How To Start a Record Label with No Money
Updated: Jun 16
How do you start a record label without a lot of funding. I am writing from my experience. I started Mystery Freedom Records without investing a lot of money.
Why did I start a record label?
I started Mystery Freedom Records, because I always had a passion for music. I really loved producing music, listening to music and playing instruments. As a producer I found it really hard to find the right record label for my music. There is so much awesome music out there and it was really hard to fit in.
This is why I made the decision to start my own record label. I really wanted to help other producers who had the same problem.
How to start
Start with setting up a main goal for your label and yourself. This goal keeps you engaged to your business and motivates you to reach that goal. You can define your goal by making a mind map. Just write everything down that you think of. It gives you better perspective of what you want and it helps to set a specific goal.
After setting a goal, start with writing a business plan. A business plan helps you to understand what it means to start a business. In a business plan comes all the information about your services, goals, expectations, financing and marketing. It is really important to have this information clear in your head. It defines your brand and business.
The most important aspect of a record label is scouting producers and releasing their music. I scouted unsigned producers on SoundCloud and other contests. I listened to their music and if I liked it, I sent them a message with the question if they would like to release under my label. It is really important to think small. You are a small business with a lot of competition. In most cases, you are not going to sign a major artist.
Releasing and Marketing
When an artist has music ready, you want to release it as soon as possible. But first, think about which platforms you want to release on and think about how you are going to get music on those platforms. There are a lot of music distributors, so think about which distributor fits your label the best.
Make sure that the music is 100% royalty-free. Without that, you will have infringement issues, unless you have permission from the owner to monetize that song. Infringement causes bad reputation and can cost you money.
When a song is released, you have to think about marketing. When you have not much funding, you can use free services to get music on a playlist. There are also great professional services that provide real promotion. I will write an article about that later. But do not buy plays or streams. Most of the time, these plays or streams are bots who play your music. There is no engagement.
Another good way is to use social media as marketing. Use your personal network for promotion or set up Facebook ads. This is a cheap way of gaining exposure.
After a few months, your will have royalties ready from your released songs. Make sure to split them right between the artist and your label and you are ready to go.
If you have questions, send me a message!