Perhaps the most slept on method of taking yourself from zero to hero in the production game is the collab 🤝
There are countless reasons why you should be collaborating with other producers on a regular basis:
- Different producers have different specialties and can come up with ideas that you may have never been able to think of on your own.
- Other producers might have software or plugins that you don’t have which means they can make sounds that you wouldn’t be able to make with your own current set up.
- Collabing is a great way of broadening your musical horizons by bouncing ideas off another creative person.
- Producer collabs introduce you to the other producer’s audience, giving you more exposure than you could immediately get by yourself.
- A collab will open you up to that producer’s entire network of music industry connections.
- Collabing doubles the stakeholders sending your beat out for placements. It also doubles your chances of getting a lease sale (assuming you both post the beat to your platform), opening up an entire new revenue stream for you.
Those are just some of the reasons to make collaborating with other producers part of your regular routine. But keep in mind: there’s an art to this 🎨
There are certain things you can do to increase your chances of having a successful collab. A lot of this is common sense, but these little details can be easy to overlook. Here are six tips to help you get the most out of your producer collabs:
Tip #1: Be the one sending the melodies
If you’re sending an unsolicited email to a producer you’ve never worked with before, it’s a good idea to include loops in your message from the jump. It takes the guesswork out and establishes a clear workload for each producer (i.e. "I did the melodies, you do the drums").
Making melodies is the hardest and most time consuming part of the beat making process for a lot of producers, so by sending ready-made loops up front, you are bringing value to the table. This increases the likelihood of the collab actually happening.
Tip #2: Make sure the loops you send are 100% original compositions
Don’t send the producer a loop containing a sample that could potentially cause clearance issues down the line. And if you do for whatever reason, at least disclose that there’s some kind of sample in the loop up front before the producer spends time working on it.
Never repurpose someone else’s loop and try to pass it off as your own. It’s bad form at best and at worst it could lead to a potential lawsuit if that beat ends up getting placed.
Tip #3: Label your loops properly
Make the producer’s life as easy as possible. Include your producer name, the name of the loop itself, the BPM and the key of the loop in the file’s title. This will streamline the process for the other producer and increase the chances of them actually using one of your loops.
Tip #4: Send one file per loop
If you’re sending out a melody that has a bunch of different instruments in it, don’t send out the individual stems of that melody. This creates extra steps with decompressing the files and it wastes computer space as well.
Instead, bounce the entire melody as one audio file, but arrange it so that at some point in the loop, each instrument is playing all by itself. That way the producer can mix and match the layers as needed all from one audio file.
Tip #5: Collab with producers of all levels
The easiest place to start with collabs is by seeking out producers who are on a similar level to you in terms of exposure and notoriety.
But at the same time don’t be afraid to collaborate with people who have less of a following than you. If they got the 🔥, they got the 🔥
Build and grow together.
At the same time, there are obviously distinct advantages to collaborating with producers that have a bigger following or more placements than you. Doing so will expose you to a much wider audience a whole lot quicker.
Keep in mind that the higher you go up the producer food chain, the more likely that they’re going to charge you to collab with them. And that’s perfectly fine!
In fact, it might be a good idea to set aside a portion of your monthly marketing budget to devote to paid collabs with bigger producers.
Do your best to verify that the producer you’re paying is reputable. This will minimize the chances of you getting burned.
We’ve all heard horror stories of producers paying for collabs and then getting ghosted. Do your due diligence before handing over the 🍞
Collabing with bigger producers is a great way of scaling up quickly and can open up insane opportunities that you never would have gotten on your own.
Think of it as an investment in your career. What starts out as paid collab might turn into a legit relationship that you build with a more prominent producer.
Tip #6: Split everything 50/50
Keep it simple and straight forward. Try to bring this up ahead of time but don’t be too pushy with it.
If you’re sending out a mass email to producers, consider including a text document with the exact usage terms of your loops, as well as a link to your Beatstars profile, your contact info, and the split percentage you’re expecting.
The simplest and most agreeable thing to do is ask for a 50/50 split of all revenue generated by leases or placements.
Those were six best practices to keep in mind when attempting to secure collaborations with other producers. Your network is your net worth! Now get after it 🔥