Login / Register
 
How to find new business?
New Reply
Subscribe
king2070lplaya
Thread Starter
#1
30th June 2013
Old 30th June 2013
  #1
Lives for gear
 
king2070lplaya's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,339
My Recordings/Credits

Thread Starter
king2070lplaya is offline
How to find new business?

Hi all,

I was wondering if you might share some of the best ways you've found to drum up new business.

Summers are slow here in town, as many of the students and many faculty leave for home/summer festivals, and I'm getting rather stir-crazy. I thought I'd try to find some local business, but I'm not very extroverted and I worry that on first impression (and with little experience actually seeking out work from strangers) i'll appear either too self-depracating in an attempt to be relatable or too pushy/rude/overbearing if i try to appear confident and outgoing. This is a small town and I don't want to scare folks away on my first attempt!

What are your guys thoughts on:

Cold calls
Advertising (posters/mailings)
Cold emails
Setting up meetings?
Anything else you've had success with?

Thanks for any insight you can provide! This business part is the hardest thing for me, I find that line between underselling and coming off as arrogant is hard to find, and some tips to focus on when finding and courting potential clients would be very appreciated. Thanks!

Edit: I'm mainly talking about classical concerts, or maybe studio gigs.
__________________
Kevin Bourassa
Peridot Sound Mobile Recording Service
peridotsound@gmail.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Eventually you should deploy the most expensive and best Mic you can get. It should be hideously expensive.
#2
30th June 2013
Old 30th June 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,980

2manyrocks is offline
One of the most effective ways of getting new business is when existing clients refer prospects to you.

My professor in sales taught us not to sell per se, but to engage in chit chat with a purpose to find out if someone might be a prospective customer in need of our services.
#3
1st July 2013
Old 1st July 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
hbphotoav's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: NashVegas
Posts: 1,522

hbphotoav is offline
I do not live and breathe recording (see: my username)... but even when I was solely supporting myself with commercial photography (an incredibly similar paradigm for a successful business) I was doing mobile DJ work on the weekends, and the occasional wedding. Heck, even when I was full-time employed at the phone company, editing a monthly corporate paper (or, more recently, with a Sports Audio firm, hanging fence horns and placing subs at NASCAR tracks from Bristol to Las Vegas), I STILL did weekend DJ work (with my supervisor... who had bought out a retiring record store owner's 25-year collection of Top 40 45s) and, the occasional wedding. I quit DJ in the late '90s... it seems I am ill-disposed to play rap and hip-hop at high SPL.

It all comes down to relationships... and making and taking the time to establish them. Flashy websites, sample hand-out disks and files, and other advertising MAY get you work... but only the first time. After that, it's under-promising and over-delivering the client's expectations (everything from your gear package to time-on-target to meeting or exceeding deadline expectations), establishing a friendship (ergo, it really helps to actually LIKE whomever you work for), occasionally buying a round once in a while (and paying attention to the soda/beer/wine/booze your client enjoys), conducting business legally and ethically (avoid coming on to the client of the guy whom you are assisting)... and with adequate "professionalism" (from business correspondence to timely invoicing to "proper" on-site clothing for the gig) to set yourself apart from the plethora of weekend warriors with ZOOMs... and from the thousands of Full Sail/Art Institute/Belmont University/RIT/Berklee grads emerging from school with a piece of paper and $60,000 in student debt.

In this day and time, only great service combined with market-appropriate rates and serious chops will build a business. And depending on your marketplace... even that may not be enough.

But, then... it was pretty much like that in 1982 when I hung out my freelance shingle here in NashVegas. I had to move 550 miles from my immediate family, with a wife and an infant in tow, and live a year with my in-laws to get "my" start. I ain't rich, but I've made my living for the past 30 years playing with nearly all my toys, with people with whom I'd hang out, whether there was a paycheck involved or not, with but one wife, and no ulcers.

That's a goal, IMHO, worth serious pursuit.

Good luck...!

HB
__________________
Harry Butler
Photography • Videography • Audio Visual Production
www.harrybutlerphotoav.com
king2070lplaya
Thread Starter
#4
1st July 2013
Old 1st July 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 
king2070lplaya's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,339
My Recordings/Credits

Thread Starter
king2070lplaya is offline
Thanks for the tips so far guys!

