How to Snag Clients as an Audio Engineer
Being an Audio Producer can feel like an absolute dream come true.
You get to surround yourself with music and musicians, set your own hours and time frames, and honestly say you do something that you love.
That is a lot more than a significant amount of people in our world can say.
Unfortunately, what do you do when there is no one knocking at your door asking to have their music recorded and produced?
Sure, if you are a musician yourself, you can utilize the equipment you've gathered and made good use of your time. But do you plan on paying yourself? And what about the audio producers out there that aren't musicians themselves?
The answer is: You have to Market yourself.
So what exactly what does that entail?
Thankfully, we have 10 fantastic tips for you on how to market yourself as an Audio producer.
Let's get started!
Table Of Contents
- Set Goals And Expectations
- Marketing Materials
- Attend Live Shows
- Utilize Social Media
- Create A Showreel
- Know What To Market
- Google My Business
- Ascend Your Audio Production Talents To New Heights
1. Set Goals and Expectations
No matter what you're doing in life, it is great to have goals.
The problem is, you don't want to set goals for yourself that are unrealistic and will inevitably make you feel like a failure.
Let's use a couple of examples.
Poor Goal: I want to make $100,000 in the next year.
Attainable Goal: I want to work with at least 3 musicians in the next 9-12 months.
Having a smart, reasonable goal will keep you on track and moving forward nicely.
Also, having (and we recommend writing down) goals is a way to keep your path measurable. Whether it be at the end of the month or the end of the year, going over the goals you created for yourself and diagnosing whether or not you hit them can help you plan for the future.
Don't be too hard on yourself if you didn't quite reach your goal.
Instead, look at what factors may have come into play.
For instance, look at:
- If you were focusing on improving equipment versus taking jobs
- If a different recording professional opened up in town
- The productivity of bands and musicians you had been networking with
- Positive vs. negative reviews and feedback you've gathered
Any of these, and many more, factors can affect your goals.
The key things to remember are to remain focused, setting attainable goals, and trying your absolute best to follow through.
2. Marketing Materials
That title is a little vague, right? Let's break it down a little.
Marketing materials are items that you can create that help you get out there and raise awareness.
Examples include the following:
- Business cards
- Develop a logo
These materials can either be cheap to have made or you can make them yourself DIY (just make sure you have a good idea of what you're doing).
So who are you going to be giving those business cards to?
Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately, for some of you), a lot of success is determined by whom you know. And a little bit of luck. But don't worry, talent goes a long way too!
That doesn't mean sit around idly and wait for networking opportunities to fall into your lap or cry woe is me.
You must be proactive about networking.
Who got you into audio production? Who were and are your inspirations? Where are all the musicians at and where do they plan on recording their material? Sure, some of them may accept their own production on Garage Band, but that will only satisfy for so long.
Have you recently worked with a musician or another sound engineer? Give them a call or text and ask if they know anyone looking for an audio producer that they can't get around to. Or ask them going forward to put a good word in for you.
A forgotten aspect of networking and making connections is how you present yourself. Your talent could be through the roof, but if you're not personable, then there will always be an asterisk by your name when people refer you. It will be, "Yeah, so and so is great, but...." You don't want that.
So remember to be kind, make your first impression killer, and make don't stop developing connections. They can make it or break it for you.
Check out this article discussing how and why you should be networking.
4. Attend Live Shows
In case you have never worked with a musician yet, and you were asking yourself where the heck to begin networking, this seems like the perfect start.
Find out when some local shows are playing in your area, buy yourself a ticket, and check out the musicians. There are a couple of cool factors that go into this:
- First of all, you're out enjoying music and supporting live music, so that's a positive right there
- If there is a line-up, chances are the earliest musicians to play are the least experienced. Consider where you are as an audio engineer when deciding whom you may want to speak to.
- Without the musicians or bands knowing it, they are auditioning for you! You are getting a first-hand experience of what these musicians act like, how they treat sound guys, and what their music is like. You shouldn't be too picky, but keep an eye out for red flags.
If you remembered to bring your marketing materials, approach each musician after their set and talk with them for a few minutes.
Trust us, a musician having anyone they don't know come up to them after their set will send them to cloud 9 immediately and will be greatly appreciated (and leave a long-lasting impression).
You don't want to be pushy, but hand them the business card and just let them know they have a great sound and you would like working with them in the future. Even if at the moment they aren't ready, that is okay.
You gave them the card and they met you after a show. That is still very significant and good networking.
5. Utilize Social Media
Maybe you can't make it to any live shows but you still want to connect with people, is there any possible way to do that?
Well, there are over one billion active users daily on Facebook. How is that for connecting?
