What does your buyer's journey look like?
I often see Voice-over artists asking about the many different ways they can attract clients or put themselves in front of people. Today, I am going to take you through the journey we all walk through when we make a purchase of any kind, and yes, that includes media buyers, those small business owners, production companies, corporate buyers, authors, and more.
As a voice-over artist, you contribute to the world of media. You fall in line with genres like broadcast or creative talent, even if you are the voice mail message telling people what numbers to push. You are the media resource people look to when completing their commercial products, audiobooks, animations, or trailers.
Ok, now that we understand our product and the service we provide, we will focus on who will buy it and how they move through the buying process.
We will begin with the first step in Any buyer’s journey, Awareness.
Now Awareness is an interesting creature because you may not even be aware that you are seeking awareness. You just end up in a situation that needs a resolution, or you are looking for something that can help you live better. That is when you become aware that a need exists, or in the case of Steve Jobs, you are made aware.
See, Mr. Jobs believed that he could share something with people that they did not realize they needed or even wanted and bam, the iPhone was born. I was working for a local tech company at the time the iPhone was first introduced. Wow-what an amazing product I thought, but when I arrived at work, others were more pessimistic.
Why? Because yes. People would love this product and it might take market share away from existing products available in the marketplace. What happens in some of these cases is competitors do not always see these things coming and they are not ready, so they scramble to catch up, shareholders get antsy, so mistakes are made.
Anyway, Steve Jobs was on the mark and an entirely new industry was formed. Today, you can’t go anywhere without seeing Billions of people who became aware that they always needed this practical little device with them. It has made life, shopping, entertainment, and more increasingly effective, efficient, and enjoyable, but I digress...
Awareness is when someone decides a product or service will somehow make their life better, work easier, or fix a problem. These are literally the lowest level experiences in the awareness portion of the journey. It is usually the easiest if you know how to talk with people and where they are when they decide, not only in space, but time, emotion, and energy.
What are the steps people take to decide they need change? They will many times talk with friends and family, do an internet search on Google, Bing, or Yahoo, then they may move to YouTube, call some professionals, and ask people they know on social. Once they decide they understand their need, they start looking for vendors or resources that will help them solve this issue, create a better environment, or serve some other purpose.
Through this portion of the journey, you are meeting them in various places, offering advice on your blog, on social, doing YouTube videos, or you are in a place where you can take on TV and Radio commercials, or know someone in media who can interview you.
Another wonderful way to meet your next client in this area is through networking. But know, through all of this you are not selling anything, you are not saying what your business can do to solve their problem, you are simply addressing it. You are writing blogs, doing videos that you post on your website, social, in emails and you are reaching out to groups offering advice. Offline, you are attending networking meetings, giving talks, sharing your advice with people, and building trust. Maybe you even authored a book.
Ok, moving on...
The next step in the journey is what I call Consideration. This is when the lead, prospect, or potential client decides they know what they want, or they have figured out the solution to their problem or need. Now they enter the make or buy decision in some cases, in others, they are simply looking for the right vendor. This is where you are offering solutions to their problems without talking about your company or service. You are simply illustrating how these problems are solved.
For example, someone is looking for ways to be seen in a Google Search on the first page – I might write about the benefits of keyword analysis and tools you can use to obtain top-rated keywords in your industry. I might also talk about the benefits of starting a Google My Business account and keeping up your profile there. I may even go so far as to offer information about Sprout Social and the tools inside their software that really help to navigate your customer journey. Not once in any of these do I talk about my company.
Finally, we move to the decision stage, this is when the potential buyer moves to the stage of deciding whom they’ll trust to resolve their problem.
During this stage, you’re delivering all the promotional material for your business, from the clients you’ve helped to any offers you have for new clients or existing clients. Existing clients may not know that you offer this service and will look to you for their service needs, they can also offer testimonials and reviews on search engines such as Google. Yelp and other services offer ratings and review tools you can share with your potential customers and community.
Testimonials are some of the best marketing you’ll have in your arsenal, so make sure you ask your clients to offer them on your Google Reviews page, Facebook, LinkedIn, or wherever your clients find you most frequently.
There is one last level of this buyer's journey and that's Delight. In this phase, you're connecting with your community at a deeper level. You're offering support, customer service, and a feeling of validation for your followers. Their choice was the right one for them and you're validating this by being present and available when they need you or your services. They will sing your praises and help your brand expand across the digital landscape.
Well, that’s going to do it for today. Thanks for reading and I’ll be back next week with Buyer Personas. We'll explore subjects like - Who are your clients? What are their pain points and what are the best ways to reach them where they are when they need you?
Over the past year, I've been learning to create great voiceovers and I'm so happy I followed my heart and jumped in to learn as much as I can about the industry and how things work. I've also been following groups of voice-over talent on Facebook and LinkedIn over the past few months to gain a greater perspective on how the industry works, how other voice-over artists are successful, and what needs some may have.
By in large, beyond the normal questions like "what kind of mic do I need" and "how do I create a great recording space", I hear more largely questions about marketing and being seen. Whether or not you choose to participate in P 2 P (pay to play) sites like Voices.com, you need marketing and in today's environment. In an article by Derek Andersen, contributor at Invoca.com, if you're not online you're missing more than 62% of your potential audience, in some cases it's up to 81%. (Andersen, 2021). The percentage is a little more challenging to find when discussing voice-over alone, but we do know that sites like Voices.com have over 1 Million active users, so the market is there. Voice-overs are needed for genres such as eLearning, commercials, promos, training videos, marketing videos, trailers, animation and more.
Your online presences is so very important, but I'm not going to just talk about activities of online marketing in this series, I'm also going to help you explore other avenues methods of marketing and getting your name in front of people who are interested in your talent and ability to help them finish their projects.
