Business Basics for Voiceover Artists : Voiceover and Social Media Marketing

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So what’s all this business about social media marketing?  I know some of you have already taken to this wholeheartedly but there are others amongst us for whom social media marketing is a mystery as to what it is and why they should bother getting involved with it. 

So lets start at the beginning.  What is Social Media Marketing?  Essentially, its another marketing strategy – which ,bottom line, is why you should be interested in it, if you’re interested in marketing your voiceover business.  Its a marketing strategy that’s developed out of an intense dislike of hard sell marketing tactics.  Instead of banging people over the head with marketing methods that could be considered bullying ,hard sell , in your face selling. Social media marketing is about creating and maintaining relationships with potential customers so that when they are in a position to buy what you’re selling, they automatically think of you and the service you provide.  And your name springs to mind because of they way you have presented yourself in your social media marketing activities, as an expert in your field, a trustworthy and interesting person, who can deliver on what they promise, and someone that people would like to do business with.  People like to do business with people they like. So through your communications through social media marketing you have positioned yourself as that person. 

In marketing speak, Social Media Marketing is what’s known as Permission marketing, or inbound marketing.  Its developed as a reaction to the traditional forms of marketing.  Traditional marketing approaches have been things like seminars, tradeshows, telemarketing, print ads, direct mail.  The problem has been that more and more people have found methods to block out these marketing messages, making these approaches less and less effective.  Some people don’t answer their phones unless they recognise the number calling them,  many email newsletters and correspondence can get caught in the ever efficient spam filters,  people are able to fast forward their way through the tv adverts, and some ‘watch again facilities’ delete all the adverts for you anyway.  As information has become more and more accessible through the internet, customers really don’t need this type of marketing as they can get all their information they need from other sources.  So social media marketing is way of marketing that avoids all these problems as it encourages customers to find you once they’re ready to make their purchase. 

So how do you do this Social media marketing malarky?

The key is to get Social!!   And you can do this in three ways –  publish, share & network.  Social media marketing sites can be roughly  divided into these 3 categories although when you do investigate them you’ll soon realise that a lot of these do overlap within themselves.  The general rule for all these sites is to join in, become a member and DONT TRY AND SELL.  If you make blatant self-serving sales messages, people will quickly turn off and you won’t get too far.  But if you join the community, and add value to it then you will acheive higher levels of success with social media marketing.

Category 1 – Publishing.  The joy and the horror of the internet is that anyone can publish anything, anytime, anywhere, available for anyone & everyone to view.  For no cash you can publish something that could potentially be seen by millions. So which are the publishing sites? These include sites like – flickr, twitter youtube, squidoo, podcast.net, wikipedia to name but a few.  Publish everything , everywhere : videos, podcasts, articles, thoughts and opinions – anything relevant.  Also monitor what other people are publishing and promote it.  If people are writing flattering things about you and your business, make sure you know about it and direct your clients towards it  And empower and make it easy for your customers to publish your content on their social media sites.  The more people that see it the better.

Category 2 – Sharing.  These are sites like : stumble upon, digg, delicous, mixx, propellor, reddit etc … also known as social bookmarking sites.
These are the sites where you can share and promote yours and others content.  Find out where your audience hangs out and share content that will appeal to them – whether its articles, blogs, webinars, whatever.

Category 3 – is networking.  These site are : facebook, bebo, linked in , myspace, friendster etc.  These are places where you can connect with fellow Voiceover artists and existing and potential clients.  This may actually be the best place to start your social media marketing plan.  Firstly, have a look at each of them and see which ones you want to join.  You may already have ideas as to which you think will work best for you – maybe you’ve seen other voiceover artists on particular sites and have heard good reports back about certain sites more than others – some sites, such as bebo for example may be better for personal networking whereas places like Linked in and Ecademy lean more towards the business side of networking.  Once you join, make sure you set up your profile and fill in all the relevant bits.  Make sure you add links to your website, blogs and other contact media.  And also put these links into your email signature.  Once the profile and signature is completed you can start networking.  Start with existing friends and clients and then broaden your network as you get more confident. But remember to add value to your interactions. Share useful content, answer questions where you can. Dont be promotional, be helpful.

In conclusion there are four key points to remember when you embark on your social media marketing campaign:

1. At the end of the day it is a tool.  It is so easy to become overwhelmed by the shear scope of possibilities that social media marketing presents, but set your goal and always keep in mind your reasons for using it.

2. Get involved – discuss, share , become a part of the community.

3. Don’t overly sell or broadcast – people will run a mile.  Be helpful.

4. Enjoy it !- you meet interesting people and come across interesting information which could help you and your business and your personal interests.

Written by Alison Pitman.  For further information about the author and to listen to hear voice demos please do visit www.thephonevoice.com

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