I have some close faculty and student friends that, during the school year, keep me very busy with projects. Unfortunately in the summertime, my scholastic body of people leave usually for June and July, and I have to wait til August to get em back.

I think next year I need to find a festival internship or gig to avoid this boring dilemma, but it's too late for this summer, so I'm gonna try and find some regional ensemble or solo recital performances. The U people and community people don't always mix, so many of these folks are fresh faces. I'll hit up my contacts and get creative.

Please keep the suggestions coming if you have em! Thanks.

KB
#5
1st July 2013
Old 1st July 2013
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Apr 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 3,612

fifthcircle is offline
Unfortunately, I find it to be all about word of mouth to get new business. I also have learned a number of skills that allow me to do different things. During the "normal" concert season, I do mostly recording work. Of that work, the majority is live and a portion is in the studio. I also learned video production and that is now a healthy portion of my business.

During the summer, it is a totally different thing. I'd say that 70+% of my income comes from doing live sound. I've got a major music festival that I do every year, but then I do other projects as well- I work at theaters and concert venues mixing and doing system tech work. I also design shows that other people may work on- spec'ing PA systems, record rigs and all sorts of other things. Very little of that work ends up being classical. But that's what's required to earn a living... (And I live in a very big city where there are lots of opportunities- It becomes that much more important in smaller communities where there is less to do).

--Ben
__________________
Benjamin Maas
Fifth Circle Audio
Long Beach, CA
http://www.fifthcircle.com
#6
1st July 2013
Old 1st July 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Mr. Lau's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Ecuador
Posts: 1,580
My Recordings/Credits

Mr. Lau is offline
What others said. You have to socialize, not just meeting people and start trying to sell your services and products, but just chit chatting and giving your cards. And touching the topic of music but not pressing the business part.

Playing live gigs, making contacts there, and doing your work well. And patience and perseverance
__________________
Come on baby! Ride my fader!
#7
1st July 2013
Old 1st July 2013
  #7
Lives for gear
 
NorseHorse's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: DC
Posts: 2,230
My Recordings/Credits

NorseHorse is offline
#8
1st July 2013
Old 1st July 2013
  #8
Gear Guru
 
joelpatterson's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Location: Albany, New York
Posts: 11,355

joelpatterson is offline
My own quirky pathway to glory has been so preposterously (and post-posterously!) unique that I hesitate to offer any lessons from it... but it's all been a matter of finding out where the music is happening, who is doing it, and then making some kind of sales pitch where you offer these people the best possible version of what it is they need. I'd also add: these people will become your closest friends and collaborators, so you'd better have some kind of true love for what it is they do.

After you get established, people will be making the cold calls to you, but at the outset you need to call them, be charming and persuasive, attend their shows, dig into their histories, do all you can to be a cog in the machinery of your local scene. Everyone knows everyone in this world... if they don't know you, introduce yourself.
__________________
Mountaintop Studios
~the peak of perfection~
Petersburgh NY 12138

mountaintop@taconic.net

www.joelpatterson.us
#9
1st July 2013
Old 1st July 2013
  #9
Lives for gear
 
hbphotoav's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: NashVegas
Posts: 1,522

hbphotoav is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
Everyone knows everyone in this world... if they don't know you, introduce yourself.
True dat. Well said, Sir!
#10
1st July 2013
Old 1st July 2013
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 729

polytope is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
Hi all,

I was wondering if you might share some of the best ways you've found to drum up new business.

Summers are slow here in town, as many of the students and many faculty leave for home/summer festivals, and I'm getting rather stir-crazy. I thought I'd try to find some local business, but I'm not very extroverted and I worry that on first impression (and with little experience actually seeking out work from strangers) i'll appear either too self-depracating in an attempt to be relatable or too pushy/rude/overbearing if i try to appear confident and outgoing. This is a small town and I don't want to scare folks away on my first attempt!

What are your guys thoughts on:

Cold calls
Advertising (posters/mailings)
Cold emails
Setting up meetings?
Anything else you've had success with?

Thanks for any insight you can provide! This business part is the hardest thing for me, I find that line between underselling and coming off as arrogant is hard to find, and some tips to focus on when finding and courting potential clients would be very appreciated. Thanks!

