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Your catalog is gold waiting to be mined!

brand development distribution earn money May 16, 2024

Are you ignoring the #1 thing about being a producer?

I know I used to.

But now I know that my priority is producing complete songs.

"Song" = complete project.

A "complete project" is any of the following:

  • A single for a artist
  • a placement
  • a beat EP for my own Spotify
  • a content piece

BUT...

I used to not know.

I used to approach building my catalog like a boy who doesn’t know how to date girls. With indifference, indecency, and indefiniteness.

And artists did NOT like that 😅 (girls don't either).

Life has taught me that quality women don't connect with any of these traits

(& most, like 90%, don't in general). 

Similarly, I've learned that building a catalog in music is really no different than proper dating etiquette. 

It comes down to 3 simple keys 🔑;

  1. Know what you want,
  2. Be worthy of what you want, and
  3. Be direct /definite about your pursuit.

And most important of all...

Don't get too comfortable.

[peep my new free Melody Multi Kit, "may the force be with You"!]

I'm going to teach you the entire play for catalog growth in this newsletter.

but knowing it is not enough 🤓. 

this is one of those plays you can only eat off of if you really work it. 

I still relearn how true this is everyday.

When I first started selling beats in 2018, I went at it like I was in car sales 😭.

Not in a pushy way, just in a passionate and energetic way!

And I 100% understood that my value as a brand would determine the upper limits of my beat selling capabilities. 

But I got too comfortable, no Future.

Having a visible brand for the first time will jade your perspective in creative work (learn how to build one in a week here).

Even if you work hard for it, there’s many things you can start to take for granted.

Your closed mouth will not be fed. 

[No, I don't do consultation - but I will build your entire system in 7 days 🤝, and audit your YT channel 📲]

I got so used to people coming to me that I stopped reaching out.

Artists were coming to me because I'd used content creation to put out hundreds of videos that were getting my beat store thousands of hits per month.

So I stopped reaching out to artists (even though my access had increased).

Countless producers were in my DMs hitting me up to work because I'd built up my social media presence.

So I stopped reaching out to producers (even though my access had increased).

And brands filed my inbox with offers that promised me cash in exchange for leveraging my brand. 

So I stopped reaching out to brands (even though my access had increased).

Even though I had more access to artists, producers, and brands, I was reaching out less than ever.

I just stopped being active on my part.

I didn't even realize this was an issue.

I thought I was smooth sailing.

But then my OG, one of my mentors set me straight.

"Chu, ain't it weird that you never send out any beats?" he asked one day, genuinely confused.

I start to cope. "Well nah, not really. artists just come to me because I have a brand!"

I love delivering that answer because it's such a cop out from doing to work.

But my OG was having none of it.

"Bro, what about all the new artists that you could be reaching though? Even if it's not about the money, it looks like your catalog could be way bigger and more valuable if you just tried a little harder."

I could tell he saw the lightbulb 💡go off in my head , cause he finished with a banger 💎. “Chu, ain’t shit gon really starting happening till you start sending out more beats!!”

From here it clicked. 

And I realized it was simply time to T tf up. 

I outlined a new approach to 100x my catalog, and that's what I've been working on all 2024. 

3 ways to control the growth of your catalog.

[peep my new single! - 'Drift']

This play starts with understanding the 3 ways you can actually control the growth of your catalog. 

understanding this is more important than the play itself.

you build your catalog with;

  1. Content discography
  2. Personal music discography
  3. Collaborative discography

These are your catalog growth levers (CGL). 

In the next section we will go through the concept as briefly as possible while still giving you actionable steps - but, please consider joining DOPE for the full lesson on this topic.

 1) Content is the most valuable part of your catalog [The primary CGL].

To understand why this is true, we have to talk about 'CENTS', a business concept I learned from MJ Demarco's "Unscripted" (recommended read).

This concept covers the five traits that any successful business endeavor must have. 

  • Control
  • Entry
  • Need
  • Time 
  • Scale

Starting with content, let's assess all three of our catalog growth levers using CENTS as the rubric.

Your content discography is the primary CGL because You 100% CONTROL your content distribution.

You're in control of growing your newsletter.

You decide when you post content.

You can add free & paid value to your content (digital downloads, merch, paid content, personal communication, etc.).

Content gives you a lever of control for growing the rest of your catalog because it's the thing you can control.

if any of the 3 CGLs increases in value, it'd grow your catalog.

The point is that content is the CGL you have the most control over by far, so you can use this control to position yourself for better opportunity concerning the other two CGLs.

The barrier of ENTRY to becoming a high value content creator is still relatively high. 

BUT…

The barrier of entry to ‘getting a placement’ is relatively low, and that’s why most people choose this path.

it's easier to get a placement than it is to build a brand.

placements also pay way less (for the reason that entry is low).

This is why loop makers get paid last (if at all), and their split is always atrocious.

And this is why producers usually have horror stories concerning their placement chasing.

you have no leverage in that kind of game, and everyone knows this except producers. 

The labels know, the artists know, the lawyers and A&R's know.

Hell, I think even the fans know it at this point.

So they'll pay you late, they'll pay you last; as surely as the sun rises on the East and sets on the West.

