It is the dream of many music fans to start their own independent music label. This can be an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable way to make a living and allow you to make money from your passion by finding exciting new bands, but it is not the easiest type of business to start. You need to really know your stuff and have a firm understanding of how the industry works if you are to succeed.
Structure, Registering & Branding
Much like starting any new business, you will need to choose a business structure, register your business and create a brand identity. Creating a strong brand identity is crucial in this industry as this is how you develop a reputation for yourself, stand out from the crowd and appeal to both bands and listeners.
You will need some kind of funding to get the label up and running and to cover the various different costs, such as studio time, promotion, equipment etc. Small business loans are a smart way to do this which will allow you to retain complete control.
If you are thinking of starting a label then it is likely that you already have a band or two in mind which is a good start. The internet has made it easier than ever to find unsigned bands but this can also make it harder because there is so much to listen to. Try looking around online music communities like Reddit, Bandcamp and ReverbNation to see what acts are generating a positive response. Additionally, make sure that you are keeping a close eye on talent in your local area by attending shows and speaking to your friends.
Once you have found bands and got some music recorded, it is time to start distributing. In today’s day and age, the best and most affordable was to do this is digitally which will allow people to start listening immediately. You could then look to physical releases once the label starts to find some success and is bringing in money.
You will then want to start promoting your bands and their releases. Social media is an incredibly effective tool for promoting bands online and can help you to develop a large following for your label and group. You should also be arranging as many local shows as possible to create awareness about the band, to develop a following and to give people an idea of what the group is capable of.
Starting an independent music label can be fun and hugely rewarding, but it is also a difficult industry to find success in. Hopefully, this advice will help you to get started and find some success early on.