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Client Acquisition For Mastering Engineers: How To Win, Maintain, And Organize Thousands Of Clients | With Mike Cervantes Of The Foxboro

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Ever felt like you're a tiny fish who's struggling to stand out in a vast ocean? Like you're drowning in the “sea of sameness” in an overcompetitive industry? If that's you, here's the good news: There's hope…
You can still succeed… even when you're starting out as a “copycat” in a highly competitive market. This week's episode is a must-listen for anyone looking to make a name for themselves in the audio industry (or any competitive industry, for that matter)
Meet Mike, a multi-six-figure freelance mastering engineer who's swum with the big fish, working with A-list clients like Dolly Parton, Avril Lavigne, and Snoop Dogg. With over 23 Billboard #1s and at least two gold records under his belt, Mike's here to help you navigate the choppy waters of freelancing success.
In this must-listen episode, Mike shares his insights on:
  • How he got traction early in his career despite the competition
  • The importance of choosing a business name vs. going under his personal name
  • His evolving approach to client acquisition from his early days until now
  • The art of juggling thousands of projects per year without losing sight of quality and passion
Whether you're an audio professional, or just someone interested in the behind-the-scenes of the music industry, this conversation with Mike Cervantes is packed with valuable insights and actionable advice.

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[00:00:00] Brian: Hello and welcome to the six Figure Creative Podcast. I'm your host, Brian Hood. If this is your first time listening to the show, first of all, welcome. Glad to have you here. This show is for creatives who want to earn more money from their creative skills as a freelancer without selling their soul. If that sounds like you, you are at the right place. For my longtime listeners, especially for those who have been around for more than a hundred episodes, we're going back to our roots today.

[00:00:20] Brian: For those who didn't know, my background is in music production. The show used to be called like a hundred episodes. The Six Figure Home Studio podcast. It was for recording studio owners, and we're going back to our roots cause I have a guest and longtime listener, someone who's listened to every episode of this podcast on the show.

[00:00:35] Brian: His name is Mike Savan. He is a mastering engineer, a very successful mastering engineer that runs a mastering studio called the Foxboro.

[00:00:43] Brian: If you've really been a long time listener to this show, you've probably heard me talk about him on the show a couple times, for various reasons throughout our show, but I've never had him on here before. For those who are new, are not part of the audio world, I'll give you a quick and dirty Mastering for Dummies breakdown of what mastering is.

[00:00:57] Brian: It's just like the last phase, the last step [00:01:00] in the audio production process, typically in music and For risk of vastly oversimplifying. It just makes all the levels of the songs from song to song on an album the same level, usually louder. And that's about all I'm gonna say. This has been the perpetual punching bag on the Six Figure Creative Podcast, the mastering services, because it is one of the hardest to differentiate in because it is not a, what I would consider a transformational service, and that's why I wanted to bring Mike on the show.

[00:01:27] Brian: One of many reasons, Not only is Mike a multi six figure mastering engineer, which is already impressive enough and already very difficult to do for a multitude of reasons. Competition aside, I've also been around to watch the vast majority of his career. Mike and I, we've, we've met up for lunch before he really started his mastering journey. I've been able to fall along his journey as he's had more and more success and he was actually like one of the early, early beta users of one of my software companies File Pass when we launched in 2018.

[00:01:54] Brian: He was like one of the first 20 people to sign up for that and he's been using it ever since. So if you're still watching and you're not in the audio [00:02:00] world, here's why Mike is worth listening to. Aside from the money conversation, he has worked with clients like Dolly Parton for King and Country, Avril Levine, Snoop Dogg, Rasco Flats. He's got over 21, number one singles to his name as a master engineer and at least two gold records, maybe more. I didn't ask how many more he had besides the two that were behind him in this interview on the.

[00:02:19] Brian: But in this conversation, this is actually part one of two. we split this episode into two-parter. In this episode, we talk about how he got traction early in his career with so much competition. again, this is why I give mastering honestly, a lot of the like, Smaller, quicker type service industries, like if you're a photographer of the headshot world or if you are, a graphic designer doing logos that sort of like one and done quick and dirty kind of projects tend to be very hard to differentiate and separate yourself.

[00:02:44] Brian: For example, if you can go to fiver.com right now. And hire somebody for the exact service that you offer. Mastering is one of those things, by the way. Then chances are you're in a service that's really hard to differentiate and really hard to stand out. So we talked about that, how he got started early in his career.

[00:02:57] Brian: We talked about how he went about choosing a [00:03:00] business name, whether he should have gotten under his personal name or a business name in the pros and cons of both sides and how that's played out throughout his career. We talked about how he approached client acquisition when he started.

[00:03:08] Brian: Versus how that looks now for him, cuz it's a lot different now than what it was in the beginning. And then we even talk about how he manages over a thousand projects and honestly probably thousands of projects per year as a master engineer. Some of the systems he uses, some of the tools he uses. Really good conversation.

[00:03:23] Brian: So without further delay, here's my conversation with Mike Cervantes of the Foxboro. Mike, thank you so much for coming on the show.

[00:03:30] Mike: Thanks for having me.

[00:03:31] Brian: I'm super excited to have you on here. You are, you're one of the few people that I have seen their entire career play out. I've been in the, this game long enough to see a few people like that where I was there from the very beginning to now where you're at kind of now at the multiple six figure year range.

[00:03:45] Brian: And I remember looking back to kind of one of our first meals and actually funny thing, I actually sent you the screenshot of like a really early email you sent to me about like, you're new in this game and you're trying to get started and maybe you were asking me to lunch or something. And we sat down at, for lunch at a restaurant [00:04:00] here in Nashville, wonderful Thai place called Smiling Elephant.

[00:04:02] Brian: And we just kind of talked about where you came from in your career, what you were trying to do to pivot and start your journey as a mastering engineer. and we just had a conversation around that. I don't remember the specifics of what we said, but I remember you leaving an impression on me and me thinking that this guy will be successful.

[00:04:14] Brian: And you have listened to, you told me at least, I don't know if you're lying and if you are lying, that's okay. you said you've listened to every single episode on this podcast except for part of the episode that came out this week. So you're like a super fan, And now you're coming on the show to share your journey. So I'm really excited to, to really dive into your story To start this. Let's go back to kinda early in the career when we, even back to that, lunch that we had, or I think it was lunch or dinner that we had, take us back to that cuz you were, interning at a really well-known mastering house and you were transitioning out to go out on your own.

[00:04:42] Brian: And I would love to pick up the journey right there. Or what are some of the things you did to establish yourself early on into what I consider one of the most, if not the most difficult, I don't wanna use the word oversaturated, but it kind of is industries in audio.

