How to Make Money Making Beats
As a music producer, you have a lot of different options when it comes to making and selling your beats and to who. You don't have to be a super famous music producer to make money at it, and you don't even have to be signed by a record label. You can be independent whenever you choose to and start selling your beats to customers all over the world. Just make sure to register all creations you make with the Copyright Office in the Library of Congress, to protect your creations from being stolen. Once they're protected, you can get out there and start selling them or promoting them without worrying about anybody stealing them. You just need to be realistic and realize that there is a lot of competition out there when it comes to people selling their beats and music productions, so don't expect it to be easy. But it is possible to do and if you're interested, here's some of the best ways to pave your own path and make money selling beats on your own.
Approach Artists Directly
Most artists are used to people trying to pitch to them and sell things to them, so making contact with artists and getting them to listen to your beats can be very difficult. Keep in mind that many record labels don't allow their artists to listen to unsolicited music, which is any music they come across that isn't already in the public domain or on the radio and that the label hasn't approved. There can be legal problems if an artist hears a song that was created by someone else, because then they can't ever make a song similar to that or they could possibly be sued. So if you're just starting out, it may be best to focus on trying to contact artists that are not associated with major record labels, and not associated with any companies that have large legal departments. Finding up and coming artists who aren't quite famous yet is probably your best bet if you haven't made a name for yourself yet. They may not be as business or legal savvy, and might not have any good producers on their payroll to make them good beats. So this creates the perfect environment for you to approach them and try to sell your craft to them.
You may even want to give away a beat or two in the beginning for free to some talented artists, rather than charging them. The only thing you should require is that they give you a shout out in the song somewhere. That way you can show other artists the finished song and appear more professional. If they see you've worked with other talented artists before, they may be more willing to pay you and even pay you well for your beats. You can build up your name this way, by getting artists to give you shout outs in exchange for free beats. The beginning of the song, within the first 15 seconds, is the ideal spot for them to shout out your name, that way you can show it to other artists and they don't have to dig too deep into the song to hear your name.
Create a Social Presence
The best way to gain the interest of music artists is to do it socially. If you can create a buzz around your beats or your social website profile, they may be more likely to check you out and see what the buzz is all about. Become heavily integrated into social websites like Facebook and even Myspace (plenty of people still use Myspace). If you can't do it on your own and get a large following, then save up money and use it to make your profile more popular in a number of different and creative ways. Once you have a following, artists will probably be more likely to listen to your stuff and give it a chance, because much of the music industry is about current buzz's and producers that are "hot" at the moment. Sometimes artists won't even give a producer a chance, even if their beats are great, simply because the producer doesn't have a marketable sound or a current buzz around their names or their types of beats.
One way to create a buzz is to write articles about yourself, and make them sound professional, then post those different articles all over the internet on all the free article submission websites. Then, when somebody googles your name, they'll see all these articles written about you and your beats and they will probably pay more attention to you and take you more serious as a music producer. Sometimes people buy into hype and the music industry today is one of the best examples of that. It doesn't matter how good you think you are at producing, sometimes hype alone can be the difference between success and failure. When a movie studio is about to release a major movie, they usually start hyping it up months beforehand so people will want to see it once it hits theaters. This is no different than what you can be doing with your own beats and image. It's called "fake it till you make it" and plenty of people do it in both the music industry and Hollywood. There's a number of different Hip Hop websites and online magazines that allow people to write content for them. Some of them will even pay you for it, but if you have to write for free, it isn't so bad if it's for self-promotion.
Your Own Website
You should always think about building your own website if you haven't already, because any music producer who wants to be taken seriously would have their own website to advertise their services and snippets of their beats. Putting demos on your site and your rates is a good way to allow people to check you out, while appearing more legit and serious about what you do. You may even want to leave the rates off the site and put "rates negotiable" somewhere on the site so you can negotiate over the phone or through emails. If you don't know how to build your own website, there's plenty of free website builders out there that will make it much easier without you having to learn any coding. However, if you're really lazy or just have a lot of money to spend, you could always just hire a website designer and have them build you a website for a fee. Don't forget to promote your website as well, once it's built, since it may not rank so well in search engines and people probably won't know you exist unless you advertise.
In addition to building your own site for yourself, you should also upload all your beats to the various forums and websites that allow music producers to show off their talents. Sites like Soundclick allow producers to upload instrumentals and beats and they even have contests where they rank the best ones. Many producers upload their beats to these types of websites, then list their rates or list whether they want to sell the rights to their beats completely to a customer or lease them, so they can be sold again to other customers. It's your choice, and you may not even want to list your rates and services on these sites. Regardless, it's still a great way to get noticed, and to see how your music stacks up against other people doing the same thing out there. Forums are also a great place to get advice while you're building up a name for yourself. You could join a forum that's just for music producers, and then advertise your beats and your own website in the signature under each post you make. If your stuff is really good, you can get some followers from the forums to like your stuff on Facebook or share it with others until you gradually build a name for yourself and become more famous.
Ok, so this is one of the more obvious ways to make money with your beats that most people already know about it. I have to mention it though, just in case you haven't thought of it yet. Youtube is a massive social community that had made it's name for being all about videos, but you can still upload audio files on there as long as there's some type of video to go with them. The video doesn't have to be much, even just a picture will do, and you can easily make them for free using programs like Windows Movie Maker. You shouldn't underestimate the value of advertising your beats on Youtube, because some amateur music producers get hundreds of thousands of views on some of their beats on there. You can put a logo on the video screen so people know where they can find other beats or how to get in contact with you. If pop tart teen idols like Justin Bieber can become discovered on Youtube, there's no telling how many music producers already have or have at least sold their beats by using Youtube for promotion.
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