Your Studio Marketing Ideas?

Discussion in 'Music Business Forum' started by Link555, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. Link555

    Link555

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    Hi I just moved, due to my new day job, to rather small town. I am looking to set up my studio, but I am worried I will not have a decent market to support my recording habit and commercial space rental..

    I am trying to think up ideas to bring in clients and money.
    I was thinking of offering recording and studio electronics courses. As well as hitting all the live shows to advertise. Maybe hit the local high school music programs. I was hoping some of you might have some good ideas. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. bigtree

    bigtree musician, mixer, music producer Has Studio Services

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    I've done both... metro and small town. Key is to invite people into your loop that will help connect you to the community.

    you could add some basic audio/video to your studio: like shooting weddings then burning on DVD. There are all sorts of things to do to capture memories. memories involve families and youth. Smaller towns will pay for those services. Your name gets around by stepping outside the box a bit.

    teaching the basic's of recording and how to run a project studio.

    Once you reach out a bit further, things start coming.
     
  3. Link555

    Link555

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    Hey Thanks Big Tree. I have thought about the video idea. Not sure I can make the investment just yet, but maybe down the road. Thanks for the input!
     
  4. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel

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    I live in a small town (pop 7500) and if you want to stay profitable you have to be very flexible to your clients' needs. We do mastering, audio and video post production, audio and video restoration, format conversions, video production and on location recording both audio and video. The most important advertising you can do is "word of mouth". Everyone knows everyone here and good reliable service providers are sought out. People who overcharge or do shoddy work are soon "blacklisted" and no one goes to them. Start small and get a good reputation and go from there.

    Best of luck!
     
  5. JoeH

    JoeH Moderator

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    Hi Link; Bigtree and Tom are right on with their suggestions. I'll add a few more.

    First the bad news: You've moved into a new place not nec. because of the market there, but want to set up shop anyway. Very Scary. Second, the good news: You have a day job. Very smart. This is a golden opportunity for you.

    You have the option that few others have, to do things right, almost from scratch, because you're not dependent on this solely for your living, and you don't nec. need to do this to eat. Make this work for you. If at all possible, DO NOT CRAWL or take anything and everything that comes in the door. That, IMHO, is the worst way to make a living.

    Find out what everyone else is doing (if there IS anyone else - you mentioned it's a small town.) Be prepared to face the reality that there might be a very good reason why there's no one else around doing it - perhaps there's simply no market for it. If there IS competition, offer something that they don't, or add something to your packaging, but don't paint yourself into a corner. (Remember: You already have a job, and you're trying to build something wonderful here, NOT a hell-hole or money pit where all of your free time is eaten up by lossy business practices.)

    But I'm guessing your town isn't tHAT small where you couldn't find some clients to at least keep you busy part time, while you search & create a niche for yourself.

    There are many ways to stay afloat in these ever-changing times, you just need to identify them and go after them. Your website looks like you do a lot of acoustic material as well; this is a good thing. I've found that once you get out of the big (American) cities and into the country/heartland, there's a LOT less electronic/rap/hard-edge music, and a LOT more traditional & acoustic music being played.

    Will you go after live remotes, and then bring them back to your studio for post? Would you add some video for YouTube offerings and such? Are there schools nearby that might want to do choir and orchestra recordings? Any colleges or community choirs/orchestras/clubs, etc?

    Perhaps the LAST thing you want to have is a storfront type of studio, where you have to wait for the work to walk in the door. Even in the biggest of cities, this kind of business is the toughest to maintain. The profitable ones are almost dinosaurs in all but the largest of markets.
    Smaller project studios and production suites are easier to maintain, equip, cool & heat, etc. Plus, you wont' have to be worrying about people showing up unannounced, paying a secretary, extra security systems, etc. etc.

    Keep your overhead light, and your expenses to a minimum while you're getting the lay of the land and starting up. If you end up doing a lot of remotes, you may find you won't need a "commercial" brick & mortar facility anyway.

    Hopefully, you can find meaningful work & projects that you LIKE to do, not just whatever walks in the door. In your situation, I think you may find that much more desirable in the long run. You may not be able to quit your day job any time soon, but at least you can spend your "other" time working at what you love to do, making it work FOR you, instead of the other way around.

    Good luck! I really hope you get some great gigs while you're getting started.
     
  6. Link555

    Link555

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    Wow many thanks Joe and Tom!
    Joes Question:
    I hope to bring the artists to our space to record them. I have done the location recording thing before, I am not really set up to do it. I find it a hassle, if I can avoid I will.

    The plan is to keep it simple. We are debating on a house, and making a basement style studio, or renting retail space with an apartment above. We are in no way counting on steady business, but we want to see which one fits our lifestyle the best for the next few years. We both dream of having our own shop, plus it may help with taxes.

    I have already contacted the other “competition” who happens to be getting out the business. I gather from my visit to his basement studio, that he only wanted to pay off his gear investment. He was not interested in recording other people anymore; he would rather pursue his own music. He told there was a small but steady market of rock bands in the area. As well I have already met an Irish folk group, and several hip hop artists. It’s amazing how fast word spreads. With any luck we will be up and running by the fall. Thanks very much for the advice! If anyone else has some ideas to share, tips or advice I would love to hear them. Thanks again!
     
  7. Mguitar34

    Mguitar34 Guest

    Everyone has had awesome advice. Here is my bit.

    Find one of the best bands in the town, or if not that, the most popular. Offer to record for them for free or for a very good price.

    Turn out a couple good tracks from these guys,maybe with some kick-ass production that will get people talking.

    Make good friends with them so they talk about you and tell about you.

    Once the cools guys do it, everyone will want to. Guarantee it.
     
  8. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel

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    Good suggestion...but sometimes the band puts out some information that you are doing things for free or for a reduced price and it has been my experience that once you reduce your rates for one person the word gets around. It is then almost impossible to charge anyone your normal rate and it may not allow you to survive.

    Better to do a couple of songs for free to get your foot in the door but also telling the band you are doing that your normal rates are going to be such and that the next time you record them it will be at your normal rates.

    I have one client that I have had forever and she is very understanding about rates and what we have to charge her. I do a lot of value added stuff for her since she is a good client and one we want to keep. Things like an extra CD when she needs one or a compilation disk when she needed one but the bottom line is that she pays the going rate for our services.

    Best of luck!
     
  9. Link555

    Link555

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    Thanks Mguitar34, but I have to agree with Thomas, I have been there and done that.

    I think will just try to be fair and honest. My time is worth something, and in this small town word spreads really quickly.

    I have already lined three gigs, and have yet to get the studio completly unpacked.

    Thanks again guys great stuff
     
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