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I'll mix your tracks for free
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Avidmusician
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#1
14th October 2013
Old 14th October 2013
  #1
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I'll mix your tracks for free

Is anyone else in this situation? Would you do the same?

I have a decent studio in my home. Two treated rooms, HD Native with Auroras, a few nice pieces of outboard, really nice 4-way Linn studio monitors etc. I also reckon I'm pretty good at what I do.

I basically want to build up a client base. So when somebody asks to hear my work I can direct them to a long list of samples. For me it's proving hard to get to this stage.

Hence I'm considering to go all out and offer free mixing to anyone who will take up the offer... At risk of coming across as desperate. (I suppose I desperately need to prove myself)

Hey, if the client doesn't like it - at least it was free?

I'm a young guy, 19 years old, at risk of sounding like a naive newbie, does anybody else feel like they need an opportunity to prove their ability to the world?
#2
14th October 2013
Old 14th October 2013
  #2
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Why not try advertising "introductory special" so you get something for all the money you've blown. It might get the budget-conscious bands in too. And it won't attract the bottom feeders that will know you as the "free guy".
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#3
14th October 2013
Old 14th October 2013
  #3
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Bear this in mind when you determine what to charge: raising your prices in today's market is incredibly difficult.
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#4
14th October 2013
Old 14th October 2013
  #4
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Offering your services FREE will make your situation look like it's not worth paying for. People perceive value based on price, so it's best to charge something rather than nothing. Also, you are 19 years old. Unless you were a child prodigy that was born a gifted mixer, some people won't take your professional skills seriously because of your age. Not a showstopper but your marketing plan may require you to target people somewhat in your own age bracket.

$15-20/hr is as low as I've seen it and usually represents the price point for people in your situation. Start there. Also, get some business cards and go to live local shows and start handing them out. Build your business one client at a time. Half the battle is hustling. It helps to have a web page detailing why you're the best. The more professional it looks the better. A good page can make you look good enough worth paying for. Sounds like you need a marketing plan rather than a plan to give it away free.

Sincerely, Good luck.
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#5
14th October 2013
Old 14th October 2013
  #5
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Just spend a few minutes looking through this site and you'll see that the most difficult clients are ALWAYS the ones who pay nothing.
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Avidmusician
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#6
14th October 2013
Old 14th October 2013
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Some sound advice. Thanks. Don't get me wrong, I get a £500 - £1000 job every few months. I'd just like to have a bit more of a regular income... (Wouldn't we all lol)
#7
15th October 2013
Old 15th October 2013
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getting people in the door is the first thing. Sometimes I offer a free intro when I have to. Some people will do a free song first and then they turn into a great paying client. Sometimes they ALWAYS WANT FREE TIME COME ON BRO YOU ARE GREAT BUT WE CAN GO DOWN THE STREET TO JOE BLOWS AND GET A MIX AND FREE DRUGS AND A BL&^$JOB FROM HIS ASSISTANT FOR FREE COME ON WE WILL REMEMBER YOU WHEN WE MAKE IT. No no no... remember
you can,t change people so if they don,t want to pay you invest your time with someone else
#8
15th October 2013
Old 15th October 2013
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If you establish your price as "zero", then you'll never be able to get a raise.

If you want to offer a special, offer a reduced rate to start or waiving a "set-up" charge (or something like that) for first-timers.
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#9
15th October 2013
Old 15th October 2013
  #9
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Offering free mixing to ANYONE sounds like a horrible idea.

Why not seek out the best artists in your area that you'd like to work with and offer them a deal? You can build your resume up and have much better music to show for it; and if those artists ever get big then that's even better
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#10
16th October 2013
Old 16th October 2013
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiimba View Post
Offering free mixing to ANYONE sounds like a horrible idea.

