How can I seek out and amass clients?
"A hunt based only on the trophies taken falls far short of what the ultimate goal should be." -Fred Bear
The Thrill of the hunt.
Amassing marketing contacts. Finding leads. Finding. Connecting. Scoring. That's what it's all about, right? Are you a marketer that thrives on finding leads? If so, read on!
Voiceover Artists stalking their prey
The lioness stalks its prey with stealth. Slowly creeping through the tall reeds, it eyes its wildebeest prize, that great mound of juicy flesh...that succulent payoff. But ultimately, the lioness has something far greater in mind than the final meal. It's not the payoff, really. Rather, it's the moment the wildebeest becomes aware of her, muscles flex, joints spring into action, and the wildebeest blows out of there like a tornado, desperate to evade the predator. THAT is when life happens for the lioness...for the jaguar...for the cheetah...eyes widen as their prey takes off...and the chase is on. (I wrote that in my best movie trailer voiceover voice.)
After all, for you and I as voice talent, it's not really about the end result, is it? Is it about the securing of a job, really? Or is it about something much deeper?
It's not about the finish line
Every day, I'm planting seeds. I'm tilling the soil. Every day I'm reaching out to multiple people across Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Craigslist, YouTube, Vimeo, direct email, etc. Every month I'm reaching back out to those people. I have a checklist I go off of. All the time, every day - and I do mean ALL day, even into the evening time when I'm just laying around after an exhausting day of reaching out - I reach out. I continue to slink through that grass. You see, my "prey" will never come straight to me. That's not the type of business I'm in. I'm always on the hunt. And just like the lioness, I do it to survive.
I run and hunt my prey on a continuous 24-7 cycle because I need to bring back food to my den. I need to make sure that my wife and son are provided for, and that I can pay the mortgage on my den. If I don't, well, we're just all aimlessly roaming the Savannah. So it behooves me to develop an attitude of really craving the race...the hunt...the chase. Each morning, I sit down to my computer, and, like the lioness cracks her tendons and flexes her muscles, I crack my fingers and get ready to get my marketing game on.
Sure, I want to track down and get prey like the next lioness. I want to provide for my family. But there's something about barreling towards that goal, as opposed to hitting it, that keeps me alive.
Reinhold Eissner, who ascended Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen in 1980, was asked "why did you go up there to die?" He said, "I didn’t go up there to die. I went up there to live."
I feel the same way. It's the thrill of the hunt that keeps me alive, that keeps me fit, that keeps me moving. It's the motivation to go out there and do it again...and again...and again, knowing that eventually, because the numbers are in my favor, and I'm perfecting my craft with each hunt, I'm going to score.
How and where to hunt - that is the question
How and where to hunt?
- Do you go door to door?
- Do you brave the phones?
- Is it direct email for you?
- Does Twitter turn your crank?
- Is Instagram the way to go?
- Do you need to really hit YouTube and Vimeo hard?
- Is Craigslist the solution?
- Should LinkedIn be the end all be all?
There is no single hunting terrain. Hunting for prospects takes all shapes and can be done across multiple plateaus. Marc Scott advises in his Marketing Playbook that if you find one particular area that is working better for you than others, then by all means stick to that and do it well. It's totally fine. Don't feel like you have to canvas the entire planet. There are ways to simply promote your business broadly and gain traction, and there are ways to really connect with people directly and effectively through social media. However you do it, the key point is to be like Nike and just do it.
From that Quicksprout.com link above, right now:
- 86% of businesses use Facebook for marketing
- 48% use Instagram
- 46% use YouTube
- 44% use Twitter
- 31% use LinkedIn
- 25% use Snapchat (!)
Where will you hunt? The ground is teeming with life. You can continue to subsist on the P2P's if you want...but what if they dried up? What if new legislation outlawed such sites? What would you do then? Where would your food come from?
Hunters hunt, and Gatherers gather - it's DNA
Ultimately, the takeaway is this: a lioness never rests. Sure, she lays down and pants in the hot shade from time to time, in between kills. But what's on her mind during that segue? What is she thinking about in the lull between the chase? If a young rogue elephant traipsed onto her turf, wandering away from the herd, would she let it pass by unmolested? No. She's always ready for the hunt. Always.
That's the mindset that you and I need to have as marketers. What was that? What did you call me, Josh? Yeah, you read it right. You're not a voiceover artist. You're a marketer who just happens to do voiceovers. It needs to be in our DNA to hunt and gather. It needs to be second nature, a deep intrinsic compulsion to reach out and see who's looking for us. To find new opportunities wherever and whenever, they arise. To look for, or, at least be ready to look.
When I'm out and about with my wife - sometimes even on date night, to her chagrin - I wear my "Ask me about voiceovers" T-Shirt. She knows that I'm going to, and she doesn't stop me - because she knows that what I kill, she gets to eat too. She's a hunter gatherer right alongside me, through enabling and support.
Voiceover Artists seek Voiceover Clients 24-7
If you're a potential client reading this, please pardon all the macabre references. I'm not about to slay you or harm you or sink my teeth into you, though I do at least reserve the right to size you up for a meal. 🙂
Ultimately, I'm thinking about where I can find voiceover clients all the time. It is the greatest thrill to find a potential client who responds favorably. A warm lead who responds with "Nice demo reel! I'll add you to my roster." Or "Thanks for reaching out, what's your cost for __________?" It is wonderful to be chosen. It makes the hunt all worthwhile.
Amassing clients and growing those lists
The great thing about seeking out clients is that the sources will always replenish. There will always be new listings. New advertising agencies. Directors of Video will be hired from fresh talent. Senior Producers will phase out and replacements will fill their shoes. New postings will go up from content creators. Ad agencies will cycle through clients. Ultimately, the harvest is plentiful...and the lionesses are few. There's enough work to go around. And if you look hard enough, and are bold enough to ask, you'll find potential clients out there who are willing to provide you with an email address to follow up with. It's your job - and no one else's - to keep those, and keep them organized well, so that you can follow up with them at regular intervals, to wish them well and remind them of your presence. Just like a lioness in the grass, hiding out of sight, they won't remember that you're there - until you spring into action and remind them. So ask for email addresses - ask away! Grab them and keep them. Each "potential" client that responds favorably to you, you *must* ask for their email address and program that into your CRM software for follow up. Examples of good CRM software:
Again, they won't remember that you're there. It's up to YOU to go seek them out again. That's what marketers do...they go and seek. They hunt. Rinse in the mud, and repeat.
It'll always be about The Thrill of the Hunt
Re-read the Fred Bear quote at the top of this article. Is that you? Do you thrive on the hunt?
I do. I'm in a constant state of scanning the horizon, looking for someone to connect with, not to bite their jugular, but to sink my teeth into a great opportunity of partnership, for us to devour together. I really, Really, REALLY love the hunt...and I love being engaged with it. It's a massive payoff to connect with a pre-client and have them convert into an actual client.
But even more than that, it's an even more massive payoff to flex my muscles, to arch my back, to let out a low growl, to vent that steam, and to take off running out across the plains and track down my next meal. Because ultimately, I may LOOK like a human male...but I'm really a lioness in the grass...I just have less fur.
Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Talent for hire
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