Musical Entrepreneurs Creating Sound Careers

Now is the perfect time to pursue a career path as a music entrepreneur. Individuals just starting out in the music industry have the advantage of seeing problems with a fresh pair of eyes, and often possess new and innovative ways to fix them.

In today’s music industry, the opportunities for entrepreneurs to success are endless. Requiring little or no capital for start up, there are several positions within the music industry that any individual can seek out as a career path. Label owners, managers, booking agents, publishers, producers and artists themselves can get a foot in the door to the music business by simply starting out with a web page and a few business cards.

shawn carter jay z
Shawn Carter (Jay-Z): Successful rapper, producer, entrepreneur and actor – photo credit: NRK P3 via photopin cc

Label Ownership

If you have a knack for finding talent, or have music of your own that you want others to hear, and you have some skills at sales, you have some of the essential basics required to start your own record label. The first step to becoming a label owner is to draft out a solid business plan. Once you have a written plan in place, you will need funding to cover your start up costs, a business license and some talented artists. When you have all of the necessary tools, you start networking.

Knowledge is power in any business industry, so the more information you can acquire about the ins and outs of day-to-day operations of the music industry, the more likely you will succeed.


Creative people with basic business skills and a strong knowledge of the current music marketplace are the right type of individuals to become managers in the music industry. Having a good understanding of what the public is looking to purchase as well as the ability to work with artists and help them make crucial decisions about what material is right for the market are essential components for a successful manager.

To get started, come up with a name for your management company, create a web site where artists can find you, and get some business cards printed up that you can use for networking with artists and other music industry key players.

Once you have the basics for your business established, you should start scouting for talent. Your artists will need to have a solid image for the public to easily recognize them. This image or brand will need to be reproduced on cd covers, t-shirts, flyers, etc. You will also need to assist the artist in obtaining professional photographs and a press kit that contains the photographs, press releases, and samples of music, biographies and any other pertinent information about the artist that would help sell the artist’s image.

As the manager, you will also want to establish a web site for the artist as well as making sure they have a presence with social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Booking Agents

Scheduling performances for artists is the primary role of a booking agent. Being able to network and converse with all types of people, club owners, promoters, managers and artists is essential for a booking agent. To be a successful agent, you will need to be able to negotiate on behalf of the artists you represent, handle all aspects of the financial and logistical aspects of the performance, and ensure that there is a signed contract, that dates of performances do not overlap or conflict and that all of the requirements of the artists are met.

Any job within the music industry that provides you with contacts and keeps you in touch with both artists and venues is a great way to start off a booking agent career.


Working with songwriters who compose music and/or lyrics is the primary role for all types of music publishers. Music publishing is about the ownership of songs and sound recordings and their rights. Entrepreneurs that are just getting established in the publishing field will need to establish a company, and select a performing rights organization.

In addition to registering your company, each individual song that you publish will need to be registered so that you and the artist will receive payment of royalties whenever the song is played.


Producers are individuals that oversee and manage the recording process for artists. They are involved in all aspects of recording an artist’s music from brainstorming ideas to selecting songs, coaching the artists, and controlling the actual recording session. Some producers also take on some aspects of a Managers role, and will get involved with additional responsibilities such as negotiating fees, budgeting on the artist’s behalf and scheduling recording sessions.

To get started as a producer, you will need to have a solid understanding of music technology, know the basics of mixing sounds and have a good foundation of what sounds work well together. Securing an internship or other job at a music studio is a great foot in the door for a future producer.


No matter what stage of the process of becoming a music entrepreneur you are in, having some basic knowledge of business will be helpful. While getting started in the music business is fairly easy, the ability to succeed is another matter entirely. To find and maintain a competitive edge and reach the audience needed to be a success, you will need to apply your passion for music to some sound fundamental business principals.

About the Author: Ryan Ayers is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to education. In this article he offer a few career opportunities involving music and aims to encourage further study with a master of music education