The biggest problem for any professional (in any field) is finding leads and clients who can afford to pay for your services. You spend all this money and time perfecting your craft but making no money from it.
Well, good news, in this post, I’ll show you exactly how I find clients and leads who pay.
Figuring Out What Kind Of Projects You Want
Think about what type of sound design you want to get into. As stated before, there are different types, each requiring different levels of education.
The best thing to do is pick an area that closely relates to what you understand. I’m not saying avoid broadening your horizons, I’m just saying start with something you’re familiar with so you’re not overwhelmed.
For an example:
- If you have experience recording vocals, it would be wise to jump into VO
- If composition is your strength, aim for loop libraries
- If you like recording interesting sounds, take a stab field recording
I’m just throwing out some ideas only you know what’s best for you.
Doing this will help you get the ball rolling and get paid (faster) – you can learn the rest later. Or, if instant gratification isn’t your thing, pick an area of interest and roll with it.
Finding Clients Who Pay
In this part of the series, I’m going to disclose how to find promising leads and paying clients.
The best place to find leads is right in your own backyard. Where there’s a community college with a film course, there are dozens of clients. Think about it, film students do what?… They learn to shoot film. Guess what every film needs to bring it to life….SOUND.
….There’s a market right there
You can walk into any college and run into at least 20 clients easily…
It’s important for you to build with the students. When I say “build” I mean a solid friend and business relationship. A good percent of film students graduate outsource to people they know once they move on to bigger things.
Family Owned Food Chains, Gift Shops Etc
Most of them have no idea what they’re doing. Some think they can use a T3i to record their video and audio for budget commercials. They can, but the sound is going to be terrible.
Reach out and offer your assistance for a reasonable fee. Be Captain Save Em… Seriously, that’s what motivates a local business owner to work with you. The fact that you’re A) Local (reachable) and B) You can solve the issue inexpensively.
Franchise Stores Like Guitar Center Or Mike’s Camera
Hangout in camera stores. They’re full of potential clients. True, a lot will be interested in just photography, but some will be interested in video as well.
Those are just a few examples, but it applies to everything. Go where the market is.
Over 50% of the time when I go to Guitar Center I walk out with connections. People working on stuff. It doesn’t cost me a dime to walk in, look at gear and mingle…It’s free… do it.
Here’s a good story I shared on Google plus about a trip to Guitar Center that lead to work.
Opportunities are everywhere
Theaters And Venues That Host Plays
If you’ve never been on a play go to one. I’m not talking about high school plays I’m talking about professional plays.
Here is where you’ll run into badass live sound engineers, musicians, and a venue that hosts multiple events, and guess what…THEY NEED SOUND. A little warning, you might need to volunteer in order to get your foot in the door, but hey…
The best part about this gig is what you’ll be able to add to your resume and again… Lots of connections here.
How do you find them? Social Media! Seriously, there isn’t a contact you can’t find through social media. Personal, company, etc, it’s all in the open.
All you have to do from there is pitch your services. Pitching doesn’t mean spam them. I hate when people spam me, there’s a huge difference between the two.
I’m not a pitching expert, but there are things I do that work very well and I’ve shared them countless times in the music licensing series. You might want to read that before you finish this series.
Wrapping It up
That’s how I build relationships and find clients who are willing to pay for my services. I don’t use an agent, marketing team, manager, or anything like that. I do the groundwork, make the connection, negotiate, etc. Good old fashion DIY Marketing.
Make sure you stay tuned for the next post in the series please leave your comments below either using Google plus or WordPress and share this post if you found it beneficial stop lurking 🙂