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Marketing techniques for Audio Engineers/Producers

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by goalmaster14, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. goalmaster14

    goalmaster14 Active Member

    Apr 12, 2012
    Kansas City, MO
    Ok so I'm 18, almost out of high school and I plan on going to the local community college that offers Audio Engineering as a course. My plan once I graduate (or maybe even before) to start working out of my house and investing in my own equipment etc. The Audio Engineering course does have a music business class that is required but I am curious to hear from those who are already working in this business, what techniques you've found most useful in marketing yourself to bands/artists.

    My current plan that I have thought up is to make business cards and promote myself at local shows by giving them to the bands as well as having a facebook page up for it. Is this a good idea? and what else should I add to this strategy?

  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    Welcome to the industry. And it's great to hear an enthusiastic youngster like yourself. Makes me feel young again. Great passion and aspirations abounding. Unfortunately, the industry has changed. It's all a crapshoot. You need the business cards, you need the Facebook, you need the blogs, you need a psychiatrist. I've been in therapy for years and my business still sucks. It really depends upon your market. Is there a lot of music happening locally in Kansas City Missouri? Have you checked out the other competing studios in your area? Have you knocked on their doors? And, do you have at least $10,000 to invest? Investing in that $300 thingy and a couple of $50 microphones is Not going to make a recording studio. So, you're moving in the wrong direction. Business cards, smiles and handshakes don't bring in business. You'd think it would? It's really who you know, who your friends are, how good you are, and just plain luck. It's the recording studio musical lottery. And only a couple of people get to be those $1 million winners much less $100 million winners. But you just never know when your number might come up? Hey, I recorded Tori Amos's original demo when she was 14 and what did I get? $100 and she wasn't even Tori back then she was Ellen. So I rushed right out and bought some bubblegum. I was even able to purchase a reel of blank tape with all that money.

    Community college is a great idea. Much more affordable than those stupid specialty universities like Full Sale. Where you can spend $40,000 to learn that ribbon microphones are noisy. Or so they used to teach. In my book that's called fraud. So at the community college level, you'll at least learn the basic fundamentals of what you need to know, hopefully? Actually, you don't need a college degree to learn how to move volume controls. You do need a college degree to learn something about business. And that's where I personally fail. I'm a creative person not a business person. I never had the money for college because I bought recording equipment. Many studio owners have been that way and they have been in and out of business numerous times because of that. Even hit making engineers like George Massenburg who have built some of the greatest, equipment, control rooms and studios of his own have lost all of them over the years. Many folks here have to hold down additional jobs to support their studios. Others are busier than others and enjoy a little more longer-term success with their investments. I worked at NBC-TV for 20 years doing crappy talking head audio, Fixing, designing, constructing, control rooms, so I could build my own facility. And I've gone broke with my own facility over the past 10 years. It's been a downhill slide. Thankfully, my stuff is all paid for and my overhead is virtually nil. Lots of guys manage to procure loans and incorporate and then they go out of business. So take a business-class with your recording engineering class. You're likely to be more successful that way because of it because you'll understand that this is really not a moneymaking business anymore and almost never was except for the very lucky.

    Dirty Harry..." are you feeling lucky today... punk?"
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    Ditto on what RemyRAD said.

    If I had kids I would NOT suggest they go into recording.

    I made a very comfortable living in audio/recording/mastering over the past 40+ years but today that has all changed.

    You need to find a career path that will not only be fun but will also pay the bills and unfortunately only one of those criteria will be met if you decide to go into recording under the current economic reality. It is almost impossible today to make enough money to keep a studio open and raise a family at the same time.

    I realize you are probably not looking at starting a family right now but that will come and when it does you will be faced with the reality of what to do.

    I was glad to read you are excited about getting into recording but I think you need to do some homework to see if that is the career choice for you. Do a business plan and ask the really hard questions before you do anything else. I personally think you should stop now and take a good long look at what you are proposing to do. It is an important decision and one that will affect the rest of your life.

    Best of luck!

    MTCW and YMMV
  4. goalmaster14

    goalmaster14 Active Member

    Apr 12, 2012
    Kansas City, MO
    Yeah there's actually a pretty decent music scene around here but very few studios, however. I've done quite a bit of searching for local studios and I have only found 2. Assuming my findings are correct am i right in assuming that would mean less competition and more business?

    I also do plan on having some other job on top of this as well. This is just something I really enjoying doing and to be quite honest. I'd rather have a job I enjoy and get little pay for than a job I hate but get payed a ton for.
  5. duanecharles

    duanecharles Active Member

    Aug 3, 2011
    Home Page:
    1. Invest some resources into a properly branded website. Stand out from the guy who just throws up a Facebook or Twitter page for free. Use those sites to drive traffic to your service.
    2. Cards and other promotional material such as branded t-shirts are great. Good for starting there.
    3. Learn a little about SEO/link building and compete with your search engine competition, in your city/area. Try to come up first for your niche keywords such as music recording and mixing services etc; Realize much of your competition does little to stand out from the rest on web.
    4. If it is a local community college. Most of them do have websites. See if you can get a write up or a mention about your services. Or links to your service.
    5. You are not an artist, you are an entrepreneur so start to thinking more like one. Your job is to make it easy for artists to find your services offline as well as online.

    Hope this helps...
  6. musicbusinesstips

    musicbusinesstips Member

    Jul 19, 2012
    Orlando Fl
    Music Careers | Starting a Music business career

    Hi there,

    Well, the number one thing you'll need to do is to make it a goal to become really good at whatever it is you are trying to do (audio engineer.)
    In this business, Your talent and reputation wil be your biggest marketing tool. Try to make a name for your self. Become a good engineer, not an average one.

    For now, start by making a lot of friends, because in the future (by the time you finish school) ... they could become your clients. Open a
    Facebook account and start sending friend request to singer, producers,
    class mates, and everyone in your local music community.

    Thank you

    For more Music business tips, feel free to visit my website: http://www.musicbusiness4newartists.com

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