The Business of Voiceover: How to be a Working Voice Actor. | Christopher Tester | Skillshare

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The Business of Voiceover: How to be a Working Voice Actor.

teacher avatar Christopher Tester, Award-Winning Voice Actor

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (41m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:19
    • 2. Foundations

      1:59
    • 3. Pay to Plays

      2:26
    • 4. Freelancing Sites

      3:52
    • 5. Agents

      2:22
    • 6. Direct Marketing

      1:37
    • 7. Website & Branding

      5:37
    • 8. Lead Generation

      4:49
    • 9. Outreach

      2:41
    • 10. The Follow-Up

      4:31
    • 11. Goal Setting

      3:57
    • 12. Customer Service

      2:07
    • 13. Social Media

      1:57
    • 14. Conclusion

      1:33
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About This Class

In this class, you'll learn everything you need to start getting work as a voice actor. 

This is a deep dive into all the tools and techniques you need on the business side of voice over.  As part of the class project, we will compose your first (and most important) piece of outreach marketing.  We will also cover:

1) An overview of all the different voiceover income streams, including their advantages and disadvantages.

2) How to create and refine the perfect online presence, from website to social media.

3) How to compose, organise and execute a sustained marketing campaign.

4) How to set targets effectively to maintain momentum in the long term.

If you're a complete beginner to voiceover, then this will provide an essential checklist that you can refer to throughout your development.  And if you're a more experienced voice actor, hopefully you'll find some interesting insights, tips and strategies to supplement your current marketing efforts.

