John Paterno - The Importance Of Questions & Learning Songs

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- Are you a home studio owner or professional audio engineer who is struggling to find clients?

- Do you want to build relationships and find more artists to work with?

- Are you struggling what to say or write to bands to make them come back to you?

Listen here on Apple Podcast, Spotify, YouTube or in the player below.

John Paterno is a Grammy winning Los Angeles based producer, mixer, composer, engineer, mastering engineer, and musician who has worked with a diverse range of artists including: Robbie Williams, The Steve Gadd Band, Soraya, Robben Ford, Eros Ramazzotti, The Thrills, Tim McGraw, Bonnie Raitt, and Badly Drawn Boy.

John also features on sites like Puremix.net where he teaches mixing, so check that out.

In this interview we spoke about:

  • Working with Steve Gadd, recording drums, over editing and guitar pedals

  • How he got started in music and engineering

  • Moving to Los Angeles and working as an independent assistant

  • How he became a staff assistant at Sunset Sound and how that led him to work for Tchad Blake

  • How working for Tchad taught him about focus and some awesome records for you to check out (if you can find them)

  • His work as a freelancer and how he built relationships and found new clients

  • If a Grammy is as important for your career nowadays

  • The notion that there has never been as much money in the music industry as today

  • It’s all about the song and the difference between a great song and a hit

  • The importance and the benefits of learning other peoples songs as a songwriter

  • How John runs his business without the help of a manager

  • His process of understanding his clients and how that helps him determine his rates

  • How to meet the expectation of what the artist wants their music to sound like

  • The importance of asking questions and how that allows you to understand the artist you are working with

  • And much more

Check out John’s website for things discussed in the episode here: http://www.musicdafoz.com/

How To Increase Your Income And Gain More Independence

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- Are you a home studio owner or professional audio engineer who is struggling to find clients?

- Do you want to build relationships and find more artists to work with?

- Are you struggling what to say or write to bands to make them come back to you?

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcast, Spotify, YouTube or in the player below.

In this episode of the Your Audio Solutions Podcast, we will talk about how you can increase your income and gain more independence.

The different methods discussed in this episode are:

  1. Change your pricing to a value-based method

  2. How I got a 70% increase by changing my mindset to a value-based method

  3. How to increase your rates for past clients plus a simple script you can use

  4. Diversify

  5. Increase your client base

  6. How to build relationships online

I hope you are going to enjoy this episode and please let me know in the comments if you found this helpful or if you have any suggestions for other topics.

10 Tips Of How To Get Your First Paying Client

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- Are you a home studio owner or professional audio engineer who is struggling to find clients?

- Do you want to build relationships and find more artists to work with?

- Are you struggling what to say or write to bands to make them come back to you?

You can listen to this episode on Apple Podcast, Spotify, YouTube, The Player or feel free to read the full article below.

If you are just starting as a freelance sound engineer and you have never had a paying client, this episode will help you. Even if you already have paying clients this can be beneficial for you.

The tips and techniques I share in this episode is what I did when I started out, and still do.

Before we get into these techniques, I want to let you know that this doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time but be patient and consistent in the work you put in and you will see results.

When I started it took me a few months to get my first paying clients. I was still in college and was doing free recordings for bands I found around London. This eventually led to paid work.

And as I have spoken about before, expanding your network when you are new in town is more important than going after paid work straight away. Also, you never know where this can lead down the road.

For me, it allowed me to work for pretty cool people and artists and getting paid for it.

So, let’s dig into these tips that can help you get your first paying client.

Get Paid

Get Paid

1. Record bands or artists for free

If you are still in college and are studying audio engineering, this is when you want to start offering recordings and mixes for free. It allows you to start widening your network of bands and artists you know whilst getting better at your craft. These people can also become paying clients down the road.

This is exactly what I did when I moved to London. Without much experience, I had to start doing things for free. Eventually, this would pay off and clients would start paying for my service.

If you are not sure where to look for bands or which clubs/venues to go to, look online. Google any genre you are interested in plus the name of your town. I’m sure you will find some cool band that you can go see and talk to.

2. Shadowing

Shadowing people who are already in the industry can be such a powerful way of 1, getting your foot in the door, and 2, get offered paid work down the line.

I have shadowed people, mostly FOH engineers for live shows. And when he can’t make it for a show, who do you think he will recommend? (You, of course)

This doesn’t have to be complicated. If you know someone who works in a recording studio or wherever you want to work, ask them if you can shadow him or her for a day. Don’t say, “Hey, can I shadow you because I want to work for you”.