[00:04:54] Mike: Yeah, so I lived in Nashville when I met you, and I was an apprentice [00:05:00] for a mastering engineer name Hank Williams. And he worked at a studio called Master Mix. I call him kind of my Mr. Miyagi He taught me a lot of the fundamentals, like the wax on, wax off of mastering, but also like, just being in the music industry.

[00:05:14] Mike: And if anybody is listening to this and knows the Karate kid, those fundamental things really play out to be something much bigger. And that's definitely what I learned from Hank. After Nashville I was an apprentice at a studio in New York called Master Disk, and then I eventually became an engineer.

[00:05:32] Mike: And during that time, when I was an engineer there, I was building up clientele and just getting a feel for, What it's like working in a multi-room facility and working for a bigger name, a bigger brand, and definitely seeing a lot of ways that model could be improved on and how maybe someday I could do my own version of it and do it better.

[00:05:55] Brian: again, as you were just getting out of that world into starting what is now the [00:06:00] Foxboro, which is the name of your mastering studio, what were the things that you did to establish yourself as somebody who is to be paid attention to somebody who is to be trusted, that people can send their tracksuit to be mastered when there were already at that point, especially now, so many options for artists to send files to for mastering.

[00:06:16] Mike: So what I did was I, tried to establish as much trust as possible, because I was leaving Master Disk, I did have a lot of clients that I had gained it my own, and I definitely reached out to them to get testimonial quotes on my site.

[00:06:31] Mike: And reached out to a lot of people I knew. And tried to just get more business at that point and did a big launch day. And you know, of course I think like any mastering studio or engineer, you look at the other companies and see what they're doing and what may be successful to you and, try to mimic that in some way.

[00:06:50] Mike: And that was something that I was doing with some of the bigger names in mastering. And tried to just, uh, fake it till I made it, so to speak. And try to [00:07:00] act like a bigger company than probably what I was. And it definitely has played out very well where people, they're specifically asking for Mike to master the song.

[00:07:09] Mike: We just want Mike to do it, no one else. And it's like, fool ya, cuz Mike's the only guy here and, that approach seemed to have worked.

[00:07:17] Brian: So you did what I think a lot of freelancers do, and don't take this the wrong way, this is how a lot of us got started, myself included, which is the copycat approach. You looked at the other people in your industry, you saw what they were doing, you kind of said, I will do this too. I know it can be hard to dissect especially going back and saying this is what worked. what didn't work, but what, feel like successfully use clues. So what clues have you seen in your past that has led you to where you are now as somebody who's like at the front of the pack as mastering engineers?

[00:07:41] Brian: You are like the go-to and many niches or genres in the music industry. You've got two gold records behind you and probably more in your studio and one that you said it's probably platinum by now. I feel like you can't just say I copied all the other people in my industry and that's how I was successful faking it till I make it.

[00:07:55] Brian: There are certain things you did that other people were not doing or were not willing to do that. I'm trying to get to the bottom of with you because[00:08:00] you are somebody who I know was willing to do the work and I'm trying to get outta you. What does that work that you did that set you apart?

[00:08:05] Mike: truthfully, I hustled really hard. I tried to just get shootouts as much as possible.

[00:08:10] Brian: What

[00:08:10] Brian: does the shootout for those who don't know,

[00:08:11] Mike: a shootout is where, you offer to do something on spec or for free. And saying, Hey, next time you have a song you're working on, I'd love to do, you know, a master for you to see how you like it and then compare it to the guy that you were gonna use, or, I would get connected with a and r people.

[00:08:29] Mike: they would try me out first to see if they like it, and if they didn't like it, they'd send it to someone else. Or, the opposite. They sent it to someone else. This was starting to happen, years into the Foxboro, but they sent it to their go-to guy, they hated it, and they were like well, hey, let's try Mike out.

[00:08:45] Mike: He's been bugging me like crazy, so let's just give him a shot and then, I'd end up doing it and they'd love it. And, that's happened so many times and, some of those times I didn't find out it was a shootout until like a year later. and that's just kind of the thing of a [00:09:00] shootout.

[00:09:00] Mike: You just don't know that you're in a shootout. you kind of just have to approach it every project. with the mindset that you're probably in a shootout, or you could be in a shootout. Which means you just gotta work really hard every time. As far as what worked and what, didn't work, I think in some ways the whole persona of, oh, we're a company, you know, the Foxboro is a company, it's a studio. That brand, pushing a brand as opposed to pushing myself as a person. That seemed to have worked well.

[00:09:30] Mike: I think there was some intricacies in that that didn't really work out over time. and because of that, I started to get a little bit more personal with people and try to still give that personal touch, when communicating and working on projects as opposed to just, oh, well it's a company and maybe there's more people that work there and you really don't know what you're gonna get, and maybe an assistance's gonna do it instead of the real guy.

[00:09:56] Mike: That's a common thing ghost mastering. That's like the [00:10:00] term that I like to call it. but yeah, pushing kind of that brand. It's shot me in the foot a little bit, you know, having a studio name versus just my name, but looking back on it I'm happy with where we're at and just the brand in general.

[00:10:13] Brian: I would like to talk about that really quick you actually started to bring up marketing a little bit and bugging people, which I actually wanna dive into a bit as well. But what's your take right now on building a brand which you did with the Foxboro, or going under your like personal name, which a lot of people go under, Brian Hood photography, or they'll go under, you know, Mike Ervan, mastering You could do that.

[00:10:32] Brian: why choose the business name and it seems like it's worked out, but you said there's some cons along with that. I'll let to get your take on that.

[00:10:38] Mike: Yeah well, I'll start with the cons. So the cons has been people have thought that my studio name is like me trying to be like a dj. So they'll be like, Hey, Mr. Foxboro, like I explained to my previous assistant, 95% of the world. We're all in the same boat.

[00:10:55] Mike: We get it, we understand pretty much the same stuff. And then there's that other [00:11:00] 5%, you don't know what's going on, like where they came from, if they're, you know, an alien or human, they're just totally on a different level. And those are the people that think I'm trying to be a DJ and it drives me nuts.

[00:11:12] Mike: With that choice of name, I chose that name when I had a recording studio, to being a mastering engineer. And I was just trying to create like a studio name that wasn't da da da studios or da da da recording, I wanted something a little bit more unique, and that's kind of, where I ended up and I just decided to just keep it for when I started the Foxboro as a mastering studio.

[00:11:35] Brian: what are the positives of this? I get it, the aliens come outta the woodwork and ask you to DJ for their big mothership party, you know? but what about the good sides because I remember way back, I don't remember what episode it was, but we did a six figure home studio salute.

