5 Step Checklist: Make Your Beats More Marketable

5 Step Checklist: Make Your Beats More Marketable

Every producer wants to know: “How can I get more beat sells?”

My name is Arjae, and at just the age of 18 I made my first $36,057 dollars in beat sales. I’m 25 now, so I’ve learned a hundred different ways that you can sell more beats. However, this 5 step checklist is unique: It’s not at all related to your advertising budget or effort! It’s something more core, and easy to fix. 

Producer to Producer, let’s have a talk about your beats… You see, creating a dope beat is a good feat. You put in hours into creating your art, dope! But did you create a dope beat that will sell itself? Or did you just create a dope beat? 

If you are feeling lost, then below, I have a 5 Step Check List to make sure your beats are optimized to sell themselves.

STEP 1: Disrupt the Listener
    • Studies say that the average human attention span is about 8 seconds. In producer language: you have 8 seconds before most rappers will click SKIP on your beat. Studies also show .. that if he clicks skip, the umm you definitely won’t be selling that one!
    • Even if your beat is dope, there are various reasons why a he will click skip. Maybe he’s bored because it sounds too familiar to a beat he already has, or maybe he came looking for something very particular, but your beat doesn’t meet that craving.
    • But F all that! Disrupt the listener, and you will almost surely force him to ATLEAST give the beat a chance, regardless of what he THOUGHT he was looking for. 
    • To Disrupt the listener is very simple, but most people don’t do it often enough. Simply hit him something unexpected that still sounds cool. I guarantee you, that mindset alone will make a huge difference for you. Disrupt him like this:
      • Try A simple melody with a weird / distinct sound.  He will be disrupted by the pleasing awkwardness. Think about that detuned synth in Drake – Pop Style.
      • Try something that has the sound of a different era. He will be disrupted because it will be a relief from the typical trap he has been bombarded with. Bruno Mars does this in his production all of time!
      • Try some live instruments. He will be disrupted because he is so used to every other producer going OD on 808’s and synths. Try some trumpets, guitar, live bass, etc. Think about Chance the Rapper’s production.
  •  If you disrupt him, he will give your beat a chance, thus increasing the chances of him buying it!
STEP 2: Unpredictably Keep His Attention
    • Don’t lose the listener! Disrupting the listener’s ears is the first step, but that’ll only get you so much time. You must keep his attention, and the way to do that is to prevent his ears from being able to always predict what’s coming.
    • You have to add a little mystery in the form of transitions, drops, and switch-ups to keep the listener’s ears perked. Don’t underestimate the power of something as simple as a drop of the hi hats. Or a drop of the kick drum. Or a drop of the bass, etc. It can be minor or as dramatic as a complete melody or instrument switch-up. (I like to go the dramatic route, lol)
    • Including a little mysterious element of ‘what’s next?’ will keep you listener tuned for a good portion of the beat. Just enough time for you to prove that the beat is for him to buy!

An Example of Me Using Mystery Dramatic Fashion.
listen to that weird / distinct sound too ha..


STEP 3: Leave Space!
  • Could you imagine if a producer sent you a collab, but left zero room for you to really contribute? That would suck right?
  • Don’t do that same thing to your listener. Even if it’s not a live collaboration,  it is STILL a collaboration.
  • Don’t overcrowd your beats with a bunch of non-sense instruments and melodies, even if they sound good!
  • If your goal isn’t to make a beat tape strictly for listening purposes, then you need to leave room for the artist to feel that he can jump on the song and add his creativity. Why would he buy something that sounds 99% done. Where’s the fun in that?
STEP 4: Make it Easy for the Artist
  • Everyone wants an easy jump-start or spark. As producers, our easy spark can come from incorporating samples, midi, arps, old school loops, etc. Artist love to have an easy jump-start too!
  •  So, use methods that makes it easy for him to create a hit.
  • Add a Hook: This helps the artist who isn’t the best hook writer but may have bars for days. All of my top selling beats had hooks on them! I even made a site once called hookbeats.com, which had only beats with hook, and allowed me to take full advantage of that market!
  • Add Transitions and Switch-ups: These help cue the artists to switch flows.
  • Add Drops: These help cue the artist to drop a dope punchline.
  • If an artist is able to easily start laying out hit song ideas in his head, while listening to your beat, then you just increased his likely hood to want to buy it!
STEP 5: Add SOME Trendy-ness
  • The type beats trend should tell you that 9 out of 10 of rappers clearly want to be current wave riders. Don’t be that guy that complains about it, you won’t win. Instead do what any other smart marketer would do. More on that in a sec..
  • See, I’m not saying to go out and copy and paste a song style. I’m saying that you do want to implement current trends that sound familiar to the artists BUT within your own style! Don’t go listen to a Future type beat and copy that beat. Instead, make a beat of your own flavor, add some Future type elements, and call it a Future Type beat. Rappers will still eat it = Smart Marketing.
  • Copying and Pasting will work for a decent time. However, ask anyone who has every marketed anything: A UNIQUE SELLING POINT always stands the test of time. As it avoids to need to compete for buyers. More on that below!
STEP 5.1: Have a Consistently Unique Sound To Get Sells Year-Round

If you REALLY want to go all out and have dedicated customers. Then consistently cook up a style of beats that no one else is cooking up. This may be a slower INITIAL route, but it will pay off big time when you have 1000 people who feel like they can buy a certain style of beat ONLY from YOU.


About the Author

Arjae Knox

Arjae Knox is in the cut