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Starting Your Music Career: A Step-by-Step Guide to Filing an LLC, Distributing Music, and Marketing

Starting a successful online business as a rapper, singer, can be a challenging to say the least, but its a very rewarding process and lets look at it how it truly is, its a business and a business needs a plan. Here are 20 steps to help you file an LLC and get your online business up and running from the ground up:

  1. Determine your business structure: Consider whether you want to operate as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC). An LLC offers liability protection and can make it easier to separate your personal and business finances making it most likely the best option for an up and coming artist to use for their business structure.

  2. Choose a business name: Make sure to choose a unique name that is not already in use by another business. You can check for name availability through your state's Secretary of State office.

  3. Register your LLC: Complete the necessary paperwork and pay any fees to register your LLC with your state's Secretary of State office. Your state will have a .gov website that you can register for this at. Each state has their own site and requirements.

4. Obtain any necessary licenses and permits: Depending on your location and the type of business you are starting, you may need to obtain additional licenses or permits. Now that's took care of your business is legal and you have what's called a EIN and you'll be able to actually pay your taxes that you'll owe for the money that you plan on making in the future. So you won't wind up like Mr. Al Capone lol

5. Set up a business bank account: Keeping your personal and business finances separate is important, so it is recommended that you open a separate business bank account.

6. Create a business plan: A business plan will help you outline your goals, target audience, and marketing strategy.

7. Establish an online presence: Consider creating a website, social media profiles, and other online platforms to promote your business.

8. Utilize social media platforms: Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok can be a great way to market yourself and promote your work.

9. Take advantage of TikTok: TikTok has become a popular platform for musicians, and making songs and dances for the app can help you grow your audience and really help you become trending and viral.

10. Distribute your music through DistroKid or your platform of choice. For this article since most of the artists I work with use this platform I've decided to suggest Distrokid. there are many other options of course: DistroKid is a popular distribution service that can help you distribute your music to various platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music, Pandora and many other Music sites.

11. Register with performance rights organizations: Companies like BMI, SoundExchange, and ASCAP can help you collect royalties for your music. This is an important step as the distribution company most likely won't actually collect everything for you depending on who you choose to go through.

12. Invest in high-quality equipment: Investing in high-quality equipment like microphones, audio interfaces, and digital audio workstations will help you produce professional-sounding music. One of the best companies to order equipment thru is they have one of the best selections and top tier customer service like no other! I highly recommend going thru them with those needs.

13. Develop a strong brand: Your brand should reflect your unique style and personality, and should be consistently promoted through all of your online platforms.

14. Collaborate with other artists: Collaborating with other artists can help you reach new audiences and gain exposure that you didn't previously have prior to the feature with the artist.

15. Offer merchandise: Offer merchandise like t-shirts, hats, and other items to promote your brand and make additional income.

16. Document the journey: Share behind-the-scenes content to give fans a glimpse into your creative process and it give people and idea of who you are as a person people not only will listen and watch and take content of a person who's content that they like but also of a person they relate to and like as a person as well and they can't do that if they don't feel like they don't know you.

17. Stay up-to-date with industry trends: Stay informed about the latest trends and developments in the music industry, and adjust your strategy accordingly.

18. Be persistent: Starting a successful online business as a rapper, singer, or graphic artist requires hard work and persistence. Don't give up if you encounter setbacks, and continue to work towards your goals.

19. Offer high-quality content: Offer high-quality content to your fans, and make sure to engage with them regularly through your social media profiles and other online platforms.

20. One of the most important things I feel as an artist is releasing a high quality music videos on Youtube regularly as I feel people like to see who they're listening to and this will help you grow a lot quicker than only releasing audio. Its almost like you have to do it but don't worry with the advances in smart phones lately you can pretty much shoot one with an iPhone and a subscription to Premier Pro. Get a buddy to help film it and learn what you need on Youtube to get started editing it if thats where you're at with it. Don't wait the sooner you put it out there and the more consistent the better!

By following these steps and continuing to work hard, you can start a successful online career as a rapper, singer. Good luck!

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