[00:11:46] Brian: For those who don't know, the six figure home studio was the podcast. Before we rebranded, we did a home studio salute to the Fox Bro's website. I remember that. and I remember the liking the brand, the logo, the design, everything felt clean, felt modern, felt [00:12:00] professional. so I know that that element has worked out to some extent.

[00:12:02] Brian: So like, what are the, positives of choosing a brand that you can sit behind and not just being an individual.

[00:12:07] Mike: The positives is actually something that you talk about, which is it gives you more I would say real estate, SEO real estate, where, somebody can search my name, and then somebody can search my studio name, Whether they know me by my name or the studio name, they can find my stuff.

[00:12:24] Mike: So it gives you a little bit more, searchable stuff on like Google and things like that. The other part of it too is just from a personal aspect, it keeps business and personal just separate. Especially like Instagram stuff and, social media, which I'm huge about, especially just my life in general.

[00:12:43] Mike: I just like to be a little bit more private with my personal life where studio posts can be studio posts and, I think from, a client's perspective especially like right now I have a studio manager, and I've had an assistant before there's just a perspective and a [00:13:00] comfortability with the client that they're working with a team, they're working with a company, something that might be a little bit bigger than just one person.

[00:13:07] Mike: So with that, building a brand in the circles that we are in has been really, really good for I think the clients as well.

[00:13:15] Brian: you mentioned, I've talked about this in the podcast before, but you brought up the SEO thing and, something's happened recently in the news where if you Google my name you'll see my Wikipedia at the top hopefully.

[00:13:25] Brian: But you'll also see now the Australian mayor who has sued chat, G p t for like slander or something. And then there's a second Brian Hood in Google search that is, a DJ for weddings now up there in the top of the search. And also, the murderer, Brian Hood. I have some fun company at the top of Google for my name.

[00:13:43] Brian: So let's, move into, the client acquisition side of things. Cause I feel like this is an area that. As a mastering engineer, you can't fail this area. it is required because you have to go through so many projects to make a living because your business model is a lot of projects for a relatively smaller amount of money, which we'll get to pricing later, I think.

[00:13:58] Brian: But how have you [00:14:00] successfully marketed your studio over the years? Maybe how did you start and where, what does it look like now for client acquisition?

[00:14:05] Mike: Yeah, those are two different things for sure. So at the beginning I think for a lot of music professionals, Instagram is our biggest fishing hole right now as, far as posting about what we've worked on and, other people tagging us in posts to get credit.

[00:14:21] Mike: Cuz that's kind of a big discussion in the music industry right now is that, credits are not really in existence. it's not like how it used to be with CDs and vinyl and stuff like that. So, With that being said, that was something that I wasn't gonna wait for someone to just credit me or tag me on Instagram or social media, so I just did it myself.

[00:14:42] Mike: even when, I had some songs that were in the top 20 of Billboard and stuff like that, which is not a number one, or it's not like a top 10, I was still making graphics to say, Hey, we worked on this and trying to really push the brand that we're working on, [00:15:00] good stuff, that's a huge hurdle to accomplish and working on good stuff, things that people are actually hearing and, trying to promote that.

[00:15:07] Mike: So, Instagram social media posts that's one way I was doing it. The other way was just trying to connect with people I worked with, because as a mastering guy, you meet one guy and then he really liked what you did, and then he connects you with this other guy, or it's like a producer and he brings in a new mixer and the new mixer likes what you did, and then he's gonna put you on this other project.

[00:15:29] Mike: So you're just like, trying to make everybody happy as much as possible. And reaching out to them, you know, a couple weeks later and saying, Hey, thanks for working on that project. You know, I would love to work on something else in the future if it's ever the right fit. I would do that all the time.

[00:15:45] Mike: had a crm like what you were teaching, that was like a game changer for me because I kept up on a lot of different people and, I wasn't trying to do it in a sleazy way though. I was trying to do it in the most classiest way possible. kind of A little bit of a [00:16:00] rabbit hole. But I had my first really expensive restaurant experience early on in the few years of the Foxboro. And that experience made me realize oh my gosh, this is awesome. this is an experience and it didn't feel like someone's trying to sell you on the soup of the day or whatever it is, somewhere else sure it cost a ton of money, but it was incredible. And that kind of gave me some inspiration of, I really want to do this for my people, I don't want it to feel like they spent too much, like your analogy in some earlier episode, the $5 hamburger versus the $10 hamburger.

[00:16:38] Mike: You want them. Coming back because it's like, man, a hamburger was five bucks and it was so good. You know, versus, well, it was $10 and it, it was good, but I'm not sure, you know, so that restaurant experience really stuck with me in every aspect, especially in that reaching out email to new people that I, were just starting to work with.

[00:16:57] Mike: I didn't want to come across too sleazy. I [00:17:00] wanted to be really like, respectful of their time and not be like, Hey dude, I need all your songs next month, cuz I'm trying to make it as a mat, you know, I wasn't trying to come in too hot like that. And that will scare people.

[00:17:11] Mike: That definitely will. I've done it before and, it will scare people for sure. now I don't do that stuff as much anymore. It's a little bit of a different approach and I would say the approach is just per the project. again, going back to being in the service industry, and also being a Christian.

[00:17:30] Mike: So those two things play hand in hand with what I try to do, but I'm just trying to be like a really positive. Person a positive light to people because, whether people who are not in the industry know I'm the last person who touches the song and prepares that song for distribution.

[00:17:50] Mike: And people have heard this song a million times, for however long. And the last thing they want to do is hear it again. You know, As [00:18:00] much as they probably love it and they put their heart and soul into it, the last thing they want to do is they have to do a bunch of revisions, during the mastering process of, a quarter DB of top end and, really minor things.

[00:18:11] Mike: and I've been in situations where people have been really frustrated. They just want to be done with the project. They just don't ever want to hear it again. So kind of being that positive person and that positive light at the end that can just do way more greatness for the brand myself.

[00:18:27] Mike: And navigating that even in the major label world. That's a whole different ballgame. And you know, it's taken a long time to learn what to say and how to say it

[00:18:37] Brian: I really do understand at the start, some of those strategies you were talking about, like using Instagram to, be tagged in things that you've worked on. You were creating graphics to promote your own successful clients. So like little mini case studies, you know, connecting one-on-one with people, with clients you wanted to work with.

[00:18:52] Brian: You created. What I call your referral circle. So those are non-competing freelancers in your niche that are [00:19:00] also bringing in clients. cuz as a mastering engineer, you just naturally touch a lot of different projects and all of those projects have their own team involved with them. So it's a lot easier for someone like you to build that referral circle.

