with Kesha Monk
In this episode of the Entrepreneur Hustle series, Anne and special guest co-host Kesha Monk talk about strategies to get the most out of your marketing efforts. These two bosses dive into why you can’t skip social media, demos, the importance of giving your marketing materials a professional “finish,” and how to make yourself stand out. Listen and learn how to market your business like a #VOBOSS.
Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:
It’s essential to update your marketing strategies as current events change the industry
You should have a thorough understanding of your potential clients’ needs to successfully market to them
Agents are only one part of the equation, you should also market yourself independently
You should have, at minimum, a professional website and quality demos to market yourself successfully
If you want to market on social media, it should reflect your voice acting career
When starting out in voiceover, you may need to supplement your income with an additional job
Once you have a thorough understanding of what it takes for success in VO, your marketing efforts will follow suit
Dive deep into every resource that is available online, including business and marketing coaches
You should incorporate SEO into your website and social media
The words on your website and social media should accurate describe your business, so they can be properly indexed and show up on search engines
Your social media will be at the top of the search results on Google, so make sure you keep it professional
Creative marketing strategies will stand out and help to start the conversation
Offer your voiceover services to people in your network. For example, If you notice their phone systems need an update, send them a sample of what you can do
Referenced in this Episode
Direct links to things we brought up ++
Hear Anne’s Demos HERE!
Recorded on ipDTL
>> It’s time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premiere Business Owner Strategies and Successes being utilized by the industry’s top talent today. Rock your business like a boss, a VO BOSS! Now let’s welcome your host, Anne Ganguzza.
Anne: Hey everyone, welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host Anne Ganguzza along with my lovely, very special guest cohost, Miss Kesha Monk.
Anne: Hello Kesha!
Kesha: How are you? You look beautiful over there, girl.
Anne: You too, as always.
Anne: As always. So Kesha, it’s a new year, and it’s a crazy year. And I think it’s always appropriate to talk about how to market in a new year, especially because we’re really going through some unique times here, and there could be some changes in… paradigm shifts. So I would love to hear how you market your VO business. Do you have a set regimen? What’s your, what are your thoughts? What are your strategies?
Kesha: So I have to be 100% honest with you. When I got into voiceover, I kind of tripped in, right? I kind of, like I auditioned to get a contract with an agency. And they gave it to me. And I, to be honest really, I think that, at the time I signed that contract, I really didn’t have a thorough understanding of what voiceover was, because I had my radio background. And I think within the first couple of months, I just thought that, you know, I’m just reading the words on a paper just like I produced commercials at the radio station. Oh boy, was I wrong! Oh boy, was I wrong! For years, I kind of just like hid in the bowels of that agency, just basically accepting auditions, and then, you know, I didn’t even really thoroughly have an understanding of the business. I didn’t realize I could have multiple representation. I just, I was in my comfort zone. I got an audition, I auditioned. And when I had a session, I just did any session. I didn’t do any marketing.
Anne: And interestingly enough, I, you know, you are, it’s such a, an interesting way to get into voiceover. It’s not typical.
Kesha: It’s not your typical way, right.
Anne: It’s not your typical way. So I think a lot of new voiceover talent, when they just get into the industry, they’re like, “ok, so I’m gonna create a demo, and then…”
Anne: Me, a long time ago, I was like, “when does the agent contact me?” [laughs]
Kesha: Right, exactly.
Anne: That’s how naive I was. But I know that today there’s a lot of resources online that are saying, ok, so agents are one, only one part of the equation. And I think yeah, obviously that’s true. And so for new voice talent, they may, they maybe don’t have or didn’t have or don’t have the luxury of having an agency because they haven’t been established yet. They don’t have a demo, they haven’t done any work.
Anne: So —
Kesha: They haven’t done any coaching. They don’t have the education, and they probably didn’t have the VO podcast like a library, a wealth of information, to point them in the right direction. So I get it. And I’m not looking down on those who kind of just want to get in and get a demo. It’s really a matter of being unaware. Right?
Anne: You don’t know what you don’t know.
