How to Start an Artist Development Company

by Miranda Brookins; Updated September 26, 2017
Musicians rely on artist development companies for guidance and support.

Artist development companies work with musicians to help develop their brands locally and nationally, so they can increase their exposure and acquire a larger fan base. Their services include everything from styling and creating press kits to arranging tours and working to get the musician's music placed in stores, commercials and on television.

Determine the types of musicians you'd like your business to target. Select a specific genre of music to focus on, if you'd like to focus on a certain segment of the music industry, instead of covering all. From country singers to rappers, there is a wide variety of artists who can use your services, but you have to determine which group you can best serve.

Determine if you want to run your artist development company out of a home office or if you want to lease office space. Keep in mind that artists and vendors will need to frequent your office, regardless of the location you choose.

Identify your company's unique selling proposition after researching the industry and your competition. Determine what other artist development companies offer and how they reach potential artists.

Develop a list of services your artist development company will offer. List services such as logo and CD cover design, preparing marketing collateral such as press kits and biographies, lifestyle marketing, public relations web design, email marketing and mailing list support, organization and maintenance of street teams, organizing CD release events, wardrobe styling, professional photography packages and tour support.

Create a price list for your services based on an hourly rate or set individual prices for each services. Create package deals that offer artists a bundle of services for a reduced price.

Develop marketing material for your artist development company. Work with a graphic designer to create a logo, business card design and informational brochure for your business. List your services and credentials inside of the brochure.

Work with a web designer to create a site that introduces potential clients to your business, displays testimonials from previous clients and gives clients a way to get in contact with you. Include a blog on your website and post tips for potential clients on topics such as marketing, distribution, public relations and image development.

Form business relationships with regional and national businesses. Reach out to stylists, distribution companies, entertainment lawyers, music journalists, music store owners, college and university student activities' offices, boutique owners, print shops, magazine editors, photographers, clothing designers, makeup artists, voice coaches and hairstylists. Developing artists involves many aspects, some of which you may not be well-versed in. By building a network of vendors you can trust, you can offer your clients more and know that you can outsource services, if necessary, by offering vendors a percentage of what you charge your clients.

Attend networking events and conferences that target musicians. Set up a booth and promote your services to attendees. Distribute business cards and brochures. Make time to attend artist showcases and concerts as well. These events will put you in touch with your target market.


  • Register your business with your state office and ensure that you have the appropriate business licenses, if applicable in your state.

    Record testimonials from previous clients, if any exist, and let them play on a laptop during conferences and events. Make the videos available on your website as well, so that event attendees can watch them at home.


About the Author

Miranda Brookins is a marketing professional who has over seven years of experience in copywriting, direct-response and Web marketing, publications management and business communications. She has a bachelor's degree in business and marketing from Towson University and is working on a master's degree in publications design at University of Baltimore.

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