As a voiceover professional, chances are very good that you are also operating as an entrepreneur. You are running your own business, building up your own brand, and establishing your own client base. That means that you must understand basic marketing principles in order to ensure continued success for your company. One of the most important things that marketers do, as they work to build up the brand reputation and the consumer base, is to create personas for their customers.
Customers are real. Personas are a representation of what those customers share in common. For instance, when a clothing line is asked who they are advertising their goods to, they may answer “Females between the ages of 14 and 21 who are enrolled in schooling and are likely to have financial support from their parents.” This is a persona. Great marketers will often go even more in depth, with personas that draw upon emotions, habits, likes, dislikes, and more. They will create two sorts of personas as well – one for the customer they want to attract and one for the customer who will add little value to the brand.
As a voiceover artist, your consumer base is different, but the principle is the same. You should know who you are trying to appeal to, and which potential clients you would do best to avoid. For instance, a potential client who has worked with voiceover artists before, understands what is to be expected from the voiceover artist versus the voiceover engineers, and who feels a sense of loyalty to artists he or she has worked with before, is a very appealing prospect. You can narrow your list of potentials down even further by dictating which area of voiceover work you wish to work in – corporate, audio books, animation, training videos, e-learning, etc. On the other hand, you don’t want to waste your time with the prospective client who fails to return phone calls or emails, has never worked with voiceover artists in the past, who makes you wonder about his or her ability to pay when the work is completed, and who is unlikely to be seeking voiceover work again in the future.
Know the personas and market your brand accordingly. You may be amazed at how much further your efforts get you when you have that sort of direction.