An Introduction to Marketing: How to Sell Your Beats (And Yourself)

Welcome

You’ve made quality beats, you’ve got your selling platform now that you’re a member of myFlashStore so what next? How do you start making sales? Now you need to get your marketing strategies in place to attract buyers and get your name out there. I mean, that’s why you’re reading this right? This blog is aimed at giving you a head start on the competition, as, without good marketing you’ll likely find yourself saying “I know my beats are great, so why aren’t they selling?”

This blog is a combination of what I’ve learned about marketing, the music industry, the beat selling industry, and my own opinion. I do not regard myself as an expert (far from it actually) and I’m still learning myself, but hope I can drop some knowledge on you guys that will help you sell a few more beats

Marketing is “communicating the value of a product or service to customers, for the purpose of selling that product or service”. (Wikipedia)

So, in order to market your beats well, you have to show potential customers the value in your beats. When people refuse to buy something, usually it’s not because they can’t afford it, but rather because they don’t see the value in it – they don’t believe they should part with that much money for that product. Your job is to use your marketing skills to convince them that your product (your music) is worth the money, or valuable

I could write an entire book on each of the topics I will cover, however, this is an overall introduction to marketing to get you started, and I highly recommend you do extra research into each field in order to maximise your marketing methods. I’ll try to include links to more in-depth info where I can. So let’s begin…

 

The Importance of Building Relationships

You’ll notice in the title, it’s not just about selling your beats, but also selling yourself, as a big part of marketing is relationship building. This means forming relationships with your customers, other producers, artists, managers and so on. This is Relationship Marketing

“Relationship marketing… focuses on customer loyalty and long-term customer engagement rather than shorter-term goals like customer acquisition and individual sales” – techtarget.com

If you can form a relationship with these people it makes selling your music that much easier. And more importantly will create long term, loyal customers. And that’s what you want. Notice in the quote above, the aim is not individual sales, but customer loyalty and engagement, which will result in repeat sales from the same customers. Depending on where you look, different people give different stats, but the general idea is that it’s much more expensive to acquire & sell to new customers than it is to sell to existing customers

Heard of the 80/20 rule? This implies that 80% of our success will come from 20% of our efforts. This can apply to pretty much any area of life, including your sales. The implication is that 20% of your customers will give you 80% of your earnings. So you shouldn’t be focusing on getting as many customers as possible who will buy one beat from you, but rather ensuring the customers you do get will be loyal customers who come back time and time again

close up of miniature people with social network diagram on open notebook on wooden desk as social media conept

How Do You Build These Relationships?

Let me put it to you this way. You’re walking to work and someone stops you in the street and says “hey, buy my mixtape!” what are you going to do? Keep walking right? But if you walk past them and they talk to you for 2 minutes and let you be on your way without trying to sell you something, and they do this a few times, then after a week or so they say “By the way, I make music, why don’t you give it a listen and if you like it you can buy it” – at the very least you’re going to listen to it. So you see the difference relationship building makes..

Remember, these artists/customers will have producers throwing beats at them every day. So you’ve got to set yourself apart from them

I’m not saying you need to be everyone’s best friend, but you do need to be able to contact people without always shoving your beats down their throat, even if it’s to say something like “hey I like your flow, you’ve got dope lyrics”. Even liking their posts, retweeting them, interacting in any way so that when you do approach them there’s a chance they’ll at least recognise your name

That’s not so hard is it? Now that artist may click on your profile out of curiosity, see that you sell beats and give them a listen. Doesn’t mean he’ll buy from you, but at least when he needs beats he knows he can go to you, and you didn’t have to write – sorry (I’m old school) – Tweet – “BUY MY BEATS” 100 times a day

As much as I try to restrain myself from writing this, I must mention the cliché of all clichés, as it is relevant – “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. This is not 100% true (far from it) or full proof, but it certainly helps. Sometimes just knowing the right person and getting lucky can send you on your way to becoming successful. So you may spend a few weeks retweeting some artists, commenting on their posts, etc. and thinking nothing’s coming of it and forgetting about them. Then a few months down the line those artists are buying off you and you haven’t contacted them to advertise your beats

