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New to the advertising business. Need some Advices.

Discussion in 'Music Business' started by Bertrand Batz, Nov 18, 2010.

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  1. Bertrand Batz

    Bertrand Batz Active Member

    May 20, 2010
    Hey guys(forgive me for some poor english here). I'm in the middle of an advertising course and started working with the local university this year, producing some soundtracks for their TV commercials, institutionals, etc for free, and received some positive feedback from whoever has seen it on local tv or listened to it on the radio. Now I've got my own portfolio, am assotiating with a nice local studio and am willing to really work on music for 2011, now for money, and I'm sure the university would pay me to do the work I used to do for free before, as many new clients would.

    Ok, now I've got some questions on the business part of it.

    First, how to make a nice portfolio?

    I mean, today a portfolio is meant to say a lot more than that black folder can do. Is it better to put my works on...

    a) A CD, so the client would only hear the work?

    b) A DVD, so he can actually see the whole commercial instead of only listening to the jingle?

    c) A site, with simple youtube/vimeo windows showing those stuff?

    d) Any of above, depending on my Budget

    e) Wait, I have a better sugestion! lmao

    Second, Is it ok to have a card with a portfolio and just go to shoes/clothes/bars/whatever stores etc and offer them my service? Or could I have problems with the big fishes?


    Third, how can I negotiate the media? I mean, I've got a list from the university(they're really helpful with anyone who wants to work) with the prices of advertising in various radio stations, 15 and 30 seconds and so on. Is there a pattern to work with? I mean, if they charge $300, is it too much to get 20% of this value from the client like a 'media' share? Is this percentage less than 10 or 5%?
  2. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2003
    Your portfolio should be multimedia. You need hard digital, streaming web, and print. If you are setting up as a one-stop shop its necessary to show you can take the same product and make it viral, HD, or properly printed before clients consider you.

    Therefore take your showreels, embed them in a website with an Air player and put them on a DVD. You can make an .exe CD with a flash autoplayer for people with nothing else. You need a good brand identity and to have it printed up well.

    Taking a card to small businesses is as undervalued as going to gigs and sidling up to bands. Business is built on people trusting you - not the horrible kind of "trust" where after the guy sells something to you he gets all hairdresser and asks where you are going on holiday, but being utterly honest about what you can do for the client and what your limitations are, and having a subcontractor in place to deal with all foreseen limitations. Go and see local businesses and talk to them - not only will they be in the same boat as you but if they can't give you business, they will know a man who can.

    And grow a thick skin - understand both that you will only get success from 1/20 people you meet, but also that means you just have to talk to 40 people to get 2 paying jobs! Also if anybody gives you the whole 'too busy to talk' thing, 50% of them are too busy to talk cos its a recession and they are about to go bust - be understanding and they will recall you.

    With regard to PR agency fees, traditionally 10% was a fair sum to negotiate with people while being completely upfront about the way you bill.

    These days you have to slide scale it while remembering what your time is worth. I put my time at £50 per hour so its minimum £50 profit to do anything, then 5-10% dependent what I can get away with.

    If you are simply buying and selling work while adding your own input in pre-production you should be able to do well as long as your work is good.
  3. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    while a dazzling multimedia presentation is certainly a great nugget, people saying "your really good at what you do", builds your reputation for you. I'm dawning year 2 in my D.B.A. You need to take any sound related job that comes up. It just builds your portfolio job, after job.
    Bertrand, your experience qualifies you to do sound related jobs that you feel (un)comfortable with. So, if the lady down the street got a new sound that system she needs hooked up, do it. She'll tell everyone how well you did. When your buddies band needs a demo, record it 'for fun', do your best. You get to hang w/ the guys, have fun, and practice your craft. They will tell their friends 'how cool, (or) crappy it came out'. If the lady down the street told 15 people, 1- might need some work, 3-5 may know someone who needs some work, 12- 'might' think, hmmmm, I'd like a cool sound system.
    A mistake i've made, is not having copies of my finished card...I paid an artist design it, just haven't printed it.
    That said, in the past one and a 1/2 years, i've been hired to build a studio, for a 25 yr. engineer (from the exististing foundation up, using Rod's Books' concepts), booked a local 3 mo. gig schedule (for a local unknown), did the sound for said gigs, filmed my cousins wedding (they're still waiting for the final tape, which i am now doing for no money, i took too long). Rewired two, local night spots' soundsystems.
    All these jobs were attained by word of mouth. my mouth, satisfied customers' mouths, Friends, ect. I don't have a 'real' website. i do have some snapshots but far from a 'diary'.
    Take any related paying job you can, offer your opinion for free, do "the best work of your ability". this ensures people way more. you (and I) will never get 'top dollar' right away, but if a good job is done, more will follow.
    Bottom line: Satisfy your customers. You'll barely need to advertise if you do, and you'll be better at your job, by actually working, rather than soliciting. Best wishes!!
  4. Bertrand Batz

    Bertrand Batz Active Member

    May 20, 2010
    kmetal and jeemy

    Thanks for your inputs on the subject.

    And yes, design is very important, even in an audio portfolio. Visual identity in a card is important.

    I've already grow a thick skin about the part of taking my own card to small business. But how should be my presentation? Should I talk about the part that he can see an augment in sales after a lot more people hears about their business in stations? I mean, is it a nice thing to talk about that or should I try not to disturb them about that? From my sister's clinic, she says a lot more people went to her place looking for treatment, because they listened to it in radio. Are there ways I could use this info without sounding 'too cocky'? Maybe I could have little more sucess rate from it.

    About the 'people trusting you', there is a real issue on this, for me.

    I've been doing this work for free the whole year and now, I think I should start 2011 differently, having some profit on it, on a built portfolio of some...7 works...

    2011, I will be associating with a local studio and start working also with bands. So maybe I should pick one or two of them and produce it entirely for free, just for this specific portfolio, being the nice guy etc...

    Another issue I have...about contracting musicians for work in the studio.

    If, say, a bassist is gonna record a commercial work for you, what percentage should be him? Do you usually pay musicians by hour or services? How much do they charge?
  5. philter1

    philter1 Active Member

    Jul 4, 2010
    Manchester, England.
    Home Page:
    You have many questions Bertrand :) As you're still learning about business, I think I'd continue with the course and try to get yourself a job in the advertising world (or similar), sooner or later, those many questions you ask will be answered and you will be better equipped to work in the media. Sorry I can't be of further help but I wish you luck anyway.
    Bon chance
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    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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