[00:19:10] Brian: And I feel like that was a good part, especially early on about getting clients. And I love the conversation about creating a high class experience that is well above what they paid for so that there's a big gap for what they felt like they paid for and what they actually got. it, And it's in their favor too.

[00:19:25] Brian: They paid for the $5 hamburger they got the $75, dry aged steak, So they just feel like they got a lot of value out of it. I'm not sure if I really follow you on nowadays though. I understand wanting to make sure you are the light, the beacon the, happy person when they have just been slogging through a record, they're slogging through negotiations with the label.

[00:19:42] Brian: They're dealing with all this BS that comes from the music industry and you wanna make sure it ends on a high note. I get that. But when it comes to like actually getting in with the labels, you said that took a long time. When it comes to actually getting higher and higher caliber clients, which so many freelancers, top out at a certain area and they never break through the next level.

[00:19:59] Brian: [00:20:00] so you're at a, a level where you're doing, multiple six figures. a lot of projects every single day like up to, eighties plus songs a week.

[00:20:07] Brian: So I'd love to know how are they coming to you right now? Is it just all word of mouth at this point in your career?

[00:20:11] Mike: yeah it, all word of mouth. which is just mind blowing to me how that works.

[00:20:16] Brian: we, I dissect that cuz that's the worst possible client acquisition strategy for newbies because they hear people like you who's like, Mike gets all his clients word of mouth. So that's all I gotta do is wait around for these clients to come to me. And I just wanna make sure we point out the fact that like early in your career you weren't just waiting for word of mouth clients, you built a lot of elements in place that put you to the point where now you're getting word of mouth clients now with these first labelable projects that you got to even be given a chance.

[00:20:39] Brian: Do you remember some of those earlier projects and how those came to you? Were they just referrals from past clients? Were they clients that got signed and moved up to the next level and kind of took you along for the ride? Or do you remember any of those specifically?

[00:20:49] Mike: I remember exactly how it happened. a friend of mine who I worked with, he called me up and he said, Hey, I'm working on this, ep, they have a radio version, [00:21:00] but they're not gonna pay for mastering. it was on a label. but this needs to be mastered.

[00:21:05] Mike: It's not gonna sound good on radio, so could you just do it for free? And I said, yeah, I'll do it for free. so I did it and I loved it. same situation, reached out to the a and r guy in that thread and just thanked him.

[00:21:18] Brian: [00:21:18] Brian: real quick, explain what a and r is again, for our non-music industry people.

[00:21:22] Mike: A and r is essentially the person at the label that kind of runs the artist world essentially.

[00:21:29] Mike: they are a part of the process of choosing who's producing, mixing songwriting, mastering They're a part of that process, but they respect, you know, if a producer wants somebody particular to be on a project.

[00:21:41] Brian: the gatekeepers, they're the ones who hold the keys to all the gates to a lot of projects because typically, an AR at a label will have, a good number of artists under their wing. if they don't have a go-to mastering engineer or a go-to mixing engineer, they're the ones making the decision for the client because they have their go-to people that they work with.

[00:21:58] Brian: So you worked on this [00:22:00] client for free. You said you pushed your ego aside and said, yeah, even though it's a label project and they should be paying up a budget for this, I will do it for free. But then you actually reached out to the a and r and what did you do when you reached out to him?

[00:22:09] Mike: I just thanked them for letting me do it. And said, you know, I'd, love to work on more. And if you ever want to jump on the phone or if you have any questions, let me know. I was so nervous about that email because the guy who gave me his email address said, don't screw this up.

[00:22:24] Mike: cuz he's my friend too. That's what he said.

[00:22:26] Brian: This is before you had chat g p t to write all your emails for. You

[00:22:29] Brian: actually had to

[00:22:29] Brian: write this with your own human hands.

[00:22:31] Mike: I'll be even more real with this. when I started the Foxboro, I was working part-time at FedEx at four in the morning. So I had worked from four to 10 in between like getting off the forklift at FedEx, I was writing this email for like three days, trying to get every single thing perfect about it and like analyzing it and praying about it and all this stuff.

[00:22:53] Mike: and I know it sounds like, you know, I was putting this guy on a pedestal for sure, but like, this was my first opportunity and, go [00:23:00] back a little bit, he loved the master, he thought it was great and the mixer and producer thought it sounded better than the original version.

[00:23:06] Mike: So, I mean, I had a shot here, I really had an open door. So anyways, sent the email, didn't hear back for two weeks. I was sweating bullets. I thought, oh man, I just totally bombed this. and then I hear back from him and he CC'd five other a and r guys on the email and he said, Hey Mike, thanks for doing that song.

[00:23:26] Mike: I have a couple more songs for you. What's your rate? Let us all know. I did those couple more songs he loved. And then a couple weeks later I think he called me or texted me and said, Hey, can you do a song by noon tomorrow? It was like six o'clock at night. He said, it's for radio. And I thought, okay. so I called in sick to FedEx. Sorry, FedEx, I lied to you.

[00:23:48] Brian: What would Jesus do, Mike?

[00:23:49] Brian: What would Jesus do?

[00:23:51] Brian: He would've mastered that song.

[00:23:53] Mike: Yeah, he would've,

[00:23:54] Mike: he would have mastered that song. So I called in sick and then I mastered it that morning cuz it had to be in by noon.

[00:23:59] Mike: it was a [00:24:00] big Christian artists for King and Country, this song was part of an album that won a Grammy. And this was a radio version. And then they loved it, got turned in one on the radio. It didn't hit number one or anything, but it did pretty well.

[00:24:13] Mike: I actually just turned in something to the same Anar guy today, and he booked something for tomorrow. and here's the other part, this was at the label he worked at previous to the bigger label he works at now. and because of that I started working with that bigger label which is universal music.

[00:24:28] Mike: And then the guy who took his job at the other label, I turned in something yesterday for him. Which he was on that thread. I mean, it just, worked out.

[00:24:35] Brian: fascinating story. I loved it. Like, Thank you for sharing that, man. It shows a few things, like just breaking this down a little bit for anyone who's, can't directly relate to this, We all have a bit of luck when it comes to our success, especially if you're trying to move up to like a, a better level.

[00:24:47] Brian: And especially in my world, in my background here, with Mike, where you're in the music production space where it's a very gate keeper heavy industry where, that one gatekeeper that you spent days and days familiar email to, he held the keys [00:25:00] to a lot of projects. You've been working with him for years now, and he connected with other a and r.

[00:25:03] Brian: So that one connection unlocked the gates for a lot of other things for you in the future. And if you were to really sit down and plot a path from that one connection to the rest of your career, there's probably a lot of money on the line for that one connection. So it is hard to orchestrate that in a non-organic fashion where you don't have these, like what I call lucky breaks or lucky moments, however, they say like, luck is where opportunity meets preparation.

