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How to Launch a Successful Record Label with Limited Funds




What's the Deal? The truth is you don't have much to spend

After 20 years of experience living through the evolution of the music industry, I know that there are a lot of people like me who are frustrated with how hard it is to launch a successful record label. I decided to take my own advice and take the best tactics that I have witnessed over the last 20 years and create a formula that would allow ANYONE --not just an artist or investor--to launch a successful record label. I also wanted to create a formula that could be used by anyone, regardless of their current financial situation. I know that many people have ideas and passions, but they don’t know where to begin or how to get started. This guide will help you figure out exactly what your first steps should be. And even more importantly, it will help you avoid making some of the same mistakes that I have made in my journey as a music business professional.


What are you selling

  • Music

  • Live Performance

  • Print-on-Demand Merch

Research your target market

Conducting market research is an essential step in starting a successful record label. By researching your local and regional target market, you can gain valuable insights into the music industry in your area and identify opportunities for growth. Some key things to consider when researching your target market include the types of music that are popular in your area, the size of the local music scene, and the demographics of the people who are likely to purchase music from your artists or label. You can use a variety of tools and resources to gather this information, such as online market research platforms, music industry trade publications, and local music events and festivals. By thoroughly researching your target market, you can make informed decisions about the types of artists and music you want to release, and develop a successful marketing strategy to reach your potential customers.


Write a business plan and strategy to infiltrate that market

Once you have conducted market research and identified your target market, the next step is to develop a plan to infiltrate it. One effective way to do this is to define and build relationships with key industry players in your local music scene. That way you can find out if your strategy can get you to your end result in your local market. This can include music venue owners, event promoters, radio DJs, regular DJs, and other influential individuals who can help you promote your artist and music. On the contrary, you can reach these same types of people online as Blog owners, aggregate social media pages, playlist curators, and influencers. By building relationships and leveraging online marketing, you can effectively use your strategy to infiltrate your target market and gain a foothold in the local music industry.


Set your Goal

I like to set a goal of 10,000 Spotify monthly listeners and $10,000 in 12 months as the first benchmark. $10,000 is the equivalent of 2,631,579 streams! 219,298.25 streams a month Some will surpass this quickly. However, once you start to put in the work you will see how difficult the road ahead will be.


Develop your strategy

A Strategy specifies a competitive outcome you wish to achieve. It’s a plan to create value. This involves customers wanting your product or service in a capacity that reaches the desired profit.

  1. Here’s why we should be on playing field x instead of playing field Y

  2. Here’s how on this particular playing field were going to be better than everybody else at serving the potential fans and listeners and ultimately customers on the playing field.

  3. What would have to be true about ourselves, the industry, the competition, and the fans for this strategy to work? Why? If something that you built into the strategy is not working out quite the way you hoped, it'll allow you to tweak your strategy.

  4. Keep it short:

    1. Here’s where we’re choosing to play

    2. Here’s how we’re choosing to win

    3. Here are the skills and personnel we need to have in place.

    4. Here is how we manage the process.


And that's why it's going to achieve this goal X. Go do it and watch and tweak as you go along


Define the services you will offer

Depending on how much money you raise and how much manpower you can muscle will determine the types of services you will be able to offer the artist. 4 BulletProof ways to Start Your Own Record Label without any experience


Marketing will be the easiest skill you can offer to the artist in the form of helping them define their detailed target market because it is literally yours


Promotion will be the intermediate service to offer because it will take place after completing the project which means you don’t have to get involved with the creative you just become responsible for getting the music out there. You can offer to use this to improve the artist's displayed presence on all streaming outlets with metadata and social media bios and about pages so your artist looks amazing for the consumer and new fans


Project management will be the most challenging service and you probably won't sell this separately it will just be a given service.


If you’re an artist this will be what you’re selling which is what we were already talking about.

  • Music

  • Live Performance

  • On Demand Merch

Secure Seed Capital

As a new record label, securing capital can be a crucial step in getting your business off the ground. While $10,000 may not seem like a lot of money, it can be enough to fund the early stages of your label and help you take the first steps toward success. There are a few different ways you can raise capital for your record label, depending on your specific needs and circumstances.

