My schedule has been fairly light lately with the holidays, so it’s been a good time to think about what I want to accomplish in the coming year, and how I plan to go about doing that. This past year has been fantastic. I started the year hoping to start working in audiobooks, and now have narrated eight of them. I picked up work for some big name clients such as Philips and Electrolux. I also got to do a bunch of fun video games. But with all that I’ve done, there’s still so much more that I would like to be doing, and on the top of that list is marketing.
I am not great with marketing. I hate selling things to people, and I hate people selling things to me. Perhaps that’s why I suck at marketing. I’m very good at doing the research. Finding the right companies and making contact. I have a pretty good response rate. But staying in contact? Not so much.
I’ve been thinking hard about what my problem is, and there’s a few things going on here. First, I honestly have been busy with work. I did eight audiobooks, and they all take a lot of time. Pretty much from March to October (which was my last audiobook) I did very little marketing because I was so busy with the work. So obviously I need to work on scheduling some marketing time, while juggling work and auditions. The other thing that’s holding me back is the selling. While I usually ask if it’s okay to touch base every now and again, I always feel as though I’m being pushy. The trouble is it can take several attempts to get your name in front of a client before they know who you are and will book you. Which means it requires a certain amount of pushiness. But how much? If I contact you in a month? Is that too long? Three months? six months? That’s all the things I need to figure out, besides also figuring out what types of marketing works well for me.
To get a better handle on the marketing thing I took advice from narrator Karen Commins and checked out the book Get Clients Now! By C.J. Hayden. I’m like what I’ve read so far. It’s told me basically what I’ve been already sensing. That my problem isn’t so much finding potential clients as following up with them.
Get Clients Now talks about a 28-day program in which you complete marketing actions on a daily and/or weekly basis. I’ll be honest, if I get caught up with an audiobook, I’m not sure how much marketing I will get to. Nevertheless I have begun completing my GCN action worksheet in earnest.
My goal: to get a meagre two new clients during those 28 days. It’s pretty small, but I think manageable. My reward: Dragon Age Inquisition, which I’ve been holding off from buying while I re-play Dragon Age: Origins. I also like the idea that Hayden suggests rewarding effort. So even if I don’t get those two clients, I’ll still reward myself with something, and, most importantly, be able to learn and refine my marketing plan.
As for the rest of my business plan for the year: Revamp my narration demo, to include all the new work I’ve accrued. Get some more coaching, particularly in video games, since I’d like to do a lot more of that. Sort out some of the boring paperwork side, so I’m less rushed around tax-time. Attend a VO conference. Make a trip out to New York for APAC. That last one is more hope, than part of the plan, but we’ll see how things are going in the first quarter.
What does your business plan for the year include?