Meet Your Teacher

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Christopher Tester

Award-Winning Voice Actor

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: When I started out in voiceover with tons of things about how to set up a home studio, where to get professional coaching, what Mike TBI. But there was very little about actually how you made it into a business, how you made a career out of it. And as a result, I made quite a few mistakes, wasting a lot of time, effort, and money. My name is Chris. I'm a full-time professional voiceover whose voice commercials the all new BMW X3 on a mission. Cooper projects every single moment of our lives is powered by energy. And very against this prelim using watching your C racked corpses stumble and track, right? This is the class that I wish I'd seen when starting out. You enroll, we will look at the essentials of building a voiceover business. We will identify all the different income streams and identify their advantages and disadvantages. And we will cover all the vital aspects of the most crucial one, direct marketing as a freelance voiceover, including your website, your branding, your correspondence, and your client retention. As we go through each lesson, I'll be sharing examples of my portfolio where my marketing and making references to them. And if you like, you can take part in the class project, which will be putting together your first marketing email. I'll be happy to give you feedback on that and any questions that you may have throughout the course. So thanks for watching, and I very much look forward to getting started. 2. Foundations: In this first section, the fundamentals, I just wanted to go over what you need to have in place before you even start thinking about marketing. Firstly, from a performance standpoint, you need to know what you're doing. You need to have Mike technique. You need to know how different genres work in different ways. And you need to actually have active coaching in those genres before you actually record anything. Then you have the whole technical side. You need to know how to operate a mike, HOW TO operate a door where you're actually editing the recordings that you make. And you need to have a recording space which is of a certain consistent standard. My first setup consisted of a MacBook, a preamp connecting it to an XLR microphone, a road and t1, and that came to about 350 pounds in total. But the most important thing is that you have a consistent professional sound that is being vetted by an audio engineer. There are huge numbers of videos on YouTube about how to set up a home studio. But my first recommendation would be to go to the gravy for the brain website and sign up for their two week free trial. They have countless webinars on home studio recording and on performance. And I suggest you take all of that in and then just unsubscribe other organizations like the voiceover Network and the voiceover kickstart also offer courses which cover both the technical side and the performance side, which you need to have in place before you even think about marketing. In addition to that, I'd suggest joining a few Facebook groups, but not too many. The British voiceovers Facebook group is a fantastic place to ask questions, as is the V0 printers one, especially if you're looking for recommendations for coaches. Just to say one final time before you even think about marketing, you have to have the technical side and the performance side to a certain level. Ideally, when you're thinking about marketing, you should already have at least one professionally recorded demo. You should have a consistent home studio that you're comfortable and confident in operating. And you should also have a clear idea of what you should be paid for voice over work through the gravy for the brain rate card and also their video on licensing and usage, both of which will be linked below. There's all these things in place. Now we can actually start looking at the different income streams and what might suit you best. 3. Pay to Plays: These are websites where you essentially pay a subscription fee in order to play. I auditioned for people's projects where they put up casting calls. These come in various different forms, but there are some huge names like Voices.com and voice 1-2-3, as well as some smaller organizations like the dow gamma. I bought my very first job from a pay-to-play site so I can't completely slag them off. But I would say that I have quite a few caveats about them. One particular aspect is that all auditions at time sensitive, which means that there's a huge rush for people to audition as soon as possible for them is an increasingly oversaturated market, which means that the barrier for entry is also pretty loud. Rates advertised on these sites are often incredibly low, and also the websites themselves take emissions on top of them. Also on top of that, quite a few of them operate different kind of membership tears, which means that the big opportunities actually go to those people who are investing thousands in membership fees as opposed to a hundreds every year. As a result, working on pater plays really becomes quiet grind in many ways. As soon as you get an audition, you feel as if the you have to record it asap. Otherwise, more often than not, you won't even be listened to generally in terms of a ratio of number of auditions submitted through to actual jobs booked, It's about what, anything between one and twenty and one hundred thirty. With these kind of websites, it's almost impossible to cultivate a relationship with the actual clients that you end up working with, because all of the communication is actually through the site itself. There are a few exceptions to that, such as Hidalgo and invoice 1-2-3. You can also work around it, but it's a general rule for most of them. If you do have a professional demo, than it's worth setting up a free profile on each of these accounts when you can, because occasionally clients may contact you directly on them. It's just a different way of people being able to find you. But little of the success that you may have on these platforms actually amount to anything in the future. Building