For artists, it is not enough to just make “good” music. The real reward is in being able to see your artistry at work ($$$$). And living off of your music is usually the ultimate goal. Distributing your music allows the impact of your craft to spread further than your studio. In the past, it was a challenge to get your work exposed. Being an independent artist was usually not a successful route. Times have changed, and independent is the buzz-word for successful artists worldwide.
The Internet has made getting exposure, distribution, and getting sales for your music much more simple than in the past. That said, it also means hip-hop fans have more artists to choose from. In other words, you gotta be on top of your game and ready to crank out original and appealing music. People’s attention spans are short. You have to innovate constantly and give your fans new experiences.
The writing process for music can go one of two ways:
1) You get inspired and put pen to paper then look for the right rap beats.
2) You find a beat and let it draw the lyrics out of you.
Either way, the music needs to meet your words. You may not always find the right rap beats you need, and many artists end up using whatever is available to them. However, there is nothing worse than a sick verse/hook over a substandard track. Fortunately, sites like JBZ Beats have stockpiles of high-quality Rap Beats that are royalty free.
After you have your music laid out, mixed and mastered, the goal is to get it into the hands of consumers. Music is an art, but it is also a business. So to really grow as an artist you need to have a business mindset. This article is designed to help you market your musical product in the best way possible. So if you are ready to get serious about your craft, you have come to the right place.
Your Greatest Opportunity
The internet is probably the single greatest invention in the last 26 years… But simply uploading your music online will not equal sales. The average artist finds a distribution service and uploads their song. Then they pat themselves on the back and tell the fam the deal is done.
Don’t Be Lazy
You might get a few plays but the chances of your music really getting out there are almost nonexistent. Hundreds of thousands of other artist are doing the EXACT same thing all over the world. When you hear artist complaining about how hard it is to get on in the industry, it is just because they have no idea how to.
Build Yourself and Your Brand
Use income from your day job to invest in yourself. Get quality equipment, pay a professional to mix and master your music. Make music videos, pay for celebrity collaborations, and just generally handle your business. So distribution is only the start of the game. You are sitting on Baltic Avenue, and you still need to circle the board. So focus and look at your music like a brand – you need to build it.
On the business side, there’s a problem to solve before you can see a profit. That is getting people to buy your music. To garner sales, you need a solid strategy. The focus of your strategy needs to be two things:
1) Understand where the fans of your music are.
2) Get your music in their ears enough they fall in love with it
Free Music is Key
Your fans are a captive audience. They have made things pretty convenient for you by choosing to be online 24/7. Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and everywhere else. What’s important here is that your fan base is NOT going to buy your music right away – or at all. You need to put your music out for free. Why? Because the world needs to hear your music before they even consider buying it. Many people still just don’t buy music anymore.
Connect and Engage
Use these platforms to find underground artists similar to your sound with a growing fan base and see who is following them. Those people are your audience too. Conbernect with these artists – connect. DO NOT spam their music. This is the absolute worst way to get your music heard. No one likes spammers, and it looks pathetic. If you do this, stop immediately and rethink your approach.
Engage with these artists by giving feedback, reaching out and telling them you’re a fan. If you stay connected with them for a while, in a private message tell them you’d like to collaborate on something. They might not be interested… but if they are, it’s a great opportunity to grow your fan base. Obviously this really only works if the artist is relatively underground still.
Once you get your fan base growing, start to engage them, because no one can find music from an artist they have never heard of. By engage, we mean make connect with them frequently. A good way to do this is to measure how you issue your content. Rather than release one eight or twelve song album per year, release eight to twelve singles. Doing so will put you on your audience’s radar more often.
You need to create a bond with them. Ever successful artist has a fan base that is heavily invested in them and their music. So you need to befriend and engage your fans as well to build a following and garner more sales. Use Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. to engage and share your life – not just your music. Again, never ever, ever spam. People will avoid your music just out of spite.
The bottom line is this, yes – technically distribution is super easy. However, distribution is not the same as selling. To sell your music you need to make people aware you exist. After they know who you are, you have to get them to trust you.
Release new music monthly or bi-monthly. This means you need to have a steady stream of new content. Link with good producers who have the hottest hip hop beats for sale, that fit your style. Make your content high-quality and consistent. And have patience – your fan base isn’t going to find you overnight.
Lastly, love what you do as an artist. Get caught up on the artistic side, but just don’t forget the business side. If the business isn’t your forte, hire someone to do it. You are your own product, so you have to not only be on the shelf, you have to be advertised. Work hard at that day job, save up, and invest in yourself.
Here is the recap:
1) Identify your fan base.
2) Engage them on a regular basis.
3) Secure a reliable stream of rap beats and high-quality production.
4) Have a constant flow of new product for them to enjoy.
Then you will be able to use the distribution of your music to make money.
When you’re scanning the internet for hip hop beats for sale, first off – don’t steal your beats! Not even for the sake of the producer, but for the sake of yourself. If your ultimate goal is to hit 1,000,000 plays, you best believe the producer will come looking for his cut, and if you didn’t get the beat with permission… well, that chunk might be a good chunk.
Now that you know to always buy your beats, the next biggest thing is read those contracts and agreements. Some producers will have more straight-up contracts than others. Others might sneak in that fine print. Know the royalties that you owe or don’t owe. Also, make sure you’re giving the proper credit.
Aside from this useful information, we also offer a wide variety of high-quality Rap Beats from 10 different producers from around the world. Our mission is to create beats that we like – beats that are unique and not made to sound like someone else. Create your own style, and find what you’re looking for with our library of 300 rap beats. If you’re looking make a living off your music, make sure you’re not just following the trendsetters – original beats are a good start.