Where do you get Studio Clients from???

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by davemc, May 8, 2002.

  1. davemc

    davemc Guest

    Hi ya,

    Okay so I thought in the lull we can ask some business questions.
    So where do all your studio clients come from.
    1) Ads in trade mags, local street pres.
    2) Flyers placed in rehearsal rooms.
    3) Word of mouth
    4) Your studio is part of a rehearsal chain.
    5) Going out and finding bands in Venues.
    6) From outside producers.
  2. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Pardon the ~french~...^#$%ing good question lately.

    ) Ads in trade mags, local street pres.
    To expensive/too many rapper wanabees
    2) Flyers placed in rehearsal rooms.
    What rehearsal rooms..I am in west Palm Beach..They perform as rehearsals.
    3) Word of mouth
    Best bet.

    4) Your studio is part of a rehearsal chain.
    5) Going out and finding bands in Venues.

    Choice 2
    6) From outside producers.

    Never happened.

    The web is my only hope. I do mastering, I am reasonable, I am visable.

    Won't somebody send me something..even for free?? My speakers are getting lonely.
  3. I have a f/t day gig so I don't advertise my services.Most of my of my clients are from word of mouth or referrals from a friend who's in it f/t and farms smaller jobs my way.
  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    3 & 5

    Word of mouth / reputation


    Going to gigs

    And a new catagory, having old friends that are engineers / producers, book my studio and using it with my assistant. I like those sessions cause I can go run round town on those days..
  5. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    In the spirit of continuing revisionism, I would like to post my objection to the derogatory remarks Bill Roberts has made concerning "rapper wallabees".

    Just because these indigenous Australian marsupials have little sense of rhythm, one can hardly argue they are not experts, in their own way, at "hip-hop". It seems very culturally chauvinist to...

    Ah, um,... you say that was "wannabees", not "wallabees"? Oops. Sorry. Never mind... ;)
  6. Southwind

    Southwind Guest

    So far, everything that has walked in my door has been word of mouth, I would love to figure out the best way to court some projects from outside of my ever-widening" circles. I have always had bad experiences putting my phone number on anything that goes in the paper.

  7. Jim Chapdelaine

    Jim Chapdelaine Active Member

    Jan 27, 2002
    CT, USA
    I'm with the word of mouth crowd. That way you get to choose who you work with. Going to gigs or playing gigs is a good way to remind people that despite the cave like existence we lead, we do , in fact, exist.
    The other key is to remain diverse. Try and make money with your studio not in it. By just selling time you limit yourself. By using your studio to create music that generates revenue, you benefit from the renenue stream even while sleeping. We call it 'mailbox money'. Now every one stay the
    f**k away from my mailbox.
    ps - no spec work! It implies that you have nothing to do and makes people wonder why?
  8. Mike Simmons

    Mike Simmons Active Member

    Nov 5, 2001
    Home Page:
    Amen! I 'spec I'm gonna get paid!

    Word of mouth/reputation is how it works here. I've been fortunate to be able to build up a pretty good client base over the last 13 years.
  9. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    I use numbers 2, 3, 5 and 6. What do you say on your flyers though? I can never figure out what to put on there. I love when other engineers book the studio, I get to hang out and assist. Sometimes it's a pain while setting up but once they're patched I can hang out and play video games. Everytime I've placed an ad in the local music rags I get a dismal response. A total waste of money.
  10. drumsound

    drumsound Active Member

    Feb 12, 2001
    Bloomington, IL
    I flyer the misic and record stores. My best advertising is a scam. I work part-time at a music store. I make sure musicians know I run a studio. I'm on the clock the whole time hehe. :D
  11. subspace

    subspace Guest

    I took out one ad in the entertainment weekly and one in the monthly punk rock record store mailer. Then I put up flyers and left hand outs at the local record shops and music stores. That was the week I opened in 1995, nothing since then but word of mouth.
    The live record I mastered last night was by a client who saw one of those flyers, I think this is our sixth record together. In a week, I've got a tracking session with a band they referred to me last year, we'll be starting our second record together. Tuesday I've got another session with a band I first did in '95. They were using a producer flown in from Austin then but we've done four projects together since. Then I've got a mastering date with a guy running a local label, this will be the fifth or sixth release I've done for him this year.
    I consider advertising occasionally when it gets slow, but the only local studios that do that suffer from a lack of repeat business. I just don't want to see our name next to theirs in the paper. It's become a kind of draw actually, you have to know somebody to get in here. Funny how things like that work... It's taken me from a leased office building to constructing my own room from the ground up so I don't plan any major changes for the studio's profile. I have had to adapt to doing more mastering and importing home tracked DAW projects, but that will quite often lead to doing the next project all in-house. It's all about the repeat business.
  12. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Amen to that, Sub. You've pretty much described my situation exactly, except that I didn't even do the initial flyer/ad thing. I just started with recording a couple of friends and colleagues, and the word of mouth chain reaction took over from there.
  13. Rob Cathcart

    Rob Cathcart Guest

    Yupper. Word o' mouth. My bros at the local music store and the local punk rock community have kept me busy enuff that I haven't even initiated stage one of my proposed marketing plan. I'm not exactly overun, but for a weekend warrior I got all the work I want. Very cool how things work out.
    I'm relocating soon so I'll have to see what happens up in Humboldt county. The biggest music store there has a studio that's pretty much on par with mine, room and gear wise, so I can't very well expect them to spread the word. :roll:
    I'm also switching to a part time day gig after I move and will be looking for more work than I have now in the studio. Might be time to get out into the community and catch some local acts, etc.
    But, enuff about you.......
  14. 3 and 6 here.