  1. Option one, use your own savings or personal funds to finance your label.

  2. Option two, seek out family and friends, or more formal investors such as angel investors.

  3. Option three, If you're having trouble raising funds on your own, you can also consider applying for grants from government agencies or non-profit organizations.

  4. DO NOT GET A BUSINESS LOAN!

  5. DO NOT GET A CREDIT CARD! Watch this video first How to Expand Your Record Label with Business Credit


Register the business

After you’ve done all of this research, planning, and fundraising it is now time to build the structure for the business. It will take about $750 to $1000 to get your DIY record label completely set up to run efficiently from the ground up. Skipping this step and jumping into bed with an artist will not be a wise decision before completing this step. You can get this done with the east through my 60-Day Record Label eBook.



Choose your first artist and negotiate a single or EP deal with them.

Remember we don't have a lot of money and a single deal is going to be our best option to acquire the full master rights to a single. If you’re the artist and this is your label this won't matter to you.


The paperwork, for a single deal, will cost $100 If you grab it from google or about $750 from an attorney an EP deal could easily cost $1000.


You’re going to need to find an artist that can record with producers or themselves for little or nothing, and save all your money for good mixes and mastering. Limit your final selections because things could get pricey here.


You can negotiate a 50/50 or 60/40 split in the artist's or label’s favor if you decide to sign them for one full EP and you don't have all of the money to acquire all of the rights from the artist or you need to save for mixing.


Build the artist's online presence.

I didn't say to make content for them. You need to spruce up their storefronts everywhere like Instagram and Facebook bios, and a Wikipedia page so the google knowledge panel page can register. Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and youtube music pages must be acquired synced, spiced up, and diverted back to the artist's website that you need to have created, which contains all of the SEO that will be copied to and from the Wikipedia page. That is presence! Content is promotion.


Promote, Promote, Promote!

How do you promote your single with less than $10,000? We’re already down $1750 - $3000 and we need to slowly add money for content material and promotion services.

Here’s what we’ll start with.


Micro music videos from the single or ep you signed

Micro music videos can be shot for free and edited for

$100 to $200 bucks each

10xed = $1,000- $2,000


Playlist promotion that you get yourself and not with a company unless it makes cents,

Playlist promotion can run you up to $50 per playlist but keep it under $20

10x’ed = $200 - $500


Small influencer marketing that you can get done for free or up to $100 per post

Influencer marketing needs to stay under $50-$100 per post so choose wisely.

10x’ed = $500 - $1000


$4,000 to $5,000 should be allotted for promotion and promotional materials.

You can't afford an agency at this stage.


But wait…! What about…?

  1. Why is it so much work? Can’t I just get a distro kid account? If I just went through all of this do you really think you can accomplish everything with a distro kid account?

  2. What if the promotions don’t work? We all have to take a risk but if you don't take the risk then you won't know what you’re truly capable of.

  3. I just can't get the 10,000! I didn't say you had to but you need something and excuses won't get you anywhere. Where there is a will there is a way. Trust me you can find that $10,000 whether it be all at once or overtime.



Execute

  1. Define what you’re selling

  2. Research the market

  3. Create a strategy to infiltrate the market

  4. Raise the capital

  5. Build the Label structure with the 60 Day record label

  6. Chose the artist

  7. Set the goal

  8. build the presence

  9. then Promote

  10. Book a call if you need extensive help.



At the end of the day

By using these methods your new record label will fly further faster than someone who didn't plan all of their steps out perfectly. Plus you’ll have a better viewpoint of where you are and where you need to go by having this clear plan and strategy. If you skip some of these steps your label will crash and burn or at least end up taking on some damages in the beginning due to negligent structuring, organization, and strategizing.


You got this!

At the beginning of this video, you may not have had any idea of how you were going to start this record label with less than $10,000 but now you can clearly see that it is possible


If you make music you should make money

Music Money Makers I'll see you next time!


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Video Copyright © 2022 Casey Graham (www.musicmoneymakeover.com)

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