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How to attract income and market myself as a rapper and producer?

I know I can look up tutorials and advice from YouTube, but I rather get it from you guys and this could be something that I can look back on just in case as notes. I'm an artist by the name of "the5thspirit" and I have aspirations in being a hip-hop musician. I'm 21, I been rapping and recording music since 2011, I make beats, battle rapping as a hobby, and know how to mix songs. I also have music out on Apple Music, Spotify, Soundcloud, and YouTube. I recently graduated from Full Sail University for Recording Arts this past October and at this point, I really want to take my career to the next level, network with tons of people, creating a legit fanbase, and really make some income while trying to attract clients but I kinda been unmotivated and lazy lately. I just don't know where to start or reboot, especially when I have the resources to do it, so that's really why I'm here to get some advice from y'all. I am going to list things in numbers, so please list those tips in order in the same way that I'm about to do. I know money isn't everything, but I want to start making money doing what I love to do and I don't want my full time job to be only income to be honest.

I also know how to do some video editing too. I have a Fujifilm camera and I have done a little bit of photography and did a few music videos with friends, but I haven't used it in a while and I plan on using it again, so if anyone has any advice on reaching out to people and make money as video editor and/or photographer, that would be great.

1) Being a producer/beat maker: I been making beats seriously since I was 17 and the main DAW that I use is Logic Pro X. Now I have sold a few beats to people before for like $20 or $25 and some ppl I have bought beats from me on Traktrain, but I want consistent sales now. I thought about reaching to a lot of rappers to buy my beats, but I'm sure rappers expect producers to give them beats for free, especially when they reaching out to them first. The thing is I don't like giving out free beats, because they don't even end up using it anyway and sometimes they don't even give credit. I don't want to be that annoying producer that goes "Hey have you got on my beats yet?". I only give out free beats on YouTube and to dudes that I'm really cool with. Another thing is that I'm a sample based producer and I have downloaded free drum kits from websites, so I read all the time that I should sell sound packs, but would that be considered wrong or stealing? Especially when I never made anything from scratch and I would sell drum kits that I already downloaded from other sites. I just don't want it to backfire on me. Also, I dropped a free XXXTentacion type beat on YouTube a long time ago and a local rapper from Orlando, FL that I'm cool with, wanted to use the beat. Now I asked him if he was going to use it for non-profit and he said "Not sure yet. Depends on how the song comes out. If it comes out dope af I'll include you in the royalties. Fair?" I kinda felt iffy about it, but I went on ahead, said cool, and let him use the beat. Even if I do get royalties, should I still charge the beat upfront if he's using it for profit or just get the royalties alone? I read a lot about producers using IPIs, split song sheets, contracts, etc and give it to an artist before they lease or use the beat exclusively. I never done that before and I never had royalties from a song before as a producer nor rapper, so I would like to know more about that.

2) Making income as a rapper, marketing myself, and networking with other artists: This is really what I want to do for a living. My biggest concerns are really how to properly network with other artists and sync music people (for TV shows and films) without coming off annoying or seem like I'm just using them for clout. I would like to build genuine relationships with people and one thing I hear a lot is "If you want them to do something for you, what can you provide for them?" Not that I don't mind helping them, but I don't have any ideas besides making beats and providing mixing and mastering services for them. I'm not really known like that. I'm still trying to market myself, build a fanbase, and some buzz which can be really hard to do. I do use United Masters to distribute my music, but only for free, they can only give my music to limited stores such as Apple Music and Spotify. I did hear about their Select membership and they give you 100% royalties, but I thought about switching to an different music distributor. Is it worth staying in United Masters and get their Select membership or should I switch to something else like Distrokid, Amuse, etc?

I'm sorry for this long post, but I appreciate anyone who's willing to take their time outta their day to read this and give me great advice on making income as a musician, marketing myself and how to properly network with people. Thank you!

submitted by /u/themfspirit
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