VO Marketing 101, Part 3: Give
Marketing The KISS Of Simplicity
By Alan Sklar
Click below to hear the inspiring audio version of this article, read by the author
When I was in the paint business (ah, another paint story), I attended seminars at the American Management Association headquarters in midtown Manhattan - seminars taught by management consultants who specialized in serving distributors and wholesalers.
The Association had some fun and insightful sayings. One was the principle of The Seven Ps:
But my favorite is and always has been: The KISS Principle:
And let me tell you, that is a million dollar piece of advice.
Leonardo da Vinci said: “Simplicity ... is the ultimate sophistication.” I love that.
TOO MUCH ...
Have you seen email addresses like that? What is Bernie thinking?
My belly tells me Bernie is more interested in “looking good” than in building a business.
And his website is,
My advice to Bernie: take a few courses at the American Management Association.
OPINIONS WILL DIFFER
Please remember that if you get four different voice actors on a street corner, you get five different opinions.
These are all my own opinions. Other guys more successful than I am, may think differently.
I wanted an email and website address that is easy to remember:
The KISS principle galore!
AN EMAIL KISS
I got a note a few years ago from a voice actress who had sat in on a presentation I made on audiobooks at an Audio Publishers Association (APA) conference. This is the trade association for the audiobook industry. (Go to www.audiopub.org. You’ll learn a thing or two.)
I thought, “Nice getting feedback like that. Sounds like I’m on the right track with my site. Nothing fancy. No distracting bells and whistles. Other folks have also told me it’s easy to navigate.”
WHO'S YOUR COMPETITOR?
But over the years, I have been chronically haunted by feelings that I’m not working enough. I should be booking more jobs.
I look at some of the top earners in the business who make $500K to a Million, and I wonder “What am I doing wrong?”
Then I remember what Martha Graham said in class.
After college, I took modern dance classes at the Graham Studio on East 62nd Street for two years.
"Miss Graham," as she was called, swept into class one morning in a sheer black diaphanous gown, and commanded the 20 of us:
Back to Keep It Simple.
I don’t want to be a Great Artist. I want to be an artisan, a craftsman, a working actor, a reliable supplier of voice over services.
A voice actor I know states on his website that he’s narrated over 5,000 non-broadcast projects. And I know that he has. He’s talented and a very effective marketeer.
But to simply state “5,000” is not as arresting as listing all the clients, which is what I’ve done on a page in my site.
I took professional acting classes with Sandy Meisner many years ago.
Sandy used to say, “General is boring! Specific is interesting!”
I don’t think one is going to build a business with an artsy fartsy email address.
I’m going to build mine with a two-pronged strategy:
My wife used to do boatloads of background work (an extra) on soaps and films shot in New York City.
She would tell me stories about young actors who would inch-by-inch move as close to the camera as possible, hoping to be “discovered.”
They sound like some of Bernie’s buddies.
She and the more experienced extras were not interested in being discovered. They were happy to be way in the back of the scene, not even noticed by the camera.
They just wanted the paycheck to clear!
When I’d chat with a producer on the phone and he’d ask if I had a website, I’d say,
I could hear his chuckle. You want to be oh-so-easy to do business with.
CALL ME - AGAIN?
One actress friend used to have a message on her home phone:
She’s asking the producer or agent to hang up and dial a second number.
A counter productive strategy. It’s not oh so easy to do business with her.
Here’s another quote that has propelled me for years:
And to end this discussion, here’s a poem by some anonymous wag (probably a guy in the advertising business):
GOOD PRODUCT, TOO
Another quote I have ambivalent feelings about:
I think it’s true in some cases. I wish it weren’t.
But in the paint business, I was told by the sales manager of a major consumer products company whose product line we distributed (by the truckloads!):
Also see and hear:
WANT IN-PERSON SEMINARS?
VoiceOverXtra and I have been getting so many positive, enthusiastic responses from you folks to these articles that we’re planning some seminars on voice over marketing.
Let us know if you’re interested. In these seminars. You will laugh ... you will cry ... you will yawn.
But, dammit, be assured that with your understandings and awarenesses, any paint manufacturer or distributor will grab you if you apply for a job!
Please send your thoughts on this to John Florian at info@VoiceOverXtra.com.
ABOUT ALAN ...
Alan Sklar has been a freelance voice actor for more than 20 years, voicing radio/TV commercials and VNRs - and narrating everything from audiobooks and documentaries to thousands of corporate and medical video projects. An award-winning narrator of more than 150 audiobooks - including A Civil Action and Black Hawk Down, he is also an on-camera and in-person spokesperson for major corporations.
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