I had lunch today with a friend that I’ve known for years. He’s a writer.  Writes ad copy.  You gotta watch those guys – they think in quotes.


Anyway, it was a great time to compare notes and catch up on all that each of us is up to.  And I was pleased to give him a couple of legitimate leads for his business.


I was no sooner back in the studio than the phone rang and it was a guy that had just talked to my friend, asking him if he knew of someone that might be able to voice a project for his company. 


Weird, huh?

Not really.  That’s the way this business works. 

Let me give it to you straight.  If you’re depending on P2P sites to get you more than 10% of your business, you’re already in fail mode.


Now, if you just do voiceovers as a part-time effort and whatever income you get from it is just gravy, then it’s no big deal.  But if you’re into voiceovers full-time or depend on voiceovers for additional
income, 90% of your work is going to have to come from connections, referrals, repeats, and the occasional agent job.  And the first three of those are the most important.


So, let me break down those three critical areas of your marketing strategy.

Connections.  These are the jobs you get because you have a working relationship with someone that is a decision maker about their voiceover needs.  These can be direct clients, production houses, ad agencies, etc.  You need to know these people.  More importantly, they need to know you. 


That means you need to go where they are; to the places they go to see and be seen;  to the social events they go to;  to the business related events they frequent.  They need to connect with you in such a way that they know you, like you, and believe you can do the voice job they need.  They need to interact with you more than once or twice a year. 


Referrals.  These are the jobs that come along because someone that has used you for voice work believes in you enough to recommend you to someone else that trusts their judgment.  These are not people whose job it is to get you work.  These are people whose job it is to get themselves work. And in the process they come across their own connections and they use you as collateral – as a favor; to collect a favor; or to position themselves for a favor in the future. 


That means that you have to be worth something to them.


Repeats.  These are the jobs you get because you’re good enough to get them; because a client believes that you are an asset to their campaign.  In my opinion, these are the most precious of all voice jobs.


When you’ve found a client, and a client has found you - a voice that meets their needs and demands – it is one of the most remarkable, positive and fulfilling things you will ever do in this business.  Unfortunately those campaigns usually don’t last forever.  But it doesn’t take very many of them to keep you going.

Where do you find those jobs?  Usually through thefirst two areas discussed here. 

Occasionally through an agent.  And rarely through a P2P site.


So, the bottom line is:  Who do you know?  But more importantly, who knows you?

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Replies to This Discussion


As always, your kindness and generosity in sharing your experience and talent are so very much appreciated. Even more so, your ability to present valuable information in a clear and concise format is priceless. So, please continue to not put a price on these postings! (har, har)

Thanks for all that you do in helping my career reach levels where soon it will be I who "pays it forward"!!!


Bill Sleeper
I agree with Bill. Thanks!!
Fantastic post, Dan! Incredibly helpful. Thank you!
Just want to add my 2 cents, which is to always carry business cards and demos with you. You never know who you are going to meet and where you are going to meet them. I have gotten jobs from meeting people online at the post office, to sitting next to someone on a plane.

While you might think that carrying around a CD demo is not possible, this is exactly why you should have full size CD demos, as well as smaller and business card CDs. Carrying cards and demos can not only land you work, but it goes a long way to show your prepared and professional. And when many hire you to represent their client, and a lot is at stake, I can't tell you how much that means.
Thank you Dan for the marketing tips. I completely agree with the 'CRR' marketing plan.

We should always conduct ourselves professionally and make it clear to our clients that the job is not completed until our clients are satisfied. And, speaking of the first 'R' - After completing a job with a client, the outsourced technical person running the job recommended me to someone else.... I suppose it's really a combo of the two Rs.

Regarding the face time with industry folks - whenever I travel I try to set up a coffee with a production company in the town to which I'm traveling. Even if they don't have anything for me now, the face to face contact is valuable and I am building the relationship. Your column has also inspired me to find other local avenues to network. (Thank you.)
Thank you for the good information, Dan.
100% on the money, as usual.
Hey Dan..Right on the money($$$$) my Brother!! Great stuff as always!!! A heratfelt thank you my friend..Hope all is well.
Take care and be well....Chuck


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