Creating Leads (Pt.1) – By Rich O’Donoghue

May 3, 2020

As a producer I have been contacted in a variety of ways for work, some more colourful than others. I’ve had the referred email from another voice over which was just a couple of lines to say “hello, I’m a friend of ‘voice over’ and I’m around for voicing, if you would like a showreel let me know” to a phone call that went something like “Hello! is that Rich?” “Yes who’s this please?” “I’m a voice over, just wandered if you had got any work for me” “Erm! . . .perhaps giving me your name first might be a good start mate” (I’m not joking either). Since starting my own business I too have had to learn how to approach people via email, phone or in person and it seems we as a species are a fickle bunch sometimes, the smallest of discrepancy and the ‘fish swims away from the bait’. So, what techniques could you try to start the ball rolling gaining potential clients. Lets start from scratch. First you need to decide who you want to contact, what area you want to target first, be that a radio station, production house or video production company etc.

Once you have that target look at their website for information i.e telephone, staff members etc. Let’s say you have no email address or contact name. The first port of call (excuse the pun) is to pick up the phone. You will most likely be greeted with a friendly receptionist so introduce yourself and ask kindly “who would be the best person to contact regarding voice over bookings”. If you are provided with a name then write that down but you may have to ask for an email address or, if you are lucky enough, you might be put through to that person. If you aren’t so lucky then take down the email address but be sure to ask the receptionist for their name and bid them a good day. From this phone call you have 3 bits of vital information, contact name, address and a referral, you are well on your way to creating an inviting email.

So you have your information, which I would suggest storing in an Excel spreadsheet or similar. What you need to do now is to create an email that your potential client is going to acknowledge and actually open. So we use our information like this. Your email header, which is the first thing they will see, should read something like “Hi John, Jane from reception suggested I contact you” this also applies to contacts you receive via other contacts in the industry and have permission to, make contact with their contacts! it shows you know somebody that they know and are trust worthy enough to hand out their email to. They will see this and think “Jane knows this person, I think I’ll take a look at this email” rather than if the email header said “I’m a voice over, give me some work”. So your potential client has decided to open your email, what next.

Check back soon for the final part of this article.

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