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Sell Beats Online: 10 Best Proven Strategies for Email, IG, BeatStars

Sell beats online 10 best proven strategies

You have more opportunities today to sell beats online than ever.

Which is great news… but can also be overwhelming.

With all the options for selling and promoting your beats — websites, eCommerce sites, email, beat marketplaces, and social media — where should you focus your energy? What’s going to get you the results you want?

Here at GMass, we’ve become the go-to service for beat makers, hip-hop producers, DJs, and instrumental composers selling their beats through email. And over the past year, we’ve worked with the beatmaking community to build new email features that serve its marketing, promotional, and sales needs.

(Our latest feature: Beat tracking, where you can see who clicks on a beat link in your email and listens — and how long they listen for.)

We’ve also developed an expertise on the art of selling beats online — which is what we’re sharing today.

Here’s our complete guide to selling beats online, featuring the 10 best proven strategies and steps you need to take to launch and/or grow your beat making business and career.

Just looking for the one best move to sell your beats online fast? Jump to our “30 minutes or less” cold email section — we’ll have you promoting your beats to rappers in a half hour or faster.

Sell Beats Online: Table of Contents

1. Make Sure Your Beats Are Ready to Sell

Before you make moves to sell your beats online, you need to make sure your beats are ready for the world.

Through our conversations with beat makers and music artists and our observations of the beat market we’ve identified these 10 important steps to take before you share your beats online.

Fortunately, nothing here should be too time-consuming or stop your momentum — but these are all key steps to take before you start selling. And if you already are selling but want better results, pay attention to these fundamentals — they can make a big difference.

Make sure your beats are professional quality

Someone needs to be able to buy your beat and turn it into an international hit immediately. So make sure your beats sound good enough to be part of a track that blows up.

That means:

  • Your beats are high-quality, professionally-mixed recordings with no rough spots.
  • All the music and sound elements in your beats meet your quality standards.
  • You have lower- and higher-quality mp3 and wav files of your beats already exported — and those files don’t have any weird encoding issues that prevent them from working on someone’s computer or phone.
  • You’ve listened to them on good headphones, bad headphones, good speakers, and $5 RadioShack speakers to make sure they sound nice everywhere.
  • Your beats are fully mixed and won’t require any extra work to use — if someone wants, they could use your beat for their song with no changes necessary.

Give your beats titles that sell

Examples of beat titles

You need to give each of your beats a title — and that title makes a major difference on whether or not a potential customer clicks on your beat to listen.

Here’s what you should aim for with each title:

  • Showcasing the vibe/feeling of the beat
  • Making sure the beat sounds intriguing
  • Being memorable
  • Not being too long and convoluted

One very popular move is to include the name of an artist in your beat title; that’s a fast shortcut to helping a potential customer predict what the beat will sound like before they click. (And inspiring them to click.)

Here are some examples of beats with names that check all of the important criteria.

With each of these, I knew exactly what to expect before I clicked. And when there are more beats out there than anyone could ever possibly listen to, descriptive titles are a great way to help interested customers find you.

  • Stand Still (freestyle rap beat LoFi cozy)
  • Walk Away – Old School x J Cole
  • Dark Waters: Future type beat
  • Streets of London (Grimey Trap)
  • These Days – Schoolboy Q type beat (Exclusive)

Have a good selection of beats — but don’t pad your good beats with bad ones

While you could get started with just one or two beats, it’s best to have a bare minimum of 10 or so beats before you start selling — and preferably more like 40+.

It’s even better if those beats span different genres. Don’t stray too far from what you’re good at or your niche, but the wider variety you can offer, the better.

Also aim for beats with different tempos, different vibes, different instrumentation, and different sounds.

When a potential customer likes one of your beats enough to check out your catalog, you want to make sure they have the chance to find something they like.

If you go through all of this promotional effort just to try to sell one beat, that seems pretty inefficient.

But… don’t pad your library with the mediocre beats you made back when you were just learning. You want to make sure every beat in your library meets your quality standards — because you never know which beat someone will listen to first.

So once you have at least 10 beats you’re proud to showcase, you’re ready to go.

And if you are already selling beats and have a huge catalog, think about cutting some of your least favorite tracks.

Finding your niche

One good way to get started selling beats is to pick a narrower niche — try to be a “big fish small pond” producer.

Yes, you’ll deal with a smaller potential customer base — but if you can become that big fish in a small pond, it will make it easier to move to larger and larger ponds in the future.

Take a lesson from Amazon: Way before it became the world’s biggest eCommerce website, it just sold books. Once it dominated the book niche, it expanded to CD and DVD sales. Once it dominated those, it added other products. At every step, it acquired loyal customers, more fans, and bigger name recognition. That way, every time it moved up into a larger niche, it had a built-in sales base and a better reputation. You can follow that same model for your beat making career.

Add a producer tag to your beats

Producer tags (aka audio tags) are the self shout-outs beat makers put on their beats like “Mike Will Made It” or “Mustard on the beat.”

Producer tags are like a photographer adding a watermark to a picture to prevent people from grabbing it off the internet to use it without permission; by adding your producer tag to your track, no one can use your beat without your audio “watermark” showing up.

But unlike watermarks on photos, sometimes producer tags will make it through to the final version of a song — with big name producers, the tags are like instant symbols of quality for the track.

If you’re going to require artists to leave your tag in their final tracks, make sure to spell that out in your rights/usage agreement.

Prepare your file types for sale

Prepare different file formats

Here’s the worst case: Someone buys your beat and wants it in a specific (but common) file format — which you don’t have. Now you have to scramble to get it to them, looking unprofessional and unprepared.

