Marketing: These ‘Tools' Make
Clients Remember (And Hire) You
By Julie Williams
Let's get right to the point: How do you market yourself?
Because, if they don't know you're there – no matter how good you are – you aren't gonna be working!
Here are three ways I've effectively marketed myself in voice-overs over the past 30 years.POPULAR POSTCARDS
I use postcard marketing a lot because it is inexpensive - and if you get a good design on a postcard, something to make your prospects smile - they just might post it on their bulletin board at their desk or in their cubicle!
Sometimes I create and print my own postcards because I enjoy desktop publishing. But increasingly, I'm ordering postcards online. My favorite site is www.vistaprint.com/, but there are several to check out. At the vistaprint site I've found that if you type vistaprint.com/vip you might see special offers that aren't on the regular site - 100 free postcards, stuff like that.E-TOUCH WITH EMAIL
Another obvious way to keep in touch with your clients is via email.
You can email each individually. You can email a group. Or you can do a short newsletter. The key is to keep these emails short.
I've researched several newsletter distribution sites, and the one I like best is www.constantcontact.com/. Here's why: they offer a 60-day free trial, sending an unlimited number of newsletters to up to 100 contacts.
When you exceed 100 contacts, you pay. But the fee is something like $15 a month for up to 500 contacts, and $50 for up to 2500 contacts. For unlimited emails!
You can choose from a number of templates that are easy to customize, and you can add photos and links. The best part is that they maintain the list. So, if a client chooses to opt out of your monthly, quarterly or occasional email, it's easy for them to do.
Clients can opt-in on your web site, as well. To see how that works, go to www.voice-overs.com/ and look for the yellow text about opting in for my free V-ZINE, an online voice-over magazine.
I'm no webmaster, but I put that on the site myself. It was easy. The emails will be custom addressed to your client, and you can make them look really attractive.SPECIALTY ADVERTISING
Creative Directors value creativity. So if you're creative in what you send them, they'll remember you. But there are several rules to follow.
Make It Useful. This includes pens, pads, stopwatches - they're always timing copy, right? These products are great because they help you stay top-of-mind.
I've also sent mugs and mouse pads. Mugs are nice because when clients are there to record with other talent, they go for coffee and get reminded of ME!
Make It Personal. Take the time to learn what your clients like. They're individuals!
I try to find out what kind of chocolate my clients like! One client likes only dark chocolate. Another prefers white chocolate. So that's what I send them - and they know I've remembered what they like!
Now, I'm not telling you to send chocolate. In fact, I don't want you to! That's my branding: “Julie Williams Voice-Over Chocolate.” That's why it has such impact.BRAND YOURSELF
Come up with your own branding. Here's how:
What's unique and memorable that differentiates you from other talent? Is it your voice, or your “sound”?
For instance, Kristen Udowitz has a unique sound and she brands herself as “nachoaveragevoice.” Cute, huh? Nachos are all over her web site! And it fits her so well.
If you have a “nature-sounding voice” you might try a “nature-like, granola feel” brand. Or if your voice is tiny, maybe a tinkerbell (if you're a lady!).
Kathy Nagler, an LA-based voice talent and stand-up comic, got into voice-overs with a sense of humor. Her brand was the joke that she was so boring when she talked, that she'd put people to sleep.
Several years ago, this “boring” talent packaged her demo in a cardboard box that resembled a sleep aid, called Nagler. The box was a terrific imitation of a sleep aid - right down to disclaimers not to listen to the demo while driving.
And when you heard the demo, it was hilarious! She chose copy that contrasted with her “boring” delivery. You could readily hear how she could sell a product. This approach worked for Kathy because it fit her style.
Even your name can differentiate you from other talent. I've seen people named Rich and Dollar and Jack and Bell - and guess what they use for branding. Right: dollar bills, bells and Cracker Jacks.
Use what gets clients to remember you.
WHAT DOESN'T WORK …
But beware of over-promising, or of a brand that's memorable more for a gimmick than for you.
For instance, I saw a demo package for which a male talent had obviously spent thousands of dollars to print images of cats and pipes. His brand? “This Cat's Got Pipes!”
Unfortunately, he didn't have “pipes." So if the client needed a deep voice, he didn't find it on that demo. Nice try, but a costly mistake.
Another downside is when clients remember your slogan or packaging – but not you! We all know great, hilarious commercials that were entertaining, but whose product we can't remember. Those commercials wasted the clients' money. They paid to entertain you, yet you didn't remember which brand to buy.
The lesson is to use branding that strongly connects to you.
Julie Williams has done thousands of voice-overs over the past 30 years. She has also helped hundreds of talent refine their craft through her workshops and products. Through her web sites (below), you can sign up for Julie's free V-ZINE, and join Voice-Overs.com forums.