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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.

Recording music recording studio

The world of recording music has changed a lot in recent years, especially for the indie musician. But one thing still remains the same. Whether you’re recording your first album or your tenth, it still costs money.

In this article, I’m going to walk you through some of the expenses you should be budgeting for whenever you’re recording music, and some easy ways to cut costs. Keep in mind, this only covers the actual recording costs. If you’re releasing your album you also need to be thinking about distribution, marketing, artwork, and packaging.

Recording Music in the Studio

If you’re trying to record a professional album or EP, studio costs are probably going to be unavoidable. There are, of course, a ton of great at-home recording programs and tools that are quite affordable, but unless you’ve got quite a bit of experience in the home studio, you’re not going to get the best sound.

If you want to learn how to improve your home studio so you can produce high quality songs at home, click here to download this free ebook and get 4 secrets to a lucrative home studio:

You don’t, however, have to record in the top-of-the-line studio that your favorite top 40 artists use. There are probably a bunch of awesome, local studios or home studios nearby that will better fit your tight budget. The key is to do your research. Take a listen to some of the songs and albums recorded in the studio to make sure it meets your quality standards. Most studios will also let you stop by and take a look at the equipment. Another option is to record the big parts that require a live room in a professional studio and then track the vocals in a smaller studio or a home studio.

If you do choose to go into a studio to record your music, they charge by the hour, sometimes by the day, so if you want to save money you’re best bet is to cut down on the number of hours you need to record. And that doesn’t mean rushing and coming out with a sloppy album – it means being prepared.

Make sure you have all the parts 100% figured out before you even step into the studio. Writing in the studio may seem cool, but especially if this is your first album your nerves will probably block any creative ideas. You could also record demos at home on whatever you have available to work out any problems and get a better idea of how everything will fit together. Plus, you can give these demos to the producer or engineer so everyone is on the same page.

Producer / Engineer

Another inevitable cost is hiring a producer / engineer. Even if you think you know your way around the studio, trying to do everything yourself will probably take more time and cost more in the end. Your one job is to give the best performance, leave the recording to someone else.

Think of a producer like a film director. They work with the artist to direct the creative vision, songwriting, and arrangement, they work with the engineers to direct the sound and the mix, and they act as the project manager, keeping track of time and budget. The engineer is responsible for the actual recording – setting up the equipment, levels, mixing, and so on. Both are usually paid hourly, sometimes by the project, though there are other deals you can negotiate if you’re really strapped for cash.

Especially if this is your first album, your best bet is to hire an engineer who also has production experience, or an engineer with a good ear.  If you’re going to forego a producer, make sure you go into the studio with your creative vision fully ironed out. That way, your engineer can give some general advice as a fresh set of ears, but you won’t need any major hand-holding when it comes to the overall creative direction, songwriting, or arrangement.

Without a producer keeping everything on track, it’s your job to do everything you can to make your engineer’s job easier. Record a demo, have reference tracks so they know what kind of sound you’re going for, write up lead sheets, let them know the instrumentation and makeup of the band, and get all this to them before you hit the studio.

Mixing / Mastering

Mixing and mastering are two completely separate things. A mixing engineer will take all the tracks you recorded, find the best bits, combine it all together, and make it sound as good as possible by adjusting the levels, EQing, and adding effects like compression and reverb. A mastering engineer will take those mixes and make a cohesive album. It involves balancing song levels, controlling the dynamic range, and adding space between songs.

Mixing and mastering is generally priced per song. If you want a professional sounding album, it’s advisable to do both, and get them both done well. With that in mind, there aren’t too many ways to cut costs here. Some engineers may give you a bit of a discount per song if you give them more than one or two songs at a time. Automated digital mastering services like LANDR may work if this is literally your first shot at recording your music, but if you’re doing anything professional, it’s well worth spending a bit more on your mix.

If you’d like to learn more about producing your own music at home, check out the Lucrative Home Studio course. It’s a music production and engineering course taught by award-winning producer Gary Gray.