Jonathan Tilley Was Out Guest
I have to admit, that when Diana Birdsall and I got Jonathan Tilley to come on our weekly Clubhouse, I got a little fan-girled out for a quick minute. If you don’t know Jonathan, he is quite fabulous. He runs a genius marketing course for voice actors and other creatives called League of List Builders to teach about direct marketing to clients. Diana and I both took his class years ago, and as full-time professional talents and coaches, have used his methods with great success to build our own businesses. Jonathan also teaches about specialty topics like Instagram marketing, selfie techniques, lighting….so basically he is a marketing g-d and everything that comes out of his mouth is pure brilliance plus he is lovely and kind and so fun. See why I was excited to have him on our panel? So in case you missed it ( and I don’t know why you would miss it but if you did…) here is a recap based on my notes from Jonathan Tilley’s panel with us:
What is the beauty if marketing?
Our chat with Jonathan started out with this pivotal question. Jonathan talked about the importance of authenticity and being a real person to the people we reach out to. We talked about how our goal really is to make connections so that we can ultimately build relationships and get to know people and actually make deep connections. Our marketing should be friendly and down to earth.
Instant Gratification Doesn’t Work
Researching the people we are marketing to is essential. Jonathan gave the example of Starbucks. If we wanted to find a Starbucks, we wouldn’t just set out. We would take the time to see which Starbucks was closest to us. In this world where we all want everything right away, marketing is the one time where we need to take our time and learn about who we are marketing to, whether or us a podcast, ad agency, or video production company. We need to know a little about them BEFORE we reach out.
The Subject Line Matters
After years in voice over, I can tell you it is still hard to know what to put in the subject line. Jonathan says it should be clear and professional. The subject line should say who you are and what you offer. After all, this is a way people often make sure an email is not spam, so if you are a “Female Professional Voice Talent” say that.
Making a Personal Connection
Jonathan talks about how everyone loves compliments, and the best way to engage is to make people feel good with something that you genuinely feel. So, if you are reaching out to a video production company that you would like t work with, look at the work they have done on their website and social media. Write a personalized letter to them and tell them what you liked and why it resonated with you. A heartfelt compliment goes a long way!
Promoting Yourself Without Seeming Like a Spammy Braggart
This is a tricky one for a lot of people. We want to sing from the clouds how great it would be to work with this ad agency/vide production company/agent but then it’s about us and not about them. Jonathan talks about how making them feel good starts with showing that you understand what problems they are dealing with and what the solutions are. Speak the clients language: “On an ideal day you get work done under budget and ahead of time. I’d love to make your day a little easier. I specialize in……some brands I’ve worked with are (insert 3 examples). That is the kind of language that is client centered and works for them.
As a tip, Jonathan suggested googling production house nightmares and dream stories. He suggested it would be a great way to get insights into their pain points and desires.
Jonathan recommends monthly follow ups. I have to say, I was surprised by this. For years I have done quarterly follow ups. Jonathan reminded us that it often takes a minimum of 5 correspondences to get a potential client to engage, so whether they reply or not, monthly follow ups are best. These correspondences should also be individualized and interesting. Remember, our goal is to build a relationship.
Jonathan also shared another fun way to follow up is to share testimonials from clients cleverly interwoven with a behind the scenes glimpse of what was really going on. So if you have a rave review that talks about your stellar performance, but in reality you were a ball of phlegm sipping throat coat between each line, it balances the testimonial.
What if You’re New and Don’t Have Street Cred?
We had a few folks ask Jonathan how to reach out to potential clients when they are brand new to voiceover. They had been told “fake it til’ you make it” but wanted to know how you have credibility without a client list? Jonathan encouraged everyone that nothing should stop you from going after your dream clients. All you need is a demo, a website, the internet, and time. Typically, you want to attach an MP3 of your time. You need to carefully craft your personalized letters to talk about how you can best support their needs, and shine, regardless of your time in VO.