Marketing is all about growth, and now that it's a new year, it’s a great time to start thinking about new ways to grow your business. You may not love to market, but when you set a marketing resolution with intention, not only are you more likely to achieve it, but you'll also grow you and your business along the way. Here are three tips to get you started for a more successful year!
1. Resolve to Reserve Time Each Day for Marketing
Just as you make time each day for auditioning, make sure to set aside time to focus on your marketing as well. Use a calendar, scheduler, or other planning tools to block out time each day for marketing activities. If you're serious about your business, this will help you stay on track. It doesn't have to be grueling - Try 15-20 minutes at a time, three to four times per week, and then increase as needed. Sit down and take a close look at your current marketing. What is working? What isn't working? Brainstorm and write down ideas to fill in the gaps. How are you collecting leads? Are you implementing a CRM to keep track of your clients? Are you marketing on social media? Do you have a planned schedule for posting? Are you meeting with your clients to make sure you are serving their needs? Keep these ideas and goals handy for times when you need a creative boost.
2. Educate, Educate, Educate
I know, I know, you expect this from a former teacher, right? :) But it's true! One of the best ways that you can improve your marketing efforts is by conducting research and educating yourself on your target audience. As a matter of fact, if you can plan ahead and anticipate new trends, then you will be in the best position to capitalize on them. Who doesn't want that for their business?
On a grand scale, education first starts by understanding your buyer. A lot of businesses tend to focus on what they want to achieve instead of knowing who their audience is and how they can best communicate with them. It's easy to understand why this is the case - it takes time and effort to really find out who your target audience is and what makes them tick. Each genre you want to work in has a very specific buyer. Buyers from each genre have similar needs and interests that you want your product to serve. Educate yourself in who these people are, what pain points they have, and how your product may best solve those pain points.
For example, if you want to market your commercial VO services, you should first look at how companies find and purchase VO for commercials. A portion of the market will go to an agency to get help with casting. If this is the case, make sure your agents have your latest and greatest demos and check in periodically to see what else they might need to help market you effectively. You are a team, and relationships are key!
Some buyers will use a production company to help them cast their commercials, Make sure to keep an updated list of rosters you are on and any main contacts. Keep them supplied with your latest demos and/or any of your latest work that could help to sell you better. Remember, success begets success!
Other buyers may use an online casting site to find their talent. Are your profiles up to date? Do you have target-specific demos or samples to showcase your best commercial voice? Make sure they are labeled properly and presented as such.
You may also encounter people who google search to find their talent. Is your website up to date and easily searchable? Do you have keywords on your site that clearly define your products and your business? Is it easy for people who find your website to listen to your demos and get in touch with you? Are you responsive to email inquiries that come into your site?
Finally, others may respond to a direct market inquiry. Have you researched and tailored your emails to each potential client and genre? Have you educated yourself on recent SPAM compliance laws? Have you researched ways to build your list or found other marketing solutions that can help you reach more potential customers?
"Marketing is the thing we need most as entrepreneurs, but is often what we think of last." - Anne Ganguzza
3. Be Seen and Be Heard.
Marketing, just like social media, is a lot about being seen and heard. So in order to be successful in marketing, you need to be where your potential clients are hanging out. Have a presence on social media, in blog comments, in forums, and wherever else people discuss things that are relevant to your niche or industry. Don't make a rookie mistake hanging out in voiceover forums only and trying to sell your services. Listen first, and learn how you can best help solve your customer's problems.
Online, make sure all of your business information and demos are accurate and up-to-date across the Internet. Your website is the heartbeat of your online presence so make sure you have one. It should have a clear call-to-action with a link directly to places where people can buy from you. Make sure your demos and contact information are above the fold for quick and easy access.
As voiceover artists, we are our brand. Consider creating social media content that showcases your talent in a way so that people can get to know (and like) you. Online video is gaining more and more ground every year. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, an online video is worth a million. Consider creating a YouTube channel series of helpful tips on something you are passionate about or show off your character voices in an entertaining way. How about a podcast that discusses a topic that you are an expert in? It doesn't even have to talk about voiceover - you just need to engage your audience and provide something valuable to them that keeps them coming back. Once they know and like you, they are much more likely to buy from you!
Don't Get Left Behind
So yes, marketing as an entrepreneur is hard! It takes effort, dedication, and perseverance. But don't let that hold you back! With some intentionality and creativity, marketing your business can be less of a chore and more of the strategic fun part of entrepreneurship. Now go get 'em Bosses!
Thanks for reading!
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Anne Ganguzza is a professional voice actor and award-winning director and producer who works with students to develop their voiceover and business skills - including voice over Coaching and Genre-based Demo Production. She specializes in conversational Commercial & Narration styles, including Corporate, eLearning, Technology, and On-Hold Messaging. Located in Orange County, California, Anne offers private coaching and mentoring services to students via ipDTL and Zoom.