foundations on sand. And also don't confuse doing lots of auditions on pay-to-play site as being good practice. It's really not on these websites, you don't get any critical feedback to your performance. And often it really just comes down to text. So if you're making any mistakes in your vocal delivery, then you're not being cooled upon that. And in many ways by continuing to do them and repeat them over and over again. You're just embedding these things, making it worse. I'm not saying that pay to place can't be a viable part of a whole voiceover career. But I'm saying it's probably not the best place to start, especially with the subscription phase means that you've already got money outgoing before you've got anything coming in. 4. Freelancing Sites: The next area is freelancing sites. And essentially these are websites like people per hour, Upwork and even fivers. Well, on these sites again, you'll set up a profile with your demo and then you'll either apply for work or be approached directly for it. The biggest difference between a pay-to-play site and a freelancing one is one is paid, one is free. Instead. In a freelancing site, the Commission is only taken on the backend where it's usually between 15, 20% of the final job prize. And so with even less of a barrier to entry, it means the quality of the voice service on these platforms tends to be even lower. Work on freelancing sites is extremely difficult to get proper rate to pay for. The majority of employers use such heights when they want something done cheaply. And that's a very fast way to getting exploited. But I'll happily admit that when I started out, I tried a little bit of everything and it was actually on freelancing sites and especially Fiverr where I started to get paid regularly for my voice ever work, partly in terms of rates. It's still with mindset. In a normal voice of a job, you have a basic rights and then you have usage on top of it depending on the genre. Whereas on a platform like five, if for example, you start with a base rank, which is normally a base rate per number of words, but then you can upsell various aspects on top of that. So for example, let's say you start by charging $5 for 50 words. But on top of that, if someone wants to use your script online, then it's an additional theme which we could call commercial rights. If they wanted you to proof read their script. That's another additional fee. If they want to have more than one take, you could charge them again for that. And maybe you set your standard delivery time to three days serve. They wanted really fast. They have to pay a rush fee for it. It's this way by upselling little bit here and there, that you can actually find clients that will pay pretty much the same as going industry, right? But that's not to say that it isn't a very difficult place to operate, as any experienced voice ever will tell you, the most difficult clients are the ones that pay the least. And this is certainly the case with freelancing sites. Of course, as soon as you're dealing with issues of lower route, there is a whole other issue about whether or not you're affecting the industry as a whole? I would argue really not in the case of a platform like fiber, the vast majority of clients that you're actually dealing with a working with very tiny budget for a reason. It's student projects, it's amateurs and it startups. It's a whole other level of work. That might be the odd occasion where you encounter someone who's trying to get something on the cheap, but you always have the option of canceling and order. And this is why it's very important to familiarize yourself with professional rates. First, you can make educated decisions. One vital thing you need to bear in mind with these platforms though, is their algorithms. All of these freelancing sites depend on new talent joining on an almost daily basis. So even if you do become hugely successful on a site like this and making a consistent income from it. It'll be in the platforms interests that you're not at the top of search results all the time, just in case you leave it, it would leave a hole in earnings. As a result, it's very tricky to know what kind of consistent income that you might get this way and it's completely out of your control. All it takes is a change in the algorithm or for the website to go down. And all of a sudden that income stream disappears. And the next year or two, especially a lot of the work that's on these platforms is also going to go to TTS, text-to-speech software to clients where the price of a voiceover is vastly more important to the quality, then the marginal increase quality of TTS will make that a much more attractive option for them. Typically like pay-to-play is, I would also say that this isn't a place to practice much either because you're not actually getting professional feedback that's adequately critiquing your performance. Again, this means that if you're making mistakes, then they can become imbedded, which is exactly what we don't want to happen if you want to be improving throughout your career. Having settled at my welcome, Fiverr turned out to be a very important income stream for me in the first year or two. So if you're interested in me doing a course specifically on working on Fiverr, then please do let me know in the comments and it's something that I'll look at in the future. 