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Soliciting Clients...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by backinthelab, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    I'm trying to gather ideas for a marketing strategy. My studio is very new and not too well known in the area. I'd like to get some more talent through my doors, but I'm not sure the best way to go about it.

    For example, do you think ads are effective, or mostly overlooked? Or is it more of a face-to-face transaction that usually creates awareness?

    I'm aware that word of mouth is the best advertising, but how do you personally go about drumming up new business? (no pun intended for you drummers out there)
  2. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    Maybe try going to live shows and talk to bands that are there. I do live sound on the weekends so its a tad easier for me to do this.

    I went to your website. Studio looks pretty darn sweet. I wish I had a space to call home for my recording business. You are a lucky man.

    Anyways, the one thing I couldn't find on your site were your rates.
  3. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Yes, I'd suggest more live gigs as well. Maybe you can set up a regular thing at a local venue; offer the client your live sound package as well as tracking the gig onto multitrack.

    Then it goes "Back in the Lab' for overdubs, mixing, editing, etc. (that's the impression I get when I read your name, anyway....)
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    " Just north of 8 mile"? Are you talking Detroit here? My dad's office used to be on 8 mile Road. I grew up in Oak Park and Huntington Woods while going to school in Royal Oak at Dondero high school!

    I think advertising in your local entertainment music newspapers is a nice high-profile thing to do but I have found that it didn't get me much business. My friend and professional partner has a $600 per month display ad in the Yellow Pages, in northern Virginia. He says that gets him most of his business. I only have 2 single-line listings in the Yellow Pages and it does not generate much business for me. Most of my business is from word of mouth and reputation. Networking is very important in that respect. It's a tough recording world out there when you consider how many large and previously financially sound studios are going belly up one after the other. Like being a musician this is something you do for the love of it not to get rich quick but it is still a business with not a huge profit potential. I would love to see a link to your studio in Detroit?

    Poor and rich simultaneously
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  5. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    I've been doing some networking at local venues and while I'm running sound. There's so much good music right now in Detroit, it's hard to catch it all! I've probably handed out 500 or so of my cards in the past six months. Only a couple prospects have come my way thus far, aside from projects with friends, that is. Guess I'll just have to keep fishing!

    It's good to hear some experiences with taking out ads. I know of one studio around here that does some pretty agressive advertising (ie radio spots and ads galore) but I just can't justify the costs involved at this point. Especially when I'm just starting to take in clients.

    Another thing is that I'm thinking about dropping the live sound bit and just concentrate on my studio and live recordings for now. Lugging my PA around is taking a toll on my back, plus I'm worried about my hearing going south. Standing at FOH every weekend is bound to have some effect!

    Remy, I'm on the East side but frequent the bars in RO. How long since you've been back there? The growth there has been staggering, if it's been a while you'd probably be shocked!
  6. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Lugging my PA around is taking a toll on my back, plus I'm worried about my hearing going south. Standing at FOH every weekend is bound to have some effect!

    I hear that!

    I see the PA work as simply a foot in the door to get contacts and more recording. I used to love doing live sound, but got out of it for most of the reasons you list, and then some. It can get tedious after a while, esp when you find out it's costing you your hearing.

    If you stay in the live sound biz, DEFINITELY hire a helper to do the FOH. (let 'em think it's more important anyway.. lots of younger, newer guys want the glory out in front. You already know better. ;-) Even if you subcontract or give up the live sound reinforcement biz, you can still do your tracking backstage, off in a side room, or out in a van via a splitter & snake. When you're isolated, you can use headphones or nearfields at a volume you can live with.
  7. gilligan204

    gilligan204 Guest

    Buying the band around of Beers doesnt hurt either
  8. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    I've involved with a couple of "House Concert" series' where I do FOH for nothing or next to it. One of the things I do is offer to record the show no charge. Within a couple weeks of the show I run off a VERY ROUGH mix of the performance so they can hear what they did and decide if they want to mix it down to a CD. If they do, the rest of the project is billed at my normal rate.

    Since I'm doing sound for the shows anyway, it's just some additional gear and for the recording - not a lot of extra time. The bands don't need to be nervous about anything because they're making no commitment at the time - and same with me. If I blow the recording (ain't done it yet ... knock on wood) I can just apologize and walk away.

    It gets bands in my door that I wouldn't otherwise get, and they come back later when they have another recording project to do because they know and trust my work.
  9. JWL

    JWL Active Member

    Maybe I'm an idealist, but I think the best way to get clients is to make some kicka$$ recordings of bands, and let people know you are available.

    If you are really, really good, and if people know you are good, then business will find you.
  10. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Yes, you're an idealist. :twisted: But in addition to what you've said (all true, albiet a little lofty), you need to find a way to make your clients WANT you, literally (in addition to your great skills, of course)

    Any good sales pro will tell you: it's about being desirable, about putting yourself (or your product) in the mind of the potential client that he/she HAS to have you to be happy/successful/rich/content (fill in the blank). Sitting unknown in a great studio with great talents only has you READY to work, one needs to GET that work in the first place.

    I find the best ways to get work are to show a potential client what we've done for others - or get word out to them through contacts or references, sometimes even a promo package with a cover letter, a CD and some printed materials. Ya do a little homework, make the cover letter personable and more than a form letter. (Add some information about the client's needs that shows you've done your homework.) But thats' done only after I'm sure it's a potential client with a need.

    And of course, the first step is the money step. Does your potential client actually HAVE resources to pay you? It's a hard, cold fact, but many folks WANT to record, but don't have the $$$. Don't waste a second of your time or a dime of your money chasing dead-end accounts. You want to find good artists (and bands, etc.) that are driven to succeed, and know the value of a great recording. Put all those together, and you've got a great studio-artist relationship going. they're tough to find, but when you do, hold on to 'em like gold and build on that.

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