1.Nobody Knows YOU
I'm not talking about you as a producer. Nobody knows you as a person. People buy from people that they trust. Selling something online is a lot different from selling something in a store or in person. When online, a prospective client cannot shake your hand, look you in the eye, or have the total human to human experience that is normally attributed to conducting business. Since that's the case, you have to simulate this experience by creating content that allows people to get a feel for who you are as a person. That's how you build trust. This can be done through youtube videos, blogs, facebook, snapchat, instagram, live streaming sessions, etc. Your first priority is to build rapport with people and get a GOOD name established. People need to see a track record in order to trust you. Once you do that, you'll experience the benefits of word of mouth and it won't be nearly as hard to sell beats. It becomes a snowball effect of more customers supporting your business over time. It's not an overnight process. Do everything in your power to keep a good name. You WILL make mistakes. I've made plenty mistakes. That's part of being human. But, you have to correct mistakes swiftly with your customers, get back up, and keep working towards maintaining a good reputation. People like trustworthy people. If you're genuinely a trustworthy person and you create personal content to help display that, then you'll gain their trust and be in a position to showcase your beats. The KEY to longevity in business is genuinely being a trustworthy, honest, and respectable person.
2. Your Beats and Website Are Not Up to Par
Of course everybody hopes this is NOT the reason, but it very well could be! Most times, honestly it's the music that causes a lack of sales. Everything starts with the music. Don't let your ego hold you back. You need a way to accurately gauge how good your beats are. Family and friends love you and they may not be honest with you. Ask several awesome producers and music professionals for critique if possible. BE PATIENT FOR THE FEEDBACK!!! You have to understand that people aren't just sitting around waiting to hear your music. Be patient and you'll get feedback from the right people at the appropriate time. Me personally, from what i've heard most times, the BEAT MIX is what makes or breaks you. I've heard producers have dope beats in concept but the mix didn't do the beat justice. If you don't know how to mix audio, invest in getting your tracks mixed and just include your mixing expenses in the price for the beat so you can make your money back. I'd also highly suggest that you do research and learn how to mix yourself so you can be as self sufficient as possible. Invest is good quality studio monitors as they will make or break your sound. Translation amongst different listening sources is very important. The monitors that I personally use are the Yamaha HS80ms. They translate superbly and have helped me take my mixes to the next level in the last few years that I've had them. The HS80ms have been discontinued, but the new Yamaha HS8s are an improved version so they should be even better. Sound selection is also another killer. One wrong sound can KILL a dope beat. Study the sound selection of the best in the business and take notes. Find some of your favorite beats and try to remake them for fun. See how close you can get to the original. Another thing is a lack of musicianship. If you don't know how to play piano or some instrument, I highly suggest that you get lessons or link up with a friend who is a musician. Having a solid foundation of musicianship will give you musical textures and longevity that span far beyond just beats. Being a musician also opens you up to take advantage of other revenue streams. Music will continue to change and evolve, but a skilled musician will never lose his/her place. It's a skill set with everlasting value. Lastly, another killer is the FEEL. Alot of producers rely too heavily on quantization so there is no FEEL to the beat. Create feel by only quanitzing certain parts, using lower quantize percentages, using offset/delay on certain tracks (mainly high hats and instruments), or either not quantizing at all!
As far as your website, humans are all about perception. People trust and buy from brands that look good to the eye. If you're not good at graphic or web design, get your website done professionally. Your website needs to be clean, attractive, professional, fast loading, and easy to comprehend/navigate. Don't overdo it with tons of graphics moving all over the place. Not only is an over-abundance of graphics distracting to your customer, but they will also slow your website down drastically. Less is more. As you can see, my website is very simple and straight to the point but I generate 6 figures with it. When you're building an e-commerce website, simplicity wins. Also, buying beats on your website should be an easy and quick process for customers. I recommend using a automatic file delivery solution as that will give your customers the best purchasing experience. My favorite tool for this is Myflashstore. I've been a Myflashstore customer and top earning/selling producer with them since 2012. The plans they have a very affordable, you get paid immediately after every sale, and the system handles both beat delivery and contracts for you. A major time saver! Recently they've added all types of new features to the service that makes it even better. It's the best auto-delivery store out there in my opinion, but definitely shop around and see what works best for you.
3. You Give Away Too Many Free Beats
I'm not talking about giving away free beats in some type of discount package (Buy x Get x FREE). I mean actually giving away 100% free beats WITHOUT any purchase. It's okay to help artists out, but make sure there is a BALANCE! If you give away free beats often, you'll only be known for giving away free beats. Then, only artists who want free beats will come to your website. Giving out a free beats every now and then is great to keep your client base engaged in your brand, but please don't go overboard with this! Think about something you've gotten for free and something you paid for. If you really sit and think about it, you have more respect and honor for the things that you purchase than the things you get for free. If somebody gave you a Mercedes right now, you'd be happy but honestly you wouldn't appreciate quite the same as if you'd bought it. If you worked your butt off grinding on your business to the point that you were able to BUY a Mercedes with your hard earned money, that car would be a token of achievement to you. It would have concrete value to you. Now let's go back to your beats! Artists will not place as much value in your beats or in your brand if everything is free. Give them just enough to get a taste of how great your product is. Then, they'll want to support you. Balance is key!
3. You Don't Know How to Market Your Beats
This scenario is very common. Marketing beats online takes more than saying "BUY MY BEATS." Because there are so many other producers out there making beats and putting them online, you have to stand out! Standing out requires unique branding and marketing materials. Once you have a unique producer/production company name, website, logo, and graphics, THEN you must create unique marketing materials! These are the type of things you have to do to get people's attention. You have to think outside of the box. Also you have to know where to market. Currently at this time, there is no other place online that has such a vast collection of people in one place as Facebook. About 70% of my traffic and sales comes from Facebook! I built my email list using Facebook! There plenty of other ways to generate traffic, but if you want to jump right into getting some traffic right now you need to learn how to market your beats on Facebook. And don't resort to posting your beats in groups 10+ times a day! That used to work SUPER well, but it's not as effective anymore. You should only be doing that at most TWICE a day and using other Facebook strategies to get traffic. I now get WAY more traffic than when I used to only do Facebook group posting!
5. You Need a "New Man Advantage"
I know some of you are probably thinking, "Tone, what the heck are you talking about lol?" Well, no matter how great your branding is and how dope your beats are, you WILL have times when beat sales decline. This happens with any business. You'll see this happen around rent time, holidays, etc. Or, it could be that you've simply been doing the same thing for too long. In any of these circumstances, you need to do something brand NEW to make yourself appear new to your client base. You can do things like change your website around, add new services and products, create a new series of beats with a dope marketing plan behind it, have a clearance sale, etc. When sales decline, you have to do something to switch it up. Business is similar to marriage lol! Strategies that work at one point may not work at another because marriage/business is a growing and evolving unit. Change is healthy and necessary! Make sure you are changing things on a regular basis to avoid having a stagnant brand.
I hope this post helps you out tremendously to pinpoint areas where you may need improvement. If you need further advice, always feel free to hit me up via my contact page. Because my schedule is hectic, sometimes I take a while to respond BUT I will respond! Thanks so much for reading and have an awesome day!!