Something many artists miss is the voice-over may be the last thought of any company's project. They've gone through all of the copywriting, imagery, and video elements, even music and setting a theme, then they finally decide they want a voice to explain what's happening on the screen. Understanding this element will help you target your marketing with the highest effectiveness.
Everyone benefits from voice-overs because with the right voice accompanying a creative project, there's more depth and a better understanding of the product or service, improved credibility and clearer messaging from the consumer perspective. The business is working to reach their customers and you're the in between person, you're the conduit between the company and the ears on the other side of the video, commercial, eLearning piece, or movie trailer. You are that magical experience the customer was aiming to share with the end user.
You are the star!
With this in mind, consider what your niche' is, consider what subjects you love and can talk about for 20+ minutes without any kind of preparation. Those are the customers you want to go after. Those business owners who have a passion for their products and you share that passion with them, it will come out in your voice. The same goes for messaging to them. Find and describe your most desired client, are they a painter, a corporate business professional, are they a call center, are they a radio station?
Who are the people you want to attract with your marketing and how can you help them finish their products? In order to figure this out, you can focus on the goals for your organization and how it serves the community. Below, I describe the S.M.A.R.T. Goals framework which will help you considered all of the things you want in your business and how you want to get there. Understanding what you're trying to do in an organized framework will elevate your chances of getting super clear about who your customer is.
What are S.M.A.R.T. Goals?
S.M.A.R.T. refers to goals represented as follows:
Goals can be adjusted, you're simply giving yourself a pathway to success because goals without plans are ideas.
That's it for now, next time, we'll talk about your brand and what it means to brand yourself in the best light. Thanks for reading.
Oh - and keep an eye out for videos where I show you cool tips about how to use social media, build your website in Weebly, and use ads on Facebook.
THE VALUE OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR VOICE OVER TALENT
So, you're a voice over artist but you can't seem to figure our how to leverage social media to your advantage. Let's talk about that because social media is squarely where you should be if you want to build an online fan base. Let me outline a persuasive argument for you and maybe answer some questions that I hear people ask.
Oh, where to start???
Well, let's start with learning the fundamentals. Did you know there are over 300 social media networks around the world and more coming online every day? I know, it's incredible, right? Especially when you consider only 4 have any popularity at all. In the following sections we'll explore the differences and your options for working on each platform. Did you know that if you refrain from building your online presence you'll be missing out on 62% of your potential buyers? That's right. It's important to understand the absolute value of having an online presence and it's still affordable enough to build a solid business here.
The first thing you want to focus on is Where to show up. Who are the businesses or production companies in your target audience? What do they focus on and how you can help them deliver their message to their clients? You have questions that require answers and these answers aren't always as easy to find as we might like to think they are. Be on the look out for my podcasts where I discuss the Buyer's Journey and Buyer Personas, for now, let's talk about the social media networks that offer the most reach and you can figure out which networks will work best for you.
Below is an at-a-glance table that will help you understand how each network works and who they cater to. You may feel differently about the importance of each network, but this is how I view them as a veteran in the world of Social Media Marketing.
Where should you be for maximum results?
It's not hard to figure out where you need to be. Who's your audience?
Use the above table to help you decide where you want to show up and who you want to help. Remember, this portion of the process is building your community of fanatical fans. It's not about the selling, that comes later. Right now, you're doing what's called Brand Awareness, getting used to the technology and learning about the tools on each platform. When you first start out, only show up on 1 or 2. If you're in the business of doing voice overs for small business, I would show up on Facebook, mostly, as LinkedIn has a larger portion of high level opportunities with corporations. You'll be able to attract people from mom and pop shops on Facebook.
If you want to use Instagram, that's great. Just know that everyone on Instagram is visual. You're going to focus on Images, Video, Stories, and Reels. If you get an account on Canva, you'll be glad you did, as they have all of the resources you need to create outstanding content for this channel in particular. Be sure you check out their audio files or upload your own. If you choose to use Instagram (IG), be sure to put the link to your body of work on your profile page, in the Link area. That way you can direct people to your profile page and then to your website (that's another issue we'll touch on later). Here, you're doing more showing off than anything, but you can post ads on Facebook and have them run on IG, you can also connect the two networks. Many of us used to connect all of our networks but it just became convoluted so we stopped doing that in 2015. The option to connect Facebook and IG makes sense so consider it.
LinkedIn is for mid size to large corporations. This is a great place to connect with potential clients and deliver some real value to other voice over artists through your business page and groups. I've already made some great connections on the platform and there is an ads platform people use to attract high ticket clients. Do your homework on LinkedIn and figure out who you want to connect with directly. I wouldn't message potential clients on LinkedIn as many people are just tired of this activity, but you can gain enough information from profiles and reaching out to encourage a conversation. Make sure your personal profile is professional and your business page really shines a light on your talent, place in the market, and ability to offer value.
This method goes for every single network in the marketplace. You analyze who the audience is that frequents these networks and then align your marketing to expand your reach as much as possible. You do have other opportunities while using these spaces. You can buy ads, especially on YouTube, Facebook, and IG. Ads and groups help expand our Brand Awareness activities exponentially. You'll also want to learn how to use hashtags, tags, schedulers, and sites like Canva to really get the most bang for your buck. As a voice over artist, you have the audio down, the video is another story and we'll address that in a later post.
I hope this blog was helpful and offers some guidance for you to get started. Stay tuned for the podcast on this subject where I'll go deeper into each of the channels and why you could benefit from a couple of them to start. Also, if you want to create an easy to use website experience, check out Weebly. They're wonderful and that's what I use for this website.
Until next time, keep positive, keep practicing, and keep those messages flowing