5. Agents: When I graduated from drama school in 2008, I thought that the only way that you could get voiceover work was from a voiceover agent. I didn't even realized there was this whole home studio kind of thing, and that was a possible reality. So I recorded my demos and pretty much every six months I would write to the same 15 to 20 agents in London and I would never really get a response back. All you need to do is Google Voice Over agents in your area. And you'll be able to find that websites, what talent they have on their books, and also their submissions procedure. If indeed they have one in their books or open voiceover, agents act very much like any kind of agent railing. They will find you work and they'll take emission of anywhere between 12.5, 20% depending on the project. You work with a voiceover agent because of their relationships with people in the industry, the best voiceover agents will be able to open doors so that you can audition for huge profile projects. And they'll also be able to negotiate fees for you. But rarely is the work that you get through a voiceover agent in any way consistent. It's a very gig by gait kind of basis, which means it's not really something that you can build a solid income stream around. There was a time, certainly in the last 15 or 20 years where people operated exclusively from their agents, but increasingly with home studio and direct marketing as well as the whole freelance and pay-to-play science exploding as well. That's more of a thing of the past. One additional thing to bear in mind with voiceover agents is any clients that you get through them are as much the voiceover agents, clients as yours. So in any subsequent projects that you might have with a set client, as long as the agent may that introduction, it means there'll be do commissioner on every subsequent job. Having a voiceover agent can be an incredibly useful resource, especially if you're in a position where you want someone else to negotiate the rights for you in practical terms of actually getting representation, then all I can say is look at their books and see if they have any kind of gaps in the market that you might be able to fill. And then really focus on the strength of your damage. And this is where again, I would recommend working with a coach to make sure that you have a brilliant demo in a particular genre first, and then sending it to a voiceover agent. For me, a voiceover agent was like a cherry on top after I made a significant amount of progress under my own stain, educate yourself about the agents, know what genres they work in and how you can submit for them. But don't put all your energy into just chasing their representation. There are more productive things that you can do with your time. 6. Direct Marketing: Building your own voiceover brand and marketing directly to clients is the best way to build a long-term voiceover career. You're not subject to beholden to an algorithm or a gatekeeper in the same way, all of the responsibility and moving your career forward in such a way lies in your hands. But the market is so competitive. You don't just need to be talented, but you need to have a talent for being talented. The essentials for direct marketing as a free lunch voiceover are as follows. One, you build a website with your demos and maybe a portfolio. And this is your shop til you write to potential clients, aka lead, inviting them to check that shop out. You want them to visit your site, check out your work and store your details. In other words, turn them from leads into prospects. And then three, when they have a job for you, they turn from a prospect into a client fall during that period of waiting. You remind them every couple of months that you exist, keeping you top of mind, either by sharing an example of your work or some interesting information that you might have found. And then five, rinse and repeat that. It's about creating that shop, enjoying people to that on a consistent regimented basis. Now there are essentially six big mistakes that people can make when operating this system. One, your product, which means your brand, your website, and your demos simply aren't good enough to, you know, contacting the right people. Three, you're contacting these people. These leads in the wrong way for you don't have the systems in place to follow up and maintain contact efficiently. Five, you've not setup structured goals and targets to motivate you going forward. And six, you're not using your time effectively. So in the next six classes, I'm going to address these one by one. 7. Website & Branding: Let's talk about your product. And again, harking back to what I said at the beginning of this course. What I'm not talking about is the quality of your demos. That's something that you should be focusing on separately. We're talking about your marketing product here. Essentially your website needs to be great. I admired, analyzed by brand strategies Jonathan Tilly for the content and format, and again by Karen Barth, voiceover websites.com for SEO optimization to make sure that they could rank as high as possible on Google, your website will always be in an ongoing process of development, striking a balance between aesthetics and function to showcase your work, make the ordering process easy for the client, providing assurances for them, and including calls to action. It also needs to be easy to navigate in as few clicks as possible. As a result, you really need to think about branding, which basically comes down to who you are, what you do, and how you can help people. It's vital to make an impression that's distinctive and memorable. Syria Siegel's book, voiceover achiever, offers a step-by-step guide for this, and I'd really recommend checking it out. You are essentially or brand. So that has to come through as clearly as possible, bearing all of that in mind, it's probably easiest to have your name as the website address. I don't have that only because I'm also an actor and I had a preexisting website with my name as the address. I thought that combining my acting work with my voice over work might be really confusing for some of my voiceover clients. So I decided to create a completely separate site instead. And so how did I decide to come up with the branding that I did? Well, essentially because all of my work comes from my natural speaking voice, which is our pay British RP, or received pronunciation. There are certain cultural connotations, both positive and negative associated with that voice. But essentially it's about being authoritative, clear, and professional. So that's what I based my brand around to ensure that we don't get too confused when we start talking about branding and all of that kind of stuff. Really just need to think about something like Apple and apologies to all of you PC users out there for you resent this, but there's certain connotations with the Apple brand that makes it effective. It's all very sleek, distinctive, and the branding is consistent regardless of what