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Marketing Seasons & Rhythms: When
Are Best Times For The Voice Over Biz?

December 6, 2017

By Bettye Zoller
Voice Actor, Narrator, Coach

Do you know the ups and downs, the rhythm of the year, for marketing your voice over services?

You should! Successful marketing depends on this knowledge. All effective marketers in every business field know the calendar year and what they should do (OR NOT DO) for maximum effect each month.

Sales efforts will fall on deaf ears at the wrong time of year. Interest waxes and wanes depending on sales cycles.

For example, clothing retailers know that
  • Summer is NOT the time to sell heavy sweaters and coats. These things should be merchandized months earlier.
  • Winter is best for advertising swimwear and for the "sub-market" of cruise wear. People aren't going to wear that stuff till warmer weather, but they are going to buy it ahead of time.

Now, month by month, let's talk about advertising schedules and sales thrusts.

Immediately after the December holiday break, you're wasting your time (and maybe, printing costs or postage) trying to contact new or existing clients before about January 15-20 or so. Everyone is still in that holiday mood. Many have not yet returned from travel. Others are too busy getting children back to school and casting or beginning new projects they are planning for the new year has scarcely begun.

Give people time to 'crank up' and get 'serious' again about their business after that long holiday. Except for Valentine's Day ...
If you're thinking about marketing your voice for Valentine's Day, you should have done so in early January. This holiday is great for voice over work. Early in December is none too soon to contact potential advertisers or agency creatives. "The early bird catches the money" or something . . .

Think about all holidays far ahead of the actual date they occur. Even one year ahead is fine. Have you ever read an interview or article about a fashion model? The model complains about freezing in a swimsuit in January while on a "shoot" in the snow, or sweating in a heavy coat or fur in August.

All retailers live by the calendar and you should too, but the fashion industry is particularly aware of this. Take your tips from fashion magazines. A fashion spread about summer picnics in the March issue of Vogue or Bazaar proves how far ahead you should be planning!
Think "spring and summer merchandise."

This month's also a good time to take a little work vacation. It's relatively quiet without major holidays.
  • Work on new or improved promotional materials.
  • Make a new demo or edit an old one.
  • Have new head shots taken.
  • Meet with agents and managers to plan promotional strategies.
Because spring is "renewal" you can hinge your advertising on this thought: Renew and do something new. Hire me!

Podcasts? Now is a good time to write and record them. Air new podcasts throughout the year as you see fit, yet it's best to space out the air times.

This is also a good month for cold calling. People are in their offices and often snowbound, or just plain bored! With more time on their hands, some folks are glad to talk with producers and talents, especially new ones.

When I was a newcomer to this biz, an "old timer" told me that it was easy to have folks get excited about "new." He said that because I was a new voice, people would be clamoring to use me.

He was right. It's when you've been around a market for awhile that you have to hit the advertising harder.

It's always amazing what people DON'T KNOW about you! Just last month, I was talking to one of my agents in Arizona about some of the character voices I do. She didn't know about all of them, so I mailed her a character demo so she could hear for herself.

Don't forget to sell to your agents now and then! Of course, you should be doing mail-outs every month. Also, in-person networking is good any time of year!
Think about summer promotions! Easter advertisements should have been prepared in February or March, at the latest. Swimwear, vacations, beach sounds, and anything that's relaxing is the ticket now.

A summer-themed mailer promotion might be a good idea. They always look so summery and happy and bright and sunny! And wedding-themed advertisements...tell them about your ideas and special usefulness in these efforts now. Summer weddings are such a big business.
As was the case in April, summer's just around the corner. Think ''summer weddings." 

Florists are receptive to advertising ideas now, too.

The fourth of July ads are coming soon. Those make for colorful mailers. You're "hot as a firecracker." 

Remember to use colorful slogans and memorable catch phrases to make people notice you.
This is the height of the wedding season. Your advertising to anyone who makes money from weddings should have been mailed (at the latest) by April. Jewelers and florists are tops.

Phone calls this month (and mailers) should be geared to advertising your services in back-to-school efforts. Later than June to plan back-to-school is too late.

Ideas for print mailers are easy to come up with. So are handouts such as pencils and pens with your contact into on them and memo pads.
More back-to-school ads or mailers would be good. Give ideas for effective voice overs and show your creativity to advertising agency planners/copy writers/creatives. 

Back-to-school tends to be more predictable than some other periods of the calendar, so put on your thinking cap and get noticed for creativity. It's all about getting noticed in the crowd! If you're clever enough, you'll be remembered.
Think 'Holidays.' Now through October - that's the buzzword. December holidays are primary. Halloween is also a big source of voice over advertising revenue. Gear up for Halloween advertising this month.

Character voices are a "biggie" at all holidays. If you do some, capitalize on them!
September, October, November:
The holidays are here! These include Thanksgiving, but remember that everyone advertises at this time of year.

To stay unique and stand out from the crowd, advertising your services by mail, phone, or email, probably is best at other times of year. If your advertising centers around the big holidays, be sure your creativity is shining brightly.

Calendars sent out in September to December are good because they'll hang on someone's wall all year (if the calendar is really sharp looking).
Basically, don't do anything new with advertising. Old timers in voice overs are fond of saying that December's the best month to leave and lock your studio and vacation! That's not always true, of course . . . there are exceptions.    
Bettye Zoller is a voice actor, voice over coach and audiobook narrator based in Dallas, where she offers personal and group coaching in her studio. She is currently writing a novel - also to become an audiobook, of course - based on her experiences as a child actor on the MGM movie lot. And she welcomes speaking on industry podcasts about voice over and audiobooks.

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Comments (6)
Roy Bunales
12/11/2017 at 3:45 PM
That's some good stuff right there, Bettye! This info is gold!!
Bettye Zoller Seitz
12/11/2017 at 11:49 AM
Great comment, Gene. You just reminded us about funding seasons in the corporate world. Yes, we have to get our voice overs paid for and this means funding deadlines. Think about that while marketing. Winter, Summer, Fall, etc.
Bettye Zoller
12/6/2017 at 11:17 PM
Wonderful comments - thank you.
Gene Tognacci
12/6/2017 at 3:57 PM
Great insight and advice, as usual, Bettye.

I also find November/December a great time to re-connect with older clients I have not been in touch with during the year. As an e-Learning specialist, more than once I've had a client pass along a project they wanted completed before end of quarter/end of year funding dried up.

Thanks for sharing.
12/6/2017 at 7:19 AM
Bettye - this is wonderful advice! Never thought of it this way. You are a treasure - thanks!
Bettye Zoller Seitz
12/5/2017 at 11:33 PM
Thank you, John, for publishing my new article! More, the list you’ve compiled of past articles on this general field is fabulous!
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