Edit: I'm mainly talking about classical concerts, or maybe studio gigs.
I do weddings in the summer. Not a whole lot of these but at least better than nothing.
__________________
Good enough is not good enough.
#11
1st July 2013
Old 1st July 2013
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: Oberlin, Ohio
Posts: 4,890

Thomas W. Bethe is offline
Word of mouth is still the best advertisement IMHO.

Even in the best of times getting new work in remote audio recording was tricky. Now it is almost impossible. Too many people doing it and not enough people needing their services. Lots of festivals are simply putting a two track recorder across the main outputs of the house sound console and letting that be the recording. For smaller chamber group festivals someone buys a two track Zoom type recorder and puts it on a music stand or tapes it to a mic stand and records the performance.

We just went through contacting the local college's summer festivals about having us do their video recording. The college does the audio recording so that is something we cannot do and most of the festivals we contacted did not have or will not have the budget to do video recording.

Summers have always been slow but in the past five years they have slowed to a stop.

Lots of commercial work, lots of restoration but not to much on location recording gets done in the summer.

I would contact, in person, people/festivals you want to work with and not do a hard sell but instead try and start up a long term relationship with the people at the festival. Many times once they know who you are they will open up a bit and maybe identify a niche that needs to be filled and then you can step in and fill it.

Best of luck. You have received a lot of good answers already.

All the best! and do let us know how things are going.
__________________
-TOM-

Thomas W. Bethel
Managing Director
Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
Room with a View Productions
Oberlin, OH 44074
www.acoustikmusik.com

Doing what you love is freedom.
Loving what you do is happiness.

Celebrating 19 years in the mastering business in 2014
#12
1st July 2013
Old 1st July 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,980

2manyrocks is offline
Joel Patterson's post is worth re-reading, several times. If you don't have referral sources sending clients to you, you've got to find the people who could use your services and then position yourself so they want to use you.

Another thought that comes out from fifthcircle's post is not to cast your net too narrowly. If you only have a small population to draw from, you may have to gather up money from here and from there to get enough to live. Not just in the people you accept as clients, but in the scope of your services, too.

I did one wedding last year, and the music was good. Great family, too.
king2070lplaya
Thread Starter
#13
1st July 2013
Old 1st July 2013
  #13
Lives for gear
 
king2070lplaya's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,339
My Recordings/Credits

Thread Starter
king2070lplaya is offline
Ok. Perhaps I should have asked:

"BESIDES WORD OF MOUTH, what are other ways you guys seek out business?"

If you don't, that's fine. I get ALL of my business during the school year via word-of-mouth. I have a great reputation amongst singers, pianists, jazz musicians, string players, and conductors, that keep me more than busy August thru May.

Unfortunately, that dries up in the Summatime when almost all of my potential client base leaves town. So I am looking for advice on ways to approach new musicians/ensembles who I have never had a connection with, in the "regional" scene.

I really am just wondering if you all have had any success using advertising, mailings, or how you set up personal meetings with people that you do not know?

I guess that, so far, the answer is "no".


But thank you all for taking the time to reinforce that :-).

And as far as drumming up other AV or sound business, I'm really looking for business that I can continue to hone my mic placement and live 2-tk mixing chops on. I have a job, bave some rock and jazz recording gigs lined up, and play many gigs myself in the summer, so Im not looking for income, so much as more opportunities for classical recording experience. But I do appreciate the mentions of those things.
#14
1st July 2013
Old 1st July 2013
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2003
Location: EARS/Chicago
Posts: 5,449

Plush is offline
I used to introduce myself and my services with a letter offering a "recording special." This was a special seasonal deal that was targeted to people doing the kind of music I enjoyed recording.

Mostly, as said, this is a word of mouth business.

That said, get set up with all the churches in your town for when choir stuff begins again in the Fall. Also send out your info. to a wider range of people at the university. Have a little brochure printed up and hand it out and mail it out. It's something lasting which is different from a fleeting web site presence.

Your recordings sell you. So always try to make the best one that you can on that day. Making a great recording brews confidence. This in turn makes it easier to engage in personal promotion.