product they sell, it's your job as a voiceover To make sure that whatever your brand is is consistent all the way through as well. There's no mystery in terms of the content of yourself. And it has to start out with the brand so that you're instantly recognizable. And then you should immediately supply your demos which should be easily downloadable too. Your calling card. It's what you want clients to check out. So that should be front-and-center. If you're just starting out and you only have the one demo, then that's absolutely fine. Well, I would suggest is that if a typical Demo is made out of seven or eight different tracks, have the seven or eight different tracks also available to download separately so that you're covering all of those different styles as well as the main demo itself. As you start to make more work, actually compiling a video portfolio is incredibly valuable because you're offering a visual sense of what you do as well as in our old sense, always get in the habit of asking clients where a particular project is going to be distributed so that you can get hold of a copy of it if they forget to send you one further down on the homepage, I have a little section about me. Again, kind of reflects an authentic sense of who I am, that I prioritize storytelling and also what my main skill set and interests are. And then finally, each page ends with a call to action because ultimately you want them to contact you. When starting out. I didn't have any fancy images. I only had the one demo and I didn't have any video portfolio, but I still had a website with a defined clear domain that I could direct people to consistently from which I can build up over time, further down the line, you can pay a professional photographer and get a head shot if you want, you can pay someone to design a professional logo for you to. All I would say with branding is that when starting out, don't go too cheap. Because as soon as you've done all of that branding, if you need to replace it later, it's just going to cost even more. Also note that all of the important information on my website is on one page that scrolls. Because probably about 50% of my website traffic is on tablets or on phones where people like to scroll as opposed to click. However, I do have sections which are broken up by genre, which are as separate pages. And this is partly just to divide up my portfolio. It's partly because if I had too many videos on one page, then it would take a lot of time to load. But it's also to do with SEO ranking. Essentially the more pages that you have which use very appropriate keywords such as VoiceOver and voice acting and the various genres. Then the more Google search engines have to crawl, and the higher that you rack. When I was working with someone, he dealt specifically in SEO, I decided that rather than grudgingly making all of these additional pages just for the SEO rank, I would turn it into an advantage by making specific genre pages so that if I was reaching out to a commercial client, I could give them one specific link where as if I was reaching out to someone about video games, I can give them something completely different. And so in each one of those sections, I certainly emphasize the different services that may be more beneficial for them. So for example, with commercial projects, I know that the capacity for live direction is incredibly useful. Whereas with video games, my background as an actor could be really good. And with corporate work, it's more my capacity to self-direct and provide multiple takes if necessary. The essential thing is that less is more when starting out. Just be clean, simple and clear, and make things downloadable. And one final thing, make sure that it's a site that you can edit yourself. My website was created through Squarespace. This also wigs and other providers which are available, but it's all drag and drop and I don't have to chase up someone else. If I want something changed, I can do that on the fly myself very easily. 8. Lead Generation: When operating as a freelance voiceover, lead generation is absolutely crucial. You need to make sure that you're making contact with the right people. You can actually offer you employment that you can collaborate with. So who's specifically do you contact in a video production company, in an e-learning company, or even a game development company. Essentially at this point, you need to do your research as much as possible before actually emailing anyone. I started out by actually co. calling people and asking Who do I send it to. But there's a long-term strategy. I found it quite exhausting to have to check each and every single time and contact every single late. So emailing I would recommend is the way to go. But in the first couple of stages, make those calls just to establish you the right roles are ultimately the contact identity will vary hugely depending on the genre that you want to focus on. So if we take commercial work, for example, that's generally the territory of advertisement agencies, creative agencies, digital companies. But because there were 9. Outreach: So in our last class, we established the importance of contacting the right person. Now it's all about making sure that you contact them in exactly the right way when thinking about the best way to compose your own introductory e-mails, Think about the emails that you receive on a daily basis yourself. What annoys you, what intrigues you and how regularly do you get them, essentially, when sending out a cold email that's been with no prior relationship between you and the person receiving it, you need to be incredibly succinct. Find an example of their work on their website that you really like and say why you like it. Then briefly touched on yourself and your experience. Follow it with a call to action by providing a website link. Thank them for their time and get out in a 125 to a 150 words I daily, the only question that you ask B and almost rhetorical, but do they use voiceover talent or do they keep it on file in any way? Don't ask them for permission for you to send them a demo because then they're obligated to get into a dialogue. Don't just send it as an attachment