I subscribe to a fantastic e-zine called The Publicity Hound written by Joan Stewart. In each week’s issue, she posts a question to “help this hound”, and the question this week was from another voice talent who wanted to know how to drive traffic to his web site. I answered with 20 suggestions on Joan’s blog but am including my answer here these ideas may help other people. Also, I am adding 5 more ideas that I didn’t include in my original answer.
As another voice-over talent, many newcomers to the industry ask me the same question. I have written essays on my blog in which I point out that voice-over is a business that requires a marketing plan. Like any business owner, the talent should determine where s/he fits in the marketplace and develop a marketing plan that targets the primary prospects on a steady and consistent basis.
Numerous ways exist to contact the prospects and depend on a person’s time, budget and creativity. If the goal is simply to drive traffic to a web site, obviously, getting a link to your site published in a popular e-zine like The Publicity Hound will do the trick!A web site is just one aspect of a marketing plan. In order to increase business and develop sustained relationships, the voice-over talent must be persistent in taking actions, such as:
1. Creating and maintaining a personal web site
2. Making phone calls to casting directors, producers, directors
3. Networking at industry meetings and events
4. Sending direct mail (postcards, newsletters, etc.)
5. Auditioning for one or more agents
6. Joining on-line casting services and submitting auditions
7. Writing postings in forums to show your expertise
8. Sending e-mails when you see opportunities such as those posted on CraigsList
9. Writing articles that can be reprinted in on-line e-zines
10. Exchanging reciprocal web links with complimentary sites
11. Listing your site on free web directories
12. Speaking at industry or community events
13. Presenting training classes
14. Placing industry advertisements in printed and web-based directories, CraigsList, etc.
15. Including your web site on the signature lines on your e-mails, on your business card, and on every piece of correspondence both on- and off-line
16. Sending imprinted products with your web site to your clients
17. Starting a blog on your web site and post comments on others’ blogs when you have expertise
18. Publishing a regular e-zine to maintain contact and requesting people to forward it
19. Asking for and rewarding referrals from satisfied clients
20. Posting testimonials of satisfied clients on your web site
This list is by no means all-inclusive, and most items don’t apply only to those in voice-over. By implementing one or more of these ideas on a regular basis, a person could spur traffic to his site and potentially increase his business.
Of course, I could have added a few more things, like:
21. Establishing a pay-per-click campaign
22. Generating press releases to announce your news
23. Getting feature stories written about you in the newspaper (a feature story is so much better than an ad! Just ask my friends and fellow voice talents Susan Berkley and Mary McKitrick if you don’t believe me)
24. Sending clippings of news stories of interest to your contacts
25. Joining an on-line networking service
26. Using search engines to locate potential contacts and querying them directly
27. Starting your own podcast
I only promised 25 ideas but got carried away! When you aren’t working, you are working on obtaining work, using the tools and technology at your disposal and through whatever means you feel comfortable. It’s meaningless if someone simply visits your web site. I think a better goal is to think of ways to make connections with your prospects so that you can develop on-going business relationships.