Setting up a record label is fairly straightforward, and almost anyone can set one up. All you need is a name and an LLC, and voila, you are a record label owner. Building a successful label, however, is a whole different story. That’s not to say that being successful as a label is impossible, but it’s far from easy.
You need to be prepared to deal with the business side of things and all the challenges that record companies face when they start out. You also need to be very realistic about what it means to own a record label, so you know what you’re getting into and get started on a solid footing. Let’s take a look at what you will need to do to start a successful record label.
Learn the basics
The first thing you need to do is learn the basics of starting and running a record label. You need to understand how to form a group, what kind of people you will need to hire at the start, and how much money you will need to spend, among other things.
If you want to know exactly how to start a record label, follow these tips to get started. Pirate has defined all the steps you will need to follow to start your label. You will learn some of the benefits of starting a label as an artist and some questions you should ask yourself before starting one. You will also learn a few things about marketing and public relations, record releases and more.
Learn the business side
If you don’t know anything about business, you’ll need to learn a thing or two about it before you start a record label. One of the most important things is to stick to a budget when starting out and understand the difference between income and profit.
Not understanding this is one of the main reasons record companies fail, so if you are not ready to do the math, you will be hard pressed to be successful in this business. You can still hire an accountant, but they can’t be with you 24/7. You need to know when you are making bad decisions with your money and when you are overspending.
For example, you may be paying way too much for a producer after considering potential sales. Or maybe you decide to move to a fancy office right in the middle of the city without thinking about overhead. If you don’t have an accountant, it’s usually best to keep things small until you’ve learned the business and how to manage your finances.
do not hesitate
However, you shouldn’t wait for everything to go right before starting a label. If you are an artist and believe in your talent, you should start as soon as you feel ready. It’s okay if you make mistakes at the start since people don’t know you yet. You will have the chance to try different things and see what works and what doesn’t.
Trial and error is often the best way to learn, and that’s one of the reasons we suggest you start small. You don’t need to have a whole team behind you to record, squeeze or stream and distribute music. Some independent artists had to put out dozens of records before they got it right, and they learned a lot along the way. So, don’t be afraid to give it a try, but be reasonable in your efforts.
Look at your motivations
What is your goal for starting a record company? You might have always dreamed of being a music mogul, but most record companies weren’t created for the sole purpose of making money. Often times these were founded by people who were genuinely passionate about music and wanted to release music that they felt the world needed to hear.
If you walk in with the wrong motives, you’ll end up being disappointed with the business. Your heart will not be there and it will be felt throughout the organization. People will lose trust in you and artists won’t want to sign with you because they can say that you don’t care about their art. So, before you embark on this adventure out of greed or for the glitz and glamor, think again.
Know how to build a brand
Branding is one of the most important elements of being a successful record label and having successful artists. You need to know how to create a brand and sign artists who align with it. Your brand is also what will allow you to build your initial base. Your brand should permeate every part of your business, from your visuals to the places you decide to book, to the color schemes and graphics you use on your website and promotional materials.
Before building your brand, you need to examine the trends within your genre, the demographics of your audience, what they believe in, and what they look for in an artist. You can then create a brand that will connect with them and reflect their ideals.
People really see the labels they support as an extension of their personality and will be fans of the labels as much as they are artists. This is why building a strong brand is important if you want to build a customer base.
You’ll also need to be careful with the business decisions you make, as your audience may view certain moves as a form of betrayal. If they find out that you are stifling the creativity of one of your artists and that your branding is about artistic integrity, then fans of the artists will turn on you. This means that your brand will be tarnished in the eyes of not only the public, but other artists as well. Don’t take the brand lightly and be very careful with how you project your branding image.
These are all things you need to know before starting a record label if you want to be successful. It’s hard work that takes a lot of drive and determination, but if you have a solid product and learn as much as you can about the company, there’s a good chance you will succeed.