Make sure you have all of the important file types ready to go before you start selling.

  • A lower-quality mp3 for sharing your beat (with your producer tag).
  • A higher-quality mp3 for selling your beat (producer tag optional).
  • An uncompressed, fully-mixed wav file.
  • A zip file of all of your stems, preferable as uncompressed wav files.
  • If possible, the project file from your DAW software (e.g., Pro Tools, Logic Pro, FL Studio).

How much should I charge for my beats?

The best place to start is right around the average, which is a non-exclusive license for your beat in mp3 format for roughly $20 to $30.

If you go too low with your price, you risk devaluing your beats. If you go too high… well, you’d better make sure your beats are worth it.

You can charge several times more than that for exclusives and custom beats. And as your reputation as a producer grows, you can charge more for your licenses as well.

Test your prices regularly to see if you make more sales with lower (or, believe it or not, even higher) prices. You’ll be able to figure out the right range.

Later in this article, we’ll get into more advanced pricing strategies, like exclusive versus licensing as well as the right ways to bundle and discount.

Do you know who the credited songwriters are on the Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz 1997 hit Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)? Walter Becker and Donald Fagan from Steely Dan. And they’re getting 100% of the publishing royalties from Deja Vu as a result.

Why? Deja Vu sampled the Steely Dan song Black Cow. And Steely Dan demanded more than $100,000 up front plus 100% of the royalties to clear that sample. Then the song became a platinum selling hit — and Steely Dan made pretty much all of that money.

Credited writers on Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)

Since the beginning of hip-hop, samples and beats have been deeply linked to one another. Samples are a huge part of beats.

But samples are expensive — likely more expensive to clear than most of us could afford.

Ideally, you’ll have the legal rights to all of the sounds in your beat before you sell it. Because if a rapper buys your beat and creates an hit song — then gets sued because the beat actually creates an unlicensed sample — you could wind up on the hook. (Plus your career as a producer will be over.)

If you want to use samples, check out sites like Tracklib for cleared songs or Splice for cleared loops.

Pick your best beats to spotlight

When someone clicks through to your website from one of your emails or your Instagram, what do you want them to hear? Your best stuff.

If they like what they hear early, they’ll keep digging around to listen to more from your catalog.

Figure out your best beats and put those first in your on-site audio player. Pin one of them at the top of your Twitter. Maybe even add a link to one of them in your email signature. If you’re somehow still using MySpace, make it the track that plays when someone lands on your profile.

Lead with your best beats to hook customers and to get them listening to even more.

Set your expectations right

It would be amazing if you start promoting your beats, Drake finds one, buys it, uses it to make a hit, and you become the next world-famous hip-hop producer. But really, the odds of that are about the same as the odds of winning the lottery.

Selling beats online is the same as any eCommerce business. It will take some time to grow. It will take work and effort and marketing. It’s not a way to get rich quick. It’s competitive and it can become frustrating when your high-quality work gets lost in the sea of mediocrity out there.

But with the strategies from this list, some real effort, and the right expectations, you can keep pushing toward (at a minimum) making some good side hustle income from your beats. Beyond that? You never know.

2. Create Your Beatmaker/Music Producer Website

A sample beats website

You need a single destination where you’ll funnel potential customers. And while there are lots of options (the beat marketplaces, social media, or just contacting you directly) — a website is the best option for achieving all of your goals.

  • You control a website, unlike social media platforms or the beat marketplaces which could bounce you at any time for any reason.
  • You get to choose how it looks and how it showcases your work.
  • When you sell directly on your website, you don’t have to pay any royalties or monthly subscription fees beyond low-cost web hosting.
  • Higher-end artists will look to your website for exclusive beats and custom beats. The beat marketplaces generally cater to newer or lower-level artists.
  • You can use your website to build your email list, which (spoiler) is going to be your best sales tool.

And even better news? Your website doesn’t have to be super complicated to be effective. You don’t need a fancy, custom design or a web design firm. You don’t need to learn to code or learn graphic design.

With a nice template and a little effort you’ll have a great website that showcases your beats and showcases you.

Here are the basics for creating your beat making website.

Get the basics (domain name, web hosting, template)

While we won’t get into a step-by-step guide to starting a website here (if you want that, check out the 13 billion other tutorials on the internet). Just know you’ll need to secure a few things for your website:

  • A domain name. See if the .com domain is available for your producer name.
  • Web hosting. You’ll need a host for your website. Since you likely won’t be doing giant traffic numbers, hosting that costs a few bucks a month should meet your needs.
  • A template. Look for a WordPress template you like; there are plenty of good free templates out there that will work. Your web host may even offer a selection of templates to choose from. (Some sites even sell WordPress themes and website templates for beat makers.)

Plan your website content

Your homepage should showcase three things:

  • An audio player with your beats.
  • A concise summary of who you are as an artist and what makes your beats uniquely valuable.
  • An email signup form.

As we’ll cover under building your email list, you need to offer an incentive to entice people to sign up for your email list. Make that clear on your homepage as well.

As for the content on the rest of your site, here are some options:

  • A sales page where people can purchase beats. You can either sell the beats yourself using a platform like Shopify, WooCommerce, or Easy Digital Downloads or direct people to marketplaces where your beats are on sale.
  • A page showcasing finished tracks from notable artists who’ve used your beats.
  • Optionally, written content that will help your SEO efforts to get rappers to come to your site via search.

