SoundToys Little Radiator Plug-in

Man, I saw this promotion pop up earlier in the month, but I was so swamped with my current projects that I put it on my “I’ll get to that right away” list. And we all know what happens when you put to-do items on that list…

Bummed I didn’t get in on the action sooner, but in any case, I finally got in on the action today, and am really excited about my new SoundToys Little Radiator plug-in, which I’m downloading right now as I type this.

Get The SoundToys Little Radiator For FREE!
The Little Radiator is SoundToys’ unique twist on the classic sound of the Altec 1566A tube mic preamp. Much like they have done in previous plug-in releases, they decided to run a promotion this month (ends in just a few hours), in which you can download the Little Radiator for free.

For full details, and to get your free SoundToys Little Radiator, simply follow this link:

Hurry! This is all over in just a few short hours!!

Twitter: @stsn

(2) Comments   
Posted on 25-01-2012
Filed Under (making money) by Jon Stinson

The approach to practice real simple. If your main motivation is to indulge your ego, to become the famous one that everyone else envies, and to grace the “common man” with the privilege of allowing them to come to your show, you will fail.

I don’t care if you have a record deal with a major label, representation by a famous artist manager, or a booking deal with the top agent at the biggest agency. You will fail.

On the other hand, if you understand the new economy, you understand the value of trading information for content, and you’re willing and capable of creating meaning with people, then you will succeed.

You want to be a hit act? You need to understand what type of life that really is. You need to understand that by choosing this lifestyle, you’re joining the ranks of the working class. And you’re going to have to work hard for your success. Once you reach your goal, you’re going to have to work for a long time to maintain it.

You have to understand The Power Of Free Music

You have to understand that it is you who is privileged to have the honor to have the attention of a few people for the nite, that they have chosen to let you entertain them. You’re working for the common man, and you are the common man.

At this point, I’ve been working for a long time in this space – the place where the money comes only after you create meaning with people. It’s been a very rough road to say the least, and there’s still a long way to go. So far, it’s looked nothing like I expected it to, and directions have changed more times than I can count. But I’m still plowing away, and while not every idea comes to fruition, a few do.

One of these ideas is the Three Side Single, which I launched a few weeks ago. The idea of the Three Side Single is a simple three song release that is download only, and available for $0. All you do is trade your email address for a download.

The inaugural release of this series I did in partnership with the Nashville indie rock band, Kink Ador.

Kink Ador understands the power of free music. Both Kink Ador, and myself, invite you to join the tribe.

Download the Kink Ador Three Side Single


(0) Comments   
Posted on 29-06-2011
Filed Under (marketing and promotion) by Jon Stinson

Since reviving this blog last Saturday, I’ve been spending a lot of time talking about working for $0, working for free, and creative ways to promote yourself as a record producer and audio engineer. That’s all well and good, but as I’ve stated throughout the those three previous posts (Do You Know What I Do?, Working For $0, and The Difference Between “Free” and “$0″), the point is to make money.

So I thought after spending so much time talking about promotion, I should spend some time talking about ways to make money.

All the work you have put in on the front end, both in previous projects, and projects you have worked on for $0, has increased your value. Leverage this value into a substantial daily or hourly rate.

It happens all the time. Someone books you for a full day, but then only ends up needing you for half the day, or worse-canceling altogether. Charge a minimum, as well as a cancelation fee. But be upfront about this when you’re hired for a project.

Increase your rate
Again, your work history (both in paid projects, and in $0 projects) has increased your value. Leverage that value into a higher rate.

Take a look at the services you currently offer. You probably currently sell yourself as a record producer, audio engineer, mix engineer, or all three. As far as “packages” go, you probably don’t really refer to the services you offer as packages in your marketing material.

Here’s the thing: in addition to creating information products, such as ebooks, that you can let people download for $0, you can also create information products, for example consulting services, that you can charge money for. You can “package” these additional information products and services in with your base set of production, engineering, and mixing services. Thus not only increasing your value, but also permitting you to charge a more boutique rate for your work.

Hope this ties together my previous three posts, and completes the thought on how working for $0 and free can increase your value, and ultimately generate more higher-paying work. Because the goal IS to make money.

Twitter: @stsn

(0) Comments   
Posted on 28-06-2011
Filed Under (promotion) by Jon Stinson

When discussing new media and marketing, and ways to promote yourself online, I typically try to stay away from using the word “free”. The reason is because very rarely is anything truly free. I guess it’s really just my meticulousness, but I’m of the belief that somehow, on some level, it subliminally makes a difference in the language you choose-both internally (with yourself) and externally (those you’re marketing to).

So then what really is the difference between “free” and “$0″? To me, “free” is something you give away, totally free, with no strings attached. A gift of sorts. For example, if you contacted a songwriter and told her that you wanted record an album of her music with no compensation of any type whatsoever, I would count this as working for free.

On the other hand, if you contacted that same songwriter and told her that you wanted to record an album of her music, and that while she didn’t have to pay you anything, you did want to work out something that would provide alternative compensation. For example, a picture, blurb, and link to your website on the front page of her website. Or a picture, blurb, and contact info on the inside of her CD booklet. Or an email blast and blog post describing your work and your identity, blasted out to her list. This type of arrangement, I would consider to be working for $0. Because, while you’re not getting paid, you are thinking of creative ways to promote your work.

