In recent years many new and experienced voice over artists would have noticed the explosion of Freelance and P2P (Pay-2-Play) sites popping up on the internet. Whilst the camp remains divided on the value of such sites, I for one can say that they have played a beneficial role in the development of my own voice over business. I developed some useful clients, that have turned into repeat business. However, there are many other voice over artists who have developed very lucrative voice over businesses without using such sites.
Looking at my own marketing strategy, I have tried a variety of methods. Most recently I tried ‘cold-calling’, yes doing some research on a prospective business, picking up the phone and exploring how I could ‘add value’ to a local company, who in this instance specialised in animation. Well, initially I met the owner informally over a cup of coffee and during the first two meetings we just got to know one another and it was only during the third meeting that we talked ‘business’ and even then I just listened to him talk passionately about his own business. By the time we met again, he mentioned that he had been commissioned by a local organisation, to lead on developing a health related animation project, which also required several voice over artists. He mentioned whether I was interested in the narrator role. As you can imagine, I was very pleased at not only getting the part, but also collaborating with a new client, without having to go through the ‘traditional’ competitive audition process. So, what had I learnt from this process? Well, firstly that, ‘cold-calling can work, but it requires a planned approach. Secondly, building and nurturing trust with a potential new client requires patience, understanding, a willingness to listen, whilst adopting a non-intrusive approach.
Another creative approach that I recently adopted, was keeping in touch with previous work colleagues. For many years, I had previously in the charity sector and I remember my Mother mentioning to me to always, try and maintain ‘good relationships’ where possible. My Mother was right, because my ex-boss, contacted me to discuss a conference that he was organising later in the year. During our conversations, he mentioned that it was going to be a conference with an opening video. That is when I suggested that I could narrate part of the opening video as delegates entered the event. I devised a 2 minute script, added the background music/sound effects and provided two draft revisions. As a result of the success of this collaborative process, he informed that there potentially would be further opportunities to use my voice over skills in the near future.
All this goes to show that when you are figuring out what marketing strategy to use, remember, some may be more effective than others .The key as many other voice over artists will tell you, is to firstly to have a clear plan of which social media platform you intend to use, implement it, then evaluate its impact on your voice-over business, before moving onto another. By doing it this way, I believe you are not only learning a new skill, but also gaining further insight into what works and what does not for your own voice over business. Equally, with Freelance and P2P sites you will hear some voice over artists, complaining that some are not as effective as others and again as a voice over artist, you have choices and decisions to make that are for the development of your own business. I did and have stayed with a few P2P sites over the years, however, alongside this, I also focused my time, by developing direct links with prospective leads through email marketing and attending networking events.
In the end it goes back to my original question, Why attracting clients to your voice over business, involves trying out a few different marketing strategies? The answer is, it really does involve trying out and evaluating what works for you and your voice-over business. I would also add that maybe its worth going out of your ‘comfort zone.’ otherwise how will your voiceover business grow, if you keep on doing the same old same old?!!