You’ve got a great voice – but, in order to get work, other people need to know about it!
While focusing on your craft is certainly important, that’s only part of the equation. From deciding where you should spend your money to how you should spend your time, there’s a lot to think about.
If you’re re-evaluating your marketing efforts, below you’ll find tips and tricks from Voices.com on how to spread the word about the services you offer.
The Importance of a Marketing Strategy
First, start your marketing strategy by identifying your overall goal. It can be as ambitious as you like; it’s for your eyes only.
It’s important to identify what success means to you, as it could take many forms. Whatever achieving your dream looks like for you is a personal choice. Once you’ve identified what your end goal will be, you’ll need a plan to achieve it.
If your goal is monetary, you’ll need to break down how you’ll get to that amount. Your outline should include how you’ll bring together your network, what skills you bring to the table, and what avenues you’ll explore in order to make that happen.
Setting Up Your Career Vision – Your End Goal and How to Get There
With your overall goal in mind, narrow that goal down to smaller pieces. Starting at a year, five years, and ten years – what do you hope to achieve and when?
You can break your plan down even further to think about your strategies and tactics. Think of it as pyramid, with the end goal at the top, the strategies below that and the tactics to get there at the base.
To demonstrate how this can be employed, say your first goal is “have a self-sustaining voice acting career.”
The strategies are the smaller goals you’ll use to achieve the larger goal. They could be:
- launch a website
- improve my voice acting technique
- create a recognizable brand
Further to that, tactics are the actions you’ll take to achieve your strategies. For example:
- investigate website building options – build it yourself or hire someone
- hire a coach
- get headshots done
Set Goals that are Realistic, Specific and Achievable
SMART goals meet the following criteria. They are:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Timely
It’s important to measure your goals and see if you’re where you want to be on a monthly and yearly basis. It can also be helpful to see what you’re doing that’s moving you closer to your dreams – and what isn’t.
Some of your goals may be monetary; you are in business and if you’re a full time voice actor you need to support yourself. If that’s the case, you’ll need to learn how to budget and provide quotes. It’s important, but it’s not always easy. Here’s some advice for keeping your cash flowing.
Building Your Brand by Highlighting What Makes You Unique
For voice actors, creating a brand is a good way to plant yourself in someone’s mind. Branding needs to be consistent at every point so that people can recognize it and it becomes something they feel like they can trust and rely on.
You might choose to highlight what makes you unique – offering translation services, post production services, or being able to perform multiple dialects might be what sets you apart.
Once you know that brand, it’s up to you make it clear. If you’re looking for inspiration, you might look to your signature voice – the voice that you get booked most often to do – but it can also be built on what you believe, or even a catchy aspect of who you are.
Use the same image or headshot across your branding, as people will often see you before they hear your voice.
Budgeting Your Time and Energy to Market Yourself
How much time you invest is up to you. The Beginner’s Guide to Voice Acting recommends that you spend just 20% of your time doing voice over and 80% of your time marketing your voice.
It also recommends you spend a percentage of your budget on marketing so that it can fluctuate accordingly with what you have made.
One of the most cost-effective solutions for marketing is social media, but even that needs to be done strategically. You can also use other low cost methods to market, like newsletters to keep your clients informed and keep your service in the forefront of their minds.
Cold calling can also be a part of obtaining business. International voice actor Brian Thon has some interesting recommendations for how to launch a voice acting career, including tips for cold calling.
Marketing to New Clients Should Decrease as Time Goes on
When you’re first starting out, getting your name out is a priority. You can’t be hired if no one knows what you’re doing!
However, as you progress in your career, it becomes easier to get business because you’ll (hopefully) have repeat clients or referrals. Your time will be invested in doing work, but also in maintaining the relationships you have established. This may also lead to referrals, a great way for you to build your book of clients.
While you want to invest some time in seeking new clients, certainly, more work should be coming to you once people are aware of what you do and are pleased with the service you’ve provided.
Voices.com Can Assist with Your Marketing Efforts
How does Voices.com fit into all this?
Your profile allows you to have some online real estate. If you’re going to make the most of your profile, it’s essential that it’s fully filled out. It provides you with a chance to reach clients you might not otherwise see opportunities from.
Over the course of time, it can help you build up your brand and get your auditions heard from major companies. If you don’t have a profile, get one today!
Marketing is a Wheel with Many Spokes
Marketing can’t be distilled into one activity. Instead, it ends up being a variety of strategies you employ based on where you are in your career and where you want to go. There is no shortage of ideas you could consider like your own website, business cards, pay per click advertising, and networking.
While it’s up to you to determine the mix, the important thing is that you are putting yourself out there for your amazing voice to be found. Eventually, it may be necessary to outsource some of these tasks. That’s a great thing, though, as it enables you to focus on what you do best – using your voice to bring messages to life.