I market my voice over services better than you market yours.
There are THOUSANDS of voice over talent out there, and we ALL market our voice over services better than you market yours.
In fact, if your marketing skills were gas, you wouldn’t have enough to power a mini-motorcycle around the inside of a Cheerio.
Scared? Angry? Feeling competitive?
Admittedly, I’m not very good at trash talking. I stole that last Cheerios line from an online video game “trash-talking” message board and switched up the words. I honestly don’t even know if it makes sense.
Trash talking is an interesting phenomenon, specifically in sports and video games. I think it stems from the direct, face-to-face (avatar to avatar in video games) competition. You want to gain any edge you can, and in the real-time confines of a game, your trash talking or mind games may (oftentimes not) give you an advantage.
Voice Over Trash Talking
In voice over, there is also real-time competition. However, it is often not face-to-face, especially if most of the work you do is out of your own home studio like me. Even if you do go into a different studio or agency for an audition, you rarely sit in on another person’s audition. And if you did, it would be very strange if you started trash talking them in the middle of their audition.
“Nice inflection on the brand name, numbskull!”
“Ooo… What a conversational read… NOT!”
But, there is a voice over “virtual reality” where you can see what other voice over talent are doing as “Marketing Executives” to market their services or just to see what kind of work they’re producing:
Facebook pages, Twitter handles, LinkedIn groups, etc. are extremely visible and often have a person’s face or name behind the profile. You (hopefully) never see voice over talent trash talking other voice over talent for their work or their marketing initiatives, but because of this open exposure, you can’t help but compare your own efforts to theirs.
As the “Marketing Executive” in your voice over business, you need to set yourself apart from your immediate competition. You have to come up with a specific, actionable plan to show prospective clients that you bring something to the table that no one else has (i.e. your voice, your turnaround time, your rates, etc.). Comparing yourself to your competition can help motivate you to do just that.
How can you use this immediate, social media comparison and competition to motivate your “Marketing Executive” identity?
Social comparison and competition can be highly motivating; however, your motivation can change in certain situations.
- Fewer competitors = higher motivation and performance – According to research by Stephen Garcia and Avishalom Tor, people tend to perform better when there are (at least perceived) fewer competitors. They hypothesize that when you have fewer competitors, you are more confident in your ability to come out on top.
Narrow yourself down. Realize that only YOU have your voice. You are the only person with your service and equipment. There may be others similar to you, but this perceived smaller group can give you the confidence and motivation to improve your marketing efforts and come out on top.
- Comparisons to large groups of people can be useful – This seems contradictory to my previous point, but it is not. According to David Laibson, a professor of economics at Harvard University, comparing yourself to a large group of people can give you important information about where you stand in the landscape of your industry. As he says, it gives you “food for thought.” What others are doing can help point you in the right direction when you are unsure about what you should be doing.
When you are deciding how to market your services, look at what others are doing to give yourself an idea. Many voice over talent are also marketing coaches. Terry Daniel and Paul Strikwerda dispense free and useful information daily about what you should and should not be doing when marketing to clients. They do not always have the right answers for your specific situation, but their ideas are at least “food for thought.”
- Time Pressure + Rivalry = Winning Motivation – According to research by Deepak Malhotra, when time pressure and rivalry coincide in a competitive environment, there is higher motivation to win.
Give yourself specific time restrictions for landing clients or prospects. On top of that, realize that you are directly competing with other voice over talent. Treat the “other” voice over talent as rivals. Heck, I’ll be your rival. Pretend like you are going head-to-head against me. You will be more motivated to “win” the client.
Be careful. This is a slippery slope. You want to win clients, but you need to do it ethically, with hard work, and with a superior product.
Moral of the story
If you use social media to market your services or interact with fellow voice over talent, you have no choice but to compare yourself to your direct competition. You should use it to motivate yourself. However, I am a firm believer in supporting this wonderful voice over community as well. It’s one of the main reasons why I write this blog. The more we are willing to help out and motivate those around us, the better we all become for our clients. The better we all become for our clients, the higher we can charge for our services. Everyone wins!
So use this advice wisely, share it with others if you think it will help out the voice over community, and good luck marketing your services. I’m going to beat you. 😉
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Garcia, Stephen M., and Avishalom Tor. “The N-Effect: More Competitors, Less Competition.” Psychological Science 20 (2009): 871-77. Social Science Research Network. Web.
Malhotra, D. The desire to win: The effects of competitive arousal on motivation and behavior. Organizational Behavior
and Human Decision Processes (2009), doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2009.11.005