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Rufuss Sewell
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#1
10th November 2012
Old 10th November 2012
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Tips on Selling Beats

I'd like to start selling beats. Back in 2001-2004 or so I made my living mostly producing local rap in Sacramento, CA. I loved the creative freedom of making instrumental rap tracks. Since then I've moved to Texas and mainly make a living touring with my band. But I've always wanted to get back into making beats.

I've read a few threads here and on other forums/YouTube etc and I have a pretty good ideas of where the market is at in 2012. I just wanted to see if I was missing anything. Here's the plan so far...

Website dedicated to my beats
Catchy name/logo
Some kind of widget store like MyFlashStore etc.
Soundclick profile
Requisit social media (Facebook/twitter etc.)
Dedicated Gmail and PayPal account
Contracts for Lease/Exclusive etc.
Google optimization
Start paying for lots of promotion on Soundclick/Facebook etc.

Anything else I'm forgetting about?

Also I'm thinking about leasing for $20-$25 and saving the exclusives for high dollar like $1500 and if they never sell so be it. That sound about right? I'd rather go high end than straight volume since I may only do 10 a month or so depending on tours.
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#2
10th November 2012
Old 10th November 2012
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You may want to get your tracks mastered. It will make your tracks sound more professional when someone is shopping for beats. Of course you will send a buyer the unmastered version for mix purposes, but they'll be more inclined to buy a track that sounds polished.

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Rufuss Sewell
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10th November 2012
Old 10th November 2012
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Ah good tip! (Getting the sample tracks mastered)
#4
10th November 2012
Old 10th November 2012
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Colin McCabe is offline
Find local artists if possible.
Rufuss Sewell
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10th November 2012
Old 10th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin McCabe View Post
Find local artists if possible.
Can you elaborate? Do you mean find local artist to sell to? Or find local artists to feature on my beats to help with promotion?
#6
10th November 2012
Old 10th November 2012
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I check this on the reg. you'd be surprised how many of these majors will respond if they like the beat...it gets it in their ears in the studio.

Beat Placements - Beat Placements
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10th November 2012
Old 10th November 2012
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Thanks King!
#8
10th November 2012
Old 10th November 2012
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manuel alejandro is offline
Learn to better communicate with people.

Go out to see local acts perform.
#9
10th November 2012
Old 10th November 2012
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Zachariah is offline
Marketing/Promo in your local area is what I think everybody keeps harping about. Thats something that will greatly benefit you and get you loyal custies. Even if you are good at producing and can get $1500 a beat, help out your local scene. You never know who's gonna blow and being known as "the dude that's always got the hottest music" around your area is never a bad thing.

This will probably lead to people wanting you to put a band together for their live shows and the law of giving reimburses you with the gift of more live shows for you and your band (aka gigs and fame as the most versatile group anybody has ever seen).

You eventually become superhuman and

lol nah but I am serious about the local scene. You can't pass it up!
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#10
10th November 2012
Old 10th November 2012
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All of what you mentioned + the mastered tracks + the local scene and.. Wait for it..
Write catchy melodies!

Equals a lot of leased and sold instrumentals..
(maybe even major placements)

Oh, and don't limit yourself to just artists.
Aim for commercials, tv show placements, company sound signatures, radio ads, jingles etc.
Who knows? You might score a movie someday..
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10th November 2012
Old 10th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ezionjd View Post
All of what you mentioned + the mastered tracks + the local scene and.. Wait for it..
Write catchy melodies!

Equals a lot of leased and sold instrumentals..
(maybe even major placements)

Oh, and don't limit yourself to just artists.
Aim for commercials, tv show placements, company sound signatures, radio ads, jingles etc.
Who knows? You might score a movie someday..
What you say made me think of something...

Write catchy hooks for your beats. The easier it is for an artist to see the whole picture the easier it will be to sell them something. This can be in the form of the stupid ass repetitive chops that people put in...or actually write a hook.
Rufuss Sewell
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11th November 2012
Old 11th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
What you say made me think of something...

Write catchy hooks for your beats. The easier it is for an artist to see the whole picture the easier it will be to sell them something. This can be in the form of the stupid ass repetitive chops that people put in...or actually write a hook.
I have a great female vocalist on hand for some ad lib type vocals, but I think if I got on the mic it would just scare people away, haha. Maybe I'll look into finding a local rapper that can put a few hooks down. Although I could maybe do some vocoder stuff.

You don't think that would make it hard for people to envision their own lyrics on the track though?
#13
11th November 2012
Old 11th November 2012
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#14
11th November 2012
Old 11th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rufuss Sewell View Post
I have a great female vocalist on hand for some ad lib type vocals, but I think if I got on the mic it would just scare people away, haha. Maybe I'll look into finding a local rapper that can put a few hooks down. Although I could maybe do some vocoder stuff.

You don't think that would make it hard for people to envision their own lyrics on the track though?
No...if anything its giving them a clearer picture of the direction of a record. Of course, it has to be appealing and match the quality of the beat, but if anything you are making it easier on an artist

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11th November 2012
Old 11th November 2012
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Give them a hook-less version and a version with a hook. Let them hear the hook-less version first in case they think of a melody and direction without your input.
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11th November 2012
Old 11th November 2012
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Dont put lyrics to the hookline, just make it stand out as a melody.
If it's written well enough it will inspire a lot of potential byers.
And also adding grammar will commit you to a certain language i.e. nationality, and thereby narrow your sales options from worldwide to the designated country.
Not a smart move, when there's money in China
#17
11th November 2012
Old 11th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Of World View Post
I check this on the reg. you'd be surprised how many of these majors will respond if they like the beat...it gets it in their ears in the studio.