I think there is a place for both. While it should be approached with prudence, I think offering a certain amount of your time to people completely for free is a great way to contribute to the community. Think of it as a tithe (one tenth of your time as a contribution for the greater good of everyone). While working for $0 should also be approached with prudence, it is a great way to create meaning with people, equip people with tools to promote you, contribute to the community, gain experience, gain exposure, build value, and make more money.

Some further illustrations of working for free:

  • Inviting someone into your studio so they have a chance to learn from you
  • Helping out at someone else’s studio so that you have a chance to learn from them
  • Meeting someone for lunch to answer their questions about production
  • Showing up to a band’s live show and recording it for them
  • Recognizing something that needs to get done, and doing it

Some further illustrations of working for $0:

  • Starting a blog to share studio stories, and recording tips
  • Writing an ebook about producing and recording
  • Recording an album, but owning the masters
  • Starting your own band
  • Starting a newsletter

In my post last Saturday (Do You Know What I Do?), I discouraged the idea of working for “free” a little bit. And in further contemplating this topic, I think I may have gone too far. At the risk of contradicting myself, I want to now motivate you to pursue both working for “free” and working for “$0″. But always with clear purpose and prudence.

Yeah, it will be hard work to do these things, and a lot of it could be considered ancillary work. But if you pursue it honestly it will be a 100% fruitful investment in yourself. And if you’re not willing to do that type of work, then don’t expect to necessarily generate a lot of paying work, only focusing on carrying out the primary tasks associated with your business.

Twitter: @stsn

(0) Comments   
Posted on 07-07-2009
Filed Under (marketing and promotion) by Jon Stinson

FREE Book Cover

I’ve been anticipating this book for a while now (I don’t think I realized how much, actually). Today, as the book comes out in the United States, I’ve been reading some blog posts. I thought I’d share some quick thoughts as I prepare to read FREE: The Future of a Radical Price.

When Chris Anderson first started talking about the economics of free, it naturally piqued my interest as Radical Notion (independent media), my startup, is a company which uses various versions of free as one of the core concepts of it’s business model. Chris Anderson’s discussions on free have been very exciting to me, as it put a name and economic model around many of the strategies on the cutting edge of the music industry. Strategies in which I have found inspiration for my own company. Namely, strategies which bands like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails have acted as leaders for many other bands which are now developing very similar strategies.

I just watched a video of Rich Fahle interviewing Chris Anderson for Borders, discussing his new book. There are a lot of interesting ideas touched on in this interview that I can hardly wait read more about as I study the book. There were a couple of the things I thought particularly interesting in the video, though. One was hearing more of Chris’s thoughts on this idea of “freemium.” And the other was that (according to Chris) people who are over 30 tend to not believe in the idea of free as a business model, and people under 30 say, “no duh” to the idea of free as a business model.

Something that I whole heartedly disagree with, however, happens around the 5:10 mark where Rich Fahle says, “you can’t turn to an expert anymore, in this model that you’re describing, to do all that background business work. It sounds like what you’re describing is you gotta be a business man. If you’re an artist, you also have to be a business manager.”

Of course I totally disagree with this. I think that today, an artist needs a manager in a way that they have never needed one before. They need someone who thinks radically enough to direct their career in a way that is relevant to the changed establishment. To be successful in today’s music world, it is most important to find a manager who not only will pursue and/or invent new ways to harness the power of free (among an infinite number of other new marketing concepts), but an artist needs to find a manager who realizes that it is their obligation to protect this strategy at all costs. Because there will be others who want to partner or invest in the artist, then water down the strategy.

I recommend you watch the video (total length 15:02) [] Pay attention around 5:35 when Chris says, “Radical Notion.” I love when things like this happen!

Also, in honor of “walking the talk” of the book, Chris Anderson has partnered with a few companies to offer several ways to consume the book:

For what it’s worth, I think I’ll opt to purchase the book, acquiring the “freemium” version. Nothing like being able to actually touch and smell a creative work.

Got any other links/thoughts/etc about Chris Anderson’s new book, FREE: The Future of a Radical Price? Please post comments.

Talk with you tomorrow, where we’ll get back to our usual discussion of making records.

(0) Comments   
Posted on 24-03-2008
Filed Under (marketing and promotion) by Jon Stinson

Wes Sp8 EP Release Poster

*The Wes Sp8 EP Release Party and CD is FREE*
This Friday, March 28th, will be Wes Sp8′s EP Release Party to celebrate the release of his debut, Please EP. The party will be at The 12 South Tap Room in Nashville, TN with O’ Don Piano playing first (Josh Hood, Wes Sp8′s drummer). There is no cost to get in, and the first 50 people who show up get a free copy of Please EP. You don’t want to miss this show (unless you hate free stuff). Come be a part of the community that Wes Sp8, myself, Jonathan Harms, Radical Notion and others are building in 2008. We put the value in the guest’s experience.

Get directions to The 12 South Tap Room here: []

One more thing…
Thanks for reading my blog, and taking an interest in what I do. If you live in Nashville I’m going to do a special promotion of Please EP for you. It’s going to end on Friday, or once the first 10 people act-whichever comes first. Come by the Radical Notion office (my apartment) any time between now and Friday to say hello and get your FREE, pre-party copy of Please EP.

(0) Comments    Read More