Instead, show interest in their work and make it all about them. Tell them that it would be a great learning experience for you to see them work. If it goes well, by the end of the day, ask them if you can come back.

3. Don’t Ask For A Job

This is a technique I talk about in the free guide, 3 Tested Ways To Increase Your Client Base, and it’s something I refer to as “The Coffee Technique”.

Rather than emailing every recording studio you know, begging for a job, it’s much more effective to ask the person you want to work for out for a coffee. Tell him or her that you love what they do (give examples) and that you want to take them out for a coffee to ask them questions about their work, etc.

This is what I did which gave me my first job at a recording studio. And I still do this when I’m looking for new opportunities.

The Coffee Technique

The Coffee Technique

4. Build Up A Portfolio

With all those free recordings and mixes you did for people, in the beginning, use them in your portfolio. A simple Soundcloud playlist will do fine.

This will allow you to reach out to new clients and be able to show them what you can deliver. If they like it and want to work with you, you can now start charging for your service.

5. Study

I don’t mean go to an audio school, you probably already did that. Rather, start learning about business and how to add value to people so they want to work with you. Some great resources that are free that you can check out right now are Six Figure Home Studio Podcast, The Graham Cochrane Show and this space.

I wish this was something I started studying sooner in my career. Because we can all make kick-ass mixes (to some extent) but to run a business is a different skill and it takes time to learn.

This included learning how to charge properly for your service and how to gain more clients, etc.

6. Lead Magnet

If you have a website and a killer portfolio but no one is hiring you (maybe they forgot about your studio or wasn’t looking to record anything) try to get people on your email list through a lead magnet. This way you can stay on top of peoples mind by giving awesome and free content to people on your list. This way, when they are ready to start recording or mixing, they will sure remember you.

7. Build Meaningful Relationships

This does tie back tip nr. 1 and 3, however, building meaningful relationships with people in the industry is important. And something that can pay off down the line. However, it takes time and effort. For example, you might need to continuously go out and see bands or take someone out for a coffee to slowly build that relationship but in the end, it can pay off. It has for me multiple times.

8. Apply for projects/jobs online

Don’t forget that you can apply for jobs online. Some sites are specifically for the music business but the one I recommend is music-jobs.com. They have jobs for the US, Brazilian, Latin American, England and the Italian market. You do have to pay to be a member but there are some cool opportunities posted there.

9. Use SoundBetter, Fiverr or Upwork

Rather than you applying for jobs you can sign up to any of these sites and have people find you. Some people might wonder if it’s worth it and I wrote an article about this in the past. I haven’t tried it enough but I know people who do make a living out of Soundbetter.

10. Run Facebook Ads

If you have a great website, a great portfolio and the Facebook Pixel installed so you can track people who visit your website, start showing ads to them. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on this but it can let you stay present in bands and artists minds. So, when they are ready to record and your studio or service shows up you have a better chance to get hired than if they forgot about you.

BONUS: Patience

Be patient

Be patient

The reason I want to mention patience as its own point is that you can do all of these techniques, but without patience, you might quit before you get to see the rewards. I never fully realised how important patience is in this business until some year ago. It takes time to build relationships that will lead to paid work. It takes time to wait for bands to be ready to go into the studio with you. It takes time to build up traffic for your website. It doesn’t happen quickly. But stay with it, be consistent in your work and it will pay off.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Do you have your own tips you like to share or any particular one you found most helpful?

Nicholas Di Lorenzo - Understanding Your Clients On A Deeper Level

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- Are you a home studio owner or professional audio engineer who is struggling to find clients?

- Do you want to build relationships and find more artists to work with?

- Are you struggling what to say or write to bands to make them come back to you?

Listen to this interview with Nicholas Di Lorenzo in Apple Podcast, Spotify, YouTube or in the player below!

Nicholas Di Lorenzo is a mixing and engineer based in Melbourne, Australia. He is the owner of Panorama Mastering which he opened in 2014.

Since he opened his studio he has worked on 900 plus projects for artists, labels, producers and engineers in Australia and across the world.

Nicholas is a really smart guy and it was lovely speaking to him. He has some great knowledge about running a business and I think you will love this episode.

