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This post is derived from a series Gary Gray wrote for Tunecore. Click here and here to read the original, full articles.

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.

Learn home studio secrets that will help you produce better music and get more clients. Click to download the free ebook:

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?

  1. The All-Business Buyer Type
  2. 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.

 

 

The Lucrative Home Studio will help you master the business, technical, and creative secrets of consistently producing professional radio-ready recordings.

This 8 module online training program will take your production chops WAY beyond tracking, mixing and mastering and help you produce your way to profit and satisfaction by producing music in your home studio.

If you’re in a band and looking for a way to consistently get that same radio-ready recording quality you get from high-end professional studios – in your home studio without shelling out a ton of cash, take this course and put yourself in a position of incredible value to any band.

If you want to  attract and retain high-paying clients like production companies, ad agencies, corporate and label gigs, take this course and see how to keep your clients happy and coming back for more.

You will learn how to build a state-of-the-art home studio that consistently produces top-quality professional recordings without shelling out thousands of dollars to go to other studios (that you will no longer need).

YOU are the most vital link in the chain of music production. You’ll learn how to confidently wear the hats of the producer, mixing engineer, AND mastering engineer by relying on your ear, not your gear.

And you’ll learn the easy steps to upgrade your professionalism, identify and attract high-paying clients, and produce your way to a profitable income all from your home studio.

  • Upgrade your EAR with techniques that will save you time and money and set you apart.
  • Learn how to be both a great producer AND a great engineer. (Yes, you can be both!)
  • Learn step-by-step how to mix and master radio-ready recordings from your home studio.
  • Build or upgrade a home studio to industry standards without wasting money (including room prep, plans, gear, and equipment).
  • Develop a 6-figure money making machine by producing music in your home studio.
  • Feel more confident in your producing, mixing, and mastering abilities.
  • Turn any space into a profitable home studio and avoid the big home studio myths that will waste you thousands of dollars.
  • Learn how to price your services confidently to ensure you get adequately paid for your work.
  • Get bands and clients willing to pay for your services to come to YOU.
  • Learn how to effectively communicate and negotiate with clients and close more deals.
  • Develop a business mindset and solid reputation that will keep clients coming back.
  • Get a system in place to manage your studio’s income, expenses, bookings, and administration.
  • Find your niche and position your services to consistently land high-paying clients that compliment your skill level and expertise.

Learn more about producing music in your home studio AND the Lucrative Home Studio course here.

music_team_building

We’ve all heard the term DIY – it’s been in practically every single indie music business article since the dawn of the 21st century. There are more tools available today than most artists know what to do with. You can be your own publisher, distributor, label, engineer, producer and marketer, and you can do it all from your room.

While it’s great that artists no longer have to do-it-with-a-big-record-label, perhaps DIY isn’t the best option either. There are a lot of artists out there with excellent business chops, but they’re still not experts. And they have more important things to do like creating music. You can’t be an expert in everything – there’s just not enough time in the day.  The key is to find and motivate people who are! Instead of DIY, move towards a do-it-with-others (DIWO) strategy.

Your team doesn’t even have to be seasoned pros. If you have a band you’re already way ahead of the game. Everyone has their own unique skills, so take advantage of that! One band member may be a math wiz. Put them in charge of the budget. They will keep track of the band’s income and expenses in a spreadsheet and be the voice of financial reason when it comes to spending money.

Another band member may be a people-person – they’re outgoing, confident, and not afraid to pitch your music passionately and enthusiastically. This person could be the face of the band when it comes to business and networking. It’s their job to call up the promoter, pitch your music for a publishing placement of sponsorship, and talk to the soundboard guy after the show.


Download my most popular ebook, Hack the Music Business, for free and get more indie musician strategies and case studies.


Let’s take a look at recent pop sensation, Betty Who.  Betty Who’s “Somebody Loves You” began drawing the attention of the pop music world after the release of her first EP The Movement in spring of 2013. In September 2013 the song was featured in a viral gay marriage proposal video and just a few days later she was signed to RCA Records.