Dump anything that is not a really great microphone.
__________________
Atelier HudSonic, Chicago

EARS-Chicago, Engineering And Recording Society

http://www.ears-chicago.org/
Deaf before Dishonor

http://soundcloud.com/hudson-fair
#15
2nd July 2013
Old 2nd July 2013
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: Oberlin, Ohio
Posts: 4,890

Thomas W. Bethe is offline
My company has done mailings. we have put adverts in magazines, we have done radio and TV advertising and still the best is "word of mouth" If people like what you are doing and you are charging reasonable rates then your calendar should always be full. The summer is always a down time for on location work as many schools and churches are not doing what they normally do in the fall, winter or spring when it comes to performances and recitals.

One place to keep checking is, of all places, Craigs List, as people are looking for someone to do some recording for a special event. One thing you might think about is also offering video recording as many people are looking for someone to do both audio and video.

Let us know how things are progressing...
#16
2nd July 2013
Old 2nd July 2013
  #16
Gear nut
 
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 102

Paul678 is offline
Craigslist.
#17
2nd July 2013
Old 2nd July 2013
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,980

2manyrocks is offline
Are there some examples of ads for recording being run on CL that bring in business? What kind of ad gets results?

Apart from running CL ads, what are some other ideas for discovering who is doing what musically in a local area that would be good prospects for recording?
#18
2nd July 2013
Old 2nd July 2013
  #18
Lives for gear
 
hbphotoav's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: NashVegas
Posts: 1,522

hbphotoav is offline
Local "Free" papers (Nashville has the "City Paper" and the "Nashville Scene") are always good, and are usually better at entertainment listings than the big metro papers... as is networking with local music stores, for both classical and pop/rock/country gigs. Meeting up with the pop/rock/country radio stations' PR/community service peeps can also be a good source. And, there's always your live clubs... though if I never again mix a loud, full-tilt-boogie band in a tiny club through a system adequate for singer/songwriters, it'll be decades too soon.

Some church work is worth chasing... but finding a church that understands budgeting for good sound and recording (as opposed to spending their wad on gear and relying totally on volunteer help) can be... problematic.

HB

*EDIT: I was speaking of the Scene (et al) more for the complete listing of clubs and performances than just about any other single place. I'd never pay to be placed next to a Male Inferiority Complex Relief ad...
#19
3rd July 2013
Old 3rd July 2013
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: Oberlin, Ohio
Posts: 4,890

Thomas W. Bethe is offline
Cleveland Ohio has the Scene magazine. We use to advertise in their publication. We always got put between the p***s extenders and the local strip clubs. For a company that does mostly classical and small ensemble recordings it was not a great place to put our ad. When we protested we were told we did not have a say in where the ad would be placed. Nice people.

A couple of other thoughts.

Go to places that have big music conferences like OMEA (Ohio Music Educators Association) and sign up for a booth and hand out flyers with some type of summer special.

Go to places were live music is performed (like The Grog Shop in Cleveland) and pass out flyers to the bands and audience members.

Go to the Catholic Diocese or other religious central organization and pay to put ads in their monthly bulletins that go out to all their churches.

Have a small booth at a local community college or college hangout and promote your business to the students that are there for the summer. Some colleges will let you set up a table in the student union for a small fee.

Put up flyers at your local GC or Sam Ash store.

Put ads in the free papers that are sent out to the inhabitants of each city on a weekly basis. The ads don't cost a lot and who knows.

Attend mixers at film society meetings or at the local community colleges.

All kinds of thing are likely to get you some business but you have to put in some work in order to take advantage of what is out there.


Best of luck!
king2070lplaya
Thread Starter
#20
3rd July 2013
Old 3rd July 2013
  #20
Lives for gear
 
king2070lplaya's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,339
My Recordings/Credits

Thread Starter
king2070lplaya is offline
Tom, Harry, Hudson, and everyone else,

Thanks very much for all the tips, there's a TON of great ideas here and I will start digging in quickly. You all are the best!

Kevin
#21
4th July 2013
Old 4th July 2013
  #21
Gear addict
 
Gretschman's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2007
Location: Nashville
Posts: 428

Gretschman is offline
Ok lets think about what your selling for a second .
Recording services right ?
So joint the chamber of commerce .
The local film industry , they always need audio services .
Any a/v guys , call them .
Anyone that makes commercials .

Put a package deal together for people . Get some local musicians
you like and throw out a package deal to bands , aspiring artists , tourist guides , collage kids , ect .
To make them a CD for x amount of dollars . Call vocal coaches , music teachers , and leave your info .
Hit all the churches .
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+ 
 
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.