Struggling To Make A Living With
Voice Overs? Discover Clients' Needs
By Dan Hurst
I’m about to rock somebody’s world.
I had lunch recently with a fellow voice talent. I love those opportunities. Most of us are so confined to our studios all day that we don’t get much of a chance to actually interact in person with someone else in our business.
But this time it was different.
Glarb (not his real name) was down. He’d been spinning his wheels for months trying to get some good voice business and was getting nowhere. He couldn’t figure out why.
WHAT'S HE DOING?
I’ve known Glarb for several years. He’s a great talent. He really is. And I’m jealous of his studio. But all of that was obviously not enough to get him work.
I asked him what he had done to generate business over the past 6 months. It was the usual. Email blasts, some direct email, even some direct mail postcards. A few phone calls to key people.
He has a couple of agents. He’s doing the normal SEO thing. He’s listed with a few VO websites. And auditions. Lots of auditions.
Not that he hasn’t had ANY work. He just hasn’t had enough to survive on.
ARE YOU STRUGGLING, TOO?
Let me explain why so many good voice talents struggle in this business. Then I’ll offer a solution that you can start implementing today.
It doesn’t matter if you could do a better job than the voice talents your prospects are currently using. If they don’t feel like they need someone new, you’re wasting time approaching them.
MAYBE WASTING TIME
If you’re marketing yourself to people who have access to far more voice talents than they know what to do with, you’re wasting time.
In fact, if you’re doing what everyone else is doing, all you’re saying is that you’re like everyone else. Why should any client hire you?
I asked Glarb to summarize his whole scenario in one sentence. He thought about it for awhile and then said, "It’s like no one needs me anymore.” Exactly!
MOTIVATED BY NEED
Unfortunately, Glarb has been doing what far too many voice talents do: all the right things for the wrong people - people who don’t need them!
Here is one of the key secrets for motivation, whether it be personal, corporate, or sales: need.
See, we’re stimulated by wants. But we’re motivated by need. It’s need that drives us.
"How badly do you want this?” isn’t nearly as powerful as "How badly do you need this?”
Glarb has been pouring out his energy on people who want good voice talent, but not on people who need the unique talent he has.
HAPPENED TO ME ...
Why am I so sure of this? Because it’s how I operate.
Years and years ago in my early life I spent a stint as a home alarm salesman.
We were required to set three appointments a day by phone. That usually meant about fifty plus calls a day using the script the company had given us.
Personally, I thought the script was weak and manipulative, so I altered it. No, actually I completely changed it. I started asking potential clients if they felt a need for a home alarm system.
What happened? My call-to-sales ratio went down drastically. My closing rate went up dramatically.
Then, of course, the company sold and moved out of state.
MARKET TO THEIR NEEDS
My point is, people are motivated by need. Clients are motivated by need. Start marketing to needs.
Ask clients what their voice needs are.
When approaching a new client, ask them if they need a fresh voice. If they say no, thank them, give them your card, or email them your information, and move on.
Find the people who need what you have to offer!
Now, I realize that there are some who will respond to this with "Yeah, but…” Don’t bother. This isn’t a theory. This is how I do business - and it works.
Oh, and by the way. Glarb connected with three clients that afternoon and landed a narration job, an IVR job, and a recommendation for a new client who needs a voice for his new marketing campaign.
Want to succeed in this business? Go meet your client’s needs.
Dan (Daniel Eduardo) Hurst is an experienced bilingual (English and Spanish) voice talent operating out of the Kansas City area. His business extends internationally, with clients including Sprint, Hallmark, Walmart, Ford, T39 Telemundo and the Kansas City Royals.
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