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In this episode of Sound Design Live I talk with Niclas Jeppsson about how to find work and become a freelance sound engineer. We discuss the method he has used to successfully get work at recording studios and live music venues in London through authentic outreach and relationship building. I ask:
- How did you get your first job in audio?
- Looking back on your career so far, what’s one of the best decisions you made to get more of the work that you really love?
- In your book, How To Find Work And Become A Freelance Sound Engineer, one of the first tips that you share is: Don’t ask for work. So, why shouldn’t I ask for work? Don’t I need to get myself out there by emailing all of the studios and venues in town asking over and over again if they have any work for me? What should I do instead?
- Who should I be building relationships with? Is it more important for me to reach out to recording studio owners and concert venue owners or someone else? How do I meet those people?
- How do I continue building relationships with them?
- 1: I have done great work for them. 2: I have spent time building that relationship so they think about me when they hear about an opportunity.
- When it comes to money, you say: Whenever there is an offer to work, you should always propose a higher rate than your actual rate. This will give you leverage when you are negotiating so you don’t (hopefully) walk away with less money than you deserve. Aren’t you afraid that that potential client will just walk away instead of attempting to negotiate?
- Tell us about the biggest or maybe most painful mistake you’ve made on the job and how you recovered.
- Jhed: Sometimes as an audio engineer, bands or their management approach you and ask you to work for them (because you were recommended to them, or because you were in the right place at the right time and impressed them, which is my personal experience). However- what if there is a band you particularly would like to work for, and it’s up to you to approach them? My question is- what is the best way to approach a potential client and ask if you could be their sound engineer (without coming across as an eager-beaver)? Should you contact the band directly? Try and speak to a manager? Send them a barrage of emails until they just give in and just take you on tour to make you leave them alone?
- What’s in your work bag?
- All music in this podcast by Niclas Jeppsson.
- How to find work and become a freelance sound engineer
- Find out as much information as you can about the person or studio.
- Email them with some highlights from your research and ask for an in-person meeting.
- , Wait a week. Send a reminder, if necessary.
- Book recommendations: The e-Myth