I mentioned this on Facebook the other day. It’s kind of humorous, AND there’s a lesson here for all of us.
Here’s an email I got from one of my subscribers:
You send these emails, but I think you’re just looking to make some cash. How do I do the same? I offer to do recording, mixing, mastering for free but no takers. Any advice?
And here’s a summary of my response:
Wait…so you accuse me of “just looking to make some cash,” then you want to ask for my advice?
Nearly every one of my emails contains something helpful that will help you make better recordings, and that’s without spending a penny.
But yeah, I’m running a business and I’m proud of it. I provide value and people who appreciate that value pay me money for it. It’s pretty awesome.
Anyway…back to your question….when you say you do your work for free but have no takers, what does that mean exactly? Are you interacting with a lot of musicians on a regular basis, and no one needs to record? Or are you more or less waiting for them to find you?
I know it’s definitely hard to put yourself out there and do some self-promotion, but it’s part of the game if you want to get some clients.
Here’s where I would start — what does your portfolio look like? If you were to walk up to me and offer to record me for free, one of my first questions would be “Where can I hear some of your work?”
Do you have finished projects available (preferably on a website or something) that they can listen to?
Recording people or free is a great way to build up clients and get your name out there, but people won’t be all that excited about “free” if they don’t know how good the quality will be. And they won’t know how good the quality is unless you’ve got some finished music they can listen to.
For example, if I was to offer to paint someone a painting for free…they really wouldn’t care unless they knew I could paint. Since I don’t paint, the painting wouldn’t be something they want to share with their friends or hang on their wall, so even though it’s “free” it has no value to them.
Now if you DO have a big ol’ portfolio of stuff for them to listen to, then my next guess would be you need to work on building relationships with musicians, which can take time.
Hope that helps.
If you’re realizing that your portfolio is on the small side, I can help you build it up in just a matter of weeks. All you’ve got to do is join Mix With Us:
It’s not free, but it IS valuable.
P.S. When I mentioned this on Facebook the other day, Mix With Us member Phil H. responded with this:
It’s no secret to anyone that knows me in relationship to music that I am a big fan of homestudiocorner.com. I’ve purchased just about everything Joe offers… and have never felt that I did not get more than I paid for. Joe offers a service and a product, just like a lawyer, doctor, accountant or plumber. That service and product has value, no matter what the societal trend of the day may be. I wish I had the guts 15 years ago to step out like he has and market my talents instead of getting the standard degree from the standard college to get the standard job.