The most opportune time for starting a record label is now. Gone were the days when it was tough to establish a record label because it was too costly. During those times, you needed to have your huge studio with all the huge recording equipment in it. Now, it is no longer like that. With many recording apps at hand, you can easily use a computer to record songs.
The role, of course, of a record label is to promote and distribute songs to consumers. With the onset of the internet, it is now easy to do it. Moreover, some sites promote music. So, there are many online platforms you can use to reach even the remotest music consumer on the planet. Even with minimal money involved, you can start your record label and make it thrive.
Understanding What Record Labels Do
Musicians create their music. They produce singles and albums to make their music known. Yet, they need a record label to market their music. A record label, therefore, is a trademark or brand that aims to market music. This can either be music recordings or music videos.
As a brand or trademark, the record label also functions as the manager of music trademarks. It coordinates the production and manufacturing of sound recordings. It also enforces copyright for recordings and music videos as well as promote them.
Major and minor labels, of course, are always on a lookout for new talents. They are also involved in developing potential music artists. The record label companies or publishers also sign these artists, giving them contracts and managers. So, record labels practically do everything to promote and distribute music!
Steps & Ways To Start Your Record Label without Money
You can create a record label without spending much, sometimes, without any cost if you implement it the right way. You can access, for example, some websites that let you create your record label from scratch. These online platforms take a percentage from the sales of your music recordings.
You can also pay them in advance if you don’t want them to take off a percentage from the sales of your music. With these sites, you can slowly make known your new record label. Here are the steps that you can follow to start your record label:
Make A Business Plan
Everything is created twice: first, in the mind, then, in reality,” says Stephen R. Covey. Hence, you should first conceive of your record label. Then, brainstorm its nitty-gritty. Afterward, you can create a business plan for your record label. This business plan will be your blueprint on how to go about establishing your record label.
In this business plan, you will lay down the steps that you need to take. You need to zero in on a genre you would like your record label to market. If you want marketable music, of course, you should opt for pop music. Each genre you choose will need a different approach to marketing.
You should also figure out if you want to go local first or international. As a new record label, you don’t need to produce hard copies of albums and singles. You can stick to digital marketing because that is the more practical way to do it.
Finding a Talent to Promote
You may have wanted to create your record label because you already have your music stuff. So, it will be good to test the water and promote your songs and music first. Then, after getting the hang of it, you can then sign talents whom you like to promote. You will find a lot of musicians out there who want to get signed.
If you’re successful in promoting your music, then you can start signing other artists. Both professionals and aspiring artists will consider signing to your label. All you need to do is prove to them that you can market their music.
The good thing about our contemporary time is that all the platforms and tools are already at hand. You just need to tap these available resources to get to your target audience.
Of course, you need to get the hang of it. You need to acquire the know-how on how to promote music. But with the wide reach of the web, everything now is possible.
To make your record label grow, you must have a marketing plan. A good marketing plan can identify your target audience or consumers. It should also set up means on how your record label can reach them. Moreover, it should outline the means on how you can retain your fans.
If you do it well, your marketing plan will lead your record label to a new height. It will also improve your record label’s success.
A good marketing plan, of course, can identify the technology and the platforms that you can use to market your label. The internet has shown a remarkable increase in the direct-to-fan distribution of digital music. It has also manifested a huge increase in file sharing. This leads to record sales in music in recent years.
Zero-Cost Marketing Plans & Strategies To Promote Your Record Label
Use of Social Media for Promotions
As I said earlier, the previous decades were difficult for prospecting record label owners. In the 1980s, for example, you could never establish a record label without money. But now, it is very much possible and achievable. With the World Wide Web at hand, we are on the threshold of connectivity.
Now, you can build interest in your music even without a record label. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are all available. They are waiting to turn your artists into international sensations. So, you should harness these platforms to promote your label.
Moreover, you can make your online marketing strategies and tactics highly targeted. If you’re focusing on a music genre, you can target those who patronize that genre. Thus, your marketing can be very specific.
Sell Digital Music Online
The only way to spend no money on marketing your label is by selling digitally. Creating hard copies of albums and singles is expensive. Moreover, it is no longer the trend today, save for some old-school music lovers out there. Now, you should harness the global reach of the net.
You can also shell out a certain amount of money to pay Google to advertise your music. If you recall the popups whenever you open a YouTube video, those are paid ads. You can also do that. But since you want to stick to the plan of not spending money on creating your record label, you better refrain from doing that. Instead, they rely on social media. Most of them are free marketing platforms.
Some music artists may approach you to market their albums or singles. You can arrange to split the sales of their music 50/50. In this way, you’ll get something from promoting their albums and singles.
Press releases are necessary to generate interest in what you are promoting. A well-crafted press release will bring in much promotional mileage for your record label. If you are good at crafting press releases, then you should not dilly-dally in doing so. If you are not good at it, then you can commission a press release writer to do the thing for you.
Find Associate Investors
If you need some funds to keep your business rolling, you need to find investors. You should, however, be transparent with your investors on how far they can encroach into the decision-making process of your business. Ensure that you have delineated the terms and conditions for investing in your business before you take them in.
Other Things You Must Know
You get royalties when you promote the music of an artist. These royalties, however, do not come immediately. They are slow to come by and take time. Six months can be the minimum time before royalties start coming in.
You should be clear about the terms and conditions of royalties. You better have these terms and conditions in writing so that you will have no legal problem in the future. Double-check every contract and make sure that you have them written and explained well.
Every endeavor requires effort and time. So, before you can establish a record label, you need to address the macro and micro details involved in starting a record label. Of course, you need to be flexible enough to adjust your plan if it is not working. Moreover, you should be open to the prospect of failure.
Yet, if you have a good business and marketing plan, and you have the passion for making those plans a reality, you will surely succeed! Always remember that nothing is achieved without sacrifice. So, you need to sacrifice and exert effort and time to see the full fruition of your record label.