Establishing a robust voice acting career is as much about building relationships with new clients as it is putting the effort into retaining those relationships. If you are easy to work with and continually deliver your strongest performance, then repeat work will come your way. In order to stay relevant and fresh in your existing business client’s minds, however, you need to keep in touch with them. Let’s explore how you can nurture client relationships without pestering them.
Business Client Relationships Are Built Over Time
The relationships you establish with your clients are the product of every interaction you have with them. So, while it’s very important to stay in contact and revisit relationships, some of the most important groundwork that you’re laying for future jobs, actually starts with the job you currently have.
Treat each voice over job as if it is your first from that client. Deliver on the vocal direction, ask questions when instructions aren’t clear, provide your expertise and insight, deliver (or over deliver) what you’ve promised, stand by your services, and always be respectful. Clients will remember those who they enjoyed working with. When you treat their job as a priority, whether it’s a 15-second radio spot, or a lengthy audiobook, they’ll remember the care you put into your performance, and the way you made them feel special.
It’s always a good idea to thank clients for the opportunity to work together, as well as to ask for honest feedback. It may even be worth mentioning that, if the client loved working with you, that they can save you to their ‘Favorites List’ on Voices. This makes it easy for them to return to you, time and time again.
Note: On Voices, clients are asked to provide a rating for your services once a job is complete, so you can get also get an assessment of their satisfaction at that stage as well.
Marketing To Your Clients
When you have contact information for your clients, such as their email, mailing address or social media handles, it can make staying in touch easy. Ensuring that you are reaching out at least a few times each year (perhaps each business quarter), is a great way to stay top-of-mind for your business clients.
Note: While it’s a good idea to reach out, make sure that you’re not being pushy. Try to extend the conversation to get to know your clients a little more. Ask them about their favorite project this year, what they’re looking forward to next, and if there’s any way that you can help them. Take a genuine interest.
Send a Follow-Up Email After a Successful Voice Over Job
When a job has gone well, it offers a great opportunity to gather extra content – such as testimonials, word-of-mouth referrals and permission to share final projects. By following up shortly after successfully completing a voice over job, not only do you stand a better chance of gathering all of the above, you’ll also create one final touchpoint to help solidify their good impression of you.
This generic, customizable email template can help you reach out to former clients in a way that’s respectful and interested.
In your client correspondence, you don’t want to come across as artificial or like a salesperson. Your language should be warm, casual, and not overly demanding. If you don’t place pressure on your clients, you will fare far better than were you to beg for more work.
A note on email subject lines: The subject line of your email should give the reader a strong hint of what they’ll find within the body of your email, but leave them intrigued enough to actually open it.
Email Template for Talent Reaching Out to Former Clients
[Custom Subject Line]
Hi [insert client’s name],
I hope this email finds you well. It’s [your name], and I’m just following up in regard to the recording of [voice over project] that we worked on together.
I wanted to thank you once more for the opportunity to contribute my voice to [voice over project name]. It was a true pleasure to collaborate with you. With your permission, I would be highly interested in receiving notification of when the final project is available, so I can share it with my professional/social network, or highlight it on my website.
Lastly, should you hear of other [producers/directors/professionals] who are putting together a project and happen to be in the market to hire a voice actor, please feel free to share my name and contact info with them.
Thank you so much for taking a moment out of your busy day for me. I truly appreciate it.
Wishing you much success in your future endeavors,
[Link to your personal website containing demos, followed by a link to your Voices profile].
P.S. If you have the time, I’d really appreciate a brief (2-3 sentences) testimonial describing what it was like to work with me on the project.
Send a Handwritten Thank You Note
These days, everyone’s inbox is jammed with useless newsletters and emails. On the flip side, unless it’s your birthday or the holiday season, we don’t tend to receive much ‘snail mail’ anymore. Given this crossroads, nothing feels quite as special as receiving a handwritten letter. So, instead of drafting a generic email to your client to thank them for the opportunity, send them a written thank you card! Your client will genuinely appreciate the consideration, and they’ll remember you well into the future.
Another bonus to sending a card in the mail is that your client may very well keep it on their desk or pinned to a bulletin board. Talk about being front of mind! Investing in some nice stationary and a roll of stamps could go a long way.
If you do choose to send a card in the mail, it is wise to keep your corporate branding to a minimum. For instance, don’t send a card emblazoned with your logo or marketing slogans. Remember that this card is a gesture of gratitude, not an advertisement. Cards that are free of advertisement are more likely to be given a coveted space on a client’s desktop or bulletin board and kept for years to come.
Stay in Touch Through Social Media
It’s highly encouraged that you create your own social media accounts that are specifically devoted to your voice over business, so you can ‘follow’ and engage with both your clients and the industry at large. Note that clients are more likely to stay connected with you if you post updates that are relevant to them, and don’t come across as strictly self-serving.
A word of caution: Be sure to avoid posting about work you’ve done with a particular client, unless you know for certain that you’re allowed to talk about the job.
Meaningful engagement on social networks with clients is not limited to just what you share with them. You can also celebrate their successes by liking or commenting on posts they have made. Choose the social network you want to interact with them carefully. Most people prefer to keep business to more professional networks like LinkedIn. You might find that some of your clients want to connect with you on social platforms traditionally reserved for friends and family. Wherever you choose to connect, remember that it is the connection that matters most.
Dive into the essentials of using social media to market your voice over business.
Use Newsletters Effectively
In the same vein as social media, the content of your newsletters should reflect the industry your client belongs to. You might decide to create separate contact lists for clients who work in different fields, be it audiobook production, gaming, Elearning, etc., so that you have the ability to adjust the tone and relevancy of each newsletter. Only the most pertinent content will make it past your client’s overloaded inboxes and to their eyes. Ensure that you include an opt-out link in each newsletter.
Send Special Offers
When communicating with repeat clients, you’re beyond the “getting to know you” phase of marketing. Your goal now is to remind them that you’re around and that you care about their business.
One excellent method of showing them how much you value their business is to periodically send them special offers, like $50 off your next voice over.
While you don’t want to overstep your welcome, you do want to create a fairly steady stream of awareness as an occasional reminder of your services and the fact that you enjoyed working together.
Keeping Your Contacts Organized
As you build your roster of clients, it will become more and more necessary to find a reliable way to manage all of your contacts. You may want to install digital reminders (for example in your calendar), that will alert you to reach out to a former client after 3 or 6 months have passed.
It’s also a good idea to stay attuned to birthdays and other holidays that may be pertinent to your clients, or can present an opportune moment to send an email and discuss future collaboration.