For many recording artists, the dreams of having a successful mixtape will remain that, just a dream. Why? Because most artist, sadly, don’t understand how to promote a mixtape online and sell it. Learning how to sell a mixtape is a matter of learning marketing and sales strategies as well as having a properly developed plan. Many rappers try to find free ways to promote music online,however, in order to have a successful release you will need some upfront capital to invest into your project. Let’s take a look at some of the factors you’ll have to consider in your budget before you start mixtape promotion.
How To Make A Mixtape CD
Assuming you’ll be releasing an all original mixtape AND have prepared a written plan of action, the following should be considered when financing your project:
Beat Leases and/or Exclusive Beat Prices
Graphic Design Fees
CD Duplication/Replication Costs
Miscellaneous Advertising Costs
Beat Leases, Exclusive Beats
If you don’t make your own beats, you’ll need to allot an amount of money for buying beat leases or exclusive rights to beats. Whether you buy beats online or offline is entirely up to you.
Let’s use these numbers for sake of example:
You buy 10 beat leases online @ $50 per lease with a distribution limit of 2,500 units.
You purchase 3 exclusive beats on sale for $250 per instrumental with unlimited distribution rights.
Your recording costs will vary depending on the recording engineer you choose as well as the studio location. If you’re a do-it-yourself musician and are capable of recording your own vocals, then you’ll save big here. Otherwise consider the following realistic figures:
Recording Rate: $50/hour with a minimum booking of 2 hours.
Let’s say it takes you and the engineer 3 hours to record and mix 1 song.
For a mixtape of 13 songs your costs would be 39 hours x $50/ hour
Let’s say that you utilize discmakers audio mastering services for your mixtape. Your cost for 13 songs would run $599.
Total recording cost: $2549
Continuing with our hypothetical scenario, we’ll assume that to get a professionally prepared front and back cover to promote the mixtape online. It will cost $200.
For our purposes we’ll use Discmakers CD duplication services, purchasing 500 copies of the completed mixtape for promotion. The total cost here will run approximately $480. These CDs will be used to sell at shows and other performance venues.
To help with online mixtape promotion, we’ll create 1 promotional music video to drive traffic from YouTube to the music.
You’ll want to keep your miscellaneous advertising costs minimal. For our purposes we will conservatively dedicate $1200 dollars into our miscellaneous advertising efforts consisting of:
1 Flash Rotator Banner On Datpiff
1 YouTube Promoted Video
1 Google AdWords Campaign
1 Facebook Ads Campaign
Total Investment Estimate = $6179
How To Fund Your Mixtape
So we’ve estimated that you’ll have to invest a little over $6,000 in your mixtape. The goal for this project is to sell the mixtape at performances, shows, and distribute the music through digital outlets for profit. Here are a few ideas that can help you fund, promote, and sell your mixtape online.
Ask Family, Friends
Although your pride might tell you otherwise, ask your family and friends to help you fund and assist in your mixtape promotion efforts. Even if they only contributed $5 dollars, you are $5 dollars closer to your goal.
Crowing funding has become an increasingly popular way to gain monetary resources. Also known as crowd financing, equity crowdfunding or hyper funding, it describes the collective cooperation, attention, and trust by people who network and pool their resources, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.
Crowd Funding Websites: Kickstarter, Crowd Tilt, AngelList, Crowd Funder, We Funder, Indie Go Go, Micro Ventures
Personal, bank loans, and small business loans can all be considered as funding options for your mixtape. Be sure that you clearly understand the terms of your loan agreement and are committed to paying your loan back in full with interest as necessary. If your mixtape project is not-for-profit you may consider seeking out a grant.
Resources: Small Business Administration, Grants
You can pre-sell your mixtape before its actual release. This often works well if a bonus offer is included with the pre-order (i.e., merchandise, exclusive downloads, signed copies of the project, etc).
You can sell individual tracks as you record them, using the money from the first ones to pay for the next recordings and/or other mixtape expenses.
Resources: Tunecore, Cdbaby
If you’ve built up enough buzz prior to your mixtape release, you may get sponsors to pay for some of your mixtape expenses. Acquiring sponsorships will take some in-depth relationship building and networking, but if you can pull it off it will be a huge bonus for you.
Promoting and selling a mixtape is similar to developing a new product for a business. It takes calculated effort and adequate funding to promote your mixtape to the masses. Hopefully, this post has given you helpful tips to promote your mixtape online.