Quite often, producers have a hard time getting their music in the hands of the people that matter most. We all know that it’s not just about making beats and posting them all over the internet, as a matter of fact, that’s what you should avoid doing at this point.
The reason is because the market is oversaturated with beats. So in order for you to stand out, there are certain things you should do to get your beats noticed. Here are five of them.
1. Produce What’s Hot
I’m the first one that will tell you to stick to your own style and produce whatever the hell you want to produce. Producing music is definitely something that should come from the heart and be a way for you to express yourself and be creative. However, if you want to advance in this game, maybe that’s not the right thing to do.
Produce what’s hot. It’s simple, really. You teach yourself to produce the type of music that people today want to hear. I know that you want to keep making beats in the style that is you, and I completely understand where you’re coming from. But in order to succeed in today’s music industry, producing music in your own unique style will only get you so far.
This doesn’t mean that you have to abandon your unique style altogether, but instead, you should find ways of incorporating parts of popular music into your beats. This way, you will still be unique but likeable enough because you have a sound that is familiar.
2. Promote Your Brand, Not Just Your Music
I have mentioned this numerous times, yet I rarely see anyone doing it. Time and again I see producers on social media just spamming their page with links to their beats. Even if that’s a tactic that works for you and you’re able to get sales from that, you need to instead focus on promoting you – not just your beats.
Think of yourself as a professional wrestler. Those guys all know how to wrestle, but they all have different gimmicks and styles. This is what sets them apart from each other, and that’s why some of those wrestling characters are more popular than others. Someone like the Undertaker is a huge fan favorite because of the way he looks, dresses, acts, and well, just his name alone is awesome! Because of his character, a lot of people want to go see wrestling live because they know the Undertaker is going to be there. Not some guy named John Smith.
Promoting your brand and persona is the way to go. By doing it that way, you will instantly stand out because you’re not just some guy making beats. Instead, you’re a character with your own style, even though you produce music just like everyone else. Perception is key.
3. Act Professional
I can’t stress this enough! Over at IllMuzik Radio, I have an underground radio show where I play music from producers and artists. All I ask is that when you send in your music, you specify your name, beat name, and any relevant information about you and your music – oh, and send me your MP3 as well. All of this is so that it makes it much easier for me to play the music and help promote you.
But time and again, people don’t do it right.
I get countless emails from people that don’t even say “hello” or “thank you”. I actually receive a lot of emails where all they do is attach an MP3! I don’t know any information on this artist and sometimes I don’t even know the correct name of the song. This is not right.
All it takes is common sense and some basic courtesy. When you’re contacting someone, whether it be an A&R or a rapper wanting to buy your beats for $5, act professional. The more you do it, the easier it becomes – trust me. If you’re dealing with someone that is professional, and you’re not – you will turn them away quicker than you can hit the pad on your MPC.
Social media is a great way to meet other people in the music industry, and even top music industry people are using it, so it’s safe to say that this is your best bet if you want to network. This is why it’s important that you take networking seriously, because it’s what will make or break you. You should know by now that in any entertainment industry, it’s all about who you know.
You don’t have to know Dr. Dre, but at least build yourself a decent list of people that you can reach out to – and who can reach out to you. There are some people out there that are producing music just like you, and yet they’re going big and making big sales to big name artists – how? It’s because of who they know.
Now don’t get me wrong – networking is not easy. Just because you know a good amount of people, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to be making millions. Sometimes it can be the simplest thing like getting a tweet from Dr. Dre, for example. It can happen, trust me. This is why it’s important to act professional and network with people that can help you get further in the industry. You never know when you might get a call from a big artist.
5. Submit Your Music
Once you have all the pieces in place and you’re confident enough to take the next step, then send in your music. It could be a record label, or any other agency that accepts submissions (some don’t). Over the years I have seen many people give tips about sending in their music via CD, for example, and they would have all sorts of tricks to get the A&R to notice their CD. Those things might work, but they probably won’t.
Just because you send in your music to a label doesn’t mean they’ll even listen to it. This is why it’s important to reach out to the right people and network. You might end up knowing someone that can hook you up with someone from a label, and that’s how you get your foot in the door and your music heard.
All of these points play a vital role in getting your music heard. Many producers don’t see it this way, and instead, they would rather just upload their beats to SoundCloud then spam Twitter and Facebook with links to their stream. But if you want to really get moving, follow the points above – they might not turn you into a superstar, but I guarantee you will at least be one step closer.