Why not seek out the best artists in your area that you'd like to work with and offer them a deal? You can build your resume up and have much better music to show for it; and if those artists ever get big then that's even better
Exactly. Having a mix reel of godawful bands will do more harm than good.
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#11
16th October 2013
Old 16th October 2013
  #11
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You could always give them your rate, but maybe offer to mix a song, send them a snippet (verse and chorus) and if they like it, they pay and you continue to work with them. If not, they only have a snippet so they can't use your mix and not pay for it.
#12
16th October 2013
Old 16th October 2013
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avidmusician View Post
Some sound advice. Thanks. Don't get me wrong, I get a £500 - £1000 job every few months. I'd just like to have a bit more of a regular income... (Wouldn't we all lol)
What would these clients think of you working for free for others?

Now, imagine that in a year or two you are getting $20-35 an hour and you are getting 25-30 hours a week on average through the year. Not doing great but getting by. A "new kid on the block" advertises free mixing.

I'm guessing that at that point no matter how good his work is you are going to spread the word about his (lack of) experience. My point is that undermining the local industry is not likely to be a good move in the longer term.

Good points made by others also with respect to the fact that users of your service/time place a similar value to what you place on it. If you work for free, you can count on something like, "The mix sounds great, but we need 4-5 fixes (vocal up a few db in the 2nd verse, keys build more in the tag, etc). When you complete that they will have another round....then another.

Why? Because your time isn't worth anything (free). Even charging them a cheap rate makes them work to understand the process and participate the effort it takes to communicate their needs effectively (for example).
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#13
17th October 2013
Old 17th October 2013
  #13
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Frank is right. Definitely start SOMEWHERE, but don't do it for free. I'm a producer so I know how hard it is to get connected when it's just you, and I do understand and support collaborating with songwriters for free when you start but eventually you DO want to get paid.
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#14
17th October 2013
Old 17th October 2013
  #14
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nothing comes of nothing.
#15
17th October 2013
Old 17th October 2013
  #15
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Stuff you do for free never ends.
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#16
17th October 2013
Old 17th October 2013
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I don't see anything wrong with it in some cases...

Go out and watch some bands live you have never heard of before. If there's any band that gets your attention, are talented and has some great songs. After the show go talk to them, and say you just bought some new gear to the studio you wanna try out, and that you have some free time over for the next few days. And that you're more than welcome to record one song for free. If you're good they'll come back!
#17
17th October 2013
Old 17th October 2013
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenn Taylor View Post
getting people in the door is the first thing. Sometimes I offer a free intro when I have to. Some people will do a free song first and then they turn into a great paying client. Sometimes they ALWAYS WANT FREE TIME COME ON BRO YOU ARE GREAT BUT WE CAN GO DOWN THE STREET TO JOE BLOWS AND GET A MIX AND FREE DRUGS AND A BL&^$JOB FROM HIS ASSISTANT FOR FREE COME ON WE WILL REMEMBER YOU WHEN WE MAKE IT. No no no... remember
you can,t change people so if they don,t want to pay you invest your time with someone else
Those are usually the one's you have to pay a bit to keep from coming around.
#18
18th October 2013
Old 18th October 2013
  #18
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<SNIP - please see forum issues and suggestions>

And OP why would you suggest to do something for free... unless that is actually what you think it is worth? Just say you need practice. People do it all the time, that's how they improve their craft. Money doesn't have to be a factor right now.
#19
18th October 2013
Old 18th October 2013
  #19
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19 and you've got it nailed, eh? I've been Mixing for longer than you've been alive and still learn stuff every time I pull the faders up. 3,000 + songs and I still feel like I'm just getting it now.... It's a growing process my friend. As for the "free"...worst idea you can come up with. Much better to raise your rates. Both will give potential clients an impression - the first "this guy's worth nothing", the second "hey, last month he was way cheaper, now he's more, what's going on? This guy must be good...."
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#20
18th October 2013
Old 18th October 2013
  #20
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mixing for free is only putting down our profession and it gives artists the idea that paying for mixing is voluntary .
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