Two years ago I came up with a five-year plan of how I was going to take an already consistently lucrative home studio up to a whole new level of quality, quantity and income. I wanted to get more corporate clients for my home studio. That plan, by the way, turned into the outline for the online course, The Lucrative Home Studio. It’s only been two years but I’ve already hit the goals and milestones I set for myself.
A lot of things went into my success, but one key factor I want to talk about today is being able to close corporate clients.
I’m very fortunate to service clients on a daily basis like 20th Century Fox, The Disney Music Group, Megatrax, Hollywood Records, CBS Daytime Television, ABC, A&E, etc., all from my home studio. But recently, I reached a brand new milestone.
I received a call from Disney/20th Century Fox. I had up to that point completed ten major projects for them — seven for Disney and three for 20th Century Fox. And now, with this latest phone call, I was being asked to produce, record, mix and master SIX new projects. I am currently making a six-figure income, all from my home studio. And this ONE project will account for more than a third of my yearly income this year.
So today I’m going to share my approach for closing clients and share the method I’ve developed over the years so you can bring in more clients and get those clients to come back to your home studio again and again. Let’s get started.
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1. Upgrade YOURSELF
Now before we get into all the details, and before any cynics get too excited, my home studio is in a small 14 by 14 foot bedroom and I don’t own or use any “high end” equipment, and I don’t own tons of plug-ins. My point – ANYONE can do this.
I have learned and now teach a valuable lesson:
Upgrade YOURSELF, your EDUCATION, and your EAR, not your gear, as priorities when creating, mixing and mastering music.
You will then have a proper foundation from which you can conduct business on a corporate level from any home studio.
2. Mentors are Key
Every student that I have mentored for the last 30 years reminds me of me when I was being mentored. It’s a fascinating aspect of mentoring and education:
They don’t know what they don’t know.
And to a greater or lesser degree, each believe they DO know what they don’t know. In other words, by being students, they are obviously saying, “Teach me, I don’t know everything, I want to learn”. However, when asked what they would like to learn, none say to me, “I would like to learn about things that I don’t even know that I don’t know. Please unveil those subjects to me and everything you can teach me about them”. Instead, they rattle off categories of knowledge that they already know they don’t know. See the difference?
And then one day (hopefully) the student discovers a painful yet empowering truth. They discover something new that they literally never even considered before.
For example, I didn’t even know that I could service corporate clients from a home studio. I thought you needed to be in a high-end, million-dollar studio to even get on the radar of corporate clients. Boy was I wrong! My mentors opened my eyes to the possibilities, and that is exactly why mentors are so important.
3. Learn the Art AND the Science
I used to consider music strictly an art. But there’s a science too, and that is music theory. I call the knowledge of music theory “the most important plug-in you will ever own”. Learning music theory is what gives one the confidence and skill set necessary to ensure that corporate clients will remain corporate clients year after year.
I should have worked on becoming a ninja at music theory every day. It actually doesn’t take as long as you might think to build up a very good knowledge of music theory. This would include music production ear training.
Learning music theory like a ninja gave me an unshakeable and undying level of confidence unlike anything I had ever experienced before, which still persists to this day. That level of confidence, as I learned, can be sensed a mile away by people who are in a position to hire you. And the opposite is also true: a LACK of that level of confidence can also be sensed a mile away.
If you don’t know music theory, that’s like a mechanic not knowing the parts of an engine.
Good luck to that mechanic in finding a top level job in his profession.
4. Understand The Two Basic Buyer Types to Get More Clients for Your Home Studio
Everything we’ve talked about so far is what I like to call your “foundation.” So now I’m going to share with you a fool-proof, tried-and-tested system for consistently closing corporate clients for your home studio.
Sales is a subject that many people shy away from. I’m not surprised. Immediately the image of the sleazy used car salesman may come to mind.
But over the years I’ve learned this: if you don’t know at least the ‘Two Basic Buyer Types’, you could be missing out on at least 40% of potential sales.
WHAT ARE THE TWO BASIC BUYER TYPES?
- The All-Business Buyer Type
- The Emotional Buyer Type
Half of sales is correctly identifying the correct buyer type.
The other half of sales is knowing how to approach each buyer type and doing so effectively.
Both buyer types come to the table with the same thing, and both are looking for the same thing.
They both come to the table with fear.
They are both looking for someone they can trust. It’s how you win over that trust is where they differ.
The All-Business Buyer Type
The All-Business Buyer Type is a person who, in order to earn their trust, wants accurate and useful facts. They appreciate a person who has done their homework, and they expect you to be fully prepared for a meeting.
When they ask a question, they want either one of two things. 1.) the accurate and factual answer, devoid of any sizzle or story or dressing, or; 2.) if you don’t know the answer, they want you to say up-front that you don’t know the answer, (but that you will do everything you can to quickly research the correct answer and get back to them with your findings). Trying to cover-up that you don’t know the answer to a question will be 100% transparent to the All-Business Buyer Type and you will absolutely lose the sale.
The Emotional Buyer Type
The Emotional Buyer Type is a person who, in order to earn their trust, wants someone they can look to for advice, who welcomes guidance, a helping hand, who is receptive to and feels good about receiving honest and sincere compliments (key words: honest and sincere). A buyer who will accept your offer for a business lunch and who feels the lunch speaks highly of you and your goodwill, who likes to share pertinent stories about the subject at hand, and wants to know they can trust you almost as a friend.
This buyer type approach to sales is something I go into a lot more detail on in the Lucrative Home Studio program.
Conclusion: How to Get Corporate Clients for Your Home Studio
I hope with this article I’ve broken any myths that might be holding you back from pursuing corporate clients. I’ve worked with hundreds of producers from all backgrounds. And I’ve learned something important: No matter how simple or extensive your home studio is, you can produce radio-ready, corporate quality music. In fact, after going through my training most of my students are now producing work for clients with just 6 or so plugins! It all comes down to your ear, developing your confidence and expertise, and developing your business and sales know-how.
I’d love to work with you and help you upgrade yourself and reach new levels in your mixing, mastering and production. Click here to enroll in the Lucrative Home Studio and get me as your mentor.
By Gary Gray
Gary Gray is an award winning composer, producer and engineer. He’s produced multiple projects for 20th Century Fox, Disney, Hollywood Records, A&E, EMI, CBS and many others all in a home studio.
Gary has been mentored by Phil Ramone, Quincy Jones, Jermaine Jackson and Phil Collins. Gary honed his marketing savvy as the advertising and promotions manager for Music Connection Magazine. He has always enjoyed “both sides of the desk” in the music business.
Having taught music since the age of 16, Gary not only walks the walk, he is also widely regarded as an exceptional mentor for composers, songwriters, musicians, producers, vocalists, and engineers. Gary brings you real solutions to real problems that home studio owners all over the world have benefited from.