And when they do pay you, you'll be forced to take whatever pennies they cut you (good luck chasing any one down for more). 

Not every situation is a horror story - mine sure aren't. I get paid well and I get paid on time. 

But even with my placements, I know that the amount of control I have there is lowest. We'll address this deeper when we talking about the third CGL.

It's way harder to learn how to build a brand.

But the huge benefit is that once you do, that placement payout starts to look like chump change (you can literally make that in a week, most internet producers just have super low expectations).

Taking the road less traveled gives you access to special areas on the map 👾.

The barrier to entry into having a successful producer brand is high, but the reward is awesome.

You get more access to artists, producers, and brands!

You are more valuable and solve more problems for the artist as a competent content creator - check out this newsletter to learn more about why building value is the most important thing you can do as a music producer.

Content increases the amount of NEED you can service.

This is because you can CONTROL more with content (and the high ENTRY means not many can service those needs). 

The more need you can service, the more valuable you become.

Artists don't need more beats. 

They need more valuable producers who can give them exactly what they need to grow their own catalog. 

  • Access to quality resources like mixing, beats, etc. (yours or by your recommendation - the goal is servicing the artist always).
  • Marketing reach & PR - artists you work with can leverage your brand.
  • Guidance - we often forget that the MAIN JOB of a producer is to guide the artists to the best creative body of work possible (it has nothing to do with beats).

Content discography makes you a valuable producer - everyone NEEDS a valuable producer.

Content increases the amount of value you can produce per unit of TIME.

the other two CGLs can do the same, but no where near to the same degree that content can.

Your content allows you to transcend TIME by letting you essentially clone yourself.

It gives you the ability to reach and service your clients and leads at scale (something that you cannot do effectively with the other two CGLs).

And this gives you more power to SCALE your catalog overall.

Your content is something that generates value without requiring your time/presence, and the generation of this value is SCALABLE in a way that the other two CGLs are not. 

Now let's look at how the other 2 CGLs compare to content.

2) Your personal music discography is still an area of focus.

You have a lot of CONTROL here.

Set a release schedule & link the DSPs to your content - the “Spotify is the new type beats play" newsletter will help you here.

There's a high barrier of ENTRY to build a catalog that streams.

that's why most producers prefer to ride the wave of their artists instead of building their own listenership.

The world is always NEED of new interesting artists/producers (you just gotta be serious and sincere with your approach).

A well planned release schedule plus accompanying content will allow your discography to grow on autopilot, putting TIME back on your side.

You have many options for SCALE your own discography (Albums, remixes, re-releases, collaborations, playlisting).

3) You Collaboration discography is valuable, but the least viable (high risk plays).

This includes stuff like;

  • placements
  • syncs
  • sales
  • brand deals

You can use the first two CGLs to drastically increase your odds here (that's what I do, and what most veteran producers seem to do), but you've still got to be real about it.

You have the LEAST CONTROL here.

ENTRY is non-existent (anyone can DM Drake, I can email Metro’s studio/engineer rn).

There’s NO NEED for placement chasers (only trustworthy producers).

This mindset consumes TIME (unless approached, read; 'leveraged', correctly). 

This play can’t be reliably SCALED, because there’s little/no control (even Metro can’t force Future to drop). 

Here’s your drill, here’s your mining instruction manual!

[peep my new single! - 'Asteroid']

So here's the deal.

I'm about to give you the actual play I use to grow my catalog.

BUT...

this will only work if you're beats are already good.

if you're beats aren't good, it's because you aren't practicing.

Don't cope, just click here and read this newsletter to learn how to practice and get better ASAP.

Now, let's assume you're already cooking the bangers.

1) the first thing you need is a content distribution plan. 

I have a course called content creation level 2 that will teach you how to do this,

and there's also lessons in DOPE - plus 1-on-1 guidance. 

you just need to do 2 important things;

  1. understand just how important content actually is to your music brand.
  2. develop the high value skill over creating useful content.

The key 🔑: find the bare minimum you can do to stay consistent with your content and then scale from there (like progressive overload in fitness!).

2) You need a DSP release schedule .

again, the “Spotify is the new type beats play" newsletter will help you here.

But you do need to do it.

if you're anxious about it, it's because 1) your beats suck, or 2) you're lazy.

if your beats suck, practice.

if you're lazy, fix that ASAP because laziness isn't a valuable trait at all. 

In DOPE, I guide and A&R producer DSP releases much in the way that most labels do for artists - so click here to learn more about that if you're interested.

3) You need a check-in/send-out schedule for your artists.

there's two parts to this.

First, you need to build a list of producers that actually care about your beats.

DOPE has many lesson and courses on this.

But the main idea is to use free beats as a lead magnet.

With proper positioning, this will be the foundation of your successful collaboration catalog.

Second, you need to know how to communicate with the artists.

You probably shouldn't spam them with beats and sales. 

just treat them like a human being, a friend who just happens to make music.

the way you go about building this relationship will be the deciding factor in whether or not they use your beats if the opportunity ever presents itself.

if they've had nothing but valuable exchanges with you, they'll likely consider you a viable producer for their project.

but if you've been spamming them with sales and offers, you'll be the last person they call. 

Blessings,

Chu

Join My Label, DOPE 🔥

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