Home studios have obviously sprung up like dandelions with the accessibility of affordable and high quality gear. So have musicians recording in their closets and basements. So why aren’t you capitalizing off of it? You can make money offering music services that these home recording musicians can’t do themselves.
What you offer is up to you, but you should start by thinking of the most difficult skills for an everyday home musician to complete: Mixing, mastering and tuning. These can be done simply on a laptop with a high quality DAW. You don’t even need ProTools. Here’s what you need to start.
Contrary to popular belief you don’t need a $1000 computer to offer music services. You just need one fast enough and big enough to handle whatever DAW and plugins you are using. I’ve used a $500 desktop for years with great success. Prices of desktops and laptops are going down due to the popularity of tablets. But the Computer should be chosen after you take the next steps.
Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) are available for ever platform for just about any price. Although the go to is Pro Tools,
personally I use and love Presonus’ Studio One 2. Ranging from $100-$400, Studio One 2 offers you a program that won’t take up a ton of memory or CPU so you don’t need a hyped up super powered computer. I have used Studio One 2 with a $500 HP Desktop (As Mentioned above) for years without problems. There are plenty of options and ranges out there. However you do want to make sure that whatever you choose is going to work for you and your needs.
You may or may not need this depending on what you computer has built in, but it is a piece of gear you want somewhere down the road. A quality audio interface can run as low as $79 and to thousands of dollars. However, Presonus offers it’s AudioBox package for about $200 which will give you a version of Studio One as well as an interface.
Monitors and Headphones
A decent set of monitors are needed as well. You can pick a good pair up for around $150-$200. But don’t rely solely on headphones. You can see what we recommend in a previous post.
There are places you can get a free website/blog like wordpress or you can build one with Wix or something similar. The website is a place where you can offer prices, examples of your works and even create a Dropbox to exchange the large files. The easier you make it for someone to utilize your services the more likely they will use you again, but also share it with others.
Sometimes drumming up business is the toughest part. The best way to start is to get some mixes under your belt. Offer to do some for free or a minimal cost. Be sure to save original files to show your potential clients what you have done, so they can hear the difference. Once you do this, start posting to soundcloud or find small studios or venues to build relationships with. Give them your business card and maybe a CD of your A/B mixes. Check in with them frequently. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Social Media and Networking sites are ideal for this. Follow people that are doing that you want to do and follow everyone you think may be of use to your services. People won’t come to you, if you don’t go to them first. Offer up a contest to get a free project and share it.
You may even want to consider creating a Facebook Ad to get in front of the people you are trying to reach.
You can learn a lot about marketing yourself in the Music Industry in some of our other blogs.
It’s easy to get frustrated and upset with a lack of customers and work, but those come with time and practice. So stay at it.
Never over promise. It’s easy to get excited and tell a client you can have their mixes done by the end of the week, if you really think you can, then tell them 2 weeks, that way you are delivering the final product early rather than late.
Know your limits and don’t be afraid to say no. You will come across mixes that are over your head. Stay within your comfort zone, you don’t have to tell the client you aren’t able to do it or are uncomfortable, just let them know that you are not able to meet their deadline or that you don’t have the necessary equipment. Even professionals will turn down mixes.
Treat your business as a job. Set time aside to “work”. This means no distractions. If something comes up like a party, you have to be mature enough to realize you have work. You wouldn’t tell a boss you can’t come in because you have a party would you?
Are we missing anything? Do you successfully run a business like this? Share with us and let us know!