This is a group to share ideas on marketing (y)our VO biz. What works? What doesn't?
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  • Love the creative thinking, Dan. Thinking outside the box give you more opportunities no doubt (the “audition” I sent in to the VoiceLympics contest was certainly way outside the proper audition protocol, yet still was one of three that won - check it on my VU page, just search “denance”). But it is the fact that I submitted it in addition to my existing marketing that is the point I’d like to make here.

    Dan’s type of thinking outside the box expands your horizons by leveraging one of the basic rules of sales success. It’s really just the numbers game. Creative thinking like Dan describes gets you noticed, but just as important, it expands your base of contacts - which adds numbers to your marketing program. After all, if you just stood on the street corner and asked everyone who walked by if they needed a voice to help them win, sooner or later someone would buy.

    Take the creative approach and find ways to add to what you are already doing – one creative idea at a time – OK, maybe two if you are as creative as Dan :-) That is a good recipe for eventual success.
  • Marketing is my weak link. That's why I'm here. I agree with Dan about thinking outside the box and that the business is constantly evolving and is nonetheless very profitable despite the economy. Great ideas, Dan. Hopefully I can contribute some usable ideas as well as absorb them.
  • One of the things I've discovered about this business is that it is constantly evolving (and revolving). It's not just about commercials and corporate narrations anymore.

    There are so many diverse opportunities out there anymore that to focus on just commercials would be foolish!

    Just today I initiated discussions with two different companies that a month ago I would have never thought of as needing voiceovers.

    The first is a funeral home. Now, you would never think that a funeral home would be affected by the economy, but they are. And the competition is getting tougher and tougher. So, this one company has decided they want to offer produced video tributes. At first I thought it was a joke, then I practically spit up when they started talking money. So...why not?

    The second company does a lot of online video training. A lot. The problem is they've had some cutbacks also and a couple of the people caught in the cutbacks were the talking heads on the videos. So...they can't use those videos anymore.

    Now they need videos produced "generically", as they put it. Hey, I'm as generic as it gets!

    So, my advice du jour is start thinking outside the box.

    I took my advice on this and decided to experiment before I wrote this entry. I had heard about a company in another state that provides warehousing for some major companies. AND they pride themselves on offering jobs to physically challenged people. I knew they had a lot of sight impaired folks working for them in one of their departments. So I called the department, introduced myself to the manager, and asked if there might be a need for someone with voiceover services.

    The answer was, " Ya know, we were just talking about that last week. We're not real happy with the company that does the computer voice prompts for us. Why don't you send me some information about what you can do for us?"

    There is work out there. Certainly there are commercials and narrations to be done, but there are a whole lot of companies affected by the economy that are needing your help. Start thinking beyond the norm and see what you come up with!
  • @Bob Oakman: Bob, I too am right with you on knowing absolutely nothing about marketing myself. That's why I'm here. I too am a great producer (i.m.o.) but haven't had anything fall out of thin air yet, and I too have thought seriously about letting my website expire. But then I get an email out of the blue from a guy who Googled me, listened to my demos and sent me a pitch. So it's not all that bad, but again we're in for a perfect storm ride out and all I can do is just that, continue to read these fantastic ideas for marketing, keep myself up to date on every freaking social networking site on the planet and practice. All the best
  • Thanks James! I think you are probably right. I am giving up way too easy. Business is down... probably for most everybody. Sometimes I just get tired and want a long nap.
  • Hey Bob,

    I'd say that you're already marketing yourself even if you don't know you're doing it. The fact that "video jobs fall out of thin air" and that "clients I already work for talk to friends and they contact me with work" means that your marketing campaign is in full swing.

    It's different for everyone. The best way to get work, in my opinion, is through word of mouth and it seems as though ALL your work comes via that route.

    So congratulations are in order because you obviously have impressed enough people being "kind, have good work ethic and don't swear on the phone to people i have just met".

    Don't tear down your site just yet (it will always be useful and does at least give you a professional touch) but yes a page with demo's and a phone number is all a client really wants to see/hear.

    I cannot guarantee that I will have work in the future so I view marketing as a way of minimizing the risk of not having work. You could spend time studying how you approach all these agents, production companies, etc and if it really is true that no work comes from them then maybe you could rethink your approach.

    But at the end of the day, no one knows where the next paycheck will come from for certain and it can only help to have as many fingers out there in as many pies as possible.

    Tell the world who you are and what you do and keep telling them until you no longer wish to work in this industry.

    Just as an afterthought, I've been told NO soooooo many times, it's uncanny. Let me say that I couldn't give a damn. Every time someone tells me NO, I just ask that many more people to ensure I get a YES. For example, have you asked the owner of the local corner shop if he's ever thought about radio advertising and that you could write, voice and produce it for a small fee? If not, why not? I'll bet there's a hundred shops between your house and your local tube station / train station - might take you five days to hit all of them - just make sure you know what you're going to say first and go in with a smile.


    PS I think your demo's are great
  • I have some confusion about marketing in the voice over business... Marketing is a weakness for me.
    I simply haven't had time to read all the posts, so please forgive if I'm off topic.

    Marketing myself has never produced a single job for me. Its weird! Back in the radio days I faxed to every station in the country. (before internet) Not one hit. All those years of concert promo work at Bill Young Productions equip me with the phone numbers and names of some of the biggest producers and agencies in the country. I would occasionally try to pimp myself with them, if the relationship felt like that would be appropriate. All raved about my work, but never passed any business along. Signing up on internet voice sites brought a couple small jobs in as many years. Pushing my personal web site to the top of Google did nothing. Got hooked up with a major talent agency and only get auditions for Bush sound-alikes, which I can't do. I am convinced they have never listened to my demo. I call other agencies and never get a call-back, except for them asking how many clients I can give them...

    I'm not complaining. I do alright. I am just confused. Every job I have gotten has come from word-of-mouth. Clients I already work for talk to friends and they contact me with work. Sure, it is possible that they visit my site and listen to demos, but not unless someone has asked them to, and that someone isn't me. Artists tell other bands about me, etc. Post production and video jobs seem to fall out of thin air. This happened even before I offered the services on my web site. heck, I got my first video job before I knew how to edit video. Weren't no marketing involved there.

    I find it very interesting, and have pretty much given up spending time marketing myself. I am even thinking about tearing down my web site and putting up a single page with demos, and hiring an intern to walk the streets and talk about me. :-) I do know that I obviously understand nothing about marketing. I think I can make a decent demo. I am kind, have good work ethic, and don't swear on the phone to people I have just met. Maybe, after I read more of the posts in this group, I'll figure out what I am doing wrong.

    So much for me bringing positive knowledge to the group. :-) Sorry, but maybe it will spur some helpful conversation.

  • Thanks for all the awebsite advice everyone! I really appreciate it!
  • HA! You dog!

    Haven't had any production stuff lately. It's all been dry - done by ISDN or FTP'd. Hasn't been real busy, but a little ahead of last year. 'course last year was an election year and that was nuts pretty much all year long!

    Done some stuff over in Europe, a coupla things in Mexico, had a few car spots, the PBR stuff is slow but steady, a couple of eLearning things. Mostly just waitin' for Spring to start poppin'.
  • Growin like a freakin weed, got two teeth in and he's a handful for sure. Keep me in mind for production, but I understand completely if you'd rather do it yourself, You've got lots of time now (sorry couldn't resist)
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