It has never been easier than it is today to be a recording, mixing or mastering engineer. Especially since we can do it in the comfort of our own home.
There are so many great tutorials online on how to record, mix and master that we don’t need to get into a studio to learn from someone.
But if you are finding yourself not having any clients to utilise your amazing skills for, it can be very frustrating. Therefore, in this article, I want to show you how to get clients and start using your awesome skills.
How To Contact Bands And Artists
There are many ways you can get clients these days. In this article, we will be focusing on a few ways you can do it online and “offline”.
One of the best ways, in my experience, is to find a band you like on any of the streaming platforms out there and contact them. Bandcamp is really good for this because bands usually have their contact information available there. If not, it’s likely that they will have a Facebook page where you can find their email.
The best way to start a conversation with the band you like to work with is to send them a simple email focusing on their music and why you think a particular single, EP or album is awesome.
Let them know what you do, for example, if you are a mixing or mastering engineer and who you have worked for in the past. This is important because it allows you to position yourself and stand out from your competition.
Even if you have only worked for a few bands, include them there.
Then simply end the email by asking them if they are working on any new awesome music.
This is very simple but very effective. In fact, I’m now working on a few projects using this method and so can you.
Finding clients in the real world (“offline”) is not that different from finding clients online. It might be scarier because you have to go and talk to real people, you can’t just hide behind your computer.
However, you can apply the same technique when you go up and talk to a band after a show. Talk about their music. Talk about the gear the guitarist is using. Mention a song you liked. Again, people love to talk about themselves.
Having said that, you will probably not walk away with a job right away. It can take time to build a relationship with the band and you might have to go to multiple gigs.
But one of my best connections in the music industry was formed this way and has got me hired for multiple projects. I’m certain that can happen for you too.
Why Relationships Are Key
The key to finding clients, online or offline, is relationships. If you focus on building relationships the actual job of finding clients become easier and less stressful. It takes longer but someone is more likely to hire you for a job if they have some sort of relationship with you.
That doesn’t mean you have to be best friends or have known each other for years. It means that you might have to send a few more emails or go to some more gigs. If the client lives in another country, have a Skype call with them.
If you were in their shoes, who would you hire? The engineer you know or the random guy or girl who just reached out to you offering his or her service?
Why Diversifying Can Be Good For Your Studio
If you are finding yourself in a situation where you don’t have enough bands coming in but still need to make rent you might need to look elsewhere for work. With your skills as an audio engineer, you are not only limited to work in your studio. You can do live shows, you can work on films, video games, etc.
The reason it can be good for your studio by doing these different gigs is that you build more connections and relationships with people in the industry. For example, by doing live shows you can meet many more bands that you wouldn’t have met otherwise. You can meet managers and promoters. People who you might not think of connecting with when you are just sitting in your home studio but that can actually give you work down the road.
For example, I recently connected with a great band here in London that I ended up recording live. I also connected with an artist manager who has some cool artists under her rooster.
These opportunities happened because I diversified and found other areas where my skills are desired.
Before we wrap up this article I want to mention delayed gratification and why you need to be mindful about it. It’s another word for patience but without thinking about this as we work towards getting more clients, it will become much harder.
Getting clients is not instant gratification like many other things we are used to these days. Think of it as going to the gym, you will not get ripped after one session. It takes many sessions.
Same goes with finding clients. You might be lucky sometimes that one email is all it takes (that happened to me recently) but many other times is by keeping at it. It’s also down to timing. For example, the band you reached out to might be super excited to work with you but they are not in the recording, mixing or mastering cycle yet. So you got to be patient until they are ready.