[00:25:30] Brian: And the more I do, the more lucky I get. And I, feel like with you, Mike, you were already putting the work, you were already doing the things to build your career, and you were willing to suck it up and get a job at FedEx, no offense, FedEx, and you were, moonlighting with the mastering engineer until you finally made it work.

[00:25:44] Brian: yes, there's some luck to it, but you're also a good dude. You also put in great work, which is a huge part of what makes you successful. I'll go back and listen to the last week's episode where I talked about kind of the three parts of the, freelance machine. You've got the first part nailed down, Mike the good product.

[00:25:56] Brian: That's the really important part as a master engineer and you're willing to put it in the work.[00:26:00] you said something really early in this interview, Mike, that I wanna bring up that's kind of part of this whole conversation around, client acquisition or making connections.

[00:26:07] Brian: You said how you'll sometimes get gigs from somebody because something falls through a master engineer falls out of the ether for whatever reason he can't do this project and this mic guy's been bugging the hell out of me, so I'm gonna give him the project.

[00:26:18] Brian: What do you mean by that? Like, I know you're not truly bugging people, but what are you doing to stay top of mind for these sorts of opportunities so that you're the first one that they think of when these kind of opportunities come up?

[00:26:27] Mike: What I was doing at that point was, again, just sending thank you emails. I still do it, and, the mindset there. I mean, It's not really a secret of anybody who's bought something from Sweetwater. You buy a guitar pick and they're calling you up to see how it feels in your hand.

[00:26:40] Mike: that was my mindset. But obviously not just gonna bug someone that much

[00:26:45] Brian: I'm curious about one thing. when people tell me they have their calendars book solid from word of mouth, that typically comes from people that have the largest networks. And I feel like you're one of those people, Mike, where you have a pretty large network of people.

[00:26:56] Brian: How do you go about just making sure your clients are happy and coming [00:27:00] back to you again and again and again over like a very long time horizon? I would imagine, the, your client retention is very high.

[00:27:06] Brian: a huge percentage of your clients come back to you year to year. What are you doing in that area to make sure that's you're top of mind and that they come back to you?

[00:27:13] Mike: I don't keep that metric, but it is pretty high. It's pretty easy. Just give them what they want, give the clients what they want, be, quick to respond. I feel like I can probably name five people right now not mastering people, just other people in other areas of the music industry that just take forever, to respond.

[00:27:30] Brian: are you pointing at me right now, Mike,

[00:27:32] Mike: no, no, no.

[00:27:33] Brian: I didn't respond to one of your emails for like two weeks.

[00:27:35] Mike: you. Other people. I've met so many people in the music industry where I say to myself, how did they get to where they are, being so slow and, hate saying it that way cuz that's me judging somebody, but it's also a little like affirming to know, well they made it this far, by doing that, so I think I'll be okay.

[00:27:53] Brian: I'll say what Mike doesn't wanna say here, cause I'm the more like, brash one and Mike's the nice guy. The bar is very low for most audio [00:28:00] people. in our niche, our industry, especially master engineers, the bar's really low, people don't respond to things.

[00:28:04] Brian: People don't really care about their clients. the grumpy audio engineer is like such a common thing these days that like, it's really, it's not that hard to stand out. I mean, I'm sure in some industries it's probably a lot harder to stand out on this front, but like, just listening to Mike, he's a nice guy.

[00:28:19] Brian: He's gonna do whatever he can do to take care of you. So like, these are some of the areas that I think you excel at Mike to make sure clients come back to you again and again. And, And also if you go back to our conversation where we talked about the $5 hamburger thing, that's just making sure that people are getting more value than what you're charging.

[00:28:33] Brian: People will stay with you for like life. If they feel like they're getting more out of you than what they're paying into you, then they will keep coming back to you. And that's the secret to client retention. But I'd love to know about generating referrals because I feel like as a master engineer you do need to rely on referrals a lot.

[00:28:46] Brian: And I wonder if there's any sort of strategies or anything you're doing tactically around that to generate referrals from the clients in the projects that you're working on.

[00:28:53] Mike: Nothing specific. It, I don't ask for referrals.

[00:28:56] Brian: Why,

[00:28:57] Brian: why?

[00:28:58] Mike: I did at one point do that. [00:29:00] And it did work for sure. But back to what you just said, like the bar is kind of low for a lot of stuff. And I think just succeeding, everybody's expectations is enough for somebody to refer you.

[00:29:12] Mike: I've got two things to say about that. One is, simply doing good work. So Hank, my mentor, he taught me so much and he has a legacy of his own, mastering in Nashville, like tons of country artists.

[00:29:26] Mike: And one thing he told me was, I know so many engineers that are probably the best engineers on the planet, but they are the worst people. They're not very nice. they don't treat people very nice and that's why they're not working in the music industry anymore. that was one very small nugget of information that I took and, kept in my pocket as to, okay, I'm gonna be great and I'm gonna treat people good.

[00:29:50] Mike: I am not perfect, but I try to make sure that, there isn't really a bad thing that somebody could say about me or my brand.

[00:29:59] Mike: even if an [00:30:00] email triggers me and gets me frustrated, I will definitely take a little bit of time before I respond to that email. I've responded to some before where I was like, ah, I probably shouldn't have responded to that right away.

[00:30:10] Mike: anyways I think that's how I get referrals is just people were like, man, I had a great experience with Mike. He gave me what I wanted. And he was super nice. And, somebody's moaning and groaning about. This guy just butchered their mix.

[00:30:23] Mike: So I'm gonna refer Mike to this person. I think the other thing too is, shout out to my friend Doug. Doug Weir. He listens to the podcast, to great mixing engineer in Nashville. He was working on this project for a universal artist.

[00:30:37] Mike: it was a producer that I knew actually he used to live here in Michigan and it was a country artist. And, they had this mix that Doug did mastered by somebody else. And they weren't too thrilled about it. Even though they had all three worked together previously on this artist's music.

[00:30:51] Mike: he just was a little bit frustrated with the situation where he was like, you know what? We gotta give this to Mike. He's not gonna screw it up. I'm gonna go to bat for you, Mike.[00:31:00] And basically I saved the day because it had to be turned in by the end of the day.

[00:31:04] Mike: And that alone, the producer, Matt, was just like, dude, thank you so much. And then he called me like a week later with another song. doing good work, being really kind and fitting people in. I feel like I'm saying the same stuff, but that's how it is for me at least.

