I just finished up an “interview” with one of my customers. We met
at a cool coffee shop here in Nashville. He’s studying audio at my
alma mater (Middle Tennessee State University), and he asked to
interview me for a paper.

A lot of his questions were centered around getting work in the
industry after graduating college. A lot of interesting things came
up in the conversation, so I wanted to jot ’em down and share ’em
with you.

And hey, you don’t have to be a college student to apply these to
your own audio work.

1. Don’t look for a “job.” Yes, there are jobs in the audio
industry, but if you limit yourself to only working on audio if
it’s your “job,” you’re gonna be disappointed. Freelance, baby. Go
get the “jobs” yourself.

2. Study business. You need to hone your audio chops, absolutely.
But to make it in the music business, you need to focus on both the
music AND the business. This may come as a surprise to you, but
people won’t hunt you down and hand you money to record and mix
their music. You’ve got to create your own business to attract
potential clients and sell your services to them.

3. Be nice. Seriously. Niceness goes a loooooong way. How many
belligerent audio engineer “know-it-alls” have you worked with? How
many of them would you want to hire again?

4. Always be building your portfolio. No, I’m not talking about
investments. I’m talking about an ever-growing collection of your
work, a place to show off your best projects. It’s simple enough to
set this up online. Make it easy for people to hear how good you
are.

5. Network for clients AND referrals. You should be constantly
developing relationships with potential clients. That should be a
given. But are you also developing relationships with people who
can send customers your way? People you can help as well? My buddy
Ben plays lap steel. I send referrals to him all the time. Just the
other day, he referred a friend to me who needs someone to
play/sing at her wedding. It’s the whole “I scratch your back, you
scratch mine” thing.

6. Never stop learning. Some of my biggest “ah-ha” moments come
from learning from other audio folks. I’m constantly learning from
Graham Cochrane, or Ian Shepherd, or Craig Anderton (he covered
some awesome stuff at Presonusphere). If you ever start thinking
you have all the answers, get out there and learn something new.

Now, I can’t really help you with numbers 1, 2, 3, and 5. But I CAN
actually help you with numbers 4 and 6.

It’s a little thing I like to call Dueling Mixes.

It’s a monthly membership where you get new tracks to mix (that you
can add to your ever-expanding, ever-improving portfolio) plus
killer in-depth training from both myself and the handsome-as-ever
Graham Cochrane.

You WILL get better, which will lead to more paid gigs.

But we can’t help you if you don’t join.

Invest in yourself here:

www.DuelingMixes.com [ http://www.DuelingMixes.com ]

Joe Gilder
Home Studio Corner

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