How Small Your Music is in the Music Business
Posted on September 14th, 2014 by GratuiTousIn Questions/Thinkers | 1 Comment »
If you’ve been in the audio scene for awhile, you know how much effort, time, and skill there is to create sustainable income off your music.
For those that are just getting started, music is great fun, however, that’s just where it starts.
You create your product (which as an artist/producer is your beat/song), and now you have to find customers who like your product enough to buy it!
But what happens when you keep creating beats, which keeps your product list growing, but no one is buying your beats?
You’re left with a huge catalog of beats that aren’t moving, yet you keep creating more and more beats.
This is when it’s time to take a step back, and re-think your marketing plan.
Ask yourself this question – Would you buy your beats if you were your own customer?
Quick Story to Get to the Point,
With my first inquiries from artists wanting to work with my beats, I immediately thought about my future.
“What if a song goes big – What are my rights? – Do I get royalties? – Do I still own my beat after selling it? What if the song goes on the radio, do I still get paid even though the artist bought the beat?”.
At this time, I knew I had to get in-depth knowledge of this music industry before moving ahead too fast, and getting myself into a situation I would not want to be in!
I did some research online, and the book, “All You Need to Know About the Music Business” — by Donald S. Passman kept popping up!
He’s a popular lawyer in the music industry, and he’s written eight editions so far! (Dec. 28, 2013!).
I thought to myself, if I’m going to be producing songs for artists, I have learn the ins and outs of the industry, as well as my rights! (Royalties, contracts, terminology, etc!) Otherwise I’m working blinded. And if you don’t know your rights, how do you know that you’re not being cheated or taken advantage of?
Reading this book definitely gave me nuggets of music industry knowledge, with an easy break down and cool examples.
However, while reading, this is when reality hit.
I Didn’t Know What I Was Doing!
I recall Adrian of Anno Domini Beats say something along these lines – “If you can’t sell one beat, why are you making more?”.
I realized, I was putting out beat after beat.. but wasn’t grabbing the amount of sales I wanted – What was I doing wrong?
Instead of marketing my product, I’d release new beats hoping someone would bite!
It was like I was stuck in a cycle, “If I just release a new beat, that’s my answer to a sale!”.
It’s an odd way to look at it, but your beat is actually very small in compared to what is done in the back-end of preparing and selling your product. But to contradict that last sentence, your beat is EVERYTHING because this is what defines your skills and brand when people listen.
And at that moment, you come to realize as the title of this blog post says, “How Small Your Music is in the Music Business”.
We as Beatmakers Have a Lot on Our Shoulders!
As independent beatmakers, we have a lot to do!
- Create our own products
- Present our Product
- Market ourselves/products
- Manage monies
- Build relationships, and grow our network!
- Keep track of records
- And make the sale!
As you can see, your beat (your own product), is only one step in the list above!
It can take the least amount of time, in compared to the whole picture, but its part to play is huge, cause if your beats are wack.. it makes the rest of the tasks that much harder to accomplish.
The reality that hit was this – I kept creating so many beats, but not grabbing sales. It also took up a lot of my time, without seeing the results I’d like to see!
I pondered on CEO of Anno Domini Beats, Adrian Boeckeler’s, saying over and over to realize what steps I had to take to break the cycle I was in, and take a new approach.
I had to slow things down and figure out why. Are my beats not good? Or.. is it just that my product is not getting in front of the eyes of my potential customers?
So here’s a tip to get you going.
Organization Sucks.. but It’s Your Back-Bone!
When starting up, every single inquiry is so important! – You have to maintain these relationships and exceed clients expectations with over and above qualities.
This is hard to do without being organized. Organization skills are very important in online sales.
Customers want things quick and easy – I’m sure you’ve experienced some poor customer service which we can all learn from.
But if you learn to be organized, you will plan out your marketing much better, while feeling confident in your decisions.
With that said – Get everything prepared before launching your product! When you get an email inquiry, make it only take 2 minutes of your time, rather than 10-15 minutes of waiting for export and upload times, plus writing a professional email to your client.
All You Need to Know About the Music Business – This book made reality hit – It got me thinking about my future music career. (Royalties, contracts, your rights and choices etc.) Thanks Donald S. Passman – The book is a great kick start!
Your Music is Small Overall – But Don’t Neglect it!
Now, this is all much easier said than done. Believe me, the industry is tough.
Because I was an “independent producer”, one without large amounts of marketing money etc., it made the words royalties, copyright, and PROs (Performance Rights Organization) feel like they didn’t relate to my career, because of my position in the industry. And in reality – the words really didn’t relate.
But having some basic knowledge in this area will give you better choices within the industry, and allow you to plan accordingly if the time does happen for you to grow.
So, the bottom line: Don’t stop making beats, this is how you practice as a producer!
But if you have 100+ beats, and they aren’t selling – What do you think the problem is? Are you creating low quality beats.. or is it that your potential customers aren’t finding you!?
Getting your beats in front of your customers is big, and once you’ve achieved that, this is the time where your beats can do a lot of the talking for you ;). (Your beats will talk by having an impact on others, which makes them want to talk. And there you go – free word of mouth advertising for your brand.)
Your music takes tons of time to perfect. It’s also the final decision for clients to buy your beats. But creating that beat is just one step of the process, and until you build a name for yourself where others are advertising for you, we as independent producers have a large list of tasks to fulfill to get where we want to get, which gets you thinking, “How Small your Music is in this Music Industry”.
Hope it gets you thinking!