Set up email collection on your site

As we’ll cover quite a bit in this article, it’s crucial to get website visitors to sign up for your email list so you can keep in touch with them and continue promoting beats to them.

Your website should have multiple places where people can sign up for your email list:

  • A signup form on the homepage, preferably near the top of the homepage.
  • A signup form in the footer.
  • If you advertise, specific landing pages written for the ad’s target audience.
  • Pop-ups, in particular exit intent pop-ups that appear when someone is about to leave your site.

3. Promote Your Beats with Cold Email

In this article, we’re going to cover the two different types of emails you can send to market and sell your beats: Cold emails and marketing emails.

Cold emails are outreach emails you’ll send to targeted potential customers (rappers, music execs, TV producers, and more). Marketing emails are the promotional emails you’ll send to people who’ve signed up for your list from your website, social media, or after a purchase.

Cold emails should be an important part of your sales strategy at every stage of your producer career (at least until you become Timbaland level and people start cold emailing you for beats).

With cold emails you’ll be able to get yourself and your beats in front of targeted potential customers for a fraction of the cost of running ads.

You can find new customers, make sales, and grow your network — all with some research and the right tools.

Check out our in-depth guide to beats marketing with cold email for subject lines, templates, prospecting strategies, sending techniques, and more.

You’ll need to find potential customers to build up your first cold email list. Search for interested rappers and other people in the music industry and compile their email addresses (along with other relevant info, like their name, genre, and their tracks you like) in a Google Sheet.

You can hunt for email addresses in lots of different places, for example:

  • Social media profiles
  • LinkedIn pages
  • Websites
  • Company directories
  • Searching through people you emailed with in the past
  • By using email finding tools to search with someone’s name

As with any cold email for any business, make sure the people on your list would have a legitimate interest in your beats. In order for cold email to work, the first step is a highly targeted list — not just a big list of people who might or might not have any interest in buying your beats.

“30 minutes or less” to send the first cold emails promoting your beats

Here’s our guide to sending your first cold email in a half hour. (Although it will really take five minutes or less to send your first cold email; the first 25 minutes are going to go toward list building.)

Step 1: Build a list

Cold email outreach spreadsheet

Create a Google Sheet where you’ll build your list of rappers. Create columns for:

  • Email address
  • First name / artist name
  • Name of one of their tracks you like

Head to your Twitter or Instagram, go through the rappers you follow, see who has an email address in their profile, and add their info to the Google Sheet.

You can also search for rappers with an email address in their bio. A few sample searches:

For now, aim for around 20 to 25 rappers. That way you’ll have time to listen to a few seconds of a track for each (which you’ll mention in your email).

Cut yourself off after 20 minutes.

Step 2: Hook up GMass with your Gmail account

GMass has become the most popular tool for beat makers to send cold emails (and other emails) promoting and selling beats. Why? We’d like to think it’s because GMass easy but powerful and works right there inside of Gmail. So yeah, let’s go with that until we hear something better.

You can use GMass to send a mail merge in Gmail — you’ll be able to send a personalized email to everyone on your list in one shot. Plus we’ll use GMass for auto follow-ups and tracking too.

  • Download GMass from the Chrome extension store and install it.
  • Give it the necessary permissions (GMass just needs to be able to hook into Gmail and Google Sheets to send your emails; it won’t read anything.)

Step 3: Connect your Google Sheet to compose your email

Open a new Gmail compose window.

Click inside the “To” area, then click the little GMass icon.

Connect your mail merge Google Sheet of rappers.

Connect your Google Sheet of rappers for cold outreach

Now write the email. We’ll stick to something very straightforward here — and really utilize the mail merge to make this email feel personalized. Put this in your own words, but stick to this basic outline of icebreaker – unique value – social proof – call-to-action.

Subject line:
🔥 beats to make the next {SongTitle}

Message:

Yo {ArtistName},

Been listening to {SongTitle} on repeat today so finally I had to reach out.

Need a unique new beat for your next {Song Title}? My beats are [what makes your beats special]. I’ve worked with [people you worked with or the number of people who’ve bought your beats].

Check out this beat: https://linktoyourbeat

Or head to my website, https://websitename, to listen to more.

I never normally do this, but since I love your work, I’ll give you an exclusive on anything from my new set of beats. Just reply to let me know if you’re interested.

[Your name]

Email example for selling beats online as a hip hop producer

Step 4: Attach an mp3 to track who listens

GMass has a special feature for beat makers: Track who’s listening to your beats and how long they’re listening.

To use beat tracking, just attach your beat as an mp3 file to your email. GMass will automatically detect that it’s a music file and ask if you want tracking.

Tell GMass you want to track your beat

GMass will convert the mp3 into a link you can put in your email. And now, whenever someone clicks on that link, you’ll get stats on who clicked and how long they listened for.

Step 5: Set up auto follow-ups

Not everyone will open, click through, or reply to your first email. We’ve found a series of four or more cold emails is more likely to get a response.

You can set up easy, automated plain text responses in the GMass settings. And those responses will go out as replies to your first email, which mimics how you’d send emails one-on-one.

For this series, we’ll space out three automated follow-ups over the course of the week. The rappers will receive these emails until they reply to you; then the series will stop.

Auto follow-up series to sell instrumental beats

The first follow-up, two days later:

Hey {ArtistName}, just wanted to follow up and see if you were interested in working with me on a beat.

The second follow-up, two days after that:

Just sold two more beats this week. Wanted to make sure you can grab one of my new beats if you want ‘em. Let me know.

And the third follow-up, four days after that:

Last email, just checking one more time if you’re interested in getting an exclusive on one of my beats. Hit me up if you are.

