VOICE OVER MARKETING / PART 2:
Heat Up Your Voice Over Cold Call
Marketing Success With Follow Up
By Rob Marley
Voice Actor & Author
Note: This chapter excerpt is reprinted with grateful permission from the author's new book, "So You Want to Do VO? Working from home as a voiceover actor," - a step-by-step guide to success in the voiceover industry, available here at Amazon.
See Part 1:
OK, so you've made the call and got an email address.
The next step is the follow through, to give them what they want.
A typical initial contact email should be short and to the point. Here's an example of one I would write to a Creative Director at a production house that specializes in commercials:
The closing, "Looking forward to working with you," might come across as a little presumptuous, and was just a suggestion. Feel free to come up with something you think best represents what you would say. You might not want to even mention the professional artist and short turnaround line.
Just make your key points:
Make sure you've got their name spelled correctly, then hit SEND.
DID THEY RESPOND?
If you haven't heard back from them in about two weeks, send a follow-up email. Something along the lines of:
Something light and quick, and leave it at that.
If you haven't heard from the contact after the second email, put them in a list of people you're going to contact at a later date.
That is where the majority of your leads are going to go: into a big file of names and numbers that you need to regularly try to connect with.
This doesn't mean you should forget about them. Try to contact each potential lead once every 3 to 6 months. After a couple of cycles of this, push it to every 12 months.
MY MARKETING STRATEGY
Here's the marketing strategy I use:
1. Find a business.
Research as much as I can about them. Find the name of the right person to contact and add them to my "Potential Leads" contact database.
2. Send them the initial email with links to my website, demo etc.
Short and sweet. Two or three short sentences and that's it.
3. Send them a follow up email 2 weeks later.
4. Send them a "just touching base" email a month later.
5. Send them a "haven't talked to you in a while" email 3 months later.
6. Continue to send them an email introducing myself or sending an interesting link at least every year.
If the email bounces, I go back to the research and see if the company still exists. People move on. Your contact list needs to be updated.
Lather rinse repeat. KEEP REACHING OUT!
AND IT WORKS!
I currently have a couple of paying clients that I had been sending emails to for over 4 years without hearing anything back.
That's 4 years of "Hi, haven't heard from you in a while ..." "Hi, just wanted to touch base with you ..." blah blah. And not hearing back AT ALL during that time.
But I kept with it and would send out an email every year just to try to get on their radar.
MANAGING YOUR LIST
Eventually you will reach a point where your list of leads is going to get large. Perhaps too large to manage with a simple spreadsheet.
At that point you might want to upgrade to some type of Customer Retention Software (CRS) or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software that can help you keep track of everything.
Until then, use Google Sheets to create a simple database that you can refer to.
SOCIAL MEDIA, TOO
But there's more than just the cold call
Say you've found someone you want to work with. You've pulled their name and number, checked out their website to see what they do, and found the name of the person to contact.
From there you can start the initial process of trying to contact them.
But there's more that you can do that will help improve your chances of converting a lead into a client.
Social media is your friend.
Does the person use Twitter? Are they on Instagram? Facebook? LinkedIn?
Do they post YouTube or Vimeo clips of their work?
Friend them. Add them. Follow them.
This is your opportunity to connect with them on a fairly non-intrusive level.
IT'S ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS
Once you get a reply from them in one form or another (a thumbs up, retweet, whatever), use that medium as a way to contact them.
If your lead replied positively to something you posted on their Facebook feed, send them a direct message thanking them for the reply.
Note: this should not be used as a way to shove your demo in their face. Just say thanks and build on the interaction from there in the future.
To be successful in voiceover, you need to learn how to work with individuals to establish a relationship with them.
That's what marketing is all about: building relationships with people that will hopefully turn into a profit-making opportunity for you.
Rob Marley is a full-time voiceover artist, coach, producer and author, living in the hill country of Austin Tx. His book, "So You Want To Do VO? Working from home as a voiceover actor" can be found here at Amazon.com.
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