Beat Placements - Beat Placements
Good looks on the link man, I been lurking on twitter trying to find places to send beats to majors, but its 99.9% of the time just rappers who are looking to get over with free beats.

And yea small group of local clientel does wonders if you are trying to live off production. Hit up open mics and low-cost shows with beats in hand on cd, and on your ipod, and weed to get their attention for 15min. also the credit card swiper for your phone has been working a lot lately, then just burn the stems to a cd with a laptop.
#18
11th November 2012
Old 11th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam Citi View Post
and weed to get their attention for 15min.
Haha I never thought of that but that is super smart. I'll start doing that at some point.
#19
12th November 2012
Old 12th November 2012
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Network and get out there in your local scene. Take over your area first and make a name for yourself. Dont expect to start selling beats right away start with collaborations and if the work is good enough youll see people seeking you out instead. Be humble and always take chances and continue to work everyday. Good luck.
#20
13th November 2012
Old 13th November 2012
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These are all great responses.... Get your beats mastered professionally, find local artists to work with, get a catchy name, etc. The list could be endless.

I wasn't looking to link to my own site, but this is an article that is worth reading and I believe will help you with some tips on selling beats:

Learn How To Sell Beats (And How Not To)

The point I was making is that there's a difference between making beats vs. producing, and a lot that goes along with both.

But here's some other ideas for selling:
  • Get involved in a community
  • Be active on social sites
  • Get your own website (not just a Bandcamp or Soundcloud page)
  • Business Cards
  • T-Shirts
  • Network with others doing the same as you (they're not your enemy)
  • Get outside and network in person
  • Go to local shows and get to know some of the local talent

Then you have to decide if you want to lease or sell. There's pros and cons of each. I think either one is good but it ultimately comes down with what you're more comfortable with, and also what the buyer wants/perfers.
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#21
13th November 2012
Old 13th November 2012
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I found this thread quite interesting so tried to dig up some more info. What couldn't find out though was how long people had been writing 'beats' for before they started selling. Most people would just offer info on how long it took them to sell their first beat. I assumed this to mean how long after they put the beat up did it take to sell,not how long had they been writing beats.

There were some gems out there, some guy had just had just got into the whole 'beatmaking' thing, and two months later was ready to sell beats. e seemed shocked people told hm it'd take longer than two months to be cracking it.

So yeah, for those that are 'sellers' how long had you been writing beats for before you sold your first ?
#22
14th November 2012
Old 14th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKA-I-Addict View Post
I found this thread quite interesting so tried to dig up some more info. What couldn't find out though was how long people had been writing 'beats' for before they started selling. Most people would just offer info on how long it took them to sell their first beat. I assumed this to mean how long after they put the beat up did it take to sell,not how long had they been writing beats.

There were some gems out there, some guy had just had just got into the whole 'beatmaking' thing, and two months later was ready to sell beats. e seemed shocked people told hm it'd take longer than two months to be cracking it.

So yeah, for those that are 'sellers' how long had you been writing beats for before you sold your first ?
Thats quite funny. When I started beatmaking, I was 14...i made my first sale about 6 months after that and god dammnit I felt like a boss! It was over the net too. Just goes to show how subjective music is. Every artist has the safe side and the wild side. Whichever demographic they are marketing to will probably determine what kind of beats an artist picks, but theres always some beats that are outside their scope that just sparks creativity in them.

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14th November 2012
Old 14th November 2012
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facebook ads

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youtube videos (how to, beat making, beats, etc)

free beat tape every month or so

2-4 new beats every week
#24
14th November 2012
Old 14th November 2012
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I paranoid when it comes to trying to sell my beats on the internet these days. I may sure to voice tag everything I put up because I know there may be some wannabe rapper that doesn't care if they jack a 2 mix mp3 version of my beat. Am I being a bit to cautious? I don't think so!
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15th November 2012
Old 15th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnie Coleman View Post
You're doin it right.
Yup.
Sending out mp3's these days is like giving a college chick a ride in a rapevan, there will be foul play.
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15th November 2012
Old 15th November 2012
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I'll probably tag everything. At least at first.

Do you think it's best to have a single tag so that people recognize the tag, or make different tags for each song that actually fit the song better?
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15th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rufuss Sewell View Post
I'll probably tag everything. At least at first.

Do you think it's best to have a single tag so that people recognize the tag, or make different tags for each song that actually fit the song better?
A different tag for each song is just extra work. No need for it.
Make one, and spend a lot of time on it, cause it will be your signature.
But even if you tag your beats, they will get jacked.
Not being pessimistic here, its just a fact.
What you gotta do is get in the studio WITH the artist, or get close with somebody who does business properly, and is handling said artist.
Like Sha Money Xl does for 50cent. (And other artists too!)
I read in a old copy of scratch magazine, that he takes alk the beats he likes and compiles his own cd's before he hands them to fif'
That way a Dr.Dre beat is just as likely to get picked as a no name producer from west bubble****..
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15th November 2012
Old 15th November 2012
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Weird I thought selling "beats" online died in early/mid 2000's.
#29
16th November 2012
Old 16th November 2012
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Developing website for promoting and selling your beats is the best choice.
#30
16th November 2012
Old 16th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arrowood101 View Post
Weird I thought selling "beats" online died in early/mid 2000's.
nah man it just evolved, a lot harder, a lot more people trying to sell. you have to understand internet marketing and seo for sure or you have no chance, but still very profitable.
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