music. THE DREAM.
Except it’s not a dream. It’s true for many producers who played their cards right and kept going. Here’s a quick guide to get started with your winning hand.
Here's what you'll need:
- Some banger beats: They are probably just sitting there in your laptop. There are thousands of artists who are willing to pay you for your music. Set up a profile in a beat marketplace such as BeatStars, Soundee, Airbit, etc and start getting paid!
- Get your licensing ready: Licenses are the rights you give to others so they can use your music. Download some examples, customize them a bit and you're good to go.
- Get your producer tag done: It's a snippet of audio that helps with branding and identifying your creations.
- Start building your email list: Email is by far the best way to keep in touch with your audience and build community. Just remember to never spam!.
- Use social media for exposure and to grow your email list: YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and SoundCloud are great places to put your stuff out there to get some ears on your music.
- Remember it's a people's business: Cultivate your networking skills and think about how you can help or inspire others.
- Get the right mindset: Start today, and don't stop in the face of adversity. Avoid getting overwhelmed, remember consistency beats anything else in any field.
Quit your job and make money creating music.
Except it’s not a dream. It’s true for many producers who played their cards right and kept going. Here’s a quick guide to get started on how to sell beats online with a winning hand.
What you’ll need:
- Good music
- Some marketing
- Consistency & the right mindset
That’s it. It’s really that simple. But just because I say simple I don’t mean easy.
Probably, in the beginning you won’t be making thousands of dollars per day, and that’s ok, you need to be ready to put in the work and don’t get discouraged on days where things move slower.
With these elements – good music, marketing and consistency – there is a good chance that one day BeatStars might make a tweet about you:
There are thousands of artists who are willing to pay you for your music. But selling beats online (and selling anything, really) is not only about the music. You need a set of skills so that good music gets to the right ears.
Luckily nowadays there are many online platforms that can make selling beats a whole lot easier, some I’m sure there are some websites where to sell beats that you’ve already heard about: BeatStars, AirBit and Soundee.
These pages take care of the drudgery, you simply upload your beats, and get paid when someone buys them.
I highly recommend having your own beat selling website to have a place on the internet that’s just your own, where you can really showcase your personality and artistic style. It is definitely not necessary, but having your own space and email list gives you security if one day any of the platforms or social media sites disappear or go offline.
The Technical Stuff
Did you know people need permission to use your beats in their songs? This permission is called a license and it's a legal document, so don't skip this step when you're starting to sell your beats online.
There are two types of licenses: Exclusive and Non-Exclusive. You can sell non-exclusive licenses to an unlimited amount of artists. But an exclusive license can only be sold to one person.
- Exclusive rights are, rightfully so, more expensive and might require some negotiation.
- Non-Exclusive rights might include a finish date and/or a number of plays.
Decide what type of license will be the one you choose the most, and get your guidelines on track so that people who buy from you know what they can and can’t do. Don’t panic, we have some templates for you to do this. However please note that for special cases or specific questions you should always contact a local lawyer that knows the laws that apply to your country/region.
Your beat selling business
You can start your online beat selling business with zero dollars today. It has never been easier!
Let’s start with the fundamental part of any online business: the product. In this case, your beats. Your computer is probably full of them right now.
You can export them in different audio formats and sell them with different licenses. You can make a few mp3’s with and without your producer tag, and then a few WAV’s with and without tracking.
Producer tags are audio snippets that serve as a signature for their work. Almost every song has one so you’ve probably heard a few before! They are great both for branding and getting recognition and also to avoid people from using your beats without the explicit rights to do so.
Now you have all your beats ready, you can set up your licensing. If it seems confusing just remember that higher quality files will be more expensive and exclusive, and that regular mp3’s with tags will be the cheaper option. This is entirely up to you, it’s your music so you make the rules.
Where to sell beats online
Nowadays there are marketplace websites exclusively dedicated to selling beats, which makes the whole process simple and seamless.Here’s a complete list of websites to checkout. The main competitors are BeatStars and Airbit, but take a tour and decide wich one would be the most appropriate for you.
Starting with a beat selling marketplace will definitely be easier and faster than getting your own beat selling online store, mainly because these pages already have traffic and customers waiting to buy from you.
Why you need an email list
Emails are BY FAR the most valuable asset in today's internet economy. Email marketing outperforms all the other conversion rates for regular ads and organic marketing, so it’s very important that you focus your effort in getting the emails of potential customers so that afterwards you can keep in touch, send updates about your newest projects, drive traffic to your youtube, and so much more. Just remember not to spam them!
YouTube is definetly the biggest social media platform to sell beats. Mainly because a lot of artists are already hanging out over there. Like any social media site, though, it will require consistency and persistance to start showing up on search results. The work will pay off because if you are getting a bunch of views on your videos, you’re probably not only selling a lot but also getting paid from YouTube as well.
We’ll do a quick YouTube SEO guide later on, to help you rank better and faster.
Since it is audio-driven, SoundCloud is the perfect site for musicians. But it has a more social approach, so use this site mainly to connect with others than to sell. There is no way to “hack” or play marketing games within this platform so don’t rely entirely on it.
- Other social media sites
How could we forget about the big names in the content industry? Instagram and TikTok are the main platforms to get your beats out there.
Just remember, don’t use these platforms to spam your followers or anyone else. Social Media is great for expressing yourself, and really showcase your personality.
The upcoming marketing trends agree as well, the days of the overly curated, salesy posts and the perfect instagram life are over. Nowadays, people want to know who you are, what you do and your story as a whole with its ups and downs.
Keep it simple and honest, and bring your audience into your creative process, daily life and things you enjoy.
Treating your followers as close friends will lead to more engagement and inevitably make them a part of your creations.
Both YouTube and all the other social platforms like Instagram and TikTok thrive on the concept of content marketing. This means creating content that indirectly promotes your products or services, either by entertaining or educating your audience. You need to create content to capture the attention of music artists. The more eyes and attention you get, the more chances you’ll get for people to buy your beats. It’s a numbers game.
Your network determines your “net worth.” Whatever platform you choose to engage with an audience, remember that there is always someone behind the screen (yes, even behind ghost troll accounts). The simple rule is to know how to properly interact with other human beings. This is a people's industry. You make music with people. People represent you. People cut checks. People run the labels. The imperfections of human beings are all added baggage to this entire hierarchy and lifeblood of the music industry.
It’s a people's industry. Never forget that.
If you’re going to message people directly, begin by asking yourself How can I help this person?, and take that question as a starting point for the interaction.
Probably the hardest aspect of starting a beat selling business (and any business) is changing your mindset to become resilient and consistent regardless of immediate result.
You need to have a constant state of evaluation and reassessment so that you can fix whatever is not working and at the same time keep your head cold and not take anything personally.
It can sure be overwhelming but keep in mind that slow and steady always wins the race. What is important is that you ditch whatever excuses are floating in your head, just start and never stop.