Kesha: Yeah! You don’t know what you just don’t know. That’s basically, that was my approach at first. And I did that for years. I want to say within the past two years, I really started getting serious about marketing myself, which meant having a very clean, great website. And then also understand, you could have a pretty website, but if you don’t have any demos or any, you know, any work to feature on the website, it’s nothing. I think subconsciously, I really didn’t want to launch a website because I really didn’t have anything to put on it.
Anne: Got it, got it. And now when you had your agent, were you doing voiceover full-time, or were you also doing other things?
Kesha: I, let me see. Take me back. When I first got into voiceover — ok, so I was doing that full-time. And then I started experiencing a drought. Like —
Anne: Yeah. Well, it’s tough!
Kesha: I’m really tired of eating noodles, so I need to go out and get a job.
Anne: It’s tough with just an agent, because they really are, and like today even more so, it is just a percentage of — for me, I do a different type of work typically than what you do. But still it’s only one part of my opportunities that are in front of my eyeballs at any given time to do voiceover work. So and then at one point, you’re just like, well, I have to do something else. Right? How else am I gonna get work? I had to go get a part-time job when I first started doing full-time work as well, because it was tough. Man, I was auditioning, auditioning, and I had — I didn’t have an agent. I actually started auditioning and doing pay-to-plays first, and then I got an agent like four years later. So for me it was totally opposite of you, because —
Anne: — I was like, “well, why didn’t the agent contact me?” That was me being naive. And then I realized, when I entered, it was like, well, you really can’t get an agent until you have established yourself and have some work under your belt.
Kesha: But it sounds like you just had to kind of figure it out. You know? And then that’s what experience is. Experience is the greatest teacher, right? And so therefore again, nine, ten years in, I really do believe that I am at a particular level in my career. I have such a thorough understanding of what this thing is about that I can’t lose. Losing is not an option.
Anne: Yeah. I love that you said that.
Kesha: You know what I’m saying? So long as you go about the marketing thing, yeah.
Anne: I love that you said that because I think when you have a passion, you have a dream, and you want to do it, you know, it is not an option to fail actually. That was how I approached the business. Like I like literally quit my job, moved across the country, and said I’m going to give this voiceover thing a full-time, you know, my entire eight hours a day or whatever, 12 hours a day, it’s my full attention. And the option is I will not fail.
Kesha: And I guarantee you, I can guarantee — listen, I’ll bet good money that once your mindset shifted, once it shifted, and you had a thorough understanding of what it was going to take to be successful in this business, you started booking more, didn’t you?
Anne: Oh yeah. And you hit the nail on the head there. It’s once you understood, right, what’s required to be successful — mind you, you know, I love the whole “I’ve got a dream and I’m gonna pursue it,” but you also have to be educated so that you know what’s required to go after the dream and to make that dream a reality. So it isn’t without education when you form that dream and you have that “look, I will not fail.” You have to know realistically what’s out there, how you can achieve it, and then try to think outside the box too so that you can, you can grow.
Kesha: And marketing is a huge part of the equation.
Anne: Yes. Yes. And that’s a part of the equation that not many people know. I mean, in the creative industries, they’re, it’s not something like, “I didn’t go to school for marketing.” The only thing I do know is that I love the Internet. And you know, I’ve always said, I’ll say it again, I’d marry the Internet if I could, because it allows me a lot of information at my fingertips. And all of my marketing was research, taking classes online, learn, learn by example. I think I signed up for, I can’t even tell you how many mailing lists so that I could understand how email works, email marketing works. And so really it was, it was a deep dive into marketing so that I could learn it, so that I could then market myself to be successful.
Kesha: Exactly. With a little bit of elbow grease. I’m not just talking launch a website, put your demos on there, do a couple of Instagram posts here and there. Oh no. It is a full, like really to be honest with you, ever since I’ve experienced all of this success on Clubhouse, I am literally about to hire a social media manager, because I can’t handle everything right now.
Anne: Absolutely, yep.
Kesha: And it’s gonna help. It’s gonna totally help.