[00:31:19] Brian: Even if you are saying the same stuff, I'll say this a million times, but we need to be reminded more than we need to be taught. So like half the time you'll say something and it will not stick in the head of the person listening right now who needs to hear that thing? And then they'll send me an email complaining about how like, that mic guy, he was okay, but he kept saying the same thing over again.

[00:31:34] Brian: And I'll ask them, did you do any of those things that he said over and over again? Because I would listen to Mike cuz he is doing better than you. Okay, so wanted to mention a couple things there. One is I, have an AI hack for what I call pissy emails. When you're mad and you're like angrily typing out an email that you, wanna send somebody what I used to say is type it all out and just don't send it and then let yourself cool off and at least you got it outta your system. You got it off your fingertips. Now what I say as type it all out as scathingly as you want to, and then just put it into chat [00:32:00] G b t and say, rewrite this into a nice response and it will take everything you said and put it in the nicest, most political thing possible.

[00:32:06] Brian: And you don't even have to send that either. But sometimes you'll see what they said and you're like, dang, that's really well worded. And you can actually send that is an actual response instead of forcing yourself to cool down and come back and rewrite the entire thing later. just saves a little time there.

[00:32:18] Mike: I've been playing with chat G b t a little bit here and there and that is actually on my to-do list is to see what it would do with some of my template emails for certain responses and see if maybe it would explain something a little bit more thorough.

[00:32:32] Brian: let's, let's move on into the conversation. before we move on though, this is me talking to Mike, the listener, not Mike, the guest right now. And that is put a damn referral process in place. Mike. why wouldn't you do that? Just like have a process in place for like, at a certain point, in the journey, like the ask journey, you ask at certain points know, anyone else that needs the projects or needs mastering do you know of someone who's gonna be needing mastering soon?

[00:32:51] Brian: Something like that. And just reach out and say, okay, I just mastered so-and-so's record and they said You might need mastering soon. I'd love to work with you. You just throw my name in the hat if you're interested. So start doing [00:33:00] that this is my one blurb for this episode for our one listener, Mike Svante, And I only doing this because you listen to the podcast, Mike. I would never do this for any other guest that comes in the show. And then I'm gonna come back and check on you to make sure you've done it because I know you're still growing and you still want to grow.

[00:33:14] Mike: yeah. No, no. it's actually something really good to consider and write down because I don't know if I actually have mentioned it in this recording, but, we have a new, full-time studio manager that has transitioned into her role managing the foxboro.

[00:33:30] Mike: Everything I've had previous managers and stuff and an assistant help with that stuff. And we're not necessarily trying to find more stuff for her to do, but finally somebody who can really focus on this full-time and just put their heart and soul into that part of my business so that, part of it can be successful because The more volume and the more labels that I work with, it does become a whole nother job that, I really wanted somebody that can take care of it. So the referral process is something [00:34:00] that I will definitely be writing down for her to figure out a way to do that.

[00:34:03] Brian: So they call these this kind of person, the account manager. It's the person who is like in charge of a client account. And as many clients as you have, it would make sense to have that, and you can even have. KPIs in place for how many referrals that they should be generating based on benchmarks that you've seen historically.

[00:34:19] Brian: I just went through the hiring process. I've been building KPIs and, job score cars and descriptions, and I'm hiring two more hires in the future. And like this whole world is fascinating cuz this is the whole world I don't know a whole lot about. I'd love to talk more about it, but there's such a small percentage of our audience, you being one of the few Mike who would actually need to know this stuff and take advantage of this stuff because most people sub six figures do not need to know about KPIs and the different roles within a business.

[00:34:43] Brian: this is the fun thing, like the second you start a business, instantly you create like 10 to 15 job roles and you as the solopreneur business owner you are in all those roles. So Mike, you are the mastering engineer, you are the account manager, you are the bookkeeper, you are the accountant, you might have people in some of these spaces, but like you are [00:35:00] by default doing all of these things.

[00:35:01] Brian: You are the salesperson, you are the, marketing director, you are the head of business development. Like you are doing all these different roles in your business right now. And, smaller businesses, we don't have the money to like, Every single person for each of these roles, but Your manager you hired on, you could likely put her into defined roles that she's responsible for these key areas in your business to help you out. Because the next thing I wanna talk about in our outline here is scaling your business. You have managed to scale your business to a ridiculously high volume of work.

[00:35:28] Brian: One of the highest I've seen for any mastering engineer, that I've talked to on this show or that I've seen, and I am privy to information that most people aren't because you're uh, a user of one of my software as a service company's file pass. So I can see in your account how many projects you have.

[00:35:41] Brian: It's a lot how many files and songs you uploaded to our system. It's a whole lot. And you told me you, you're willing to share this amount of information. You said you've done up to 84 songs in a week or up to 32 songs you've mastered in a day. So I would love to know some of the systems and processes that you've kind of developed to be able to handle this sheer amount of volume.

[00:35:59] Mike: For [00:36:00] one, and this is kind of a nerdy thing, but I work all in the box, which means 100% digitally, I had some analog here about a year ago, or a year and a half ago for a couple years.

[00:36:11] Mike: And at Master Disk we worked really analog over there.

[00:36:13] Brian: and

[00:36:14] Brian: just to clarify for a non audio people like that just means he doesn't have a racks and racks and racks of gear of hardware gear that he's like mastering songs through. He's doing everything digitally in his computer and there's a lot of benefits to that. Our audio people know the benefits to that, so we don't have to really talk about that too much.

[00:36:28] Brian: But this is a huge part about you speeding up your workflow system because you don't have to deal with hardware. You can create settings and templates and recall things very easily in your system. Are there any other benefits around this that you've found to help scale to this?

[00:36:41] Mike: yeah, multiple rigs. because typically with plugins, you get multiple licenses. So I have two computers that you know, if I'm working on something that's due by the end of the day, and then I've got a guy who, you know, might have a whole album that he just wanted a little bit more top end in or [00:37:00] something like that globally, then I can pull that album up on the second rig, hit print, and then I can continue working on the project I really need to work on.

[00:37:09] Mike: So that's been really great even with assistance. So like, I had an assistant, he had basically that second rig at his house and he would do instrumentals, all the alternates Or if I could trust him on the project, hey, he just needs.

[00:37:23] Mike: quarter of a DB here. So I already figured out the setting, this is what you gotta do, I saved it, just pull it up on your end and then just print it for me. and I use that second rig for instrumentals and stuff like that too. I even have a third computer for Atmos mastering, that's a whole nother thing.

[00:37:38] Mike: But because of the size of the files, it's insanely beneficial to have a whole nother computer just for that alone.

[00:37:45] Brian: Brilliant. I've never heard of anyone doing that. It makes so much sense. And the cost of having a second rig pales in comparison with the income that that second rig can produce. Or having a separate computer, a separate set of plugins, separate licenses for different digital audio workstations or dolls.

