VO Marketing Tips – Part 1, The Basics

For the past few years, I have had the distinct honor and pleasure of taking part in an exciting and wonderful career as a Voice Talent. Because I have such a passion for voice acting, it naturally drives me to want to succeed and see my business flourish. Most people, when I tell them what I do for a living, simply shake their heads in amazement and exclaim how cool it must be to get paid “just for using my voice”. I smile, shake my head vehemently, and agree. But, as all of us in the industry know, the fun part of using your voice is probably only 20% of the job! The rest is comprised of everything else that is required to operate and maintain a successful business. A large part of that is knowing how to market yourself to generate new business, as well as having an effective plan to nurture and sustain existing business relationships.

Along my journey, I have experienced many trials and tribulations, and have been truly blessed to have learned a few lessons along the way. I certainly do not claim to be a marketing expert to any degree, but I’d love to share some marketing tips that were effective for my business. I hope that they can, in some way, help you too, and allow you to truly flourish in this great industry!

Some basic tips that I have found to be really helpful in expanding my business include:

Get Your Demo Professionally Produced and Keep it Fresh!

This is your most important marketing tool and vital to your success as a voice over artist. If you are serious at all about your VO business, this should be your number one goal. As you grow as an artist and as a business, it will be necessary to keep your demos current and even add more to your current portfolio. Go to a professional studio and make it a priority to invest in your demo – it is your calling card!

Write a Great Bio

A foundation to marketing yourself – Even if you are just starting out in the business, you will need to provide people with information about who you are and your relevant experience. For many of us, this can be an immensely difficult task! Once your bio is developed, however, it can be used many times over – as part of your business introduction for new clients, a cover letter for auditions, Bid Response letters, as well as a section on your website.

Talk about what you do

All the time – to everyone! You never know who may be in need of your services. Even if they may not be in need of your services right now, they just might be later on down the road, or they may know someone who is. Don’t be shy! People always seem to be fascinated with the concept of voice overs as a business – and it’s a great ice breaker and conversation piece at parties!

Figure out your “Brand” and Develop a Strategy

This is a vital step in creating and establishing your identity as a voice over artist. Exactly “who” are you and what is your specialty? Your brand identity will be repeatedly communicated, in multiple ways with frequency and consistency throughout the life span of your business. Famous for his innovative branding,Doug Turkell, the “Unnoucer” has flourished by creating and marketing his unique brand of voice overs. Just do it already! Butdothink carefully about this one – changing your brand once established can be a bit difficult, though not impossible!

Take classes and workshops in your profession

It will allow you to network with your peers and even better, establish a relationship with an industry “expert”, who can provide you with even more valuable business leads. Taking classes will not only add educational/ training credits to your resume, but will also allow you to establish and assess your “competition”, and strengthen your vision for possible “niche” markets which may not be covered by your peer group.

Make yourself Accountable

Write down your business goals and establish a system of accountability for your business. This will help you develop a clear picture of how you can better market yourself. Spend an allotted time each day working on new contacts – this includes cold calling! Make it a goal to meet someone new in the business everyday!

It’s all about Customer Service!

Go above and beyond for your clients. Give more than they expect – and you will find that they will come back again and again. When I book a job, I usually give at least two finished takes for the client to choose from, even if they are not requested. Since I usually record more than two takes for each spot anyway, it doesn’t add a lot of time to the job on my end, and my clients really appreciate it!

Take care of your existing customers!

The word “Marketing” is often thought to describe advertising activities specific to gaining new business, but keep in mind that enriching and nurturing the relationship of your existing customers can be critical to your business survival. Contact them periodically and let them know you are available for them and keep them abreast of any new projects. Many times during a new business “low”, my repeat clients have come through with flying colors and kept my business booming!

Get Testimonials and Publish them!

When you complete a job, especially when you know the client loved your work, always ask for a testimonial, as well as a copy of the finished product for your demo reel. You can simplify this process by creating a generic “Thank You” template or form email that includes your request so you don’t forget. You’d surprised at how many clients are more than willing to do this for you if you just ask! Let your clients do the marketing for you!

I hope you have found these tips to be helpful and I welcome all comments! Upcoming articles in this series will discuss marketing options for building and marketing your VO business online.

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Reasons Video Marketing Is Important

There are many ways for a company to market themselves. They can use traditional paper marketing, social media marketing, or search engine rankings with a great website design. Corporate video production is one of the most effective video marketing techniques.

The total number of online consumers doubles every few years. This means that online video views will quadruple in this time frame. Video usage is growing because people love it, and video is becoming a viable marketing channel.

Videos allow businesses to create and share quality content with their audiences in a way that text cannot. It also makes people feel connected to company by allowing them to see a face behind the name. People enjoy videos because they may not have the time or patience to read through lengthy product or service descriptions.

Making and publishing videos does not always directly bring in money. However, video marketing is a tactic businesses use to improve customer engagement, click-throughs, and traffic. For example, including videos in emails can increase open rates by five percent and click-through rates nearly 100 percent of the time.

Videos help search traffic increase. Major search engines have begun ranking videos in their results page. Videos have a 50 times better chance of ranking within the first page of major search engines with their respective keywords. Videos also increase traffic for businesses when they are shared. With video marketing, there is a higher chance of a video going viral.

This age of internet and computers allows people the ability to shop from home. However, shoppers have lost the ability to feel and try out the products in person. Businesses who create detailed demo videos explaining their products and services give their customers the opportunity to feel that in-store experience shopping online.

With thorough videos, customer service will not have to deal with common and obvious questions. This can be how does the product work and how big is the product in real life. The video tells customers everything they need to know in order to make a smart buying decision.

Creating corporate videos is a creative and exciting experience for those in charge of it. This is more fun than typing out a blog post or choosing product descriptions that accurately cover any questions a customer may have before buying. The video will bring all company offerings to live.

The more creative and unique a video is, the more customers will appreciate it and remember it in the future. Creative videos will also be shared more among customers to friends, family, and coworkers. This will increase exposure and bring in new customers.

Social media defines marketing today. Therefore, videos are an integral part of most online marketing campaigns. Videos should be cross-promoted with all other online media content a business has. This ensures a powerful way to strengthen the different signals being sent to customers.

Successful video marketing campaigns require support from all other marketing channels. Videos need to be shared on the company’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Get employees to share the videos on their personal social media accounts.

Incorporate videos into blog posts. In fact, make a theme of it. One day a week, such as Friday or Monday, make a blog post that is centered on a video. This theme idea can translate into the video channel that a business should make on popular video upload sites. Make a schedule for uploading videos on a channel. For example, businesses can have How-To Tuesdays.

Playlists can be created to group similar videos that customers may want on a particular topic. Customers will be influenced to watch more videos in a playlist, increasing view counts and the likelihood they will be liked and shared on social media avenues.