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Marketing a studio
Old 7th May 2003
  #1
Gear Addict
 
Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Marketing a studio

How do you guys market your studios?

The studio that i work at has been around for a while, but was never known and it basically catered to the old engineer that worked there...

I just rented out a space in the complex to 2 people who are going to be teaching lessons, and offering discounts to them and their students. What else can i do? Do newspaper ads work?
Right now, making a profit isn't a concern, its more just getting the word out.

Marshall Simmons
The Music Factory
Old 7th May 2003
  #2
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
IMVHO you can place all the adds you want ... but the price that's going to cost you against what it will end up bringing you is not even worth looking at I think.

Depends maybe also what line / kind of work you are looking for but I strongly believe that there's no better way of marketing your studio then 'mouth to mouth'.

Make good products / happy clients and the word will spread ... people will come to you because somebody else advises them to do so. Not because you place an add in a phonebook or a local magazine. Even if that magazine is audio business oriented.

Another way of getting the word out is moving around in circles that you want to find your clients in. If you're into dance music for example ... frequent dance clubs / talk to resident DJ's etc etc ... for Rock, go to club performances for example ... no use going after the BIG fish ... go for the unknown talent and try to connect / contact / talk with them.


Marketing is a skill / talent on its own. If your business is professional / big enough you also might consider talking to a marketing manager or someone who has experience / relations in your specific field and work on some kind of deal with him/her. Make it worthwhile for them to bring you clients.


Just a few thoughts ....
Old 7th May 2003
  #3
Gear Addict
 
Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
how do you get the word of mouth when the studio hasn't really done any work yet?

marsh
Old 7th May 2003
  #4
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Marshall Simmon
how do you get the word of mouth when the studio hasn't really done any work yet?

marsh
Take a calculated risk for example. was editing my first post apparently when you wrote this ... but like I mentioned there ... frequenting 'the scene' you want to work in ... find a talent that interests you and make them an offer they can't refuse.


Things I've done in the past are for example step up to someone and say .... 'hey ... why don't you try me ... for free ... one song ... don't like it .... fine .... like it ... let's talk business'


IMHO the time you spend for free working with interesting people is far more rewarding then spending that same amount of money on newspaper adds.
Old 7th May 2003
  #5
Gear Addict
 
Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
thats awesome... i'm gonna start doing some free work, and try to get out there more...

I'm pretty much up for any style of music... its a good learning experience to try new things as part of fun.

I have the equipment, now i just need the talent to come to me
Marsh
Old 7th May 2003
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
Cape's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Mr Chris is right you've gotta get ya target audience, correcto. If you do that you won't be sitting in with a band you think are ****eo.

Word of mouth travels very slowly in the music biz. You have to stay above board, do great recordings, show interest (not always easy).

Studio of today is gone, I get bands asking for their files (sometimes, actually today), little do they know plugs don't work on files. They really think they will be able to run their mix on some crap computer, with cubase lite or cubase sx and be able to mix well.

No no no, pisses me off, new genaration who really think a computer can do all Digi HD2 can do, looking forward to handing over dry tracks. Cheap ass!!
Old 7th May 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
 
XHipHop's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
You can try things like this:

1. Tell any bands you talk to that if they recommend your studio to someone and they come, they will get 10% of what that band would pay towards their next recording.

Ie:

They get a band to spend $1000 with you for 3 days of recording, then apply $100 credit to their next session. This will get bands doing the grunt work for you and pushing your studio to other bands.

2. Create a "special". ie:

BAND DEMOS - 4 songs - 6 hours of recording - 4 hours of mixing - $100 a song

Then take out classified ads in local music magazines/newspapers advertising this special. For example, where i live in the NJ/PA area we have pamusiciansweekly.net (it's a newspapers) and i also have East Coast Rocker and teh Aquarian in NJ i could advertise in. Classified ads are pretty cheap and with a deal that looks pleasing, you'll soon have some bands calling you.

3. Where i live in the poconos, there is literally a bulletin board at every strip mall where people advertise their cars for sale, their lawn service, etc. What the hell, put up some flyers! You never know who will walk by and it's cheap and tons of people will pass it.

4. Also hit up the bulletin boards at the local guitar shops, big music centers (scam cash, guitar mart), even local cd stores. Anywhere the musicians hang out. At my old local guitar center there are at least 4 or 5 studio flyering on there.

5. Find out if there are any local music message boards on the internet for your area. Start posting on there when you have some free time and include your studio information in your signiture. I've gotten plenty of gigs from curious people on random message boards just checking out what my studio was about and then deciding to work with me.

6. I've never tried this one, but i'm considering it....

How about giving away studio time as a prize on a local radio station or something? Call them up and pitch the idea and who knows. If it works out right, they'll be mentioning your studio name on there all week!


That's all I can think of off the top of my head. I hope some of these ideas help!
Old 7th May 2003
  #8
urumita
 
7rojo7's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
try advertising yourself as a production company and say to your new found prospects that they have to share in the studio expenses but that you know the owner and can get a really good deal at the studio. visit a few rehearsals or do the rehearsals in your "buddy's" studio at a lower rate than recording and when they finally get hot push the red button and start the new rate.
if you survive 6 months like this you can probably get over for eternity and record a few nice projects in the meanwhile. most artists don't like studio owners while producers are accepted as gods on most planets. you can be both but nobody has to know.
Old 8th May 2003
  #9
Lives for gear
 
davemc's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yeah the studio that is not a studio just a record company that charges you upfront for recording...
Although signs you up to a deal where you the band give them money to record said CD and promote it for them...
They also act as producer for the project and have final say, it costs around the same as recording independently, although you get experience and backing....