And don't stop at Facebook. Consider using all of the following:
You can add your logo, demonstrate some work you've had recently, and promote your audio production business.
Remember when we were talking about connections? Put a post or tweet out there claiming that you're looking for new projects, and kindly ask your networking friends to share it or retweet it.
This will shoot your message out in front of so many more eyes and get the ball rolling.
A helpful tip to keep in mind is when you create your multiple social media accounts, keep the name consistent. If your audio production company has a name, we'll say
Important note: when you first start out, having only social media accounts is okay, but in the long run, they should be working alongside and boosting your actual website. If you want to be taken seriously, having a real website is a must and could be a deal breaker for certain musicians. Check out a great guide in how to create a website here.
6. Create a Showreel
Obviously, this comes with time and experience, but if you have worked with several artists and they want the free publicity, show people what you got! An excellent way to do this is by creating a showreel.
The more content you have to sift through, the better, but don't get paralyzed here.
Try to keep your showreel to a respectable 2 1/2 - 3 minutes in length (attention span is only so long).
You'll want to be able to showcase:
- Your very best work
Visuals significantly make a showreel better than a soundbite. It isn't always 100% necessary, but imagery with sound could make an impact.
Your showreel can be hosted on your website, social media, or if you're in contact with a musician directly just email it to them. Find out helpful tips on creating your own showreel here.
7. Know What to Market
This step takes a little self-reflection.
What is it that you offer that maybe someone else doesn't? What is your niche or expertise?
When you go to the store to buy something you need, what convinces you to buy one product over another?
Only you can know this answer, but consider the following:
- Your location
- Your experience
- The equipment you currently have
- Your cost
You don't want to sell yourself short or lie about the gear you hope to have by a certain date, but part of marketing yourself is loudly displaying your strengths and hiding or compensating for any potential weakness.
You have to take a step back, put yourself in the musician's shoes, and ask why they would want to hire you over someone else.
This process can be super beneficial and add a decent amount of self-awareness to you and your business.
Do you have a lot of good audio engineer information stored up there in your noggin? Have you thought about blogging before?
If you're wondering why in the world you should be blogging, let the digital marketing experts explain for you. People trusts blogs, they drive musicians to your website, and it allows you to showcase your knowledge.
On top of all of this, blogging can be fun!
You get to add in the pictures you like, link out to the websites and people that you have always found helpful, and it's a natural way for people to buy into the things you're saying.
One of the strongest mentalities behind blogging is this: if you offer accurate and helpful information for free, a relationship and trust with your business
In other words, think of blogging as a form of combining a written showreel with networking strategies. Pretty effective, right?
SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimization."
There are people who do this as their livelihood, so you don't have to get too advanced here as an audio producer. But knowing some of the more simple tricks can certainly benefit you!
Here's how it works, there are certain steps you can take that will help someone searching for an audio engineer locate you,
One simple way is using keywords. Keywords are specific words that relate to your business that someone may use in your field and should be present in your material. Consider your blogs, website, and social media. Try including words such as "music recording," "sound engineer," "audio producer," etc.
Simple aspects such as containing images and a higher word count (you are currently reading word 1770 right now) can assist in your ranking.
So what is the point of all of this?
Let's say a musician searches "Music Engineer Near Me" in their search engine. Wouldn't you want to be one of the first businesses that pop up on their page? Think for yourself, how often do you scroll down and check the second or third page of results?
SEO techniques will help you outrank your competition and land you front and center for your clients.
10. Google My Business
Google My Business is an incredibly useful tool for audio producers.
It is free to set up and once you do, clients will have the opportunity to:
- See your Audio Production website (you can even build an internal GMB website!)
- Easy access to call you
- Share posts regarding new information, events, or blogs
- View photos or video
- See your hours of operation
- Your location
- Be able to read reviews
You can see a lot of that information being used at our listing here.
Reviews are absolutely huge and can be the deciding factor on whether or not someone chooses you or a different audio engineer. So gathering 4 or 5-star reviews from previous music clients can be imperatively beneficial.
Also, GMB offers insights that allow you to see how people are interacting with your content and where they are coming from. This can help you decide what is and isn't working moving forward.
Ascend Your Audio production Talents to New Heights
As you can see, marketing for yourself can burn quite a bit of time, but the results are well worth it. Once you start networking, using social media and marketing strategies, your Audio Production career is sure to take off.
If you have grounded experience in Audio Engineering but want to maximize your education and skills even further, consider enrolling in a Music College like the Atlanta Institute of Music and Media.
Attending AIMM is sure to give you a major boost in terms of :
- Creating a showreel
- Helping you break down your niche and developing your talent
If you would like to know more about AIMM's programs, click the link below today.