For many recording artists, the dream of owning a successful mixtape will remain a dream. Why? Because most artists, unfortunately, 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 and having a well-developed plan. Many rappers try to find free ways to promote their music online, however, for a successful release, you’ll need some initial capital to invest in your project. Let’s take a look at some of the factors you should consider in your budget before starting a mixtape promotion.
How to Make a Mixtape CD
Assuming you will be releasing the original mixtape AND have prepared a written action plan, the following should be considered when funding your project:
Beat Rental and/or Exclusive Beat Rates
Graphic Design Fee
CD Duplication/Replication Fee
Miscellaneous Advertising Costs
Beat Lease Exclusive Beats
If you don’t make beats yourself, you’ll need to allocate some money to buy beat rentals or exclusive rights to beats. Whether you buy beats online or offline is completely up to you.
Let’s use these numbers as an example:
You purchase a 10 beat rental online @ $50 per rental with a distribution limit of 2,500 units.
You buy 3 exclusive beats that sell for $250 per instrumental with unlimited distribution rights.
Your recording costs will vary depending on the recording technician you choose as well as the location of the studio. If you are a do-it-yourself musician and are capable of recording your own vocals, then you will save a lot here. If not, consider the following realistic numbers:
Recording Rate: $50/hour with a minimum order of 2 hours.
Let’s say you and the technician took 3 hours to record and mix 1 song.
For a 13 track mixtape, your fee is 39 hours x $50/hour
Let’s say you use an audio discmakers mastering service for your mixtape. Your cost for 13 songs will be $599.
Total recording cost: $2549
Continuing with our hypothetical scenario, we will assume that in order to get professionally prepared front and back covers to promote a mixtape online. It costs $200.
For our purposes, we will use Discmakers’ CD duplication service, purchasing 500 copies of the finished mixtape for promotion. The total cost here will run around $480. This CD will be used for sale at shows and other performance venues.
To help promote our mixtape online, we will create 1 promotional music video to drive traffic from YouTube to music.
You want to keep miscellaneous advertising costs to a minimum. For our purposes, we will conservatively dedicate $1200 dollars to our various advertising efforts consisting of:
1 Flash Rotator Banner In Datpiff
1 YouTube Promoted Video
1 Google AdWords Campaign
1 Facebook Ad Campaign
Total Estimated Investment = $6179
How to Fund Your Mixtape
So we estimate that you should invest a little over $6,000 in your mixtape. The aim of the project is to sell mixtapes at shows, shows, and distribute music through digital outlets for profit. Here are some ideas that can help you fund, promote, and sell your mixtape online.
Ask Family, Friends
Even if your pride may tell you otherwise, ask your family and friends to help fund and assist your mixtape promotion efforts. Even if they only donate $5 dollars, you’re $5 dollars closer to your goal.
Crowing funding has become an increasingly popular way to obtain monetary resources. Also known as crowd financing, equity crowdfunding or hyper funding, it describes the collective cooperation, concern, and trust by people who build networks 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 Business
Personal loans, bank loans, and small business loans can all be considered funding options for your mixtape. Make sure that you clearly understand the terms of your loan agreement and commit to repaying your loan in full with interest as required. If your mixtape project is not for profit, you might consider seeking grants.
Resources: Small Business Administration, Grants
You can pre-sale your mixtape before the actual release. This often works well if the bonus offer is included with the pre-order (i.e., merchandise, exclusive downloads, signed copies of projects, etc).
You can sell individual tracks as you record them, using the money from the first to pay for subsequent recordings and/or other mixtape fees.
Source: Tunecore, Cdbaby
If you’ve built up enough buzz before the release of your mixtape, you may get sponsors to pay for part of the cost of your mixtape. Obtaining sponsorship will require deep relationship and networking development, but if you can do it, 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 sufficient funds to promote your mixtape to the masses. Hopefully this post provided helpful tips for promoting your mixtape online.