[00:37:59] Brian: [00:38:00] So you can literally be running two things at once because a lot of like mastering is just waiting room for stuff to render out or like process or do whatever its thing is doing. Anything else around like, systems of process to help with the sheer scale and volume of what you're doing from managing the projects or keeping up with stuff?

[00:38:14] Brian: what about software or anything that you're using? And this is not a time you have to plug file Pass, but I know you use File Pass to help with this as well.

[00:38:20] Mike: yeah, dude, we could do like a whole episode on systems easily because, I have two Zapier accounts. That's, where I'm at with systems. Of I maxed out one of my tiers. And the next tier was like four times the amount of money, which I did not want to spend that much.

[00:38:36] Mike: And I didn't need to spend that much, so I just started a second account. But click up is really cool and I know that you use it. And I tried it because of that episode that you had I had just been using Trello for so long I just had so many automations built into Trello it was just gonna take way too long to figure out how to transfer it all to click up

[00:38:54] Brian: You know, the, uh, the best pro management system in the world.

[00:38:57] Mike: no.

[00:38:58] Brian: It's the one you'll use. they [00:39:00] all do different things, but they're all good. Like Trello, click up, Asana. Like as long as you pick one that you can actually use and will use, it doesn't matter.

[00:39:06] Brian: Just pick one and roll with it. And the switching costs of moving to a different project management system is almost never worth the benefit you'll gain from another system. So that's fine that you stuck with Trello. So you're using two zappier accounts. Brilliant way to get over their weird pricing structure.

[00:39:19] Brian: I've never heard of something where one tier up is four times the price. That's weird. You're using Trello to kind of manage your products and you got a lot of cool automations built out with that. You mentioned you use a crm. Are you still using a crm, a customer relationship management system?

[00:39:32] Mike: we just implemented new one. I took a break from some of that stuff. I used to use Streak, which is really great. And we've implemented Trello for right now to do some of the CRM tasks that we need to do quote requests and stuff. But we might implement Shriek again just because of just some of the automation stuff that's involved with it.

[00:39:53] Mike: Other apps, we do use File Pass. And that is actually something that is so essential for me [00:40:00] because of independent clients. So everything that we deliver is delivered, with File Pass, whether it's a record label or independent where the fork in the road is that independence will pay through File Pass, which just takes a whole plate of hurdles off the table for me And pretty much every single person we've worked with, It really enjoys that process. I'm trying to think of some other apps that we use. Zapier is just connected with everything it feels like in my world. Google Spreadsheets we use Wave App for invoicing, Dropbox and emails and I had to redo an automation recently and looking back at what I had to redo, I was just like, I don't even know how I did this three years ago. How did I figure this out? the most recent one actually, and this is gonna be a little nerdy, is when somebody books a session with me based on that information on the project form, it actually creates Dropbox folders for me in my Dropbox [00:41:00] account with the project number.

[00:41:01] Mike: It's all organized and there's multiple folders. It's probably like 13 folders that get created and they're all labeled properly. Well, The one that I couldn't believe I figured out how to do, was Zapier, would find my template of my DAW relabeled the template, and then save it in the new project folder so that it's always saved in the same spot.

[00:41:22] Mike: It's always titled the exact same way. I like it. So all I have to do is double click on the project. my chain that I like to start with is on there and then drag the files in and then I can just go to town. that was a huge day when that happened because sped up the whole process so much faster.

[00:41:39] Brian: Yeah, Zapier is a secret weapon of high volume businesses and even low volume businesses. If, there's like a big series of events that's just tedious to do, and I probably need to do a whole episode on Zapier. I wouldn't count myself as an expert on this. Mike, you probably know a bit more about this than I do, but Zapier is like the translator between two apps that don't speak to each other is kind of how I like to explain it to people, [00:42:00] whereas.

[00:42:00] Brian: A form on your website may not talk to your CRM, or it may not talk to Dropbox or it may not talk to another app that you use all the time. They're not integrated with each other, but Zapier integrates with pretty much any app worth a dam, it's worth playing with. It can't get expensive if you build bad zaps that use a lot of moving parts unnecessarily.

[00:42:17] Brian: And there's an art to it, but I would love to get them as a sponsor on this show because we talk about them a lot. there's a lot of good synergy between our audience and that. So if you're listening, Zapier hit me up. what are you doing for like keeping up with follow ups with clients?

[00:42:29] Brian: because like as a master engineer, you have so many inquiries floating around out there of people that have not pulled the trigger yet, but are still sales prospects and they might be hot prospect for you. What are you doing to follow up with them until you get a yes or a no?

[00:42:41] Brian: Cause that's my role in my businesses is you follow up until you get a yes or a no period. And you never stop until you get a yes or a no, over the years, I've followed up with people for like a year straight. I don't follow up every day, tapers off, like every day for a week, and then every week and then every other week, and then every month, and then maybe once every three to four [00:43:00] months.

[00:43:00] Brian: I've never had anyone mad about that. I've only had people that thanked me because I was still pushing them towards doing the thing that they wanted to do when they contacted me in the first place. Are you doing anything in that world? And if not, why?

[00:43:11] Mike: I used to do that and you had a whole PDF download I'll just say I download everything Brian has for free. cuz there's always a little nugget in there he has for anybody at whatever level. everybody else should do the same,

[00:43:25] Brian: Well,

[00:43:25] Brian: If you want that, you can go to follow up.guide. It's an old lead magnet called How to Double Your Income by Following Up. I wrote this after going through my numbers and realizing that, I don't remember the specifics here.

[00:43:36] Brian: It's written somewhere in this pdf, but 50% of my income came from like, follow up five or six or more. So it was like a huge percentage of my income came from like the deep follow ups that almost every. Drops off before you even get there. recording studio owners is what it's written for, but it's for any freelancer, which is why we rebranded the six figure Creative.

[00:43:54] Brian: that's a good guy to follow. So why did you stop doing that?

[00:43:56] Mike: I think I did it for like a year and a half and I had it all set up in [00:44:00] streak and it was super, super cool. For whatever reason though, like just some people weren't ever getting back to me. And nobody ever got mad. So for me personally, it became more of like a time suck it's something that don't do it right now, but my manager is going to be doing it because, we do get quite a bit of quote requests the way that our system works currently if you go to my website, the get a quote page and you fill that out, you get an automated response with the proper quote based on the project.