either because then you're potentially taking up a lot of space instead of the, your website has a link that they can store, ensure you demos of downloadable is MP3s and reference this so they don't have to revisit it. And then that's it. The key is to be light, engaged and succinct. Light in terms of u nought begging for a job, but instead, offering yourself as a resource in the future, engaged because you're showing an interest in their work and how you may be able to collaborate and succinct because you're not taking up very much time at all. Link it all together in terms of your branding as well. If the image on your email signature matches what you have on your website, then it's a good way of being able to remind them the next time they check that email. If you want to take part in the class project of this course than the premises simple. Address your email to a mR. V producer and compliment them about some of their work. Now obviously this example of work doesn't actually exist, but imagine something and pick out one or two points that you might like. Create a short paragraph about yourself that includes a link to your website, which again, could be real or could be imagined for now. But let's say Is your name.com or yourname dot co dot UK. Thank them for reading. And then if you have time actually designed an email signature to go with that, even if it is just your face and a background and the salient information of your e-mail and contact telephone number on web address, you can use a free online resource like Canada to have a play with logos and images just to begin with. Once you've composed this way though without a signature, then take a screenshot of the screen and upload it to the class project section. For those of you who do this, I'll take the time to give some feedback. Any thoughts that I might have, either on the content or the design. The only thing I'd add about this is to not copy my own email word for word. If you can suggest your own personality and the language the EU's without actually being informal, then that would be really great. 10. The Follow-Up: So in the last few classes we have established the importance of getting the right content altogether, targeting the right person and contacting them in the right way, then it's all about a follow-up. It simply isn't enough to just contact someone once and then leave it at that, you need to follow up with them a second, third, maybe even a fourth or fifth time. But you need to do it's subtly and they consider it non-spam anyway. And you need to vary how you do it and what you're offering the first followup. It's very simple. It's just checking in to see whether or not they have the opportunity to check out your work. You need to be able to follow up with these people you haven't responded. And also to remind those people that have that you still exist. Essentially keeping top of mind is what your business is all about. It's how Amazon functions is a marketplace. If you go and look at something on Amazon, but then don't buy it, then you may go to social media or onto Facebook, may be onto a news website or something like that. And you'll find these little adverts for that same product will continue to pop up. That's because a typical rule for sales is that you need to see something between 712 times before you actually decide to buy it. There's not even a question of having to be persuaded on the values of the product. It's literally sing it that number of times that will tip you over the edge to make a purchase as a voiceover. Every new project that you've recorded in, every new demo that you have is an excuse to make one of those very light touches. But throughout any of the correspondence that you make, you need to think of it in terms of adding value. Some books might start a blog about marketing in general, which they can then choose to share with their leads and prospects. This can work brilliantly, but it can also risk coming off as a bit patronizing. It's the whole premise of the piece that you write is the importance of authenticity. While that's how commercials have been going for the last ten to 15 years. So anybody who's been working in advertising will know this already. Share with them insights by all means, as well as new work and new demos. But also think about the kind of content that you might be able to create that could be useful to them. For example, I've started a YouTube channel where I deal with common questions that clients may have, not so that I can get in the views and become monetized. But because then I'm providing something short and useful that may be relevant to them. But as with almost everything with follow-ups, structure is important. You need to know how many times you've followed up with each person on when you did, as well as how he did it. You can start with just a spreadsheet to begin with. But as you contact more people, you need to have a clear and efficient way of following up and not letting people slip through the cracks. Most people end up using a CRM, which is a customer relationship manager, which can act as a database for every one you contact. It'll help you to know when and where you reached out, what category they fit into, how many times and how often you contacted someone. And it allows you to do all of this managing a large number of leads, prospects and clients more effectively. I just started out with a Google spreadsheet and that worked for the first year, year and a half. But then I subscribe to one of the providers, nimble, and it really, really did help amend the law, could take all of the information in those spreadsheets and directly upload them into nimble, then I could tag all the different people I contacted to make sure that they were either leads, prospects, or clients. The important thing is to have a clear overview of your journey of correspondence with each person that you contact. The initial cold email, then maybe a week or two later, have a follow-up, then a month after that, another follow-up, and then if they still haven't responded, may be in about two or three months time. If they haven't responded by them either way, than I still think it's worth giving them an e-mail