As a voice-over professional, we are our own small business. While we may focus on prospective clients, we ultimately want the bulk of our customers to be the ones we are already serving. As a customer myself, I tend to return to businesses where I feel valued. It’s the little thank yous, whether it is a verbal thank you on my way out of a local shop, an email with some thoughtful graphics to please my eyes, or a coupon giving me a 10% off my next purchase.
To show gratitude to our clients for choosing us over so many other service providers in our field, we can say thank you in traditional ways like cards or emails, or more creative ways that make them feel seen and valued. Getting creative in the ways we say thanks might also increase the chances they remember us.
Get creative by paying attention to anything specific to your client, whether it is a hobby they have or a random passion or interest. Keep in mind, you don’t want to pry for this information; it should be readily available through their website or personal communication you may have had. You want to thank them after all, not creep them out!
I’d like to share an example of one of my recent interactions with a newer client. It speaks to the relationship based approach Voice Coaches espouses. This particular client is the owner/engineer of a studio that casts for voice-over work. I met him while playing a different role. Instead of being a voice actor, I was directing a voice actor on a narration reel. As the engineer in this situation, he listened to me direct and say some of the lines when demonstrating a particular direction I wanted the client to perform. He emailed me after the session and asked me if I was a voice actor. “Why yes I am!” I exclaimed from my keyboard happily. He wrote back and said he’d like to work together sometime and would stay in touch. The very next day, he reached out with a job! In the same email, he mentioned he saw on my website that I am also a singer-songwriter. He too turned out to be a musician and shared some links to his music, which I immediately listened to, and sufficiently impressed, said so.
The job was easy. It was a couple of lines in a regional radio spot that took me 30 minutes to self-direct, record, and edit from my home studio. He had been professional, and offered a fair rate. I wanted to thank him with more than just an email or card.
Because we had talked about making music, I had a funny thought about sending him a guitar-shaped cookie cutter with a thank-you note. This led me down the “Amazon Rabbit Hole” where there were MANY musical instrument-shaped cookie cutters! I finally decided on one from Amazon, but before I hit the “buy” button I thought, “Hmm, I better check the reviews.” And I am glad I did because horror stories with pictures of cookie dough stuck in the cookie cutter abounded! So, I had another idea, “guitar ice cube trays!” And boy, if I didn’t find it; a set of drink stirrers that were guitar necks that you set in an ice cube tray, where the ice would form the rest of the guitar. I checked the reviews…glowing! I hit “buy” and that was a wrap.
The best part of this all was that I didn’t do it just to “keep a client returning.” I did it because I was grateful for his professionalism and wanted to thank him for it. I was enjoying the building of a relationship.
Another example is from David Bourgeois, our very own president of Voice Coaches and studio owner. A client of his happened to be a dentist and sent him a box of chocolates… the last thing a dentist should be sending anyone..ahem. In this case, the dentist based his gift on something specific about him, but it made everyone laugh at the office, and a good sense of humor paired with a thank you, can be very memorable indeed. Keep in mind, Mr.Dentist knew David appreciates humor; not every client will have a giant funny bone.
Be creative with WHO you say thank you to as well. Remember, don’t just thank the client, thank the secretary who made you a cup of tea while you waited for the microphone to be set up, the engineer who set up that microphone. How about the janitor who pauses his sweeping to say goodbye to you in the hallway? He makes the environment nice to work in after all It’s all connected. Plus, you never know where they’ll be in 5 years; they could be doing the casting!
Get creative in your thank yous. It’s a win-win for everyone involved, and a fun way to build relationships in your expanding voice-over business.
Categorised in: Blog
This post was written by Simone Stevens