Curtiss King Productions © 2018
Reason 1: You Don’t Have Your Own Music Producer Website
The first major obstacle that music producers encounter when they choose to sell their beats online is building a website. Most r oweup‑and‑coming producers make the fatal mistake of settling for selling their beats on third‑party beat‑selling websites or exclusively through email. Now in the beginning there’s nothing wrong with handling your business through these platforms. I myself have relied upon beat stores with existing traffic to help drive sales to my beats. The only problem is that it isn’t sustainable. Websites come and go all the time (e.g., Myspace & possibly SoundCloud). Therefore it’s not wise to rely on them for your beat‑selling business.
Additionally, what message do you think you’re sending your potential customers when you don’t own your own URL? This can raise questions in their minds like: You couldn’t afford to purchase a $12 URL? Are you not a professional? Are you not reliable? It’s much better to be able to direct them to your own personal website.
Reason 2: Your Website Takes too Long to Load Up
Say perhaps you DO have a website. Let’s say your website actually looks pretty damn good. Does it take an eternity to load up on a customer’s first visit? If it does, this could easily be a reason why potential customers aren’t purchasing your beats. A study conducted by Kissmetrics found that over 40 percent of customers will abandon your website if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
First impressions are everything. If a customer excitedly visits your website looking to buy beats, the amount of time it takes to load that beautiful website can very easily discourage them from buying. This isn’t to say you need to create a simplistic, tofu‑colored landing page with a beat store. You’ll still want to take your time creating a visually pleasing website. However, you must know when to sacrifice aesthetics in the name of sales.
Bottom line: cut the unnecessary dead weight on your website. Eliminate the huge HD YouTube videos on your home page. Eliminate the Star Wars‑inspired flash effects that crash older PCs when they attempt to load your page. In this case, less is much more.
Reason 3: Your Website Isn’t Visually Clear to Your Buyer
How easily can customers read your website? Are the fonts too small? Is the background too distracting from the text? Is the font color bleeding or blending in too much with the background color? Did you choose the correct fonts/colors for your brand and are they conveying the proper message?
Color and font psychology are CRUCIAL!
Wait, color and font have a psychology?
YES! Google “color psychology” and “font psychology” now and at least glance over a few of the charts that come up. It’s remarkable how many of our buying decisions are affected by the colors and fonts we see every day. For example, the color combination of red and yellow has been scientifically proven to make you thirsty and hungry. Now take a second and think about how many fast‑food restaurants utilize that colorway. Think back to the times you weren’t even thinking about being thirsty until you passed a vending machine with the image of a bright‑red cola sitting on top of sky‑blue ice cubes.
I feel like the popular Hip Hop acronym C.R.E.A.M. should be updated to “COLOR Rules Everything Around Me.” Color runs through and influences our decision‑making processes. So ask yourself, if you use the colors yellow and black—which usually signify caution or danger—on your website, are you communicating messages that elicit hesitation in your visitors rather than an eagerness to buy? (Don’t get me wrong: yellow and black might be great colors for your personal brand—I’m just saying be aware of what effects colors can have and use them accordingly.)
Also, let’s not overlook the importance of our fonts. Can you imagine a poster for a light‑hearted children’s movie done in the font of a hockey‑mask killer horror movie? Of course not, and that’s why font psychology is just as important when you’re attempting to convey your brand message through your website. Even with good intentions in mind, we can subconsciously give our customers the wrong message if we aren’t familiar with the emotions we associate with certain colors and fonts.
Reason 4: Your Website Doesn’t Have a Mobile Option
Have you created a website that gives customers who prefer to purchase beats from their iPhones, iPads, and Androids an option to buy? Having a mobile option in today’s world is non‑negotiable. IT IS A MUST! Most third‑party beat stores offer mobile stores for producers because over the last few years the demand has been too high to ignore. You can’t rely on rappers to remember to check out your beats whenever they return to their laptops. You must offer a mobile option, or at least create a website that works well on all mobile devices to maximize your beat‑selling efforts.
Reason 5: Your Beat Store Is too Low Down on Your Website
Is the beat store that showcases your beats too LOW on your website? That is, when people check out your site, do they have to scroll down too far to find the beats you have for sale? After all, your customers come first and foremost to hear your beats.
As common sense as this may sound, you’d be surprised at how many producers complicate this step. I’ve seen producers bombard visitors to their sites with extended biographies, photos and mixing services before presenting them with the very product they came to the website looking for.
GET THE PEOPLE TO YOUR BEAT STORE!
Most customers aren’t interested in your latest YouTube “Rapper Type Beat” or your embedded SoundCloud player. Most of your customers are on your website for your beats. This obstacle alone can frustrate impatient buyers. You have about a ten‑ to fifteen‑second window to make an impression on a curious buyer. Why not give your beats their best possible chance at being heard and searched through?
Reason 6: Your Instant Beat Store Doesn’t Play Automatically
When rappers visit your website, does your beat store play automatically? It should! Having your beats play automatically forces your customers not only to interact with your beat store, but it also gets them familiar with how it works. Having your potential customer interact with the same store that they’ll eventually have to purchase from is crucial.
You must take into consideration the fact that not everyone knows how to work your website. Sometimes it’s necessary for you to simulate the process for them so that it doesn’t become an obstacle in the way of them making a purchase.
Reason 7: You Don’t List Your Buying Instructions Step by Step
What if one of your website visitors just so happens to fall in love with one of your beats? Do they know how to purchase it? Have you listed the buying instructions clearly so that they know how to purchase from you? If not, upload images or text that walk your potential customer step by step through the buying process. Even better is a video that shows your visitor how to purchase from you. Human beings are generally classified as either visual or auditory learners, so it’s up to you to provide them with the right kind of stimulation for both styles of learning and make your buying process crystal clear.
