The Ultimate Music Collaboration Guide


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  1. Getting collabs (step-by-step)
  2. Music collaboration benefits
  3. Music collaboration strategy (+ FREE template)


Music collaboration (or music collabs as the cool kids will call it) is one of the most key aspects of the music business!


Here is the definition of collaboration:


Definition of the word "collaboration"


Just apply that to your music and bingo! Here we are.


Sounds simple, right? That’s because it is.


However, just because you know WHAT music successful collaboration is, does not automatically mean you can easily obtain it.


(When you first meet somebody attractive that doesn’t mean you can easily make them your partner…


Music collaborations are the same way.)




To attain these collaborations that can potentially change your career forever (I'll touch more on that later) you must be able to a couple apply specific skills that I mention in this article.




You may be thinking, “Eh, I’ll skim this and pick up on what’s useful then be on my way getting collabs.”


Sure, that may work out well for many other topics but since collaborations are human-driven then you’ll want to know all the micro details as well.


People are complex (not to mention sometimes weird.) 


To avoid simple mistakes you must read this and understand the concepts to see the best results.


But hey! With every music collaboration, you are one step closer to collaborating with bigger artists.


Don’t expect to collaborate with Drake or Kanye West just from this article - but you’ll be much better off than before you read it.


Do you make good music?


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Life always has its ups and downs. Music collaboration is no different.


The key to success is to know what you stand to gain from it, that’s why I’m outlining the simple pros and cons of music collaboration.


This can guide you into how you plan on getting these collaborations.


Positives and negatives of music collaboration




1. Bigger network

Your network is your net worth.


That’s nothing but facts when it comes to the music industry - it’s relationship-driven the higher you climb.


You want to be climbing up, no? Then you need to play by the rules of the music networking jungle.


How music collaboration increases your music network


As you get more collaborations, your collaborators can introduce you to more people.


This increases the odds of collaborating with artists that have much larger followings than you. Woo-hoo!


access to more music collaboration resources

With more collaborations, you get more resources for free! How amazing is that? See, nothing sucks more than using crappy tech.


Do you remember the days when you a had flip phone and were required to walk around for miles just to get a decent signal?


Nah, you don’t remember? Just me? I’m getting old…


My main point is this: with more collaborators working on the project you’re getting the chance to use some of their hardware and software!



With that at play, you open up the opportunities and potential of your music’s final product.



Higher exposure

This pro piggybacks off of the higher network. Let’s say you work on a song collaboration with an artist.


Since you both have credits (we’ll touch on that later) you most likely are both making great efforts to promote it!


How music collaboration leads to higher music exposre


That’s 2x the promotion since it’s exposed to both your audience AND theirs. Sounds like a sweet deal to me.


More sales

As you collaborate there is much more promotion generally.


This then leads to a higher overall number of streams for the collaboration projects!


As streaming numbers scale, so do royalty payments - meaning that it pays (in dollars) to have music collaborations.


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Split earnings

Now, don’t think that shared exposure and promotion don’t come with a cost.


Since your collaborators worked on the projects with you, they are entitled to a share of the revenue coming from it.


This is generally discussed before.


(In reality, this isn’t a huge problem because their fans can listen to your other music too, and thus your royalties end up in a net positive.)


Infographic of music collaborations leading to split earnings


Less Creative Control

Hate to break this one to you, but I do. Part of collaboration is teamwork AKA you can’t be running the shots.


I’ve collaborated with a few over-arrogant artists and as soon as they turn into a project dictator you know what I do?


Run away at breakneck speeds.


How music collaborations reduce creative control


This con is the largest one and can lead to sour relationships if you’re butthurt (sorry, I’m just saying it as it is.)


However, if you can put aside your differences and create a compatible vision this is easily avoidable.



stop wasting time!

Working solo is nice and quick. All you have to do is deliver the project and then ship it!


In music collaborations, there are many more steps and people involved.


The added complexity means you need to take more time to make sure things go right, such as production, mixing/mastering, cover art, general concept, etc.


Time is too valuable! Let us help you save time and take some of the burdens - our team can help find collaborators FOR you.


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So now the question - how do I finally go and attain these collaborations?


There are effective ways and ineffective ways, I’ll highlight them with this example:


One way to scout collaborations is to attach a letter to multiple messenger pigeons and send them to all nearby music studios. Do you see the issue in this?


This strategy is expensive and inefficient (not to mention PETA will shut you down before you could even get the chance!)


Ironic comparison between messenger pigeon and cellphone


For this reason, it’s most effective to find collaborators online. It’s faster to get through.


Time is valuable beyond compare - we cannot make only of it once it's used up. 


Create a collab strategy

You need to know what you want and where you’re going to achieve it.


A simple plan is enough, just having three main things: roles, mutual benefit & process. 


Feel free to use our free template below to create your collaboration strategy.


This is the easiest and clearest way to structure it:


Music collaboration strategy template


Since you are looking for people to work with, it is almost like a resume but this time you’re the employer. Boss moves, baby.



Select a social media platform

Each platform is different, therefore you must approach them differently.


With the different platforms, there are certain strategies to find potential collaborators. Here is the main gist of each primary platform:


Instagram Music Collaboration


Go on hashtag search to find music artists that fit your collaboration strategy criteria.


The top 10 best hashtags for musicians on Instagram:

  • #beatmakerz
  • #musicproductions
  • #audioengineer
  • #instabeats
  • #musicinfluncer
  • #musicmarketing
  • #newhiphop
  • #upcomingrapper
  • #musicnetworking
  • #freecoverart


Facebook, the biggest value you can get on Facebook in terms of getting collaborations is through Facebook groups.


These grounds are generally filled with thousands of potential collaborators!


Steps to getting music collaborations through Facebook groups


These are my top 3 Facebook collaboration groups:

All you need to do is join a group, find people then message them.


The best way to go at this is to interact with them on a few of their posts and then later reach out. It’s really that simple!


Twitter is the simplest method.


Since Twitter is a search engine, all you need to do is search for what you want to see and it will revive you!


Kind of like The Wizard of Oz but for music collaborations.




It’s all about being human. If you get that right then the rest will go in place.


  1. Reach out by providing value

The best way to reach out and get collaborations is to not ask for it… initially.


The trick is to build some rapport first, then once you and the potential collaborator have a good vibe going on you’ll want to bring it up. Going in cold can lead to rejection. Ouch!


  1. Execute collaboration!

Here you are! You finally made it to this final step.


Now that you created your music collaboration strategy and got the collaborators it’s finally time to begin!


Get your music on playlists now.

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