One of the upsides of making beats is that you can sell them and make some real money. The downside, however, is that at one point or another you will have to deal with buyers that can be very troublesome.
What all buyers need to realize is that beat makers are selling beats for profit and not to help anyone out. It’s true that some beat makers will want to work with a client and form a friendship, but that’s when money doesn’t necessarily become an issue because the two parties are working together.
The worst thing that can happen though, is when potential clients give sellers a bunch of excuses and false promises. Let’s examine some of them.
1. “I Can’t Pay You Right Now, But I Can Hook You Up Later”
Seriously? This is your pitch? Buyers need to realize that sellers are running a business (of sorts) and that time is money. What most people don’t know is that the price of the beat is not just based on the beat itself and whether it’s good or not, it goes much deeper than that.
For example, a beat maker spends a lot of time researching and finding the right hardware and software to put in their studio. Then they have to actually learn how to use the gear, plus they have to practice day and night to perfect their craft.
Once you factor in all those things, that’s when the price is set. Whether the price for a beat is $1000 or $1, it involves so much more than just the music.
2. “$500 For A Beat? The Other Guy Sells Beats For $20”
The beauty of selling beats is that you can set the price at whatever you want. As I stated above, your price should be based on more than just the music itself, as it should also include your time and expertise as well.
So when a buyer gives you the line that “the other guy is cheaper”, then simply tell them to go to that other guy! The only reason why they could be trying to lowball you on the price is because they simply can’t afford it. If they could, they would pay you.
If other beat sellers are much cheaper than you, well good for them. But your price is your price, and you have based it on the whole package of what you can offer. Stick with your original prices.
3. “YO, I NEED BEATS FOR MY MIXTAPE”
This one isn’t necessarily what you don’t want to hear, but rather what you don’t want to SEE. Usually when you receive messages from a buyer and IT’S IN ALL CAPS LIKE THIS, it doesn’t look good.
I know not everyone knows how to spell properly, but there is no excuse to have your caps lock key on all the time. But when you receive messages from people in all caps, most likely they’re not serious, or at least they’re not someone you want to be working with.
If you are acting professional when selling beats (as you should be), then you would expect the buyers to be as well.
I wonder if those same people type in all caps if they have to send a message to Apple for tech support: “PROBLEM WIT MY IPHONE FIX IT NOW”. Seriously?
4. “Can You Hook Me Up With A Free Beat?”
This is a big no-no. I’m a firm believer that you should always get paid for your services, whether you’re a beatmaker or a hooker. The only time when you could possibly be working for free is when you want to work with someone on bigger things, rather than just sell them a beat and moving on.
Most of the time, buyers will try to get a free hookup from you. I understand that a lot of them just want a beat and they’re not interested in networking with you, but they don’t realize that they could also negotiate, as you should as well.
If you are selling a beat for $500 and someone wants that beat really bad, they might offer you $400, would you take it? I would, depending on the situation.
Offering a beat for free is completely different because you don’t want them to think you’re a pushover that can be undersold every time.
So if you want to make a deal and reduce your price, or even give the beat away for free, it should only be because you want to work with that person long-term on much bigger things.
5. “I’m Signed To Def Jam, I’ll Get You Points”
Oh boy. Believe it or not, there are tons of buyers out there that want to buy your beats but can’t afford to pay you.
But they’re signed to a label.
But they can’t afford to pay you.
Seriously? If the buyer is signed to a label, where is the money then? There should be an advance, and even if there is no advance, why should you give your beat away? Points?
Let’s take a look at this scenario:
- Buyer is signed to a label but has no money to pay you.
- You give your beat to the buyer at no cost, with a promise of points on the sales.
- Buyer uses the beat, releases a song/album/mixtape and it doesn’t do many sales.
- Label is not happy, recoups any money spent on the artist.
- Buyer loses out, still has no money and still can’t pay.
- Since the song/album/mixtape didn’t do well, there are no points to pay out.
With that scenario, that buyer just wasted your time, and cost you money. Now you have a beat with your name attached to it, which didn’t sell well, and you received nothing in return.
Does that sound like something you would want to be a part of? I didn’t think so.