In this interview we spoke about:

  • His beginnings playing in bands and using Audacity and Guitar Pro

  • His experience working in a recording studio and why that wasn’t suited for him

  • How he got his internship in a mastering studio

  • Tips of how not to write emails to studios

  • Why he decided to start his own mastering studio

  • The benefits of using your own name as a brand for your studio

  • Why the first year of him opening his studio was a delusional process

  • How Gary Vee’s Crush It encouraged him to change his business 

  • How sharing your story can build your trust factor

  • The questions he asks his clients to get a deeper understanding of their dreams and goals

  • How that affects the amount he can charge his clients

  • If he spends money on ads

  • How he structures his days into 3 parts and how that has benefitted his life

  • How Benjamin Franklins 13 Virtues inspired him to make changes in his life

Brian Lucey - Becoming A Better Listener, Having A Side Job, Patience & Studying Under Robert Fripp

Brian Lucey - Becoming A Better Listener, Having A Side Job, Patience & Studying Under Robert Fripp

Brian Lucey is a 7-time Grammy-winning mastering engineer based in Los Angeles at his studio, Magic Garden Mastering. Brian has mastered hit records such as The Greatest Showman, The Black Keys - Brothers and El Camino, Ghost - Meliora, Royal Blood - How Did We Get So Dark and many other awesome records.

Eric 'Mixerman' Sarafin - Mixing, Money, Reactions And The Value Of Music

Eric 'Mixerman' Sarafin - Mixing, Money, Reactions And The Value Of Music

Eric Sarafin, or Mixerman, as he is known for, is a gold and platinum award-winning record producer and mixing engineer. In this interview, Eric spoke about: Starting out at Dimension Sound and being a runner at Capitol Studios. Working at Hollywood Sound and how that led him to work with The Pharcyde. Being fearless. Pricing himself and how lower recording budgets have affected his work. What he focuses on to get him started on a new mixing session. What it means to mix aggressively .What he learned from writing his popular books such as Zen and the art of Mixing

Rayan Bailouni - Changing The Music Industry In Dubai

Rayan Bailouni - Changing The Music Industry In Dubai

Rayan Bailouni is a music producer, engineer and songwriter based in Dubai. He is not only working with local artists but is also working very hard to change the landscape of the music scene in Dubai and is already seeing a very positive change.

In this conversation you will hear about Rayan’s journey from studying commercial and industrial biotechnology in Newcastle to becoming a producer in Dubai.

  • The challenges he encountered in his first years and how he found clients

  • How Dubai’s music industry is changing and Rayan’s involvement in that

  • Also, Rayan’s goal of breaking the cultural stigma that has been surrounding Dubai and the UAE

  • The positive change by Dubai’s government opening up to more technologies, such as Spotify

  • He also talks about the lack of venues and how that affects musicians, himself as a producer and the music community

Lij Shaw - Hong Kong, Rewiring Studios, Productivity & Much More

Lij Shaw - Hong Kong, Rewiring Studios, Productivity & Much More

In our interview, Lij spoke about him playing in a blues band with his brother in Hong Kong. How he convinced a studio owner to let him completely strip down their studio and rewire it in just 7 days. Just before the producer came back.

Also, tips for how you guys can get into a recording studio. What to write and more importantly, what not to write when emailing recording studios.

Gavin Harrison - Playing In Time, Recording Drums And Taking Every Job Seriously

Gavin Harrison - Playing In Time, Recording Drums And Taking Every Job Seriously

In this episode, Gavin talks about his early influences. What it takes to be a professional drummer and what it means to be playing in time. Gavin also has an app coming out helping you with exactly that.

He also gives us an insight to how he likes to record himself in his studio and how he experiments with his big live room. We also spoke about his thoughts on using drum replacements. Why he doesn’t like engineers to mix his drum recordings and some other cool tips for improving your drum sound. 

We also spoke about why it’s important to take every job seriously and play your absolute best because you never know where it can take you. Even if you don’t like the music. 

Bob Horn - The Beginning, Networking And Michael Jackson

Bob Horn - The Beginning, Networking And Michael Jackson

Bob Horn is a mixing engineer based in Los Angeles. He is well known in the music industry having worked for artists such as Michael Jackson, Usher, Timbaland, Lupe Fiasco and many others.

In this interview, Bob talks about his journey from Berklee to Nashville and then Los Angeles. The importance of networking. Working with Michael Jackson. How to deliver a mix that the artist wants and so much more.