Producing awesome tracks in your basement for mixtapes or DJing parties doesn't have to just be a hobby. Starting your own production company is a way to earn a living doing what you love. As a producer you will be tasked with scouting talent, helping that talent to produce a marketable sound, and helping artists craft career paths.
Get some job experience through internships or traditional employment with a music production company. Because of the glitz and glamor surrounding rock stars, internships are very competitive. Start in the mail room if you have to. All you want to do is learn about the inner workings of a music production company.
Choose a name that rocks. File a fictitious name statement. The entertainment industry is centered more on image than most other industries. Decide on a name that encompasses the type of music you're best at producing. Name recognition in the future will help you attract talented artists and other industry professionals. Some of the all-time most famous music company names in the business have been Death Row Records, Philles Records, and Bad Boy Entertainment.
Get a business license. Select a business entity after consulting with a tax accountant. Business planning is exceptionally important in this industry. Understand the options you have for generating income through this business model, such as selling music directly to the public, music licensing and producing artists who are independent of your company.
Develop a list of contacts that include background singers, back-up musicians and radio station contacts. If you will be taking your artists from conception to airplay, who you know will determine if they ever get radio airplay.
Scout for talent that will be powerful representatives of your production company brand. Attend concerts at local bars. Be present at "battle of the band" events and talent shows. Have business cards ready to pass out to the talent that interests you most.
Cruise the social networks for unsigned artists. Use Myspace to listen to indie artists. Send messages to the ones with the most talent and that best represent your style of music. Some of them will already have producers they work with. Set up an online presence so that musicians can hear productions you have worked on.
Set up a studio. Studios can be set up in your home or you can find a commercial location. Buy used studio equipment until your music production company takes off. Once you have a couple of hits on your hands, then you can build your very own state of the art studio.
Adapt and stay ahead of the trends. Steve Gottlieb, president of TVT Records advises, "Unless the labels actively reinvent themselves and embrace change, they will continue to find themselves in an expanding music marketplace that rewards their efforts less and less." Don't settle for just producing; find other ways to expand your business model to stay competitive.
- Music image by Emil Maga from Fotolia.com