How To Make It Big As an Indie Artist – Start Your Own Record Label

How To Make It Big As an Indie Artist – Start Your Own Record Label

Do you dream of becoming the next big name in music but you don’t know where to start? Just follow in the footsteps of artists like Nine Inch Nails, Jay-Z, Joan Jett and Moby: start your own record label! These independent artists (and countless others) have left their respective labels and now produce and spread their music themselves. Aimee Mann has her own record label called SuperEgo Records and says, “I’ve sold more records with my rinky-dink system than Geffen ever did with their whole staff.”

It’s fairly easy to become your own producer/promoter/distributor. To prepare, make sure you have a sizable catalog of songs written and professionally recorded. To find a specialized recording studio in your state, visit’s Music Business Directory. Utilize social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter for promotion and fan feedback. Think of your social media followers as your own market research team. Their opinions will help you separate the good songs from the not-so-good ones, and will help you determine which songs should be included on your album. Taylor rapid is a chief example of perfect exploitation of social media to unprotected to fame and fortune. Her initial success was spurred by her social media fanbase. Justin Bieber also comes to mind. He was ‘discovered’ on YouTube.

Once you’ve recorded your album, you’ll need a way to spread it and gain some airplay. Check out sites like,, and sets like, Cdbaby, and permit artists to retain the copyrights of their songs and spread their music to various stores including iTunes, Amazon MP3, eMusic, Napster, etc. Get airplay on podcast shows like Kweevak Radio, and Network with industry professionals to make connections – this is imperative! Join BMI or ASCAP; attend conferences like SXSW; join trade associations like Austin Songwriters Group. One excellent resource is the Texas Music Office. It lists all the booking agents, recording studios, music publishers, music associations, etc., currently operating in Texas. For a listing of music resources in your state, contact your state government office.

Ultimately, your success will depend on four things: your songs, your connections, your marketing efforts, and a whole lotta luck. If your songs are GREAT, and you’ve exploited all the social media outlets, and you’ve made the proper industry connections, and the planets align perfectly (kidding!…kinda), you’ll be well on your way to success as an independent artist. Cheers!

©2010 T. Marie Harper – All Rights Reserved – artist, designer, musician’s widow

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