This article was written by our guest contributor Eric Dubois.
So you want to become a producer? You want to stop being an amateur and start being a professional? Well, being a professional is a lot of hard work, to be honest I spend most of my time uploading to different websites, promoting, researching new jobs… This is probably 70% of my job and the left over 30% actually making music. It is a constant battle to keep up with the flow of new “Bedroom Producers” out there… It is really a full time job if you want to make a living.
We have all heard about the debate on how internet has killed the music industry… But it has also created so much more opportunities! There are so many beat makers out there making a good living only by selling beats online! Sure it isn’t the same recognition as being the next Neptunes or Timbaland, creating beats for Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg and other big artists… But who knows, maybe you will!
But if you think your beats are good enough and just want to make a little cash on the side, here are 3 amazing websites you should sign up to right away! If only I had these websites when I was producing in high school, I wouldn’t be so much in debt with my parents!
#3 – Upwork
Upwork is a freelancing website. It is the world’s largest freelancer marketplace. And what is a Producer?… a Freelancer! You are hired as an individual to create music for a certain amount of time (one record or a full album). Freelancing your expertise is a great way to make an extra income from home. It is always a great way to learn the business. You are not making music for yourself, but for someone else and that “someone else” is the Boss. Communication is key, knowing what you are good at and what you suck at! A House producer will not create a reggaeton record as well… But if you are open in learning and become a Full-Time Producer it is a great place to start. I am still creating beats with my very first client I found on Upwork… If they like your work and especially the WAY you work (honesty, respecting deadlines, communication…) they will always call you first when they have another job to offer. Networking my friends! It is all about customer service, yes the same customer service rules working at McDonald’s taught me!
You basically sign up, update your profile, upload a few links to your work (Soundcloud, Youtube…) and start applying to Job offers. You can browse jobs by many different search criteria: Audio Design, Music, Audio Enhancement… You can find jobs like “I need 12 children songs”, “I need you to convert WAV to MP3″, “Remove background noise”… With a wide range of prices! From the insulting “5$ for a full original record” to “2000$ for a 30sec piece of music for film”. So the hard life of a beginning freelancer begins…
You have to know how to sell yourself! Because trust me, everyone is going to jump on the 2000$ job… This is how Upwork works: you apply to jobs. Once you found an interesting job and you feel it is the perfect job for you, time to sell yourself. In order to apply you have to write to the client why you would be the best fit for the job and your price.
Before applying you can see how many other freelancers have applied to the same job… It could be discouraging if you are just starting. Upwork, for each candidate, shows how much they have earned on this website, your rating (based on previous jobs) and if you upgrade to the pro version, the price they have offered.
So for that 2000$ job you might see someone with 5 stars, who has earned more than 10,000$ on this website and is offering to do the job for half the price! Hard competition! So you have to be wise in your judgment. Don’t lower your price too much, but at the same time if you have no experience it is the only way to get noticed! This is why you must sell yourself and be honest in your application.
“Hi, I am a new on this website and it would be a great opportunity for me to work with you…” or something like that! Remember this will be a one on one type of job. You aren’t working at McDonald’s where if a client isn’t happy you can just blame the boss… No! Customer Service! So be honest, friendly and open to negotiations, trust me the client will prefer to work with a passionate beginner rather than an arrogant professional.
My first job was to create a full record, based only on the written descriptions given by the client, full track outs and exclusive license (which means the track no longer belongs to me!) for only 50$! Some of you might say “No Way! You were ripped off!”… I know, I spent 2 weeks, 5hours a day on that track for only 50$… I was paid like 1$/hour! But anyway I had no experience, no knowledge of the business, nothing…
After that first record I made for him, he called me up for another job, renegotiated the price and I have been working with him ever since! Upwork now has allowed me to meet new clients, and they have always turned into long-term relationships! (knock on wood )
Upwork features a lot of information on how to sell yourself, update your profile, freelancing… I have learned a lot with this website.