Anne: And let’s talk about how important it is for that to happen, because your connection, if people are on Clubhouse and they want to contact you maybe outside of Clubhouse for jobs, is you know, having you know, your social media channel set up so they can, they can email you, they can contact you through Twitter or Instagram. And it’s important that you have those things in place, saying that, “yeah, I’m a voiceover, I’m a voiceover talent.” Because If that’s what you’re doing and that’s your business, that’s where I believe your social media should at least, if somebody goes to your social media site, they should know you do voiceover.
Kesha: Absolutely, absolutely. And you have to be ready so you won’t have to get ready.
Kesha: You have to be ready, you know, before — you know — bottom line, you have to be ready.
Anne: Yeah. Speaking of marketing, right, I think very important, in addition to social media, and I say this all the time, website. Website, website, website. Because you’ve got to have a place where those demos reside, and those demos are your marketing material, so that people can hear what you sound like. I don’t know, Kesha, do you have another place that you, you know, if people say, well, how can I find out more information? It’s a pretty central place. Go to my website! [laughs]
Kesha: Go to my website, exactly. But, in addition to that, the number two thing that you want to pay attention to is SEO.
Anne: Oh yes.
Kesha: Ok? So check it out. I am not, I am not the technical guru here. I don’t know all of the terms and the terminologies and whatnot, but once you have that website, they should be able to find you in several circles, not just to go to keshamonk.com, but if somebody Googles “African-American female voice talent,” boom, I should be the number one listing on that Google.
Anne: Your website and your social media channels. Because having a great YouTube channel, because that’s also part of Google, right? Most people search through Google, and YouTube is owned by Google. So when somebody searches for live announce, or whatever, you know, voiceover, you know, corporate voiceover talent, you want to be that person that shows up. And the only way you’re gonna be able to show up, and that’s SEO, the search engine optimization, is if you have a place that gets indexed. And that place will be your website. And the things that get indexed on your website are words. And so those words need to describe what your business is. And so you want to make sure — I would say honestly outside of great demos and great, you know having, just continually coaching and honing your craft and having great demos, would be a great website.
Anne: That I think is almost second in line. And your social media of course. YouTube I’m gonna say is almost next, just because of the relationship to, you know, searching and YouTube, and having videos of your work. And then under that, make sure under the description, you’ve got a description of that work. And then, well, how can they find out more about you? For bookings, contact, go to my website.
Kesha: So check this out. I have the website. You know, I’m working on the SEO. I’ve got all these great things. And again this is me about a year or two into really being , entering the marketing realm of my career. Check this out. I’m on Google last week, and I’m Googling my friend, good friend Maria Pendelino. And I noticed that when I put her name into Google, a knowledge panel pops up on the right-hand side of the Google search.
Anne: Oh absolutely.
Kesha: And so I’m like, how the heck did she get a knowledge panel? And again, what a knowledge panel is, you may not have even noticed it, but when you Google certain terms, certain names, it’s like a panel on the right-hand side, that appears on the right-hand side of the search, that is just like a basic synopsis of who you are.
Anne: The business, who you are.
Kesha: And on the bottom of that description, there are links to all of your social media.
Anne: Yep, absolutely. Social media shows way up there on the top of search —
Kesha: Of course it does.
Anne: — if you’ve got good SEO, absolutely. You’ll see your social media connections —
Kesha: Your Twitter, my Twitter feed —
Anne: Twitter, Facebook.
Kesha: — is like the number one thing that shows up. Which made me realize, “oh girl, don’t say anything crazy.” You have to be very mindful of what you say, because again, if somebody searches you, that’s the first thing that’s gonna come up.
Anne: You have to be mindful. You absolutely have to be mindful of what you say. Because again there are eyes, and you don’t always know what they’ve been looking at. You can’t, it’s hard to track — a lot of times people will see things, and then if it’s — it forms an impression. So if your social media or your website is maybe less than stellar or not necessarily helpful enough, or maybe, whatever it is, if somebody goes there and looks at it, they make a determination in the first 30 seconds.
Kesha: Not even.