    Tried all or most of the other possibilities .... brought nothing to me ....

    3 is 'bout the best possible one .... but IMHO also a danderous one. Although I am not completely client based I do need them to keep alive. I like working on things that interest me and with people who know WTF they want and talk about. I HATE working with ***holes that invent the wheel every freakin' day of their lives. And my biggest downside is that I cannot hide it. Stopped a client based session once by saying ... hey ... I can't handle it anymore ... can you please leave ... you don't have to pay and I'll let you have the backupfiles for free.

    That's when word of mouth is dangerous. VERY dangerous. especially in small insignificant countries like Belgium where everybody knows everybody.

    We are at the edge starting up a new project. In a Hangar we bought a few years ago. It will house a BIG Protools based studio and 4 recording rooms. 3 of which can be used and will be rented out as rehearsal rooms. That's where the idea of nr4. the rehearsal chain comes in. Giving young people in the region the chance rehearsing in a "professional" environment.Giving them advice blah blah etc etc .... Maybe running into some talented guys someday and sign them.

    The complex will also have a stage where small try outs / concerts / presentations / photo sessions etc etc can be held. BIG project waiting for the bank to aprove it as we speak. Looking good and hoping to start end of the summer.

    IMHO it is where studios are going to in the future ... even more then now is the case. My guess is that Europe will end up having like 5 MAJOR motherships capable of being completely client based and that's it. A lot of the ones excisting now are unfortunately doomed IMHO. Small and medium sized "organisations" offering a variety of services based on experience and knowledge gathered over the years will rise and rule if you ask me. Those services include recording / producing / playing record company to a certain extend / music publishing possibilities / internet development going to play a bigger role in the whole music bizz ... more and more ....

    Oops ... am I dragging myself off topic here ... sorry .... :)
  15. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    If I get a call asking me the daily rate - it's the wrong type of call.

    I need to know EVERYTHING about an in-coming session...

    At the bottom of my intense questioning lies; (in order of importance)

    1) will the session leave very happy?
    2) will MY reputation and the studios, be enhanced by accepting the work
    3) Will they find the studio technically 'wanting'
    4) do they have a realistic time frame for the work
    5) will my bank balance be enhanced by accepting the work
    6) Will they be 'greedy' with time and try to cram 2 days work into one by working till 5am each night
    7) Will they trash the studio / rip it off / be uncivil to me or my staff
    8) is it a 2 a penny cheapskate band manager? (if so - F%*&@K em! They ain't coming in)
  16. davemc

    davemc Guest

    Yes finding out if the band is suited to you and likewise is the way to go.
    If I get calls for styles I do not really do like Nu-metal. I say try X studio instead. Not that I cannot do Metal, where I was setup years ago 50% of my work was metal stuff and I got a lot of word of mouth as people liked what I did. It just is not what I listen to personally and not where I want to take the studio.

    I am pretty straight up with bands and tell them truthfully what they will get done in a sessions etc.
    I do get around 50% of my work as word of mouth and get a lot of return work as I do not ^#$% anyone around.
    Been just trying to branch out and get better quality work.
  17. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    Yeah, there are certain styles of music I don't do. Mostly hip hop and R&B. Mostly because I don't really listen to it and I don't "get it". Also, I've worked with those artists in the past and I can't get get used to having large groups of people in the studio that have nothing to do with the session. The only people that ask if I do hip hop tracking are usually cold calls and when I tell them that I don't have a Triton or whatever the hot synth is and an MPC they usually call someone else. OTOH, I have 5 snare drums, a large handful of pedals, a few guitars and some nice amps.
  18. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:
    Gotta add the nastiest of the nasty catagories.. 7)"The Ol' Yeller" pages...

    After 3 years in the local book, I FINALLY got a call 2 weeks ago from a segment that I market to as a mobile studio... a friggin' school! 1 cold call in 3 years... and I'm in the middle of two long term projects and also in the process of moving and setting up a new permanent studio... I gave him a price and still haven't heard back from him... schools out now so...

    Ol' Yeller's only gotten me 3 clients. The calls I usually get are all of the kid wannabe's and a few BSter's who are obviously band managers or those poor rubes who are too illiterate (Like I'm friggin' Einstein) to read and understand the words MOBILE RECORDING or my tag line of " We Come to You! "

    Kinda glad to be blowin' this burg goodbye!

    From time to time I do get calls and referrals from guys who are serious, but they're not the right match for what I do best, a style of music that I know I won't track well because I don't "get it" either or my rig is overkill for a guy who just wants to lay down a few tracks to take home and mix on his DAW. Those calls I refer to the other studios who do their style. In return the other studios will drop stuff my way. It's a variation on the word of mouth referral but it's proven to be a good policy. The goal is to capture the music and make a few bucks... not capture the buck and "do" a few clients.

    Otherwise, it's mostly 3) client referrals and repeat artists. 5) is how I landed the second long term project and a foh gig.

    There's also an 8th catagory... "will work for tape." I've got every trade covered for contractors and laborers to help build the new studio in trade for studio time... except HVAC...

    BTW, does anyone know a really good bass player who's lookin' for some session time that does air conditioning?

  19. davemc

    davemc Guest

    Yep tried Yellow pages this year.
    I now get heaps of calls..
    Do you do work expirance?
    Do you have any jobs?

    I wondered for a while why these cold calls went up and then tweaked. Mind you I will be canceling next years.
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