On Saturday, I got a PM on Twitter from a voice artist looking for work:
Dear Rob, I hope you are well . I am interested in any voice-over work . I do not know what the procedure is in order to contact you or if you need any clients . I am diligent,quirky and am able to switch my voice around if required . I look forward to hearing from you . Regards
My first thought was, “why is this person contacting me for voiceover work? I very rarely hire people, and there’s no indication that I would, so why are you pitching to me?"
This naturally got me thinking that as a voice artist, you really need to know who you’re marketing to.
Had this person done any research, they might have approached me differently. Maybe they would have discovered that I coach people getting started in voiceover. And perhaps because of this, they could have asked me what I think of their voice. I give evaluations all the time and it's a good way to start up a conversation and make a friend. Maybe they thought that because I'm a fellow voice artist, I might be willing to share some strategies on finding voiceover work that’s worked for me. That’s also worked and I'm always happy to share what I know.
But instead of doing any research on me, this person just copy/pasted a generic introductory message and sent it off in the hope that I might respond.
"Welp it's Saturday. Time to spam people I've never talked to before!"
The person didn’t include a link to their demo, or their website, nor was a link included in their twitter profile (which listed voice over artist third in their description) so at this point, all I know is that they’re “diligent and quirky” and this is somehow supposed to translate to my bottom line as a voice seeker.
As an experiment, I sent them a practice script I had, just to see what they sounded like. This was the response I got:
Hi Rob - thankyou for your response . It is much appreciated . I will send on Monday . have a good weekend ..
OK, hold up. Wait a minute...
You bothered me on the weekend, but you can't be bothered to respond till Monday? What if I was in the middle of casting someone for a job that records on Monday (Not outside of the realm of possibility)? How does this jibe with the person’s claim that they’re diligent?
Let this serve as a lesson in how NOT to market to someone.
Take the time to do the research on a prospective client. Is this someone that is producing the kind of work you want to be doing? Are they even a producer? Find out ahead of time. Find out something about the company. Figure out a way you can prove useful to them. Know the answer to the question "Why should I hire you?"
When it comes to marketing, carpet bombing can work, but a laser-guided bomb is more effective at hitting the target.
And If you’re so conscientious about voiceover work that you’re sending out marketing mail on a Saturday, you Damn-well better be able to respond on a Saturday if someone throws you an audition.
About Rob Marley - A Los Angeles native, Rob is an accomplished voice talent, producer, writer and VO coach, now living in the Hill Country of Austin Texas.