My name is !llmind. I'm a music producer and I'm passionate about sharing my experiences. Things that worked, things that I f*cked up and what I learned from it all. No guidance and no mentor. I know what it's like to want to create music but not know how to start, where to go or how to turn it into a living. I don't have ALL the answers, but what I can promise is that I will always touch on topics that I have personally experienced. At the end of the day, I hope to empower you to be your best self, regardless of what industry you're trying to pursue.
One of the most popular questions I get from aspiring music producers is "How do I get more placements?"
In the music production world, a "placement" is when you create a beat and then sell it to another party for exclusive rights. This could mean selling it to an individual or record label (Taylor Swift buys the record, she records a song to it and decides to use it on her upcoming album). Or, maybe it's sold to MTV to be used as background music on a reality show. If you made it and sold it, it's considered a "placement."
Over the past 24 months, I've secured 20+ major label album and film placements. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind to help you secure a few of your own.
Create high-quality music
This is first and foremost. Like anything else in the marketplace, your product must be good. Very good. There will always be a higher demand for higher quality. So, how do you get good? Practice. Many hours must be spent on your craft. Study. Learn. Try things. Collaborate with people. Get feedback from those you trust (I also recommend joining Beat Thread.) YouTube is your best friend. It's free, and there is a plethora of information. Make sure your mixes are up to par. If you don't know how to mix your audio properly, practice. Or, find someone who can and take the initiative to make that happen.
Do your research
Are you trying to sell a beat to Migos for their new album? Do what it takes—by any means necessary—to find out how to get one step closer to making this a reality. Find out who the proper individuals are to help you get their ears. What channels can you explore to get you closer to someone who can potentially share your music with them? Look at their previous album credits and jot down all of the people who were involved (producers, engineers, A&R’s, managers, graphic designers etc.).
Are you looking to place your beats on TV and Film? It's the same approach. Find out who the "music supervisor" is for these companies. The process is the same for EVERYBODY (including me). Find the right people, and attack with tact. Waiting around will never work.
Get to know as many people as possible
The more people you know, the better your odds of getting a placement. Again, the concept of "by any means necessary" plays an important role here. Utilize all channels on the internet. Find out when and where industry events (seminars, writing camps, local beat battles, etc) are taking place and go to them. Every single placement you get will be the result of someone you know. It's always been that way, and it's never going to change. Start with your peers. Get to know like-minded people on YOUR level. Collaborate with them often. This is so important.
Visit major cities as often as possible
If you already live in one, awesome! The action happens in major cities. New York. Los Angeles. Miami. Atlanta. Toronto. Berlin. Sydney. Wherever it is you're located, flock toward a major city. You have a better chance meeting the right people. More people. More environments conducive to helping you reach your goals. The internet is great, but nothing compares to human interaction. You can leave a greater impact on someone by meeting them in person. DM’s can only get you so far.
Visit recording studios as often as possible
You never know who you will run into. For example, if you're in Los Angeles, book some studio time at Record Plant. It's one of the few studios where major label artists still record on the regular. You have a better chance at running into someone you should probably get to know. So how do you get to know them? Well, that's a whole other conversation. It's like trying to find a girlfriend. I can't tell you what to do when the opportunity strikes, you just need to do it. Which brings me to my next point.
I wrote an entire blog about this and the basis of my YOUTUBE and PODCAST content is built on this foundation. Confidence is key. It will help in every single aspect of reaching your goals. Plus, people enjoy being around confident energy.
Stay active on all of your social media channels
The first thing people are going to do to find out more about you is Google your name and visit your Twitter and Instagram. Hopefully, your SEO (search engine optimization) is up to par to direct them to your social media channels, website, etc. Your presentation online should look clean and professional. This is a HUGE issue in the producer community. Sub-par branding is a major negative.
Take matters into your own hands. Dedicate some time to maintain your social media visibility. You can have the most amazing music in the world, but if it isn't presented properly, you're shooting yourself in the foot. You should have a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, SoundCloud, Audiomack, YouTube and personal website—at the very least. Every single one of these platforms is relatively FREE to use. If you’re not using them, you’re making a serious mistake.
Don't wait around
There is no magic person—or company—that will swoop down and start landing placement after placement for you. Sorry. It never did happen, and it never will happen. Of course, you've got managers, entertainment attorneys and various people who you will work with along the course of your career. These people can help, but the best thing you can do is take matters into your own hands, whether you have a hundred people working for you, or you're working by yourself.
Don't get discouraged
Believe it or not, there's more than enough opportunity and money to go around for everyone. If you miss out an opportunity for a placement, don't worry. Just know that for every door that closes, two more open up somewhere else. Be relentless.
Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you
It's the best way to learn and grow.
There's obviously so much more that goes into earning a beat placement, but these 10 first steps I'm confident will help you along your way. They helped me.
The underlying theme here is to always "take matters into your own hands." That is, above all else, absolutely crucial to gain more placements as a music producer.