Betty Who didn’t get where she is today on her own – she had a great team behind her the whole way. Producer Peter Thomas and manager Ethan Schiff attended Berklee College of Music with Betty Who. With Peter Thomas she was able to find and really latch onto her signature pop sound, and Schiff helped set her up on the business side of things.

Want to know the other 9 musician mistakes?

  1. You Don’t Have a Plan
  2. You Aren’t Leveraging Copyright
  3. You Skip Time Management
  4. You’re Not Out There Networking
  5. You Don’t Focus on a Niche
  6. You Don’t Let Your Fans Market
  7. You Don’t Have a Brand Strategy
  8. You Overuse Free Music
  9. You Don’t React to Opportunity

New-Artist-Model

The key take away here is that your team doesn’t have to be made up of top-of-the-line professionals that charge thousands of dollars for their time. Your team can start out as friends, classmates, and band members. These are the people who are really passionate about you and your music, and often passion is more important than money or connections. In the New Artist Model online course we teach you techniques to build a strong team to efficiently run your business and much more.

 

Here is an interview with the great Phil Ramone, recorded at his home in Connecticut. Phil discusses making hits, songwriting, music production, the music industry, the listening experience, working with artists, the studio, spare parts, preparation, working style and gives his advice for artists and writers. A true master, he gives us a glimpse into his thought process and how he works to get the most out of the creative process. Notice how his mind easily shifts from the artistic to the technical and back without missing a beat. We will miss you Phil.

Phil Ramone is one of the most respected and prolific music producers of all time in the recording industry. Ramone’s musical acumen, creativity and use of audio technology are unmatched among his peers. Phil played a huge role in shaping the careers and songs of both Billy Joel and Paul Simon and is going to be missed so much. Such a gentle and graceful man who filled the world with optimism and carved such a wide swath across the music business.

He won 14 Grammy Awards, including producer of the year, nonclassical, in 1981, and three for album of the year, for Mr. Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years” in 1976, Mr. Joel’s “52nd Street” in 1980, and Mr. Charles’s duets album, “Genius Loves Company,” in 2005. He also produced music for television and film, winning an Emmy Award as the sound mixer for a 1973 special on CBS, “Duke Ellington … We Love You Madly.”

Mr. Ramone was born in South Africa and grew up in Brooklyn. His father died when he was young, and his mother worked in a department store. A classical violin prodigy, he studied at the Juilliard School but soon drifted toward jazz and pop, and apprenticed at a recording studio, J.A.C. Recording.

In 1958, he co-founded A & R Recording, a studio on West 48th Street in Manhattan, and built a reputation as a versatile engineer, working on pop fare like Lesley Gore as well as jazz by John Coltrane and Quincy Jones. He ran the sound when Marilyn Monroe cooed “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962, and three years later won his first Grammy as the engineer on Stan Getz and João Gilberto’s landmark album “Getz/Gilberto.”

As a producer, he had a particularly close association with Billy Joel and Paul Simon; the back cover of Joel’s 1977 album “The Stranger” features a photograph of Mr. Ramone posing with Mr. Joel and his band at a New York restaurant.

“I always thought of Phil Ramone as the most talented guy in my band,” Mr. Joel said in a statement on Saturday. “He was the guy that no one ever, ever saw onstage. He was with me as long as any of the musicians I ever played with — longer than most. So much of my music was shaped by him and brought to fruition by him.”

Acknowledged as one of the top creative music producers, Ramone has also played an integral role in pioneering many of the technological developments in the music industry over the years. He ardently supported the use of the compact disc, digital video disc, hi-definition recording and surround sound.

Ramone’s impeccable list of credits includes collaborations with artists such as: Burt Bacharach, Bono, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Ray Charles, Chicago, Natalie Cole, Bob Dylan, Gloria Estefan, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Quincy Jones, BB King, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Liza Minnelli, Sinead O’Connor, Pavarotti, Peter/Paul and Mary, Andre Previn, Carly Simon, Frank Sinatra, Phoebe Snow, Rod Stewart, and Stevie Wonder.