Yes been thinking about that way of doing things lately.
It looks better to be a small label and producer who is there to help promote and push the band. Then a studio owner who is trying to give bands help with the process from pre-prod to release.

Most bands do not understand the whole process and as such stuff up on bits.
Old 8th May 2003
  #10
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Number one would be clients having a good experience in your studio and generating return business and positive word of mouth.

Number two would be building friendly relationships with the opinion leaders and decision makers in this business:

- Freelance engineers & producers
- Production coordinators and A&R/directors at labels
- Artists and artist managers

80% of your business is likely to come from just 20% of your clients. A core group of 3-5 busy engineers or producers who like your place can be enough to guarantee healthy business all year long. For example, there is one guy who books about one-third of the year in our Studio A. Another guy booked our Studio B from January to mid-July. These people deserve special care and treatment to feel like your studio is their home away from home, their special place.

Old 8th May 2003
  #11
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've frankly never heard of advertising a studio working out to be any better than a break-even proposition. It's useful to raise your profile and with that you can raise the profile of your existing clients but it almost never leads to new clients.

Jon has pretty much covred how it works. The only thing I would add is that every successful studio I've ever encountered has had a spectacularly good salesperson following up both every inquiry and every invoice.

"Build it and they will come" has NEVER been the case. The same has been true for recordings. I've watched a LOT of very talented people fail in the music business entirely because their egos couldn't handle the necessity of having a well-paid salesperson working for them!
Old 11th May 2003
  #12
Gear Addict
 
Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ok--- so far i've gotten a drummer and a guitarist to start teaching lessons out of a free room in the studio complex.... They are paying for the space, and it seems like a good way to get some of their students talking about it... I offered the teachers free studio time if they brought me groups to record, and discounts for the students that they are teaching.

They are gonna start next week, so i'll let you all know how its going.

Marshall
Old 11th May 2003
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Alécio Costa's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I havejust completed 7 years working with my digital studio here in Brazil. It is a small to medium place, nice /reasonable gear ( PT TDM MIx, 02R V2) and just now I realized that newspaper advertisment brought me only 3 or 4 nice clients to me during all these years.

There is a big crisis out there. Most guys are recording at home with a crappy Digi 001 or a cracked copy of Nuendo/Sonar or at best scenarios, ADAT XT-s or Digital Performer.

The worst is that most become recording engineers from nite to day. Mosuing, plugins are the only technical jargons inmind.

I have lost the numer of times I had to reject mastering crappy CDR´s done under these situations.

May has been awful to me. I still dunno what will happen so...
Old 12th May 2003
  #14
Lives for gear
 
tunesmith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
An apology from the mouse jockey

As a young guy in this biz, allow me to go slightly offtopic for a sec and make a comment on that last post.

Damn am I sorry to see real studios going under.

Oh, by the way, I have never mixed on a real console, never mixed with outboard gear, never played a real analog synth, and never used my hands to actually splice tape.

And its pissing me off that by the time I am good enough to get onto my first neve or ssl, THEY'RE ALL GOING TO BE ****ING GONE.

As a member of this generation which is wiping out recording as we know it, damn I'm sorry. And, to borrow from Jeff Goldblum's Jurassic Park commentary, we haven't spent the time to learn to process before we were given these tools to use.

Sigh....

I wish I were born in 1956 instead of 1976.

Oh well... sorry guys. A kindred spirit cries out in protest.
Old 12th May 2003
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Alécio Costa's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Cheer up! I was born in 1969!lol
BTW.. the only tape I had to splice were the damn cassetes.
Went directly into Hard disk recording and so, 7 years ago.
Old 12th May 2003
  #16
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: An apology from the mouse jockey

Quote:
Originally posted by tunesmith
And its pissing me off that by the time I am good enough to get onto my first neve or ssl, THEY'RE ALL GOING TO BE ****ING GONE.
Take heart -- SSL and Neve consoles will be around for mixing music for a few more years yet.
Old 12th May 2003
  #17
Gear Addict
 
Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The must popular studio here in toledo is AudioMatrix.

They charge about 85 dollars an hour, but the engineers suck and they don't really produce anything worth listning to.. Its a pretty standard mackie console/ mackie speaker project studio, but aesthetically its looks more like a real studio... THe room sound sucks.

The thing that really gets me is that the owner is an asshole and the one engineer thinks he is god's gift to recording.


Marsh
Old 12th May 2003
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Alécio Costa's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Where is Toledo? Hey, for $45 I am there tomorrow and with pretty good stuff!
lol
Old 12th May 2003
  #19
Gear Addict
 
Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
toledo ohio.. close to canada and the great lakes


I've been reading alot about what you are doing in brazil.... you've been getting alot of good advice. I hope things are going to work out for you... If you ever need anything in this area, let me know!

Marsh
Old 12th May 2003
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Alécio Costa's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Oh !! One more great guy!
Thanks for the nice offer my friend!
BTW.. coming to Brazil, please just let me know beforehand. Some friends from the DUC forum came to visit me and got very very sun tanned! and enjoyed my dinners also!

Nice week


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