When it comes to voice-over, I like to take the same approach to my client relationships that my husband does to our marriage. As he says, “It’s cheaper to keep her!”, meaning that if you have done business with someone already, it’s usually less costly in time and resources to continue doing business with them than to acquire new clients. But there is a fine line between being a pest and keeping top of mind. How do we negotiate that? Here are some ideas to keep your client relationships close and fresh without going into the pest zone:
Cultivate a database with ALL contact information. When I first got into this business I found that I was communicating almost exclusively through email and didn’t actually have physical addresses for my clients. If possible, get those addresses (I’ll tell you why later). As part of that database, create a tickler file, or use your calendar or a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, to help remind you when to reach out to your clients.
Never underestimate the value of gratitude. A thank you can be a simple note at the end of an email thanking someone for their time, for an audition opportunity, or for paying an invoice. Handwritten cards are an even stronger gesture in thanking someone. Who gets handwritten thank you notes anymore? Because it is so rare, you’ll stand out. . Better yet, include a gift card to Starbucks with your card or email. If you complete a super-huge project for a client, send them a thank you gift that is equally super-huge (or meaningful to the client). THAT’s why you need their physical address.
Use social media to promote your clients. The first thing you need to do is follow all of your clients on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other social media outlet you use regularly. Then, if you see something they’re doing that is worthy of sharing, re-tweeting, liking, etc…, do it. They will see what you do, they will appreciate what you do. You then become their partner in marketing their business, because it’s not just about you, it’s about them too. Again, treat this like a marriage!
Stay fresh in your clients’ minds. So how do we keep in touch without overdoing it? The guiding principle in contacting your clients should always be, “How is this contact going to help their business?” or “How is this contact going to make it easier for them to do business with me?” Here are some ideas for when to contact clients:
- When you have upgraded your equipment. This translates to better audio quality for the client.
- When you are going on vacation. So they are aware that you are unable to record during that time, or that you will be using your travel gear so the audio quality will be a little different. This update helps them plan and re-enforces the fact that you are part of their team.
- When you have a new demo. Showing your range and ability helps them to envision how you might be a resource for them in different capacities.
- When you see an article or idea that you think they might benefit from. It doesn’t always have to be about what you are doing, in fact, it’s better when it isn’t. If you run across something related to their product or service, send it their way.
With these ideas in mind, you can keep your current client relationships close and fresh. Remember, it is much less effort and expenditure to keep the clients you have than to find new clients. Put in the effort and they will always notice, and sometimes even return the favor in kind. Happy clients will want to refer you to their friends! Maintaining close, thoughtful relationships is the foundation of any strong family and business.
To learn more about how to use social media for your voiceover business, join one of my upcoming SAV Social Media for Beginners or Intermediates teleconferences. For more general marketing information, join one of my upcoming SAV Marketing teleconferences. Best wishes on your voice-over journey!
Jillian Nielsen is an expressive voice talent with over 14 years of experience in radio and television commercial and promotional voice-overs.