Anne: Even less than that. Because when I go shopping, that’s what I do. When I go to a website, I’m look, “oo ok, I feel like I trust these people, they’re professional, I can buy from them.” That’s what you have to think about when you’re marketing your VO business.
Anne: When people find you, is it going to be something that you want to be seen, and how is it representing you and your business?
Kesha: Right, exactly, exactly. Got to be mindful. Got to be mindful. [laughs]
Anne: So in terms of let’s say clients, in marketing to your clients, do you have a set, you know, a set strategy when you have a client? Do you send like a follow-up email after you’ve done a job for them? Do you, you know, periodically email them or reach out to them?
Kesha: My strategy, and again there is no one size fits all strategy, but what happens for me personally is I don’t sit here, and I don’t send out like a bunch of chain emails with the generic “hi, are you looking for voiceover for your business?” I don’t do that. I’m very one on. I’m full of personality, as I’m sure you can probably tell by now.
Anne: Absolutely. [laughs]
Kesha: I do the strangest things. I’ll tell you what I did to market myself in radio, because I have an interesting story about that, and then I’ll tell the voiceover thing. So again voiceover in my opinion is very — a part of it is mental. You have to understand what you’re really dealing with. Voiceover is a very, very competitive industry, and so is radio.
Kesha: When I used to send my demos to program directors, before I put it in the envelope, or even before I even thought about sending them a package, I would visualize a PV sitting at his desk with tons of cassette tapes from the floor to the ceilings from people who are applying for this one job from all across the country.
Anne: Ok, I just —
Kesha: So guess what I did? No, go ahead.
Anne: I just have to say, I love that you said cassette tapes. [laughs]
Kesha: Yeah, ‘cause that’s what it was, right?
Anne: Yep, absolutely!
Kesha: No exaggeration! No exaggeration whatsoever.
Kesha: So I would do things like — it sounds a little crazy, but it’s so true — I used to do things like put my cassette tape in a Chinese takeout box. Or I, I remember one time I really, really wanted this job in like Philadelphia. You know, I was just a young kid. I was like, yo, if I could get to the number five market in the country, that would be huge, right? So I took my tape and I put it in this huge box, huge box, and when they open the box, it was like this big green neon sign that said, with my daughter’s picture, that said, “please hire my mommy.”
Anne: [laughs] I love it.
Kesha: So the same — go ahead.
Anne: I want to know, today would you do the same thing? Would you actually send something? Because it’s so digital now today.
Kesha: No, no, no, definitely not.
Anne: Right? Ok, ok.
Kesha: No, no.
Anne: But I kind of like that. I like things in the mail.
Kesha: No, but what I’ll do is if, and I’ll give you an example. I wanted to invite a very well-known film-maker to one of my Clubhouse chats. But instead of sending her an email or a note on Twitter, I made a video, and I sent it to her assistant.
Kesha: I took a picture of her assistant, and I put my — I Photoshopped my picture next to her picture, and I had a little thought bubble, you know, with my hand saying, “listen, I got to tell you something. Watch this video.” And guess what?
Anne: She loved it.
Kesha: She didn’t come —
Kesha: — but she watched it and she felt compelled to say I’m really sorry I missed your event. Please let me know about the next one.
Anne: Nice. There you go. All you need is the start, right?
Kesha: You have to be —
Anne: Start the conversation.
Kesha: Start the conversation, and you know, again what works for me is to be a little bit untraditional in my approach. Another example, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to hire a new accountant, somebody to do my taxes. And when I called her, I noticed that her voicemail sucked. So I say, “hey girl, listen.”
Anne: That happens to me quite a bit.
Kesha: I said, “listen, I could help you. I could totally help you. Yeah, I totally can.” I pitched. I sent her a little sample after I got off the phone, and she hired me. And not only did she hire me, she told all of her other accountant friends to hire me.
Anne: Yup. I love that, because I’ve actually done that quite a bit myself. Because I do telephony like every other day. And so if I’m calling up, and I’m hearing something that just is not resonating with me on their voicemail, I’m like, look. I do this and I can help you. It almost always works out, because you’ve developed a relationship. And so that’s, getting your foot in the door and being able to converse on something that’s not a hard sell is important. You know, like a commonality, a relationship. Like I love your idea where you Photoshopped yourself.
