Atlanta has been in a severe drought, and, and long last, we finally have some rain. With nothing planned for today, the temptation is great on this cool and drizzly day to read a book and take a nap.
Even when I’m not working on voice-over projects, though, I am still working. I have written many times on this blog about the importance of marketing your services. Marketing activities should be planned and consistent so that you can move forward in your voice-over business. You don’t want to think in terms of one event, like a mailing; you want to think in terms of a system.
However, I frequently receive questions and read forum posts from voice talent who find the marketing process to be very daunting and mysterious. They don’t know how to set goals and create a system of marketing tasks designed to reach those goals. The object of marketing is to get the same people to hear about you over and over so that they feel comfortable with you and hopefully compelled to do business with you.
I have some suggestions to help you create your marketing plan.
My first recommendation to anyone confused about marketing is to read the outstanding book Get Clients Now by C. J. Hayden and published by the American Management Association. Hayden not only gives you bountiful ideas for specific tactics that you can implement with success in your voice-over business, but she outlines a structure for your plan. She proposes that you create a 28-day marketing plan based on your current goals. She uses a cookbook model by advising you to think of the plan as your action plan menu, where you choose the appropriate strategies as your recipes for success.
I have read many, many books on marketing, including Michael Port’s bestseller Book Yourself Solid : The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling. When I want to rethink or revitalize my marketing plan, I immediately return to Hayden’s book. I always achieve fantastic results when I fill out and apply the action and tracking worksheets in Hayden’s book. She breaks up the tasks depending on whether you want to contact new prospects, follow up with existing prospects and clients, or close more sales.
One comment is this book was particularly liberating to me:
Don’t put it on your plan. Instead, build your Daily Actions
around warm calling and referral building.
For instance, I currently am focusing on marketing activities related to the Internet. I therefore was excited to learn this week that Stephanie Ciccarelli at Voices.com has created a new e-book titled Internet Marketing for Voice Actors. Ciccarelli is a superb on-line marketer, and she has outlined many of her proven strategies in this 35-page guide.
The first part of the guide provides some useful information about voice-over business descriptions, as well as an admirable analysis of the market and trends for voice-over services. While Ciccarelli briefly mentions some marketing strategies, half of this guide discusses search engine optimization and on-line networking. Ciccarelli provides an excellent analysis of various linking strategies and a terrific list of web sites containing search engine tools. The section covering on-line social networking is equally good, with descriptions of several major sites and a list of sites that I never knew existed.
Since I am a perpetual student of marketing and long-time computer geek, I did not discover any other revelations in this guide. I was surprised that Ciccarelli did not include a detailed list of the various press release sites since I know that she utilizes them. Of course, on a given day, most voice talent would not have a need to submit press releases. I also would have liked a list of sites Stephanie has used to syndicate her articles.
Still, I think most voice actors would benefit greatly from reading and applying the concepts in this new e-book, especially as a companion resource to a general marketing book like Get Clients Now. After all, marketing over the Internet is just one facet of a total marketing plan.
I just looked out the window and noted that it looks even more dreary than when I started this entry. I think I will re-read these 2 marketing books for a bit before taking a much-deserved nap!