So You’ve Booked It!
Congrats, you’re a working voice over actor and you’ve booked a gig. Let’s say its a VO for a commercial, and let’s say for the sake of this blog that you booked this 30 second spot on your favorite pay-to-play. Your stoked not just because we are always pleased with every booking, but because it’s actually a rate you deserve. Yippee. So, how do you take this one-off and turn it into a client that keeps coming back over and over again for years?
The Platform Matters
In general, the platform you are on matters! Some pay-to-plays and even many rosters do not allow you direct interaction with the clients. The client belongs to them, not you. Their goal is for the client to come back to their site, to their platform. You, the paying talent, are only a means to that end. Other pay-to-plays, in contrast, let you interact directly with your client. Do your homework and start booking on those sites. Wouldn’t it be great if the next time the client needed you they just came directly to you, and you did not even need to audition? And wouldn’t it be great if that happened over and over with multiple clients? That’s how you build a business!
Bending Over Backwards
So let’s go back to this client that you’ve booked on this pay to play for a commercial that you can interact directly with. Let’s say this job comes in on a Saturday and it’s a “Rush” job. Do you actually have anything else going on? Did you really need to re-shuffle your life to accommodate them? To me, if the client is already paying a nice rate, I would rather dazzle them with my super fast turn-around time and ease of availability than nickel and dime them. After all, how does it make you feel when you are charged extra for every little thing by a service provider? Instead, make it easy for the client to get exactly what they need as soon as they need it. Do an awesome job right away. Do you know what will happen if you do your job well and quickly? The client will be happy.
Building a Relationship
In the course of your email discourse, try to start getting to know your client. You can start with the basics: ask them how they are and share a tidbit about your day or your week. If you live in a different region, chats about the weather can actually be riveting. I happen to be a working mom, so I love bringing that into the fold. Holidays and birthdays are also great ways to get to know people. Studio pets are also a wonderful conversation starter. Then, when you speak next, circle back to what you already know.
Every job matters. Clients have a choice when casting and we are lucky to book what we book. An attitude of gratitude goes a long way. At the very least, send a hand-written thank you card. If you have an international client, send a virtual card. Let them know that you appreciate their business and act as if you are part of their team, because you are! Wish them well when presenting the finished audio, and mention your next collaboration. And in thanks. Sometimes, for larger projects, a thank you gift is appropriate. From agents to project managers to video producers to creative directors, it depends who you are working with and what the project was, but I have sent gifts ranging from Starbucks gift cards to chocolate to giant containers of popcorn.
Keep in Touch
Make sure to maintain a relationship with your clients! You already know they like you, they already cast you once! So, don’t lose contact. Sometimes newsletters are great for reminding them that you are still available. More personal quarterly check-ins are, however, extremely important. You can share a tid-bit of wrk that might be relevant to them as well. You can check out their social media and new content and engage and comment on it. It’s really important to be genuine and actually have something to say, but it’s also important to simple stay top of mind. Your voice many not be perfect for every project, but you don’t want to miss out on a casting simply because the client has forgotten that you exist. Be present. Engage. Be the talent they are thrilled to hear from.