Kesha: Totally. I go —
Anne: Getting attention, that’s awesome.
Kesha: Listen, I go overboard a lot, but that’s my point. I just need to get, I need to grasp their attention. She is a very famous film-maker with 72 million people on her Twitter feed.
Kesha: Just sending her a message is not gonna cut it.
Anne: And I think that the medium, the video — I just got an audio file from someone who, from a client that wanted to thank me. And literally just sent it to me through LinkedIn. And you know how LinkedIn, you know, if you are with LinkedIn, you get these messages that seem to be canned responses or canned like, “hey, thank you, let’s connect.” This person actually sent me an audio file. “Hey, I just wanted to say you did a great job on the job for me, and I really want to thank you, and have a wonderful day.” It was such a nice surprise because it was something different. I’ve not received audio files. So there’s another thing that you can do, and I love the video thing. It really brings the personality. And it makes it more intimate.
Kesha: Check it out. Check this out. Got another story for you real quick. Clubhouse. We talked about Clubhouse last time with regards to its popularity and whatnot. I’ve gained a ton of people who want me to mentor them, coach them, etc., etc. And what happened was, you know, when I’m on stage and I’m telling people I’m totally accessible. I’m here for you, I want to meet you — I mean, “I want to meet you” — I want work with you, so forth and so on. I kind of said it thinking nobody would actually respond.
Anne: [laughs] But in the meantime!
Kesha: But in the meantime I had like over 100 messages on my Instagram, and I was totally overwhelmed. I sat there like, “Jesus Christ! How am I going to answer all of these messages?” And then it came to me, Anne. They have a little voice thing on Instagram.
Anne: And it’s so easy, isn’t it? It’s like —
Kesha: All you do is press the mic. And so within 15 minutes, I was able to return — and again, I’m gonna tell you what happened.
Anne: I love that.
Kesha: People were shocked.
Anne: I love that!
Kesha: People were absolutely shocked! They’re like, “oh my God, you answered me, and you’re talking to me.”
Anne: You spoke to me, you spoke to me.
Kesha: And I’ll do little subtle things. Like before I answer them, I go on their, I’ll go on their Instagram page —
Anne: Just to check them out.
Kesha: And then I’ll come back and I’ll say, “hey Diane, that’s such a pretty yellow sweater you’re wearing. Thanks a lot for coming.” Boom, I’m sold.
Anne: People love that relationship, especially when you’re talking about, whether you’re gonna do a voiceover job for them, or you’re just beginning a relationship, let’s say a mentor or coach, people love the personal approach. Because again we’re humans and we want to connect with humans. That’s like our nature.
Kesha: Exactly, exactly.
Anne: I love that. So BOSSes out there, I want you to really start thinking out of the box how you can create a more personal connection with your clients or your potential clients, something that you can do that’s not like “hey, I’m a voice talent, and I do voiceover.” That is so, that’s probably not, probably not the direction that you want to go.
Kesha: Here’s the moral. No, I don’t want to cut you off, go ahead.
Anne: Doing something personal, I think, and something that is going to surprise and delight people is really, I love that. I love that.
Kesha: And it works. It works.
Anne: It does.
Kesha: Here’s the moral. I’m just gonna sum it up by saying this. Humanize your marketing efforts in every facet. Humanize it.
Kesha: You’ll see stuff begin to work out for you.
Anne: You’ll see a difference. Good stuff, my Kesha! I love it. I love it. Well, I’m giving a big shout-out to my sponsor, ipDTL. You too can connect and learn how to market like a BOSS. Find out more at ipdtl.com. You guys have an amazing week. And let’s get those personalized marketing campaigns going out there, BOSSes!
Anne: Yes! We’ll see you next week.
>> Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your host Anne Ganguzza. And take your business to the next level. Sign up for our mailing list at voboss.com and receive exclusive content, industry revolutionizing tips and strategies, and new ways to rock your business like a BOSS. Redistribution with permission. Coast to Coast connectivity via ipDTL.