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How to Fail at Marketing

The week before I go away on any kind of trip, whether it’s a vacation, a conference or otherwise, I do very little marketing for my voice over business.

Although I always teach that marketing takes time, and very seldom will you generate work based off the first email, it does happen. Not very often, but it does happen. The last thing I want is to market my voice over services to someone, talk with them about my quick turnaround times, and then have them book me while I’m away.

How’s that for a first impression?

Yes, I can deliver your audio in 24 hours or less… except this week… because I’m away… and you’ll need to wait five days.

That’s an impression I never want to make; so to avoid it, I just don’t reach out to new leads a week before my trip.

If a new client reaches out to me, I want to deliver fast. I want to wow them with that first project so they’ll be more likely to come to me with the second. Third. Fourth. Twenty-second.

The Wrong Way to Market

Recently, I found myself in need of a freelancer. I was looking to get some work done that I didn’t have time for and I was comfortable with outsourcing. I inquired in a few places and put out a few feelers to see what kind of names would turn up.

One particular person responded to my query via social media… which was great.

This same person did not tell me how to actually contact them… which was bad.

Normally, I’d use that practice as a filter to eliminate unqualified candidates. If you can’t even give me your contact information, after all, you must not want to work with me very badly!

In this case, I chose to look past the error. I was able to find the individuals website and sent them a message.

It’s been two weeks.


After expressing an interest in taking on my project – for which I would’ve paid them an hourly rate – they first failed to give me contact information and then failed to respond to my message when I reached out via their website.

This person just lost the opportunity to work with me.

If you fail to follow through on your own marketing attempts, you’re going to lose more clients than you’ll ever book.
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What Kind of First Impression Are You Making?

If you can’t even be responsible enough to run your own business, why in the world would I trust you with part of mine?

I don’t market to new leads before I go away, because I know if one of them did decide to book me right away, I wouldn’t be able to deliver the very service I would be pitching them in my email.

This person offered me a service, and then failed not once, but twice, to follow through with their offer.

That’s how you fail at marketing!

Whatever it is you’re selling on your website. Whatever the copy is in your marketing emails. Whatever you’re offering on social media. You better be ready, willing and able to deliver.

If you’re making a bad first impression, you likely won’t receive a chance to make a second.