They say preparation is the key to success, and Label Worx have to agree.
Running a label is certainly not simple, but you can make things a lot easier for yourself by being as prepared and organised as possible. Everyone knows that December is a slow month and as people start to wind down ahead of some well-earned time off, instead of sitting around twiddling your thumbs during this time (or sitting in the pub) – use it constructively to make sure that you’re ready to hit the ground running in 2017.
With this in mind Label Worx have made us this ultimate end of year checklist for your label!
Let’s start with basics – housekeeping
We’re talking royalty invoices, updating promo lists, listening to demos, contact lists, creating reports, tackling the 3000 unopened emails in your inbox. All those tasks that are easy to sort, but time consuming – you’ve been putting them off all year, so what makes you think that they’ll suddenly be at the top of your priority list in January once everyone is knocking on your door again about releases? Knuckle down and get it sorted: tidy desk, tidy mind.
In a nutshell, cut out the crap. Is everything that you spend your time doing conducive to running a successful label? No? Then stop it. If you’re wasting an hour each day then that soon adds up – stop doing the unproductive things in order to free up more of your precious time.
So you reckon 2017 is your year, right? What’s the next release? The one after? And the one after that? You need to be thinking months in advance, we advise at least three releases ahead – so make sure you’ve got a release schedule lined up now that you’re constantly updating. Keep an eye on trends, it’s your job to work out what will be happening on the scene months down the line; if you’re signing records based on what is big now, by the time they get a release they’ll be old news and you’ll never be ahead of the curve.
When it comes to being organised, it literally pays cash money to be on the ball when it comes to your marketing and release promo. We’ve got so much advice on this subject that it’s impossible to put into a single paragraph – suffice to say that if you’re thinking about streaming sites, pitching for store features, release dates, social media content etc now, then when the release comes around you won’t be panicking and working in a reactionary manner.
Get the look
While we’re on the subject of releases – how are yours looking? As in, what do they actually look like? Since the format moved across to the digital realm a lot of people forget about how important artwork can be. Remember that whilst people may not be holding a physical copy in their hands, your artwork is your store front and stores will not pick naff artwork to be featured on their home pages. Strong branding is important, why not check out some local designers and see if you can get some unique artwork to really start the new year looking fresh from the ground up.
Teamwork makes the dream work
Your releases are just one aspect of the label, but notice that the most successful labels appear to operate more like a family than a business. Make sure that you’re working with your artists as extensions of the brand – get everyone on board for each release, not just their own tracks; if everyone mucks in, everyone benefits from the extra work. It’s the perfect time to organise a label family get-together – so make it happen! In the world of music, you CAN pick your family 😉
Label Worx live and breathe music and there’s nothing more exciting for them than working with someone who has the same passion. If you’ve got any questions or ideas about your own label and releases that you’d like to run by us – feel free to reach out to them firstname.lastname@example.org