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MARKETING
Got The Summertime Business Blues?
Plant Seeds Early For The Long Game
August 3, 2017

By Paul Stefano
Voice Actor

Last week I was reminded that marketing and planning really need to be long range.

A colleague posted on social media that"July is always a bad month" for voice over work.

As I reflected on the post it occurred to me that July 2017 had actually been my BEST income month.

Why? The seeds that came to grow and bear fruit in July were planted long ago. Let me explain.

PLANTED LAST NOVEMBER

Three of my largest paying jobs to date were with a company that I reached out to in November 2016 - the 16th day, to be exact (that point will be important later).

I'd sent a simple blind email to a large eLearning company asking if they would like to add me to their pool of talent. No immediate response.

I waited patiently, and in fact, just sort of wrote the whole thing off.

Then in January I got a response.

"We are interested in working with you. Tell us about your rates."

So I replied with fair rates, directly from the Edge Studio Rate Card.

I thought,"Here comes the gravy train." After all, I'd responded the same day and the representative from the company answered, "Great! I'm re-working our internal database for the team and will follow up in February with some more info/questions."

WAITING PATIENTLY


I sent a follow-up the last day of February. After all, follow up is important, so long as you are not obnoxious about it.

I got a quick response from my contact: "Yes, I've been terribly behind with this project. I still plan to follow up, it will just be a little later than I originally expected."

Wonderful, I thought. Things were progressing. After all, it had only been three months since my initial contact.

So, I waited. This time, waiting patiently, promising myself not to be a nudge.

And after few weeks, I let it go. Maybe the company wasn't interested in me after all.

'I HAVE A JOB FOR YOU'


Then on May 16 (see, I told you that was an important detail) I got my first job with that company.

The greeting was simple and to the point: "Hi Paul, I have a job for you!"

I recorded their project. Two more jobs came quickly - and another is in the works this week.

Suddenly, I'd had my best voice over month ever and this company has become a regular client.

POLITE PERSISTENCE

The point is, it took time. My initial contact was on November 16, 2016. My first job was done on the following May 16 - a full 6 months later.

So, what are the takeaways?
  • Plant your marketing seed. Always promote yourself and your voice over business. Never stop.
  • Be patient. Clients are busy! While you may be concentrating on working with them right now, they are likely working with dozens, maybe hundreds of other vendors.
  • Be persistent. Follow up (politely of course), and don't stop until you either get an answer or secure work. I suppose at some point there is a time to "just give up" on followup. That point is different for everybody, and you'll have to decide when enough is enough for you.
Stick to these points and play the Long Game to reap the rewards.
------------------
ABOUT PAUL
Paul Stefano is a voice actor with training dating back 20 years. His primary focus is narration, eLearning and audiobooks. He also co-hosts The VO Meter podcast, helping newcomers to the business.


Email: paulstefano@gmail.com
Web: www.PaulStefano.com
The VO Meter Podcast: https://vometer.com

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Comments (8)
Kim Dixon
8/8/2017 at 6:37 PM
This is encouraging, a good reminder to stay the course.
Paul Stefano
8/5/2017 at 2:59 PM
Thanks for all the replies everybody. It was my pleasure. I wasn't going to respond, but Tim, I have to address your comments. I have found exactly the OPPOSITE response from the respected pros in the community. Almost without exception, the Voice Over community is giving of their time and expertise.

It's the entire reason I started The VO Meter podcast. I literally launched my career from the information I was able to get absolutely free from online resources like VoiceOverXtra, as well as by asking more established pros for guidance. Now, I look to give back to those also needing help, as a way to pay it forward.

I think the key is to be respectful of people's time and energy. Be reasonable with what you are asking for. Take that advice to heart, and when you find someone who has given you some great advice, Thank them! Then maybe, hire them for some coaching or consulting.

Good luck in your journey.
Tim Miller
8/5/2017 at 12:45 AM
The article was on point, thank you. As you know, a tough business to get into. Not many want to help without a hand out for major dollars.

Thank you again,

Tim Miller
TimMillerVoiceOvers.com
Mark
8/4/2017 at 1:34 AM
Great article, Paul ! Pleasant persistence lowers resistance! It does work.
Finley Smith
8/4/2017 at 12:08 AM
Thanks for the great post! I love your optimism and patience. These are always good reminders because it's so easy to get disappointed when you don't get results on the first try.
Sammy
8/3/2017 at 10:56 AM
Great articleshowing persistence and patience pays off! Thanks for sharing!😀
Bill
8/3/2017 at 10:04 AM
I guess that's why they call anticipated work "the pipeline." Any good account manager will always tell you that persistence pays. Thanks for your work, Paul.
Gene Tognacci
8/3/2017 at 10:03 AM
Thanks, Paul. Great reminder that delays should never trigger an offer to negotiate rates.
Enjoyed some of your other blog posts on your website also. Nice work.
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