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Drumming Up More Business For Your Studio

Discussion in 'Drums' started by studio33, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. studio33

    studio33 Active Member

    This is my first post. May I just say I love this site. it is so freekin cool to have this resource at the click of a mouse. Thanks to all the moderators you are all great to read and give such good advise.

    I know that this type of thing has been posted before but my situation is a little different than I have seen as of yet do to where I work{out of a church} so I thought i would try.

    I own a recording business. Just got started and love doing it. I am a trained engineer which really doesnt mean much to most people but I think I got a darn good start by learning the basics at CRAS. I am finding it hard to get business so I thought that I would post this to find out what everybody else does. Im in Toledo OH which is a medium sized town and the recordings that come out of this city are not good at all in my opinion. I have a maxed out 002 running 7.4 on G5 {16 at a time} good preamps good mics some good plugins{waves,Ozone,BF}. I master through Peak Pro. I have amazing rooms {I work out of a massive church}, a Hammond B3, 2 Grand Pianos, and am centrally located. I dont know what better a situation I could possibly have other than having more biz. I havent been around as a biz too long. I am advertizing a little. Got a MS page {myspace.com/studio33recording} and am on search sites. Just did my first paying gig last week{Mastering}. So how do I bring more biz in guys and gals. Should I invest in my own website? Throw me anything you got!
    Paul :wink:
  2. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    You gotta sell yourself, let people know you exist!

    I tell the guys at RC all the time, take business cards to local shows and hand them out to bands - if you have an example of your work that you can put on a demo CD then that will speak volumes as well.

    Welcome to RO, BTW!
  3. studio33

    studio33 Active Member

    what's RC? I have done that quite a bit lately {local shows w/ cards} with a few bites, its just slow goin. I have thought about the CD thing, gonna have to do that. Also I have the ability to record anything from solo artists to Symphony Orchestras with the rooms that I can use. How do you get known to larger groups like that. thanks a ton for the input bent .
  4. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Sorry, RC is Rocket City - the studio I built and used to own.

    I'll defer the question of larger groups to those in the know.

    It's always slow goin' when you're just starting out, and even when you get known it'll still be a roller coaster ride with full weeks on the calendar and others where you've got nothing.

    Good luck!
  5. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member


    Put yourself on the other end of the fence for a minute, if you can. (It really is difficult)

    As a musician or band, how would I find you? e.g. How easy is it to locate your services?

    1. Any more a website is essential to at least get your name out.
    2. Go to shows and events where music is... hand out cards and demo CD's.
    3. T-Shirts and other swag is decent advertising... but limited exposure.
    4. Hit the local music stores.
    5. Related to 2; Find a mid level/regional act and offer them a killer rate to record there... then ask em' for referrals.

    I'll echo bent... Good Luck!
  6. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    I think this is worthy of a sticky, for awhile...
  7. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    3 words: Net Work King!
  8. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Welcome Paul. Looks like you're off to a good start. A couple of questions come to mind as we all attempt to respond to you....

    I'm a little confused as to your space. Is it still a working/functioning house of worship? Do you have free reign/full access to the facility and those great looking rooms in your video clips?

    What kind of work are you looking for, or do you just want "work?" I don't know the market for Toledo, but I'm guessing there's as many churches and choirs as there are rock, pop and country bands. You could potentially have a really diverse, deep client base.

    Do you want indie (struggling bands) work, or clients/accounts that will have serious budgets and will return to you again and again? Can you offer a good vocal booth and do commerical VOs? These little gigs sometimes help pay the bills.

    Your facility - assuming it's all yours to use - looks wonderful, and I can imagine a half dozen types of recording projects right from the start. If those pianos sound as good as they look, you could do a ton of solo piano recording - evrything from college entrance demo CDs to recital/finished projects for established artists in your area. Ditto for instrumental groups; jazz trios & quartets, big band stuff, whatever the market will bear. Again, these may not be glamorous or very well known acts, but they'll certainly help pay those monthly utility bills.

    You've got a great space to work in; plenty of space for the bands and ensembles to spread out and get a great sound. Why not go after local choral groups and choirs too? (I'm guessing you could even do some "live" concerts in the main hall/sanctuary as well?) Why not offer this room as a concert space for some organizations, and record the event as part of a package? Offer them rehearsal space, record the dress rehearsal and the concert itself, and work with the music/choir direrctor to make a CD with the "best" material, editing between both. Add a couple of video cameras and you're now talking about DVD production as well.