Step 6: Send the cold emails

Once the emails are done, send a test email to yourself. And if it looks good, you can hit the GMass button to send your first email to your list right away.

4. Build Your Email Marketing List and Utilize It Right

As a beat maker selling your beats online, no tool will be more valuable than your email list. Social media is great for promotion, but when it comes to sales, email is the key.

Why an email list is the best way to sell beats

Around 24 out of 25 people who come to your website won’t be ready to buy… yet. You need to stay in their minds, and email is the best way.

People are less likely to see your social media posts than your emails (thanks to the dreaded social media algorithms). Email reaches an average of 80% to 90% of recipients or more and has three times the conversion rate of social media.

Also, with email, you own your list no matter what happens. With social media, you can lose your account. Or you might decide to switch networks — you’ll need everyone from your old account to follow you on your new one.

Email is a great way to promote new beats, announce sales and deals, and keep people up-to-date on your work.

Here’s the right way to build your email list.

Figure out your lead magnet

An example of a lead magnet to sell beats online

Unfortunately, most people won’t sign up for your promotional email list just because they get a great first impression of you. Most won’t sign up even if you have great beats on your site.

They need an extra incentive to sign up for your email list.

So you can offer something called a lead magnet to encourage them to sign up — it’s something valuable you give away for free in exchange for someone subscribing to your email list.

Some popular lead magnets for beat makers are:

  • A free beat. (Or multiple free beats.)
  • A one-time discount or other sale offer on your beats. This is the most common lead magnet across eCommerce sites; you’ve probably joined an email list from time to time to get a 20% off coupon.
  • A high-quality digital download like an eBook, PDF guide, or educational course.

It’s tough to give away stuff for free in exchange for just an email address — but it’s a smart long-term play.

Over time, a large email list of people who want your beats will pay off. Because when the people on your list are ready to buy, you’ll be top-of-mind — if they hadn’t signed up for your list and just visited your website six months earlier, there’s virtually no chance they’d remember to go back.

Use social media to drive email signups

As we discussed earlier, email is a more reliable way to reach customers and a more effective way to sell to customers than social media.

So… it makes sense to try to get your social media followers to subscribe to your email list.

(Also, since social media is a really good promotional tool, especially in the hip-hop world where social media is extremely popular, it’s good to try to get your email subscribers to follow you on social media. Basically, you want everyone to see you everywhere.)

Include your email signup (and lead magnet) in the link in your bio on Instagram, Twitter, and everywhere else you’re promoting yourself and your beats. Your goal is to build a solid email list filled with really interested potential and repeat customers.

5. Promote Your Beats to Previous Buyers with Retargeting Lists and Automations

It’s easier (and cheaper) to sell to a repeat customer than to find a new one. They know what you’re about, they’ve bought from you before, and they’re more likely to buy from you again. You just have to remind them to.

Building a list of past customers

You almost definitely have an email record of all of your sales. Whether you used Gmail for your transactional emails or you get notifications from your eCommerce platform or marketplace whenever you make a sale, you should be able to find all of your past customers with a Gmail search.

You can use that search to quickly build a new list for retargeting purposes.

(You’ll need GMass installed to do this. We covered that in the cold email section but if you didn’t do it there, you can install it from the Chrome web store now.)

Run your search in Gmail. Then click the magnifying glass next to the search box.

Building a list from a Gmail search

GMass will put together a list of everyone from your search, then open up a new compose window. Now you can send an email to all of your past customers.

Make sure your email:

  • Reminds them of who you are
  • Reminds them of why your beats are uniquely valuable to them
  • Makes a strong offer to them that rewards them for being a customer
  • Uses auto follow-ups for a series of emails that continues until they click or reply

Email your previous customers regularly — but only when you have something new to offer

It’s important to stay at the top of your customers’ minds — but if you send them irrelevant emails, that can backfire. They might unsubscribe or, at the very least, start ignoring your emails because they know those messages probably don’t have any value for them.

You should email your previous customers regularly, as long as you have something of value to offer them.

That can include:

  • New beats, especially early access to new beats before you put them on the marketplaces
  • Sales and deals
  • Giveaways
  • Special offers on exclusives or custom beats
  • New content (written, video, audio) you created or you found that can help them in their career
  • Big news *that affects them* (you celebrating 100 beats sold doesn’t matter to them; you being the producer on a hit track, which now means their track featuring you is more prestigious, does matter)

6. Use Social Media to Sell Your Beats

Throughout this article we’ve discussed the pros and cons of using social media to sell your beat.

The biggest pro: Odds are your target customers basically *live* on social media, so you’re meeting them where they are.

The biggest con: Social media isn’t a sales platform first, meaning it can be hard to get your message to everyone and even harder to convert.

That’s why we view social media as a promotional tool to drive people to your website or a marketplace (where you’ll make the sale) — or as a tool to drive people to your email list (where you can promote to them more reliably and convert better).

Social media is also a great tool for prospecting and finding an endless supply of potential customers.

These tips are for marketing, selling your beats, and networking on the top social media platforms.

Using Instagram to sell beats

Instagram profile for beat maker

Instagram is more or less a requirement for music producers and beat makers — it’s where artists will look for you and where you’ll look for them.

Create your producer Instagram account

Your beat making is a business — meaning it’s separate from your personal life. So create a new Instagram account for your producing career.

You should post at least a few times a week from your producer IG account but, more important, you should use the account to like and leave comments on other people’s posts every day.

