The Art of the Follow-up

We currently live in the age of digital connection. We check our phones daily and there are a plethora of apps and platforms available to see what is going on in the lives of the people we know (or only know from social media and have never met in real life!). While I have to admit that sometimes this access can drive me crazy and can pull me out of the current moment, it can also be leveraged positively in both our personal and professional lives.

As a voice-over actor, jobs can come and go, but it is important to keep clients, casting directors, agents and other people in the business updated on your work. You must be diligent yet respectful while placing yourself in “top-of-mind awareness” for people in the industry. By keeping the lines of communication open, a one-time client can become a recurring one.

 

Keep Updated Records

For your voice-over business, it is helpful to have the following lists for your reference:

  • clients for which you’ve already worked
  • clients whose projects you have auditioned for but not necessarily booked – YET
  • clients on your “target” list: those you haven’t encountered professionally, but would like to in the future

For the first two lists, respectful (i.e. not bombarding their email) communication is helpful, such as keeping in touch and letting them know what you have been working on in your career. The “target” list, on the other hand, is a great resource for you to brainstorm how you can connect with these people: maybe it’s through taking a class, a respectful introduction email offering your services, or a friend or colleague in the industry who can help make the introduction for you.

 

Keep Lines of Communication Open and Consistent

Have you ever gone out for coffee with a friend and they went on and on about what was going on in their life, and then didn’t open it up for you to share? Leaving a one-sided conversation always feels negative and I believe the same principle applies to your voice-over updates. I would recommend updating clients (past or present) on your work once every month to three months, making sure to leave it open for them to share their recent happenings. It establishes a mutual relationship and they know you are a working actor who is also a caring human being.

 

“But…I have nothing to say!”

You want your updates to be recent and appropriate to the business. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about a booking – it can be a revamped website you are excited about, an improvisation class you just started or a commercial that is still airing from the beginning of the year. There are always slow moments throughout the year, but a great way to authentically connect is, “I’m still celebrating my booking from last fall, a national commercial for X Brand, if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here!”. Feel free to include links to your work, and you should always have your website and contact information in the signature of your email. These updates keep you at “top-of-mind awareness” for clients and casting directors, while also building relationships through sharing.

 

Don’t forget your colleagues and voice-over community!

When done authentically and with a generous spirit, I believe people are genuinely curious about your career! They want to celebrate wins with you and encourage you through the lows. Keep friends and colleagues updated on your work as well as clients and casting directors. You never know when a fellow voice-over actor isn’t right for something but refers you because they know you are active in the industry. The voice-over community is so supportive, but if you aren’t communicative and participatory, you may lose out on opportunities.

 

Social Media

As I mentioned before, we live in the age of digital connection – so utilize it! However, be mindful that what you are posting is alright with the client or casting director. Often, information about casting or booking is confidential and sometimes they require you to sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement). Always curate what you are posting and make sure it’s within your right to do so.

Find the follow-up technique that works for you. Aside from technique, talent and creativity, there is still a business aspect that needs to be attended to in order to be successful. Be authentic, generous, and communicative, and you will have repeat clients and genuine relationships in the voice-over industry.

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