every six to 12 months just to be on the safe side. I've had clients who have not responded to any email I've sent over two to 2.5 year period and then suddenly offered me a job directly. Just make sure to be succinct and light with every correspondence. And if someone doesn't ask you to stop contacting them doing. Note also that it's in the follow-up email that a CRM can be really invaluable. In your introductory email, you'll have pulled out a specific example of a client's work and complemented the molecule. But in the follow-ups, they become increasingly generic because essentially you're not responding to anything new. So the follow-ups can afford to be a bit more generic. And that's where the CRM's capacity to mass email people really comes in handy. It means if you e-mail 40 people and ten of them respond to you directly, you can have conversations with those ten, but for the other 30 on the follow-up, you can message them all at the same time thanks to a CRMs labeling system, you can literally inserted tag where their first name should be and it will automatically generate the appropriate correspondence. Ultimately, little features like that are gonna save you a huge amount of time. So it's really worth checking out as soon as you can. 11. Goal Setting: So you've got your content, your communication, your follow-up strategies all in place. Now all you need is the motivation. If this all sounds like hard work, well, it's because unfortunately, it really, it results in not quick. You have to be consistent in your grind. So it's really important to have very specific targets and a logic to them as well. So you know why you are aiming for those targets to. Now I've got a personal way of breaking out, which I'm going to share with you. And hopefully this will make some sense. My basic studio fie, what I get for a job is 250 pounds. So let's say that my target is to get three of those jobs at 250 pounds per week. That would be an income of 750 pounds times 52 weeks of 39 thousand pounds per year. Now I know that on average, for every eight cold emails that I sent, one of those will turn from a lead into a prospect. I, someone will get back to me and say, thanks very much for your details may work with you in the future. It's actually a higher rate than that once I've done a second or third follow up. But let's be safe and say one in eight of those prospects as I collect them, let's say one in five of them turns from a prospect, someone who's interested into a client, someone who actually gives me a job in that same year. So essentially, in order to convert one lead into a prospect into a client, I need to message 40 people to get that one job of 250 pounds. I could decide that I'll write 40 miles a week in which I will get one job of 250 pounds, which will end up being around about 13 thousand pounds for the entire year. Now, that sounds like a lot of hard work and it is, but bear with me a second. As I've already mentioned before, clients are usually your best source for work. They will come back more often not. So let's say that if in year one we got 13 thousand pounds, in year two, we're gonna get another 13 thousand pounds from your existing client base. And then you're gonna continue to email and other 40 people every week as well. Instead of having around about 50 clients, you'll have more like a 100 would be doubling your income. Now obviously this isn't an exact science, but if you're demos are good, if your website is good, if you're correspondence is strong and your follow-up strategy, it's very clear as well. Then this is essentially how you go about systematic growth, going back to the target. So 40 emails in a week, that sounds quite a lot, but breaking it down even further, if you're working five days a week, that's eight emails a day. Now, once you get practiced at this, it's gonna take you no more than 15 minutes to find someone's website, see something that you like, compose an e-mail and send it. So in order to send eight emails a day or 40 emails a week, it's gonna take you about two hours a day. The biggest central question, can you find two hours a day to consistently do this? I'm not saying it's exact maths. If any of the component parts that we've already touched on a slightly off, like one of your demo's not being quite strong enough. We website not being quite right. Your branding being slightly off, or one of your emails being slightly weirdly worded, then that might affect your success ratio to a certain degree. But I've been doing this for four years now. And January that ratio is hold almost exactly throughout the entire time. Looking at my personal income over the four years that I've been full-time in my first year, and about 20 thousand pounds in my second year, about 35 thousand pounds. In my third year, about 47 thousand pounds. And in my fourth year, we're looking at about 57 thousand pounds. Again, it's that increase of between 1315 thousand pounds per year because of the number of people that I'm connecting and the clients that I'm building to my base. Of course, the essential aspect of this is to make sure that your foundations solid. You need to make sure that those demos are great. You need to make sure that you're recording quality is consistent and to a professional standard. But you can't make any of these things in excuse for not getting started in the first place. Your website, your demos, your branding, these will all improve over time, as well as your email communication. The sooner you start with something solid, then the sooner you can refine that. 12. Customer Service: As you continue to build your client database, as well as producing the goods, you need to be able to provide the customer service that goes along with that. 50% of my income is through repeat clients. So you need to be sure that the process of working with you is as seamless as possible to treat every single customer that you have as a long-term Clyde, if they're not experienced in working with voiceovers, then take the opportunity to educate them, share with them resources, jump on the phone and don't be afraid to talk things through. Continue to look for opportunities where you can under promise and then