Follow the right people

There are three important types of people you should find, follow, and engage with from your Instagram account:

  • Rappers (especially ones you want to buy your beats)
  • Other producers at your level (to see what they’re posting and how they’re engaging) as well as top producers
  • Fans

Use Instagram to find customers

Here’s how to find rappers on Instagram and eventually turn them into customers. This should be a daily activity — the more rappers you find and follow, the more relationships you’ll build and the more potential customers you’ll have.

  • Find other producers who are one step ahead of you in their career and follow some rappers who they’re following (or who are following them). You can find these producers by going to the marketplaces like BeatStars, searching for the top selling producers, then looking them up on Instagram.
  • Start engaging with the rappers you find with this technique. Like their posts and leave good comments.
  • A few weeks later, send a DM introducing yourself.
  • Continue to work on building the relationship. After they follow you and start engaging with your posts, you can let them know about a beat you made that’s perfect for them.

You’ll build relationships with rappers on Instagram by DMing with them. But you always want to make sure if someone finds you — or someone decides they’re ready to buy from you — it’s really easy.

Set up the link in your bio to go to your website where someone can make a purchase. Better option: Set up a Linktree where you feature your website *and* your email signup list/lead magnet.

Post with the right visuals and hashtags

Instagram is a visual medium. So when you’re posting your beats, make sure you use compelling images or videos (this is true for pretty much every social network; a visual element is even important on SoundCloud).

Keep a list of good hashtags in your Notes app. You can figure out the best hashtags by seeing what other producers are using, then clicking through those hashtags to check their popularity.

Using YouTube to sell beats

YouTube is one of the top places you’ll want to feature your beats — outside of the instrumental marketplaces and maybe SoundCloud, it’s where rappers will go hunting for new beats.

Here are some strategies for your YouTube channel.

Using “____ type beats” titles to get your beats in front of the right people

YouTube type beats

The titles you pick for your beats is important, as we discussed earlier. On YouTube, where there’s so much content, it’s smart to include a famous rapper in your beat title to give people an idea what it will sound like.

So add “Future-type beat” or “Kodak Black type beat” or whoever else is most relevant to your beat.

That will help your beats surface as rappers are searching — and also helps you with the YouTube algorithm. That way, even if a rapper doesn’t click your beat first, YouTube will (hopefully) suggest it to them next.

Create remixes and lofi beat videos

You’ll need more than just videos featuring your beats to get YouTube subscribers.

You can build your profile (and make yourself a bigger name) by creating remixes. Plus, if a rapper checks out your profile to see your videos, your remixes are a great way to show off your talent.

Another way to build your YouTube following is with lofi beat videos. It’s become very popular for people to throw on a long lofi beat video while they work.

Create lofi beat videos (assuming you have beats that fit that description) and use interesting artwork to draw people in.

You can also reach out to the top lofi beat video makers to see if they want to include one of your beats in their next mix.

Follow rappers and leave good comments

Much like with Instagram, find the rappers with whom you want to build relationships and follow them on YouTube. Then leave good comments (relevant, interesting ones) on their videos.

Once they get to know your name, you can reach out to start trying to build a relationship.

Using SoundCloud to sell beats

SoundCloud may not be the mega powerhouse it once was, but it’s still an important spot in the beat making world. It’s also a great place to find rappers/potential customers.

Find a ton of rappers to sell your beats to through “prod. by” searches

Prod by search on SoundCloud

Here’s the technique for using SoundCloud to find potential customers. (Shout out to luke4pres for this technique.)

  • Go to BeatStars find top producers in your genre — the ones who are making the most sales on the platform. Write down their names
  • Go to SoundCloud and search for “prod. by [beatmaker]” or “produced by [beatmaker]” for each of the people you find on SoundCloud. You should find lots of tracks from rappers who mention those producers.
  • Listen to a few seconds of each track. If the beat sounds like something you’d produce, that rapper is a good prospect.
  • Now you can reach out to that artist. You can send a cold message through SoundCloud or, better yet, hunt down the rapper’s email address and include them in your next cold email outreach sequence.

Make sure your artwork matches the vibe of your beats

Artwork matters on SoundCloud. So when you upload your beats, make sure the artwork you use looks good, matches the vibe of that beat, and gets people interested to click through to listen.

Check out other producers in your niche to see what kind of artwork they’re using and what catches your eye. You can also search for top tracks in your niche to see what kind of art they’re using.

Using TikTok to sell beats

TikTok has potential for spreading your beats and finding rappers — and you might even make a little money along the way.

Post high-quality videos featuring your beats for duets

Tiktok call for duets

Post an interesting video featuring just your beat on TikTok and add a message looking for “duets” or “who’s got bars?” Also add the right hashtags. Rappers (and others) will make duet videos of themselves using your beat.

Check out those duets, see if any are good, and you can reach out to those rappers about collaborating outside of TikTok.

Plus, the more people who make duets, the more your TikTok account will grow — meaning you’ll get more followers and more people hearing your beats. That can drive sales down the road.

Monetize your music on TikTok

You can add your music to the TikTok catalog by uploading it through a distributor (like Distrokid) or directly through TikTok’s SoundOn platform.

TikTok isn’t up front about how much they’ll pay you — and it probably won’t be much unless one of your beats is part of a viral trend — but it can be a way to make a few bucks while you simultaneously spread your music.

Using Twitter to sell beats

Twitter isn’t as much of a natural platform for selling beats as a lot of the others — people aren’t really going on Twitter to listen to or hunt for beats — but it’s another way you can network with rappers and push people toward email.