    Honestly, I think your space looks great, full of potential, depending on how you market yourself. Personally, I don't think there's much money anymore in going after the local three and four piece struggling rock bands. (They're usually broke too, always looking for the cheapest rates in town, making you nutz in the process.) You may want to take one of them under your wing and produce them in your off hours for the love of it, but if you're looking to turn this into a profitable business, you may want to think larger.

    I'd spring for a real website and keep it as professional as possible - attract everyone, turn off as few potential clients as possible, and then work everything else peronsally. "MySpace" is fine (and fun) but think about this: who's actuallyg going to READ this, and then decide to spend real $$ at your facility? (Hint: Certainly not other Youtubers/stoners and websurfers...)

    Biz cards and ads are fine, but you'll probably find the VERY BEST way of getting work is personal contact, direct connections, and those simply take time to develop. Once your rolodex starts to fill up as the years roll by, you'll find more and more word of mouth referrals, and those are the best kind to have. (They'll have ALREADY heard about you and want you, based on reputation.)

    Remember that you'll need to commit to this for the long haul and you MIGHT need a day job or other income, at least for now. Hopefully, the gigs will build on each other, and eventually your biggest problem will be scheduling.

    Good luck man, keep an open mind and stick to it. Looks like a great place to start a biz! :cool:
  9. studio33

    studio33 Active Member

    WOW guys never imagined getting this much good stuff from this post thanks Bent for the sticky.
    Joe, unbelievable advise. I am on it and yes I have free rein in this building accept for times when events are already happening which is pretty easy to work around, I have a great relationship with the church leadership.
    What about networking "Space" or any body? What other networking ideas do you guys have?
    - Paul
  10. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    Space called it

    NETWORKING, nothing else works as well.
    All you spend, in the course of drumming up business, is tax deductible (gas, lunches, dinners, gifts etc)
    But check with your accountant first!!!!
  11. MisterT

    MisterT Guest

    Hi Paul,

    Everyone has given some really good advice. Like most people that want to drum up business, we want instant results.
    If you happen to be in the right place at the right time, that might just happen for you.

    On the other hand here's what I'd suggest and it might take a little effort at first, but could stand the test of time:

    Along side with doing the networking and giving out business cards, flyers, etc, you could also consider advertising/marketing for leads. What I mean is (forgive me if you understand this already), say you run a advert in your local paper or in a publication that targets artists in your area. Instead of doing the conventional type advert advertising of your services, you can advertise something like "Call this number for how to get the most out of zyz" or "Call this number for how to get free studio time" or "Call this number to learn 3 basic steps to get the most out of your recording session" or "Call this number for the 5 most important things what to say to your engineer to get him to give you free studio time".

    Set up a phone line with a recorded message that explains any of the above and what times to call (ideally 24 hours, even though that might not be a option). If someone can take those calls, this can allow that person to get some contact details for follow up or can be used to sell your services. This can be judged or felt out in conversation.

    Obviously, testing what grabs peoples attention is the best option. But doing your advertising in a compelling way that doesn't quite sell your services straight away, but allows you to collect potential data from potential future bookings and to follow up could be a viable option to keep a steady stream of new customers.

    What this is meant to do is make people raise their hand to say that they are interested in your services. And will also allow you to make connections to people, that might not have been ready to use a studio at that specific time.

    Hope this helps

  12. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Seek corporate clients. The three to four corporate clients finance my business for the whole year.

    They allow me to be able, to open my doors to people I want to work with instead of the general public.

    Don't base your business on flakey musicians.
    Also learn video skills.

  13. Maybe, just maybe the music buz is different where you live, but where I am the majority of people in bands wanting to record are young, often students or out of work. you have to do a lot of leg work to make money from these guys unless you have another source of income. All the studios around me survive by having a number of rehearsal rooms.
  14. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    That's a good one too.

    Offering reasonably priced hourly rehearsal time is a very good way to keep some money coming in during the lean times.
  15. dkstudios

    dkstudios Guest

    Utah Recording Studios

    Utah Recording Studios
  16. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member


    Poor form to spam your own site on your first post bro... This thread really doesn't have anything to do with individual members posting links to their sites.

    I'm not a mod here... but it really would be cricket to edit your post to include a contribution to the thread, or delete it altogether.
  17. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member


    That coming from a guy who should be a mod. I'm guessing you opted out.

    I still think starting a "School" or giving "recording lessons" is a great way to get business. You could include it as a part of a package. Record your demo and learn how it was done kind of a deal.
  18. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

  19. imnobedhead

    imnobedhead Guest

    What's are some examples of corporate clients?
  20. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    "Hey you, make us a jingle."
    "What for?"
    "Corporate ad."
    "Yeah, k. Studio is free when you are" *scrubs some lesser clients off the list*

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