overdeliver. So for example, say declines that you'll normal turnover time is within 24 hours and then do it as soon as you get it. So two or three becomes the norm. If you're recording takes in a self-directed session, there may be give them a second or third takers or surprise option rather than just the one that they wanted be particularly speedy when dealing with pickups and revisions. As by this point, the deadline is probably looming for your client. Always deliver your audio files is a simple link. Rather than asking the client after download some weird third party software and always make sure to deliver high-quality WAV files unless they specify otherwise, some voiceovers will invoice with the delivery. But I quite like in a situation to being at a restaurant and someone giving me the bill as they give you their food, instead, if you ask for their approval and then wait a couple of days before you send the invoice, then it's like you're giving them a little follow up just to remind them instead. And finally, a really useful tip is to refer clients to other talent when necessary. You know, it can be suitable for every single job that a client has. But if you set yourself up as a resource able to recommend a whole range of other different voice service, then that's going to be only an extra benefit to your client. I think just because of the very nature of what voiceover is like as a profession, where we're all talking to ourselves all of the time. As a result, the community is actually very closely knit and quite strong. Therefore, it seems like a bit of a no brainer to me to be able to collate a list of other talented voiceovers and refer projects to them when necessary. What you'll find is the lot of voiceovers tend to be reciprocal in their referrals. So the more people you refer, the better for you and also the better service for your client. It means you're looking after their interests and your own all at the same time. 13. Social Media: I just wanted to add a quick section on social media because everybody will tell you that it's a vital part of your business. They just weren't necessarily tell you how to implement it ultimately, remember that everything you do should be focused on getting people's eyes and is onto your website so they can check out your work if you are going to use a particular social media stream for voice ever make that very clear, makes your little branding is consistent throughout and there's always a link to your website and also your business email address. The relevance of different social media platforms will generally depend on the kind of genres that you work in. So, for example, with video games, I know that there's a lot of interaction with indie developers on Twitter. So it's really useful to follow the developers that you're interested in, try and get engaged and have conversations with them without pushing it too much. But especially with some of the bigger production companies do appreciate that the people are operating net twitter account may well not be the same people who hire the voice talent. It's still a particularly useful resource if you're looking to collaborate with startups where everything's in house and it's usually being led by a very small team. In which case being able to connect and follow is probably a really useful thing to do. But only in conjunction with a systematic email campaign. People will tell you that Facebook ads can be a great way to promote your business. Personally, I always weigh up the time versus money equation, and I've never really found it a useful thing to go down if you pay a lot of attention to particular hashtags like hashtag video marketing or hashtag creative director. Then you can actually find a lot of leads which you can subsequently put in your spreadsheet or CRM system. But in all honesty, I wouldn't spend too much time taking a booth selfie, and hashtagging video production in order to get attention from potential clients. It's just not how people hire voiceover by all means tweet and post relevant content when that comes up, if you're so inclined and if he can organically make the time to do so. But I would much more strongly recommend that you spend the time getting your head around a platform like LinkedIn, which offers you real tangible information. You can use new marketing. 14. Conclusion: So congratulations, you've made it to the end of this course and thank you for bearing with me. So just to recap what we've covered, we've gone through the advantages and disadvantages of pay-to-play website, of freelancing website, of working with agents, the importance of social media and integrating lots of things together. And then we've really dig deep into the importance of direct marketing, which includes your branding, your website, lead generation, outreach and follow-up systems. How to compose the right correspondent and the importance of setting proper goals. And then we've also touched on the real importance of customer service and referrals. What I want to emphasize in this part of the course is that there is no one size fits all solution. Direct marketing is the tangible core to the rest of your career. You're not subject to algorithms or gatekeepers or websites going out of fashion or becoming defunct. What I've intended to provide you with a clear view of the foundations and how you can build step-by-step from that. Again, not to go on about it, but if your performance is now to Scratch where you're recording setup is enough to Scratch. And you can't really start with a marketing. But once those things are in place than it really is about doing the little things on a daily basis, Build it and they will come. If you have any questions or comments about the course, then please do leave them below and I'll try and respond to them as soon as they come through other lab. Feel free to check out my website at anytime, if only feel reference naturally RP dot co dot UK. And also check out my YouTube channel, which is naturally upheaval server as well, where I'll be creating content by for voiceovers and also voiceover clients. Thanks so much again for joining me in wishing you the very best of success in your voiceover. Jenny.