Reason 8: You Haven’t Clearly Listed Your Leasing Terms
If a rapper leases your beat, are they allowed to make a music video with their final product? If a singer leases your beat is there a limitation on how many sales they can make off their final song?
My point is, do your customers know exactly what they’re getting when they invest in your beats? Many customers make their buying decisions based upon the terms you offer with each of your beat leases. So it’s important for you to clearly list those terms on your website.
Would you pay for a service without knowing what you’re getting? Every customer is different, so it’s important for you to provide as much relevant information as you can along with their buying experience. Finding your leasing terms shouldn’t be an Easter egg hunt for your customers. A link to your terms should be clearly accessible on your homepage.
Reason 9: You Don’t Have Enough Beats on Your Website
Have you uploaded enough beats on your website for customers to choose from? How many beats is enough? I typically suggest producers have anywhere from thirty to fifty beats in their beat stores. Having only a handful of beats can give the impression that you’re an amateur or not serious about your beat‑leasing business. Either of those two impressions will discourage your potential customer from investing in your business.
Would you purchase from a supermarket with only four items? Of course not! So why would you expect to make sales if your store doesn’t look like it’s ready to sell? My suggestion is that you stack up your beats and then proceed with business. And take your time with this process! Don’t rush your product in the name of a numerical goal. Quality always wins in the end.
Reason 10: Your Pricing Is Inconsistent
Although it may be tempting to price your FAVORITE beats at a higher leasing price than the rest of your catalog, don’t do it. Congruency and cohesiveness is not only important for the appearance of your website but also for the presentation of your pricing. It should be one of your main goals to instill buying confidence in your potential customer. Having a uniform pricing system is vital for this goal.
Also, you don’t want to give your customers the idea that any of your beats are less valuable than others. Doing this will bring out the price‑hagglers and penny‑pinchers. Every beat holds its own value to your potential customers and they are the ones buying. A beautiful beat is in the eye of the beholder.
Reason 11: Your Customer Doesn’t Know How to Contact You
When many rappers are buying (especially for the first time), one of their biggest worries is “What if something goes wrong?!” Try for a second to put yourself in their shoes. Have you ever tried to purchase something extremely expensive online only to have something go wrong on the product checkout page? The first thing most of us want to do is confirm that the company received our order. This is especially true when we see that our credit card got charged for it. Your customers expect and deserve the same level of comfort from you. Clearly list your contact information in multiple places on your site to alleviate that paranoia within your customers.
Reason 12: You Don’t Have Your Buyers’ Visual Confidence
Have you ever wondered why professional websites always seem to include those “100% Money‑Back Guarantee” badges? Well, it’s much more than just a fancy icon to make their websites look official. These badges are visual tools that give customers the confidence to pull out their credit cards and buy from you. Not having these badges can cause you to miss out on many great opportunities.
Reason 13: You Don’t Have an Email List
Every customer has different buying habits. Not every customer visiting your website for the first time is looking to buy beats from you. Some customers will listen to your beats and plot on purchasing from you in the future. Some customers might be just interested enough to join an email list that notifies them of your new beats. Consider that many rappers buy beats from many different leasing websites. Some rappers go on a beat‑leasing shopping spree and don’t remember every producer they’ve purchased from. Additionally, there are producers who may purchase from your website and never visit you again UNLESS they are on your email list.
Services like MailChimp and GetResponse have made it waaaay easy to set up an email list and launch amazing email campaigns. In short, keep your customers and potential customers in the loop of your latest productions and they will repay you—in visits and dollars.
Reason 14: Does Your Website Offer too Many Services?
In today’s music industry, many music producers have received the memo that it requires more than just making beats to make a decent living in this business. Many music producers offer engineering services, drum kits, and a myriad of additional helping hands to the customers they serve. However, just because you offer these services doesn’t mean you should showcase ALL of them on your website’s homepage. Doing so can often confuse customers about what exactly they should pay attention to first. If you are creating a beat‑selling website, focus on the beats first and simplify the presentation. Then, perhaps maybe down the page or in a menu option, offer links that direct customers to your other services.
Reason 15: Do You Have a Unique Sound?
As a music producer, do your beats sound unique? Is your uniqueness somehow expressed through your branding (logo, font, color)? If customers must dig deep for what makes you different from other producers, why shouldn’t they skip over your website like the last ten they’ve visited? Focus on your strengths, and on only improving those weaknesses that hinder the growth of your strengths.
Reason 16: Are You Marketing the Right Types of Beats?
If you happen to market your beats using the Jay‑Z‑type beat or Rick Ross‑type beat strategy, are you sure that those artists properly represent your sound? Many times, producers have the right intentions when using a famous rapper’s image and brand to appeal to customers that match their sound, but they miss the mark when choosing the RIGHT famous rappers to market. Sit with your beats and give yourself a reality check. Ask friends and other music listeners for their opinions on who they hear over your beats. You might be surprised how informed your little sister or brother are about the subject. Marketing the wrong TYPES of beats can attract the wrong customers. That alone can hinder your bottom line.
Reason 17: You Don’t Have a Call to Action on Your Website
Lastly, what do you want your customers to do when they visit your website? Follow you on Twitter? Subscribe to your YouTube channel? Sign up to your email list? It is very important for you to make that objective as clear as possible to your potential customer. I personally suggest embedding a social media button, such as the Facebook “LIKE” thumb or the Twitter “FOLLOW ME” feature near the top of your page. The purpose here is to give your customers something to do or commit to even if they choose not to invest in your beats that day.
bUILD YOUR OWN WEBSITE! jOIN MY COURSE!