The great thing about creative work such as music-making is that you get to do what you are passionate about and express yourself while earning money off of it. Certainly, almost every finished recording is a collaborative work, and people who make great instrumentals are sought after. So there is always a demand for original and inspired beats. And you can earn extra cash or even make music your full-time occupation – you can’t really call it a job unless you mention that it’s a dream job. With modern technology and services, monetizing your producer skills is very easy if you know what to do. The hardest part is making those beats you’re going to sell. We will go over the rest, so by the time you’re done reading you have a thorough understanding of this online business. That is to say, in this article, we will cover the main services that will help you sell and promote your work.
SoundCloud is one of the most prominent online audio distribution platforms with a great community and culture. It is a great tool to host your demos and socialize with other producers. It is important to stay connected with the industry and be aware of hip styles and trends. Also there is a lot of artists who go there searching for the hottest and best beats – your potential customers are looking for you. So it is wise to make yourself discoverable on SoundCloud and build your network of customers and collaborators.
However, if you strike a deal there, you would have to process it manually. Once your orders pile up, it becomes quickly obvious that there needs to be an automated solution for processing payments and downloadable links. Luckily, there is such a place online that has been rapidly growing and building up its community and client base.
Registration and membership
Traktrain is an invitation-only platform that allows users to sell, buy, and listen to instrumentals. Those who are looking to buy a beat, can sign up for free and use it as a customer: browse a large tagged catalog of all kinds of instrumental music. But those who want to become a seller there, have to have an invitation to be able to sign up. To obtain one, you have to request it, submitting an example of your work, and await approval from the internal team. So this kind of selection allows the platform to maintain the high quality of the music available for sale, and therefore happy and loyal customers.
Subscription and services
So what exactly do you get when you register on Traktrain as a producer? First and foremost, your own beat store – a place to showcase your instrumentals available for sale. Even with a free account, you can make money selling up to 15 beats. The platform supports two main payment methods: PayPal and Credit card via Stripe. Traktrain doesn’t take any fees from your sales, however, if you wish to lift your track limit and receive various account upgrades such as statistics, embedded store, scheduled uploads, you can review the membership plans.
Traktrain landing page
With a paid account, you get your personal Traktrain page which you can customize to your liking. Moreover, you can link any social media and streaming service and embed SoundCloud, Spotify players as well as YouTube videos. And vice versa, Traktrain provides all members with a widget with your beat store that you can embed on the external resources on the Internet.
Traktrain has built up a strong community over the past two years since its relaunch. First, the platform’s team is dedicated not only to providing the best experience for the users but to promoting and shaping the culture around beatmaking by hosting radio streams and interacting with the members. Second, the handpicked 30K members themselves create an environment for professional growth.
Another option you have is to host your own website on the internet to serve as a business card and contact form. The pros are that you get full control over what you show on your website and how you present yourself to your customers. The cons are that you have to pay for hosting, domain, and possibly, the design. The good thing is, with Traktrain you can embed your personal store widget on your website and still have a smooth automated customer experience in case it gets traction. All in all, it looks professional to have your own website, but at the start of your journey, this is by no means the priority.
YouTube is still important for producers, simply because there are a lot of users and any serious exposure can boost your popularity immensely. In addition, there is a very good search engine there: if you and your customers were specific enough while posting and searching, there is a high chance of you connecting. The bad news is, there are a lot of beats uploaded already, and it can be quite hard to climb up to the first search results page. With YouTube, there is a perk of video footage that might help you catch the attention of your audience. You can embed your videos on your personal website, as well as on your Traktrain page to show off your music.
Other social media
Other notable places on the Internet are Twitter and Instagram. They allow you to build a connection with your listeners and potential customers. But you have to use them wisely. Notifying your followers on the most recent releases may seem the most important, but it is not very engaging to read. Try to give a sneak peek into your life as a producer and musician, repost and retweet, interact with your audience initiating discussions. An activity like this will be beneficial in the long run. You can squeeze quite a bit of content in one post: for example, Twitter allows you to post a 2 minute and 20 second video – so why not give a preview of your new tracks. And don’t forget to use that “about” section to link your beat store page!