[00:44:32] Mike: So it, there's like some math involved with the Zapier Zap, and it actually gives you all the information of how to book a session if you're ready to go. that was more successful in the bookings as opposed to a follow up sequence and stuff like that. So what our s o p is going to be that we're working out right now is that, Jenny, my manager, will be doing a follow up and, just making sure that, you know, if they had any questions or if there was a tight deadline for [00:45:00] the project and what we need to do to, meet those.

[00:45:02] Mike: And now it's your turn to school. Me, right Brian?

[00:45:05] Brian: I'm not trying to, to me it's fun. cuz I've followed your career for so long and we've known each other long enough where I feel like you can trust me and you listen to the show where I can like give my hot takes on things.

[00:45:15] Brian: You can take it or leave it and it's probably fun for the audience cuz these are like real life mini coaching moments. But like, I would recommend you and your manager look into dsa. Again, this is not a sponsored thing. I don't even think I have an affiliate link for that. If I do, it'll be in the show notes if you want to use that to support the show.

[00:45:30] Brian: But DSA is really cool because you can set up a two-step for your quote requests It's step one is just name an email. That's how, if you go to 4 56 recordings.com, my studio, that's how it's set up right now, just name an email and then it goes to the higher friction thing, which is like getting the information you need in order to get a price or a rate.

[00:45:46] Brian: if they don't finish that they get put into a follow-up sequence in something like do Soto because, DOSA has, automations for follow-up emails that are not like an email list follow up. So I don't know how they get around it or how they [00:46:00] do it, but there's no unsubscribe in there.

[00:46:02] Brian: It's like it comes from an email that, that looks just like it's from a single person and not like an autoresponder. and man I I tell you right now, Doto integrates which they absolutely should with chat TBTs backend interface, you can likely. Emails that are customed to that specific lead so that the follow up emails feel really personalized, which would be a game changer if that ever happens.

[00:46:21] Brian: So if you're listening right now, do that please. If you don't, someone else will. And then I'll use that CRM and we'll recommend that CRM and I'll get sponsored by that CRM and I'll get 'em an affiliate program for that crm. But if you set this up, you can get those people who are not ready yet to get like a full quote, but they're interested that you're following up with them over a 60, 90 day period with fully automated emails that if they respond, the automation stops and a human takes back over.

[00:46:41] Brian: that's like a really good way to get the front end leads, cuz you have such a high volume of leads coming through. And then those can be nurtured by your assistant until they're like a hot lead who's ready to do something. And then you can send them to the like actual checkout process or whatever.

[00:46:54] Brian: But those are the turtles and you're missing out on all those right now. The hairs who are ready right now will just flow right through the funnel[00:47:00] and then they'll get to the checkout and then they'll buy, and then they'll be kind of the intermediate, the people who get through the full funnel and they don't buy, they're hot, but they didn't buy.

[00:47:07] Brian: Those are the ones you can still have an, separate follow-up process that's automated in DOA or have your manager human follow up with them to stay top of mind because they seem to be ready to buy right now. So you have like the lukewarm people that you're nurturing over a long period of time in DOA with like a pre-done sequence.

[00:47:23] Brian: You have the hot prospects who are getting either a personal outreach from your person. Or maybe even a call man if you wanted to take it to the next level, making sure you're capturing your phone number and within five minutes of them filling that out and not buying, you're calling them. And then the people who actually buy on the, checkout page are obviously customers At that point, you don't have to worry about it.

[00:47:42] Brian: that's how I would do it. It's a bit of work to set all that up. Andos a little bit complex but for a high vine business that is like the perfect compromise of all the kind of different flows that you could have. So lemme know your thoughts on that cause that what I would do.

[00:47:54] Mike: Yeah, no, actually I did look at do Soto too. I think it was your guest Micah that [00:48:00] was on here talking about do Soto and I have an account still and stuff like that, but I think there was something about it that I didn't like and I can't remember, but you just talking through how you're doing it actually makes me want to go back and recheck it out.

[00:48:13] Brian: I believe episode two 20 is the one we're referring to with Rachel Mueller. in the episode title is The Busy Freelancers Guide to Getting Your Time Back by Building Systems That Scale. I believe that was it. And maybe we're wrong there, but I believe Rachel's the one that's like the process expert Yeah. Sometimes these, interviews can blend together in my head. So sorry if that's not the right one, listeners. But yeah that's, that's what I do. And then, then there's the, like the back end of follow up and that is like when a project is done. What are you doing on the long term to make sure that you're top of mind when it comes time the next project to start?

[00:48:40] Brian: Because in the audio world, it's relatively known. If they could do a single, then maybe a couple don'ts down the road, you wanna be top of mind. If they did an ep, then maybe six months down the road you wanna be top of mind. If they did a full album, maybe eight or nine or 12 months down the road, you wanna make sure you're top of mind and you can automate those sorts of like touchpoint emails in DOA pretty easily so that you don't have to remember to do that.

[00:48:57] Brian: versus just a reminder popping up in something like [00:49:00] close.com. That CRM is great, but it doesn't have automation, so you have to manually send the email template to the client. And that can get really tedious when you're working with, dozens or hundreds of, leads in limbo at any given time. So that is it for part one of my conversation with Mike Cervantes. Hope you enjoyed it and got a lot of takeaways from that part of the conversation. We have part two coming next week For all my audio engineers, my OG listeners who are listening to the show right now, be sure to go sign up for a free trial of file pass.com. That's the software that Mike's been using since we were in beta.

[00:49:27] Brian: He's got thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of songs on there, that he's been doing as part of his projects. He's a power user. I know he would highly endorse using File Pass, so I'm gonna use his social proof to point you to go sign up for a free trial by going to file pass.com/creative.

[00:49:43] Brian: If you use that link, I believe there might be a little discount or maybe an extended trial or something there. forget what we set up there for that link.

[00:49:48] Brian: but file Pass, for those who don't know, it's a file sharing app that you can send files to your clients where they can leave timestamp comments you can collaborate and go over revision smoothly with your clients. your clients can stream the Flawless [00:50:00] Wave file audio from any device.

[00:50:01] Brian: It has a frictionless client experience, so they don't ever have to log into anything. It's just a link straight to their music, unless you use the password feature

[00:50:08] Brian: All of your comments that your clients leave you on the files, on the songs that are timestamped. It leaves you a nice and tidy checklist so you can just check those songs off as you go through it. And then finally, the feature that Mike uses the most is.

[00:50:19] Brian: Our paywall, meaning when you send files to your clients, they can listen, they can stream, but they can't download until they've paid you what they've owed you. So this allows you to not be a bill collector anymore, not have to send invoices and wait for them to pay or hope they pay. Just send a file and when they're ready to pay, they can pay and download the songs that you have mastered for them or mixed for them or produced for them.

[00:50:37] Brian: So that is it for this episode. I'll see you all next week.

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