9 Best Steps to Start a Record Label

how to start a record label

In this article, we will discuss the 9 best steps to start a record label with or without a budget.

9 Best Steps to Start a Record Label
9 Best Steps to Start a Record Label

This is a complete guide on starting your own record label with or without a startup budget.

Starting your own record company can be a daunting undertaking, but with a little hard work and devotion, it’s certainly possible. Here are some pointers to help you get started:

1. Decide on the musical genre you want to focus on. This will assist you in narrowing down your target audience and efficiently marketing your label.

  • When it comes to creating a record label, there are many different musical styles to consider. Some people prefer to listen to mainstream music, while others prefer to listen to indie music or dance music to mention a few. It is critical to choose the musical genre that appeals to you the most. After you’ve decided on a genre, you should research the various styles and trends that are popular in that genre. This will assist you in creating your own distinct tone and style

2. Defining your target audience

  • It’s crucial to consider the type of music that you enjoy. If you’re a fan of dance music, you might want to consider targeting people who like dance music as well. On the other hand, if you’re into electronica, you might find it more effective to target people who are into electronica. Ultimately, it’s important to create a musical experience that is tailored to the individual.

3. Choose a record label name.

  • Deciding on the name of your record is a crucial role. However, you need to ensure that the name you choose is available and has never been used before by any organization. This can be achieved using websites such as Google, and the last stop should be namecheck.com to ensure that you leave no stone unturned.

4. Build up operational structure

  • You’ll need to spend some time researching about local regulations and drafting the agreement forms you’ll need to start your business. There are several fundamental rules to remember that apply across all scenarios. If you’re establishing the label with other people, you’ll need a partnership agreement that specifies who owns what share of the company and how the decisions will be made. It is essential to outline how the record label will run, such as who will be in charge of particular responsibilities and how employees will be compensated, how many releases per month etc.

5. Build a strong team

  • A record label is nothing without a great team to support it. As you build your label, make sure to surround yourself with people who share your vision and who are passionate about music. There are a few things you can do to help your team become more cohesive. First and foremost, ensure that your team has a clear vision and goal. This will assist you in determining who is best suited to collaborate with you and keep you focused. Second, make sure you’re communicating well. This entails being precise and straightforward, as well as always informing your colleagues of what you’re working on and your objectives. Finally, ensure that your staff is always learning and developing. This entails allowing them to experiment and attempt new experiences while also providing them with feedback and support.

6. Deciding on which distributor to use

  • Assuming your record label is almost ready. Now you’re wondering how to get your music to popular music selling stores and streaming services such as Amazon, Beatport, Traxsource, Spotify, Youtube etc. This step involves researching the distributor you work with going forward. Be aware that there a paid and free distributors, however, the free ones usually deduct a certain percentage of the overall royalties. Digital distribution is considered to be the smart way to get the music out to listeners and start building a name. Below is a list of some trusted distributors in the dance and electronic music scene.
  • Labelworx
  • CD Baby
  • dig dis!
  • TuneCore
  • Ditto
  • Fuga
  • Pressology
  • Africori
  • United Masters

7. Establish a brand identity

  • Take some time to decide on the branding of your record label. Hire a professional to design a logo and social media covers for your brand. Be consistent and ensure your brand identity is professional so that people can take you seriously.

8. Establish an online presence.

  • It is crucial for a record label to be active on social media platforms to reach new potential audience. We suggest you at least have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and often launch ads if the budget allows you. Also, create a SoundCloud, Hearthis, Mixcloud or Podomatic accounts to share your samples or podcasts. It’s important to have a website but not compulsory. It is expensive to launch one, however, it might help in reaching a global audience. Customers can find out everything they need to know about you, your releases, gigs, videos, and most importantly shop your music on the website.

9. Music Promotion

  • Previously, there was no way to start a record company without capital, but nowadays, all you need is time and an internet connection to promote your music. It’s time to start generating buzz about your new tracks, logo, and website. This is where your Facebook, Soundcloud, Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter accounts come into play. Try to be active on social media, but don’t overwhelm your audience with unnecessary personal information. Simultaneously, try to respond to everyone who sends you a message, as personal touches go a long way. Start gathering email addresses and sending out a newsletter with updates and freebies — people love free stuff!

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