Take a look at your last ten voice-over jobs – or, if you are just starting out, think about another business venture you had that was successful, or even your solid friendships.
You may find that the “secret” to that success is as simple as ASF:
Sales experts talk frequently about “5-7 Points of Contact” before we “make a sale” – ooh how I hate that term – so why whine when after one contact we are not hired, especially in a business where the need for our particular service, with our unique sound, has to match at the right time?
Sure, there is a delicate balance between contacting and pestering…but stay helpful, respectful and patient — and then have faith in the process and in what you have to offer.
Here is an example:
A month ago, I received an e-mail from a local chapter of Ladies Who Launch.
Cool name, right? I looked up the concept, and re-read the e-mail. It was an invite to go to the home of the local chapter Managing Director Kathy McShane for a “Pot Luck” evening.
ASK: Who? What? But I wrote back to Kathy asking for more info. It sounded really interesting: a gathering of local female entrepreneurs, solidifying goals for 2013. So I said yes. Risk? Sure! I knew none of these people. But for $15 and an entree contribution, I asked myself another important question: Why Not?
SHOW UP: Chicken dish in hand, I went to the event. What a great group of women! After way too much food, we gathered to share what our businesses were about and what our goals were for 2013. Who was there? Realtors, garden designers, hot-dog-truck entrepreneurs, Mary Kay managers, insurance salespeople, interior designers…and not one other Voice Artist. When it came time to share what I did, I simply told them all that “It’s my business to make your business sound better” – and went on to explain what that meant. Sometimes I play a demo from my SmartPhone, but it didn’t feel right here, so I didn’t. Still – lots of oohs and ahs, as if they’d never heard of a voice talent before. So I was really glad that I showed up.
FOLLOW UP: Still, that was only one point of contact. Later that week Kathy sent a thank-you note to us all, and (with permissions) shared e-mail addresses. I waited a few days, and followed up with the group to re-introduce myself, share website info (demos) and offer to help their businesses make that “sound first impression.” Of the 35 women I contacted, three wrote back to me express interest – and admiration. I said thanks, and asked for permission to add them to my contact/mailing list. They said yes, and now when I follow up with my client/prospect list with an update or newsletter, there will be more points of contact.
And there you go. Any bookings out of this yet? No. But there might be. and meanwhile I met a really cool group of women!
As I write this, I am sitting in the broadcast booth at WSHU, an NPR affiliate where I get my occasional radio fix as understudy for the classical music hosts, newscasters, and talk-show announcers. How did I get this gig?
- I asked for a tour after leaving my full-time commercial radio job
- I showed up for the appointment, on-time and enthusiastic about the opportunity
- I followed up with a big thank-you, and willingness to learn as many gigs here as possible.
So – how about those last ten bookings? Here’s how mine played out:
- 1 agent booking
- 2 from roster listings or P2P (new, but slightly different process)
- 2 clients who use me monthly – telephone messages, radio imaging
- 4 repeat clients – the backbone of any business!
- 1 word-of-mouth referral
Networking works great too – thanks, Faffy!
In this case, there were no brand-new clients – but all of them were, at one time, new to me. The relationship began with ASF, and continues with the addition of quality work. Cultivate your new clients – take that risk! So worth it.
And by the way, the formula works in friendship too 🙂