6 Ways to Get Your Name Out as a Mixing Engineer Part 3
Getting your name out there as a serious mixing engineer is a daunting task. The market is crowded. And with more and more easy-to-use tools, musicians are better able to take care of mixing and audio processing themselves.
As we’ve talked about earlier in this 3-part series on getting your name out there, it all starts with figuring out who your services are for, as well as what they are for. The second article focused on positioning and tensions, which are both crucial for making your services stand out and be intriguing for the people you wish to help.
For this final article, to bind it all together, I will explain two concepts that will help you even better understand the people you’re trying to reach with your services and how to get your name out to them.
Building on the “who’s it for?” question from the first article in this series, comes empathy. Great marketers and successful companies have empathy for what’s going through the head of the person they’re trying to reach with their marketing and services/products.
When your skills as a mixing engineer are the product you’re offering, it’s easy to get selfish. You want clients, and you want to get paid well. You want success (however you define that). Although you may think you know exactly what people are looking for, chances are big that you don’t.
Because when you’re setting up your mixing services, designing your website, and making an advertising plan, you’re likely doing it the way you think is right and good. But you’re not a musician looking for mixing services. You are a mixing engineer looking for clients and a paycheck. You see my point here? Your perspective is likely very different from your potential client’s perspective.
Empathy is about trying to feel the way others feel. More specifically, how a potential client feels. Your mixing services, your website design, your logo, and so on, do not exist for your pleasure and satisfaction. Neither do these things exist so you’ll get a phat paycheck. All these things exist so you can help your potential client become the person they want to be.
The phat paycheck, the success, are just bonuses. A fair trade for helping other people on their way to become greater musicians.
In all aspects of your marketing and professional presence, empathy should be in the back of your head. Imagine how your potential clients feel. Imagine what they fear, what they love, what they dream of, what they hate. This imagining is crucial to understanding the people you’re trying to help and the market overall.
A good exercise is to take the political view (or something simpler, like the favorite soda) of a person you completely disagree with and try to understand why they feel the way they do. Maybe they’ve grown up under different conditions, and their political view is more beneficial for people like them. Maybe they grew up with Pepsi on the dinner-table, while you grew up with Coca-Cola, and Pepsi gives them more of a resemblance to their childhood. Try to see things from their point of view. It’s easier said than done.
It may be that the person who thinks you’re overcharging your mixes doesn’t trust your skills as well as you do, and, frankly, doesn’t care how many hours it took you to understand how a compressor works. If a person enters your website without any prior knowledge of who you are or what you do, how can this be presented in an understandable and intriguing way for that person? By now, I hope you’re starting to see the significance empathy can have.
Something worth talking about
People don’t care about how hard you’ve worked to become great at mixing. They don’t care how many bills you have to pay, how much effort is behind your website, or how cool your studio is. Your potential client cares about themselves. Things that inspire them, sustain them, and give them status.
The most crucial aspect of getting your name out as a mixing engineer is to give people a reason to talk about you. Clicks on ads, views on YouTube, mixing a thousand records, don’t make much of a difference (from a marketing point of view) if people have no reason to talk about you and spread the word.
Realizing you have to offer something remarkable is the easy part. Creating this remarkability is way more difficult. The key factor is that it needs to be something that makes it worth talking about. Something that gives people status or makes them feel a certain way that is worth sharing with others.
Maybe you’ve mixed a record for an artist that a person loves. And having you mix said person’s record makes them want to tell all their friends, “Hey, the guy/gal that mixed **** latest single is gonna mix my EP!”.
Maybe a record you mixed won a price, and your clients can say, “Well, this award-winning mixer is mixing my next record. It’s pretty sick!”
The above examples are simple, but unrealistic if you’re in the early phase of your mixing career. Yet, they provide valuable information. The people in the examples didn’t tell their friends about whoever is mixing their record simply because the mixing engineer is very good at what he/she does. They told their friends because telling them would give them higher status and make them feel more proud of themselves.
In other words, you need to provide something of value for other people’s self-esteem.
What about your services will be worth talking about?
As we round things up in this 3-part series, I hope you’re starting to see the bigger picture of getting your name out as a mixing engineer. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to think that success is just a few clicks away. That if you spend enough money on ads and fancy branding design, you’re bound to reach your goals.
But the reality is way more complicated than that. If you want to build your name in a sustainable and ethical manner, the most important aspect is understanding the people you want to reach with your services, and providing your services in a way that appeals to these specific people.
As we’ve discussed earlier, the market is very saturated, and being specific about the people you want to work for is a huge advantage.
Of course, there’s a lot more to it than the things I’ve gone through in this series. Advertising, strategies, tactics, storytelling, content marketing, and semiotics, just to name a few. But all these things work better if done based on empathy for the “who” and “what” of what you’re offering.
Positioning and tension give people an easier way to understand what you’re all about, and urges action to be taken.
Empathy is about understanding the people you want to help on a deeper level. Besides demographics (age, sex, location, etc.), understanding what they are like – called psychographics – helps you see things from their perspective.
Something worth talking about is the best marketing tool you have. Because having people talk about you is the ultimate way for you to get your name out as a mixing engineer. Whether it’s five people or 5000 people, having people talk about you is what makes you stand out and be of importance to the people you seek to help.
About Gerhard Tinius
Gerhard Tinius is a groovy musician, producer, programmer, mixer, and audio engineer from Norway.