How to Start Your Own Record Label – Part 2

Ensure your music sounds good

This isn’t just music you wrote for yourself but an actual product that you intend to sell. So you’ll need to ensure that it sounds professional and ready to be released into the marketplace. There are two mistakes that you can make when recording your tracks: one involves the arrangement and the other, the mix.

Making minor changes to either one, or even both, of these could mean a world of difference. Compare your finished product with your competition on various playing back devices and speakers. Ask friends for feedback, too, but stress that you’re looking for honesty, not just comments that they think you’ll want to hear.

Get professional mastering

Too many bedroom producers are failing to ensure that their tracks are being properly mastered. You absolutely don’t want your label to be perceived this way. It can take money for mastering but it’s worth it in the end. If you want your label to have a professional image, you’ll need to have a professional sound. 

Don’t enlist the help of your best friend with a dodgy Logic copy and mastering plug-ins responsible for crashing their PC every hour on the hour. Spend some money and ensure that your tracks are professionally mastered. If you’re considering pressing to vinyl, this is even more important.

Promote, promote, promote

You’ll want to generate some interest around your music, website, and branding. Advertising doesn’t come cheaply but there are lots of things you can do to promote your music online. Some artists use social media for the majority of their marketing. Create accounts for Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, and YouTube. Of course, they won’t do much good just sitting there. Be sure to be active on them.

Of course, you don’t want to bombard your fans and followers with endless content for the sake of it. Do try and make some of it personal, though. You need to express a personality as well as what you have to sell. Just keep your gripe about your spat with the next-door neighbour to yourself. Further, do your best to reply to all messages- people like the personal touch. Start building an email database and create a newsletter featuring updates and free giveaways. Who doesn’t like the word “free’”?

Get everything on paper

Now you’ve put lots of hard work into your venture, it’s time to look at how you’ll make money from any artists you have on your books. If your record label intends to release music from artists other than yourself then ensure that the agreement is fair and binding.

This doesn’t mean that you’ll need to hire expensive lawyers. If the terms laid out are set out clearly enough and signed by both you and the artists, then that’s all you need to do. You, of course, need to negotiate the agreements and terms and ensure that everything is set out in writing so that you always have that document to refer back to.