– Many different types of jobs (sound design, audio editing and enhancing)
– Great learning tool (deadlines, customer service, communication…)
– Free to sign up
– No experience = low money
– Not a lot of “beat making” jobs
#2 – AudioJungle
I have just signed up to AudioJungle a few days ago, so I am still in the experiencing mode. AudioJungle is part of EnvatoMarket, the Wallmart of “Digital Products”. You can find anything here belonging to the digital world (by artwork, E-books and Music!). AudioJungle is the music category, dedicated in royalty free background music. Some of you might be against making royalty free music, but if you are just starting is a great source of income. Of course you will not be featured in the next Big Bang episode, but you might sell your music to Youtubers, independent film makers or small advertisement.
What I love about it is you can choose to be Exclusive to AudioJungle or Non-Exclusive, meaning you can sell the same beat on different websites. Of course, AudioJungle will take a smaller percentage of your sales if you go Exclusive… Since I am just testing this new market I decided to go with the Non-Exclusive offer and see how many sales I make.
Another positive thing of AudioJungle is you can sell the same beat over and over and over… Some people on here have sold 1 beat more then 1 000 times! At 19$ a beat, this could be a great source of revenue!
64,000 audio files sold (instrumentals, songs, pure background music)
AudioJungle is totally free to sign up, and very simple to upload your files. The main thing on this site is to have a great description for each and every one of your tracks. People don’t buy tracks because you’re David Guetta or Justin Timberlake… Here it is all about the music, and in order to have your sound heard you must have a great description!
Description of one of PinkZebra’s music
It is very hard to describe properly your music… I will write a future article on “how to write a perfect description”. When a client on AudioJungle researches a song for his project, he will research words such as “wedding” or “slideshows” along with “upbeat” or “piano”. Your description must be perfect to be able to be listened to.
Check out the Best Sellers on this site and have a look on their descriptions and marketing strategies. After all, they are your competition!
If you have a bunch of tracks (complete or not) it doesn’t hurt to take the time to load them up to AudioJungle, you just might make some easy money!
– Easy to set up and free
– Any type of music
– Must describe each track perfectly in order to be noticed
– 50$ payout
#1 – BeatStars
Beatstars is my favorite website when it comes to selling beats online! It has everything you need in order to make money as a producer! Opportunities with big artists, great community with other producers and artists, monetization of your Soundcloud, Youtube ID so you can track your songs…
First off, you can sign up for free with your Soundcloud account and start selling beats right away! With the free account you can sell two types of contracts: Exclusive or Non-Exclusive. You can choose the price, deliver with stems, MP3 or Wav. Beatstars also generates an automatic Licensing Contract! This feature is amazing because writing your own contracts is complicated… With the free account you are limited in storage space, and if you decide to upload stems, you can run out quickly…
The pro version is really worth the money! It is 9,99$/month for the Pro version. It sounds like a lot of money but trust me, it is 200% worth it!
With the pro account you will also be upgraded to Soundcloud Pro! Meaning more storage and more features! You can upload as many contracts as you wish:
I have four types of contracts for this one beat
You also have your own Pro Page! It is basically your very own website! You can attach a domain name and promote it as your own!
If you already have your own website, you can download the code and upload your Beatstar Store directly in your website! Even better: Facebook! You can have your very own store on your pro Facebook Page.
But that’s not all! You can monetize your Soundcloud, Youtube, Audiomack and Dailymotion accounts! This is more of a long-term solution, but if you are getting a lot of views or streams it could be a great extra income!
You can also apply a track ID to each of your songs! You will be warned if one of your tracks is on Youtube without your permission.
You can apply discounts! Such as “Buy one get one free”! You can send out specific coupons throughout all of your social medias!
Beatstars is THE website for any producer out there!
- Monetization of Soundcloud
– Create your own licensing contracts
– Your own Pro Page
– Very easy to buy your beats
– A lot of time to upload your tracks
– A tendency to be more Hip-hop orientated
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below or email me directly! Thanks again and be CREATIVE!
Official website: http://ericbakerdubois.wix.com/prod
Sound cloud: https://soundcloud.com/ericduboisprod
Beat Stars: http://ericduboisprod.beatstars.com/