Researchers used to say it took SEVEN points of contact with a customer before making a sale, however, this number is estimated to be much higher now, due to the influx of social media advertising, email marketing and the constant barrage of advertisements and messages the average consumer receives

Here’s some stats to put it into perspective:how-to-build-relationships-stats-2

 

 

 

 

 

Jmjdirect.wordpress.com

These stats should tell you one thing. Patience is key to forming relationships and obtaining loyal customers. You can’t expect to upload your beats and have tonnes of sales roll in in a couple weeks. People need to learn who you are, what you’re about, and more importantly, why they should give you their money

This leads nicely onto my next point – email marketing. This is the easiest way to keep in contact with people and remind them who you are. This is because once you’ve set up your emails with an autoresponder, all you have to do is focus on getting people’s email addresses and the contact will happen automatically over a period of weeks. I won’t go into too much detail about email as we have a whole section about email marketing in the coming weeks where I’ll explain the process a bit more

But think about it, even if you only set up 6 emails to be sent out automatically, once you get someone’s email address (a common way to do this is by offering them a free beat for example) you’re already in the “80% of sales” bracket in the stats above. So email marketing is essential to your business

Relationship building is all about building trust. You’re effectively asking a stranger to give you their money, in the hopes that you will stick to your word and give them what you promised (a high quality beat). What’s the difference between lending your best friend $100 and a stranger? Well, you trust your friend to give it back right? No matter how sincere the stranger is, you’re not likely to give them something and expect it back like they promise

Same goes here – an artist is much more likely to buy from someone they know & trust over someone they’ve never heard of

So how do you gain their trust?

As I said, it’s not going to happen overnight (unless you are already well established, in which case you probably know more than me and can stop reading now). A good place to start is by humanising yourself. By this I mean everything that reinforces that you are a real person. At the simplest level that comes down to interacting with people. Talking to them on social networks, answering all your emails, generally being friendly and approachable

You can make behind the scenes videos of your beat making, production tip videos to help others, anything that shows your face and a willingness to interact & help others. You might think “How is making a ‘Production Tips’ video going to help me sell to an artists?”. Well, it probably won’t. However. If you look at the top dogs, most of them are selling drum kits, sample packs, etc to other producers. So if that’s an avenue you want to go down in the future, it’s good to get the foundations in place now

You’ve probably got a list of producers who you follow. If you Google ‘buy sample packs’ and they’re at the bottom of the results page, you’ll probably still choose them over the top 5 (if you’ve never used/heard of them before) because you know who you’re buying from, and trust the quality you will get

And don’t be afraid to be yourself. A big part of forming relationships and building trust is creating an emotional connection. This doesn’t mean having a heart to heart with everyone, but, if you’re funny, be funny, if you’re happy, be happy, angry, be angry and so on. It’ll all come across to the person reading your blog, your tweets, watching your video, etc. and will count to how they feel about you

Don’t believe me? Check the video of DJ Pain 1 below – he seems pretty angry – which you may think is an emotion you don’t want to show to the public – yet if you look in the comments you’ll see plenty of people agreeing with him because they feel what he is saying

I got slightly off-topic there but you get what i’m saying. Anyway…

Once you’ve made the sale, a key factor in building trust & keeping your customers is having good customer service. If there’s an issue with the delivery of the beat, or if they have any questions (including questions before they buy from you actually) it’s important you get back to them and be helpful, as great customer service can and will lead to repeat custom, and before you know it, you’ve got yourself a loyal customer!

Key Points To Take Away:

Try to get long-term, loyal customers, not individual sales

Don’t try to sell your beats at every point of contact

Be active on social networks

Make use of your email list to keep regular contact

Be Patient

Be yourself & be real

 

That’s all for today. I hope this gives you a decent starting point, and as I said at the beginning, do some extra research on this – I’ve provided a few links below. Thanks for reading, see you next week for “How To Set Up Your Website For Selling Beats”

 

Useful Links:

http://www.helpscout.net/blog/relationship-marketing/

http://www.marketingdonut.co.uk/marketing/customer-care/customer-loyalty/building-customer-loyalty-faqs

http://www.marketing-schools.org/types-of-marketing/relationship-marketing.html

http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/definition/relationship-marketing

http://www.camfoundation.com/PDF/Cost-of-customer-acquisition-vs-customer-retention.pdf

 

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