As a new audio engineer, it can be tough to get your foot in the door and start building up a client base. You may offer your services for free but still struggle to attract any takers. So, what can you do?
Firstly, it's essential to focus on self-promotion. You can't expect clients to come to you if you're not actively reaching out to musicians and networking with them. Posting on Facebook or other social media platforms isn't enough; you need to put yourself out there and interact with people on a regular basis.
One crucial aspect of self-promotion is having a portfolio of examples of your work. If you approach someone and offer to record them for free, they will likely want to hear some of your previous work first. Therefore, it's crucial to have some well-recorded and mixed music to showcase your skills.
While offering free work is an excellent way to build up your client base, it's important to strike a balance. Doing too much free work could harm your reputation in the long run, as people may start to see you as the "cheap guy" and assume that the quality of your work is subpar.
To avoid this, start by creating a strong portfolio and networking as much as possible. Once you've done a few sessions for free and have built up a client base, start charging for your services. Of course, deciding how much to charge is a whole other topic, which we'll cover in a future post.
In short, don't be afraid to put yourself out there and network with musicians. Make sure you have a solid portfolio of work to showcase your skills and be willing to do some free work to build up your client base. However, don't get stuck in the "free guy" mindset for too long, as this could harm your reputation and make it harder to charge what you're worth in the future.
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