Become someone worth following for rappers

If you want rappers to follow you on Twitter, you’ve got to post content that’s relevant to them. Search for other producers at your level with big Twitter followings and see what they’re posting to get ideas of what you should post.

Also look at how much engagement they’re getting before you bite their strategy. If someone has 30,000 followers but most of their tweets get one or two likes and no retweets or comments, they’re not killing it on Twitter.

Twitter searches are a good way to find rappers to add to your cold email list. Some rappers who are interested in hearing about business opportunities will put an email in their bio.

You can run targeted Twitter searches (we demonstrated one earlier in this article, in our 30 minute cold email guide) to find those rappers who are sharing their email.

Then add them to your next cold email outreach.

Using Facebook to sell beats

Facebook isn’t one of the biggest social networks for selling beats — your chances of finding and connecting with rappers is higher on Instagram, YouTube, SoundCloud, and TikTok.

But there are still a few ways you can use Facebook in your music producing career.

Join and follow the right groups

Facebook Groups for music produers

There are lots of Facebook Groups that are still pretty active — including lots in the music production and hip-hop world. Search through those groups, find ones with good communities, and join up.

The more you contribute to those groups (without promoting yourself) the better response you’ll get when the day comes that you do want to promote yourself.

Keep your friends posted (this is your chance to show off)

Remember how we said your email list isn’t the right place to show off how you just sold your 100th beat? Your personal Facebook page is.

Maybe one of your friends wants a beat themselves. Maybe they have a friend of a friend who’s an up-and-coming rapper (you never know who your friends know). Maybe they know people in other worlds who are looking for beats, like people making corporate videos or producing TV shows.

If your friends see you’re succeeding as a hip-hop producer, they’ll be happy to brag to the right people that they’re friends with a rising beat maker.

7. Get Set Up on Beat Marketplace(s)

Marketplaces are a big part of selling beats online; tons of artists are hitting up marketplaces every day looking for beats to license or buy.

And you never know what might happen from being on one or more marketplaces. Lil Nas X bought the beat to Old Town Road for $30 on BeatStars (and the teenager who produced the beat got a record deal out of it). Future, Tekashi 6ix9ine, and others have also bought beats from marketplaces.

But those are the exceptions. The overwhelming majority of artists looking for beats on the marketplaces are not mega famous.

So the marketplaces can be a good opportunity to really get your beats out there, make some nice money, and make connections.

From there, it’s still best to funnel people to your own website and onto your email list. When you start working with bigger names, most of the deals will be direct.

Since the marketplaces almost all have a fee (if you want to move beyond very limited free plans), you’ll most likely want to pick just one or two to focus on.

Here are quick reviews of some of the top beat marketplaces.

BeatStars

BeatStars marketplace for beat makers

BeatStars is the largest online marketplace for beats and instrumentals. They have a 10-track free plan or paid plans with more features (like unlimited tracks, custom sales, no commissions, and private messaging). They also offer Beat ID, which monitors where your beat is being used across all of social media, including YouTube. And because it’s such a large company, they also offer a powerful mobile app, distribution on streaming platforms, a chance to work with Sony Music Publishing, and a lot more.

There’s a good side and a bad side to BeatStars’ popularity. On the good side, it gets the most traffic and most interested buyers (plus all of those features I mentioned before).

On the bad side, there’s a lot more competition on BeatStars so you’ll really have to work on optimizing your track titles, artwork, tags, and pricing.

BeatStars has a monthly fee of $10/mo or $20/mo, depending on the level of membership you want.

Airbit

Airbit marketplace for beat makers

Airbit is right behind BeatStars in terms of popularity. Paid plans include unlimited uploads, custom contracts, YouTube Content ID for monetizing who uses your beat on YouTube, and more. They really push you to buy an annual plan — annually, the paid plan is $8/mo; if you pay month-to-month it’s $20/mo.

Another thing to watch out for: If you sell beats through your own custom storefront on Airbit, you won’t pay any commission. But if someone buys one of your beats through their marketplace, you’re looking at anywhere from a 10% to 20% commission on top of your paid plan.

Soundee

Soundee marketplace for beat makers

Soundee is a up-and-coming beat marketplace (which may give you a better chance to stand out). Soundee has an eye on helpful analytics and marketing features, like the ability to integrate sales data from your account with other applications. It also lets you collaborate with co-producers on the platform.

There are two paid plans. With the $10/mo Starter plan, you get 50 beat uploads (and no custom offers or discounts). With the $20/mo pro plan, you get unlimited uploads, custom offers, sound kit uploads, and more. Both paid plans take zero commission on sales.

Traktrain

Traktrain marketplace for beat makers

Tracktrain is an invite-only marketplace looking for exclusive content. It offers no-fee sales on its paid plans. You can try to boost your beats inside Traktrain by paying to have your beats featured on their homepage and other pages. Paid plans start at $9/month (not including what you might spend on advertising).

Soundclick

Soundclick marketplace for beatmakers

Soundclick is an O.G. of online beat sales (it started in 1997, which is before a lot of people making beats today were born). They take a 30% fee on their free and lower-level paid plan but allow unlimited tracks at every level. It probably makes sense to go with their free plan or their $15/month Gold plan that takes 0% commissions on sales — their $8/month Silver plan isn’t that much better than the free one.

