Whether you’ve been able to tune in to our Clubhouses the past few months, fellow professional female voice talent and coach Diana Birdsall and I have been spending A LOT of time talking about voice over marketing in our weekly club “Ask the VO Coaches.” Why? As working creatives, we wear a lot of hats, but we have to run our business like a business, which means building lasting relationships with clients. The best way to do this is with marketing. This week, we were fortunate to have the amazing Montreal-based talent, coach, and demo producer Kim Handysides join our panel! Kim is a true inspiration and a wealth of knowledge. For those who don’t know, Kim happens to be in a weekly accountability group with me and Diana, so we know her quite well. Kim has blazed a path for women in voice over, pushing the boundaries of what women can earn, where women can work, and proving just how much one woman can do! Kim has done it all through smarts, fierce determination, creativity, and oodles of talent. So, if you sadly missed hearing her wisdom, here is just a taste of what you missed out on from the great one.
Voice Over Marketing with Kim Handysides
Kim has always had a uniquely creative approach to marketing. In the early 1980s, when Kim launched her voice over business, she created a demo tape and marketing campaign all themed around a coffee break. She hired an actor to go with her, dressed in makeup, and around break time at 10:15 Am, they would approach potential clients like ad agencies. They were able to get into and actually talk to 90% of the companies they approached. While there was an initial investment of about $700, which in that time was even more money than it is today, Kim started her business with this campaign and still works with many of these companies today.
Inbound vs Outbound Voice Over Marketing
We spent a lot of time talking about this with Kim. Kim talked about how when you seek clients, research them, create a list, and reach out, that is outbound marketing. If you are looking for experts in outbound marketing, coaches like Mark Scott and Jonathan Tilley focus on outbound marketing.
Inbound marketing, in contrast, is when you draw clients into your website, whether it’s through blogs, videos, or stories. You make your website a place clients want and need to come. Kim referred to marketing experts like Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk. Kim advised that sharing infographics can triple your traffic and including Instagram stories and tik tok videos is another strategy to yield huge results. Kim explains that inbound marketing is 59% better on leads and 61% less expensive!
A new voiceover talent, David Jacobs, asked a common question that has been coming up a lot in our weekly Clubhouse. He wanted to know how to position yourself when marketing when you genuinely don’t have a body of work. He asked if “fresh” is the way to go? Kim reminded us that 90% of what we bring is our own unique personality. We spent time talking about how we differentiate ourselves from other talents, and what we bring to the table that makes us unique. Another new talent, Ben Ekres, was concerned about having a tagline to market himself. We all assured him that none of us have a tagline and we are all thriving in our business marketing endeavors. Kim explained to Ben that it is far more important to spend 50-100 words to say who you are and what you do so that google can find you.
How Our “Storefronts” Should Attract Clients
Kim did a thoughtful analysis of how to sort out what our clients are interested in. Whether you want to blog, do a podcast, do or videos, there are a lot of ways to present great content to position yourself as a problem solver for those who might cast you. Kim gave the example of saying you are an anime guy and staking your claim through a targeting marketing approach. She suggested a thoughtful blog about the art form, or perhaps doing a review of a video. Kim suggests coming up with a list of different topics within the main category of anime so that you can appeal to people in that field. This example can be applied to other genres.
How Do You Know Which To Do?
Kim advised that you should consider what makes you happiest. She also said to think about what you are good at. Lastly, if you try both, you should see what yields better results in your target market. Kim happens to prefer nurturing existing relationships, inbound marketing, and pay-to-plays for herself. Kim also reminds us that if you have 15-30 regular clients who send business all the time your business will thrive.
There’s So Much More to Voice Over Marketing
The summary ends here. If you missed it, I suggest booking a business and marketing coaching session with either myself, Diana, or Kim to catch up! We can help you come up with a strategy for your business. Our Clubhouse with Kim covered so much more, including what to put in your bio, common mistakes talents make like imposter syndrome, and who to target when looking for contacts. Kim talked about finding areas you want to focus on and becoming an expert in a field. Even though we only chatted for an hour, the blog could go on and on. Kim is brilliant and we are so thankful to have had her with us!