Your Existing Clients Are Important, Too!

One ongoing project we love working on here at Creative Media Recording is with an ad agency who regularly records audio interviews of successful business consultants and subject matter experts from a variety of fields. Then that interview audio is turned into audio CD’s and/or Podcasts for their client to share.

I always come away from an interview session with 1 or 2 great little business nuggets that I can put to use in my OWN business. Last week one expert shared this piece of advice:

“If you constantly focus on getting NEW clients and ignore OLD ones you’ll end up on the downside.”

That hit home for me! The past three years have been very busy for our little studio. Plus I was making time to hit some conferences and trade shows. I started working on some other important audio related projects that are taking me in a different direction. I may have let some deadlines slide here and there but we were busy, right?! — Wrong.

The downside for me was losing one good client last year – out of the blue – who was unhappy with the service they were getting (or weren’t getting in our case). That harsh reminder hit home for me as I sat there listening to this business consultant. Losing that other client had been a resonant reminder to make sure we were all focused on our existing client base – some of whom have been working with us for over 30 years.

We’re lucky to have some long, successful existing relationships with many of our clients. But it doesn’t take much to get off the track.

Yes, farming for new clients is important; doing lots of new auditions is good; working your social media (looking for business) can be good; going to conferences and learning new stuff is key. But be aware of the valuable time all of that might take away from doing work for your existing client roster.

Bottom line: Don’t forget to touch base with your existing clients once in a while, too. Try something you haven’t done before – make a phone call. Send a card or postcard instead of an email. Buy some small gift cards and start sending them out when you get a nice gig or a referral from someone. All of those little surprises do have an impact on clients/producers.

 

Photo montage by VO pro Mike Laponis @mikeraphone on Twitter

A Producer’s TIPS on Effective Social Media for Voice Talent

The talent perspective of Producer, Engineer & audio pro Tim Keenan

The talent perspective of Producer, Engineer & audio pro Tim Keenan

I’m continually amazed at the “missed opportunities” by voice actors when they set up their professional social media pages. Sometimes their bios are more “fun” than they are “business-like” – with no active links to showcase the person’s many talents. Social media is a way to be more than just social. It can be a major business tool and you should treat it as such. Over time you can build some great connections. I have.

You might be surprised at the casting or lurking or “talent evaluation” that gets done on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, etc. You always want to make sure that you are poised to get your share of any potential work opportunities!

Here are some simple tips.

Tip #1) Make sure your work samples are just ONE click away. This doesn’t apply to only voice talent. If you’re a video shooter, an editor or a writer you always want producers to have fast access to your main selling tool – your real work samples. Make that the primary, consistent link you use for social media and make it accessible with just one click. Producers are busy people so quick access may get your samples in front of the right set of eyes & ears fast!

Tip #2) Be sure your VO demo files are downloadable as MP3s. Producers want easy access to your AUDIO files (see rule #1) but they also want to be able to control what they do with them once they are downloaded. They may compile a set of 5 of their top voice choices for a particular project and want to send them in an email to a client. They won’t be sending a client to your website (or 4 other voice talent websites). They want to make it easy for their clients to select their top 1 or 2 voice choices and then move on.

Flash sites are not great for providing downloadable audio files. VoiceZam is a handy tool because it allows full audio file downloads of each demo. SoundCloud works great, too but beware “share” is not the same as “download. SoundCloud was created for music folks to “protect” their audio from downloaders so the actual ability to set up a “download” for each file is hidden in the preferences settings.

Tip #3) Read every social BIO of the folks who take the time to follow you. Really. Take the time to see if any of your followers actually are producers of some type or are involved in casting. They likely followed you because are in the media biz and that time of connection is the perfect time to reach out and ask to share your demos with them.

If you know me, you may know I’ve been involved in helping cast voices for clients for decades. I even mention that on my two Twitter bios. Would you believe only 1 out of every 40 or 50 new followers even comments on casting or asks to submit a demo?

Tip #4) Don’t use the word “aspiring” or “newcomer” in your bio. It is an instant shutdown to casting folks & producers. Would you hire an “aspiring” brain surgeon if you needed a doctor? You don’t have to fib about your abilities but don’t throw up roadblocks. I’ve met some amazing beginners over the years who sounded just like seasoned pros right out of the gate. And some people have years of VO experience but just aren’t right for some types of voiceover. Let your work and your demos open doors for you that you may not have known existed.

Tip #5) Participate. It is one thing to set up effective social media sites but another to set aside time to actually participate. Once a month doesn’t cut it. Once a week still isn’t enough. Think of it as part of your business marketing. Sure it’s hard to find the time sometimes but if you commit to bits of time throughout the day the same way you monitor your email, you can still be effective with your social presence.