Others

  • Soundgine is a marketplace that offers several sales features, including subscription plans to your beats. There’s no free plan; the pro plan is $10/mo for unlimited uploads and no commissions.
  • GoBuyBeats is a smaller marketplace that’s totally free — they don’t have any paid plans. It takes a 20% commission on sales. It’s lacking many of the features of the larger marketplaces but, hey, the monthly fee of $0 is intriguing.
  • BuyBeats is another marketplace offering 0% commissions on their $15/mo paid plan. They also have a deal where you’ll get a cut of sales when a customer you bring to the platform buys something — even if it’s from someone else.
  • Sellfy is an eCommerce platform like Shopify that’s become popular with beat makers. However, it’s not its own marketplace and doesn’t come with a built-in audience looking for beats.
  • Premium Beat is a music licensing platform by Shutterstock. You won’t have to pay to upload or have a membership and the marketplace isn’t just geared toward hip-hop artists like some others. Commissions are determined on a case-by-case basis (they describe the payments as “substantial”) — in most cases, Premium Beat will buy the full rights to your beat. This could be a good option to try; you can see if they want to buy your beats for a one-time payment and if not, no big deal.

8. Sell Beats Online Free with Marketplace Free Plans

Most marketplaces offer a free plan in addition to their paid plan. The free plans are limited in some way (usually on the number of beats you can upload) and normally take commissions.

But when you’re just getting started, or when you want to evaluate different marketplaces, here’s a look at how to use them for free.

BeatStars free plan

BeatStars’ free plan is pretty limited, with just 10 tracks — the odds of rappers finding one of them is such a crowded marketplace is pretty low. They also take 30% commission on your sales (unlike the paid plans). While the BeatStars free plan is a good way to learn the platform, it’s not a long-term solution if you’re serious about selling your beats at their marketplace.

Airbit free plan

The Airbit free plan has a 10-track limit, just like BeatStars. And you’re looking at a 30% to 40% commission, depending on the type of sale, when someone buys one of your beats through their marketplace.

Soundee free plan

With the Soundee free plan you’ll get 10 uploads and limited sales analytics. The platform also takes a 30% commission.

Traktrain free plan

With the Traktrain free plan, you’ll have a 15-track limit. But — it has the best commission setup of any free plan. You keep 100% of mp3 sales prices (or 90% for people who pay with crypto) and 75% of wav and stem sales. Unlike paid plans, you can’t promote your beats through ads, offer custom contracts for beats, or offer discounts.

Soundclick free plan

The Soundclick free plan offers unlimited tracks uploads — but takes a 30% commission on sales. Still, if you’re playing the numbers game and just want to get as many tracks online as possible for free, Soundclick could be a good option for you.

GoBuyBeats free plan

All plans on GoBuyBeats are free; the platform just takes a 20% commission.

9. Advanced business strategies for selling beats

Once you’ve started moving beats you’ll be ready to scale up your business. We’ve discussed some techniques above, like targeting repeat customers and continuing to email your list on a regular basis.

Here, we’ll discuss more advanced techniques to grow your beat selling business.

Exclusive vs. Licensing

There are basically two ways to sell beats: Licensing beats to multiple artists, or selling exclusive beats (or custom beats) to a single artist. Exclusive sales command higher prices but they’re rarer — and generally involve rappers who are making money from their music.

With licensing, you can passively sell the same beat over and over. Sales are often easier, because they’re cheaper and appealing to a larger base.

But the price jump between licensed beats and exclusive beats is significant.

While licensed beats usually go for around $20 to $30, exclusive beats can go for hundreds of dollars. If you’re dealing with bigger name artists, that can jump to thousands of dollars. You might even be able to negotiate royalties and publishing deals as well.

Plus, exclusive beats (and working with the caliber of artists who buy exclusive beats) can help you build your reputation.

So when should you go exclusive? Use your email list to test. Once you’ve sold a critical mass of beats and have a strong resume, send out an email offering an exclusive on a great new beat. See if you get any interest. If you do… you’re ready to sell exclusives.

Selling packages

Offering package discounts

Yes, you can upsell in the beat world.

Instead of selling on a beat-by-beat basis, offer package deals on beats; for example, instead of selling two beats for $50 each, sell a package of both beats for $75.

That’s not the only upsell either. Things like custom mixes, stems, Pro Tools project files, and more can be potential upsells as well.

Packages and services work well with repeat customers who know and trust you; they know they’ll get high-quality, professional beats from you, so they’ll be more likely to jump at the chance to spend more for more services.

Discounting your beats

Discounting in any eCommerce business is tricky. Yes, it can boost sales — but it can also devalue what you’re selling and train your customers to only buy from you when you’re offering a discount.

That’s why package deals are a good option. You’re giving a discount — but getting more money in the process.

If you do want to offer sales, don’t run them all the time. Maybe offer an introductory discount when someone signs up for your email list. Or run a discount sale twice a year — and let your customers know how infrequent your sales are.

Customer persona research

The more you know about your customers, the better you can come up with new beats (and other services) they’ll want. Plus, you’ll be able to do a better job identifying potential new customers you can contact via cold email outreach.

We won’t dive fully into the world of identifying customer personas here (there’s a lot to it), but here are some very quick ways to learn more.

  • Send out a survey to past customers. Offer a free beat in exchange for filling out the survey. (The info you get will be worth the tradeoff.)
  • Compile info about the artists using your beats. Study their social media profiles. What type of music do they make? Where do they live? How old are they? How often are they releasing music? What do they have in common?
  • Talk to your customers. Ask them questions about what they want and what you can do for them in the future.
  • Run A/B tests with your email. Try phrasing things different in your emails with an A/B test. See what gets a better response with your customers.

10. FAQ About Selling Beats Online

Finally, we’ll cover some of the most common questions we hear (and that people are searching for) when it comes to selling beats online.

