Marketing to Voice Over Clients
Note: this is not a story with a happy ending. If you want to skip to the follow up blog, click here.
In voice over, we talk about marketing endlessly. How do we get clients? Voice actors love to talk about marketing. We love to talk about our CRMs. Building client relationships is another hot topic. A few weeks ago Robert Sciglimpaglia started talking about sales funnels for voice over. Diana Birdsall, fellow VO Coach and I got super excited. Why? After years of emails and LinkedIn outreach, sales funnels are different. And why work with Rob and his daughter Mary Brainard? Put simply: they are fantastic.
You might be wondering how a voice actor/attorney and his daughter teamed up to do this? Well, Rob explained that it was always his dream to work with his daughters but none are lawyers. Mary actually studied English and Psychology in college. At present, Mary does copy writing and marketing for companies with six and seven figure budgets. Mary and Rob decided to team up and bring Belair Creative to the voice over community so that we can benefit from their marketing expertise. In just their first month on the scene, business exploded for the father-daughter duo.
Explaining a Sales Funnel
A sales funnel is a fancy word for a sales process. If you picture a tube or a pipe that is wider at the top and narrow at the bottom, that is what a funnel looks like. In a sales funnel, as people move through the funnel, there are more people at the top and fewer at the end. This is because not everyone wants or needs you services at the moment they are pulled into the funnel. You can work to maintain contact with all who have come into the funnel through follow up emails, calls, and social media. Also, it came up in our clubhouse chat that funnels should really be used for experienced voice actors who have their business up and running. If you are new to VO and just starting out, this is not the system for you. You can try this once your booth is set up, your website is up, and you are ready to seriously invest in your business.
Knowing Who to Target
Just like when you mark your script and you have to understand who you are talking to, in marketing you have to understand who your ideal or dream client is. Some other people might call this a buyer persona, although Rob and Mary did not use that terminology. Anyway, instead of sending out endless emails in hope of a reply, Mary uses targeted videos well-placed in social media groups so that they land where you want them. Often, clients need talent but don’t know where to find them so they end up on casting sites. By going directly to them, and finding the clients where they are, we are making ourselves easy to find.
Some Sales Funnels Have More Steps Than Others
Every clients is on a different path in their journey. Some might be ready to buy your services today. Others might be ready to purchase next month. Maybe some might never be ready to take action. It’s possible funnels have more steps because they want to qualify the potential clients. Other funnels have more steps because there are different types of funnels. Some have a survey, a questionnaire, or a form. The main goal could be information for a mailing list. Another main goal could also be the sale of services. The funnel is based on what you want to accomplish. Belair creative does a three level funnel that includes video, a survey, and scheduling an appointment.
When Mary and Rob work with voice actors, they are aware that different talents need varying degrees of handholding when setting up their sales funnels. They basically set up a system so that someday we can maintain it ourselves. Through the funnel, we can learn where our clients come from. We will get data both from the CRM and from social media. In order to run a solid funnel, you need to know who you are talking you and what you want to specialize in.
The Downside to Sales Funnels
We asked if there is a downside to sales funnels. Mary said she thought a lot about this. She said if you set it up and did not use it that would be a downside. Or, if you got too many new clients and you could not manage them all, that would also be a downside.
Why Sales Funnels are Unique and Some Final Thoughts
As Diana astutely pointed out, so many voice actors are on pay to plays and do direct marketing. What we all want is jobs in our in box every morning, right? We asked Rob why this is the next great thing. He said that in addition to finding clients where they are, so much of the funnel process is automated. From follow-up emails to scheduling appointments, automation helps drive the campaign. Mary also offered that doing a funnel allows you to be more in control of your business. You get unique, specific data about who is purchasing your services. By reaching out you are building relationships and staying top of mind. Getting clients is really important, and that is what funnels do.
In business it is really important to be careful who you take advice from. There have been many conversations about being cautious of “the next big thing.” We have all scene recent promises that sounded wonderful and did not pan out. You probably know already that I do not have a crystal ball. I can’t guarantee that every funnel will get who we need to get. What I do know is that you can waste a lot of time marketing to the wrong people on your own. Rob has been loved my many in the VO community for years, and once you meet this father daughter team, you will see why Diana and I were so delighted to share them with the community.