I run a small freelance business called BackBeat365 Productions. During my time in school for audio, I built a list of clientele that I recorded and continued working with throughout my time there, as well as after I had graduated. Recently, I have taken a time-out from working with clients, as well as interning, because I was feeling very burnt out. To be clear, I was still recording, but only recording MY band’s music.
I feel most creatives are extremely hard on themselves, so taking this time out was a big decision for me, but I’m glad I did it. Why, you ask? Because now I’m enjoying engineering again. It’s fulfilling that creative, yet technical side of my brain that was fried from doing it every day for four years. Since I let myself take a break, now I can come back at it- full force, but remember to take a step back (probably not as long as a few months ever again), but for a week or so. This way, I let myself, my ears recover, and remember why I love this craft.
Today, I’ll be talking about how to dive back in, stay relevant to your clientele, and meet new clients. The key to getting back into running a creative business is staying practiced in your craft. I may not have been working with clients or actively seeking new clients, but what I was doing (and still am doing), is recording my bands music, staying up to date (because in this industry, things are always changing), and continue learning.
So, that was a very general how-to for diving back into your creative business. Now, let’s talk about staying relevant to your clientele. For all of the bands and artists, I record and have recorded I like to create a comfortable, safe, and friendly space for them to be creative. I want to create that space because it gives the artist the opportunity to trust you. They are giving their art over to you in a sense, so it would make sense to provide them with a comfortable place to express themselves.
This has created a bond between many of my clients and I. I stay in touch through social media, and texting/calling to see how they are and vice versa. Also, a way to remain relevant in the engineering community even if you are taking a slight break is posting on your social media accounts what you are doing to stay practiced in your craft. It lets your clients, and future clients know that you are still in the game!
Last but not least is how to meet new clients. The way I’ll explain how to do that is short and sweet. You just have to practice approaching people, holding a conversation, and then following up with them after you’ve spoken to them through email or social media. Keep yourself on their radar. If it’s a band that you are seeking out, and you REALLY want to work with- maybe offer to one free song for them with one mix and one master revision (that way you are not drowning yourself in too much free work- trust me I know from experience). And do such a good job that they HAVE to come back and work with you for their next single, EP, album, or whatever it may be. They will tell their friends in bands, and then you’ll start building your client list once again! If your in a band this may be even easier for you! You’re already playing with bands, and you’re on the same level- all you have to do is let them know you’re an engineer, give them your card, and follow up with them. Even send them your most recent work that’s been released.
I hope this helped you remember that it’s okay to take a break if you’re feeling mentally fried, or more stressed out than normal. Just know there are certain things you have to keep up while you’re taking a slight step back if you want diving back into your business with ease. Thank you for reading. You can always email me any questions you have at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me on my socials and talk to me/see what I’m up to musically there.
Virginia Haladyna is a musician, songwriter, performer, and freelance recording engineer based out of Austin, Texas. Upon graduating from The Recording Conservatory of Austin, she went on to intern and worked out of the world-class Orb Recording Studios. She has recorded two full-length albums, EPs, and multiple singles for local Austin bands. As well as recording other artists, Virginia records and mixes her band Happy, Hollow. She’s assisted sessions alongside established musicians, producers, and engineers the last four years and plans to continue honing her craft for many more.