How much money can you make from selling beats?

Licensed beats average $20 to $30 at the top beat marketplaces online. Exclusive beats can go for 5x that amount or more.

How much money you make total depends on your number of sales, which often comes down to your marketing. Using targeted cold email outreach to music artists, building an email list, having a good website, and, of course, making great beats will play huge roles.

How to sell beats online fast?

The fastest way to sell beats online is through cold emailing rappers and other music artists. Build a targeted list through Soundcloud, YouTube, or other social media research and send a cold email sequence through GMass to sell beats fast.

What are the best tips for selling beats online?

  • Email is your best way to sell beats: Cold email to new rappers, email marketing to repeat customers.
  • Build your cold outreach list by finding other producers in your niche and searching SoundCloud and YouTube to see who’s using their beats.
  • Use social media to promote your beats and to funnel people back to your website and email list.
  • License beats on beat selling marketplaces like BeatStars and Airbit — make sure to have a large catalog and to tag it properly.
  • Start in a small niche and keep working your way up to larger niches (big fish small pond style).

What are the best “sell beats online” Reddit tips?

  • Look for low-competition categories in BeatStars to stand out.
  • Make a dedicated Instagram account, post regularly, and reach out to artists.
  • Use cold email for outreach when you can.
  • Don’t try to make the sale the first time you talk to an artist, try to develop real relationships.
  • Reach out to new artists every day.
  • The market is very competitive, so expect to spend 25% of your time making beats and the other 75% promoting and networking.
  • Paying for advertising is less effective than working hard to network on social media.

How do I sell hip-hop beats online?

Set up a website showcasing your beats. Use GMass’s cold email outreach to contact artists through Gmail and get them to your site. You can also put your beats on marketplaces like BeatStars where artists can find them and license them.

Is it easy to sell beats online?

Yes and no. It’s easy to sell a beat — you can just upload it to a marketplace like BeatStars and someone can buy it there. But is it easy to find that buyer or to make a living? No. Like any business, you’ll need to put a lot of effort into marketing and sales. Cold email, email marketing, and social media networking and promotion are all time-consuming but crucial elements to selling beats online.

Is it hard to sell beats online?

Like any business, selling beats requires effort — it’s rarely as simple as uploading some beats and watching the sales roll in. You’ll need to devote time to sales efforts. Build a cold email outreach list, post and engage on social media, create a quality website, network, talk to customers, and more.

Is selling beats online profitable?

Absolutely. As a digital business with no physical inventory, your expenses are minimal: Software to make your beats, cheap web hosting, and a good email platform like GMass. Everything else then comes down to time and effort. Finding sales leads, engaging on social media, sending cold emails and email newsletters, and making more beats.

Does Amazon sell real beats?

Beats headphones? Yes. Beats for rappers and other music artists? No.

Can you sell beats on SoundCloud?

You can’t directly sell beats on SoundCloud. You can make some money on SoundCloud through their Premier program — but you’re getting paid (and not paid particularly well) based on people listening to your music. To sell your beats, you’ll need to get people from SoundCloud to go to your website or, preferably, to sign up for your email list.

What are the best platforms to sell beats?

The best platform to sell beats is your own website: You won’t pay commissions and will often be dealing with artists who have higher budgets and want exclusive or custom tracks. You can also sell beats on beat marketplaces like BeatStars and Airbit.

Sell Beats Online: Next Steps to Take

We’ve thrown a lot at you in this article; here’s a quick summary of the strategies and then the most immediate steps to take to start selling beats.

Selling beats: Summary of key strategies

  • Make sure you’re prepared to sell your beats. You have a large selection of beats and they’re beats professional quality; they have good titles; you’ve figured out pricing; and you’re going into this with the right expectations.
  • Create your beat selling website. Your beat selling website should be ready to go with a beat store, email signup form, and music player.
  • Use cold email to promote your beats. Build targeted lists of rappers and other potential customers. Then use GMass to send cold email sequences.
  • Build your email marketing list. Grow your email marketing list so you have an owned audience to which you can market. Use a lead magnet to entice music artists to sign up for your email list. Then email that list regularly, as long as you have something of value to share.
  • Promote beats to repeat buyers. It’s easier to sell to repeat customers than to find new ones, so use email to find and promote your music producer work to past customers.
  • Use social media to prospect and promote. Social media is a great way to find potential customers, to network, to funnel people to your beat store, and to promote what you do. Instagram, YouTube, and SoundCloud are all fundamental; others like TikTok and Twitter can also play a big role.
  • Get set up on the beat marketplaces. Pick a few marketplaces and add your beats. You’ll likely have to pay a subscription fee but the marketplaces are a good spot to sell to interested rappers.
  • Start selling beats for free. Almost all of the marketplaces have limited free plans. Find one that fits your needs, especially as you’re just getting started in your music producer career.
  • Grow your business. Once you’ve proven you can sell music beats online, grow your business by thinking about exclusives and customs, figuring out your customer personas, and offering strategic bundles and discounts.

The next steps to sell beats online

Ready to get started? As we said in throughout the article, email is your best tool for reliably reaching prospects, new customers, and repeat customers.

You can get started with your beat selling outreach efforts ASAP by signing up for GMass. It’s the email tool of choice for hip hop music producers around the world and a great option for all your emails.

You can get started with GMass for free by downloading it from the Chrome web store. Then start building your cold email outreach lists and sell beats online (literally) today.

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4 Comments
  1. Thank you for the article. Very informative. I use musicosinc.com but also have and account with beatstars. So far so good

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