* This is part 2 of a series For part 1 click here. For part 3 click here. *
According to everything that I’ve ever read on personal branding, there’s one universal truth. Regardless of how much the authors, speakers, professionals and experts may vary on certain aspects of the subject, they all seem to agree on one thing. Nobody is going to magically discover your brand!
Nobody is going to magically discover your brand!
This is not Iowa. Shoeless Joe Jackson is not hidden in your cornfield. Or closet. Or kitchen cupboards. If you build it, they will come. But not until you tell them!
You’re a brand. Your voice is your brand. Or at least part of it. Along with the services you offer and the reputation you’ve built for yourself. It all incorporates into your brand. Brand YOU. That said, without a little promotion nobody will ever know Brand YOU exists, and that’s bad.
You can’t make money in the voice over business if you’re not working. You won’t work if you don’t get yourself out there.
That means you’re going to have to promote yourself, your voice, your services, your brand.
These days self promotion is extremely easy thanks to social media. It gives you several amazing resources to spread your message for free to thousands upon thousands of people. With some time, some effort and some creativity, you really can generate awareness for your brand. The problem is, many of us are afraid of self promotion. We worry it will make us come across as cocky. As full of ourselves.
The fact of the matter is, we need to rid ourselves of that mindset. You are a walking billboard for yourself. Let’s be honest. If you’re not going to promote yourself, who is?
Be Proud of Your Brand
I’m a professional male voice talent. I believe I offer a quality product. I stand by the statement that my customer service is second to none. I work hard. I work all hours of the night and day. I always deliver exactly what I say I will or more. And you know what? I’m proud of all of these things!
So why shouldn’t I promote my brand? Why shouldn’t I find ways to get that message to potential new clients?
Nobody gets mad at Walmart for airing TV commercials. So why is it acceptable for them to promote but not me?
Be proud of yourself. Be proud of your product. Don’t be afraid to tell people about it. How can you ever expect to grow otherwise? So much of what’s holding people back from self promotion in the voice over business is fear. It’s time to break the chains of negative perceptions. It’s time to start taking advantage of all the good that self promotion offers.
A Fresh Perspective
Think of this way. Let’s say you’re looking for a particular service. For arguments sake, let’s go with a massage. You mention this fact on Facebook and on Twitter with hopes that one of your followers will have a suggestion for you on a good place to get a massage. Someone responds to your query and gives you a name of a massage therapist. You go, get a massage, and feel the most relaxed and stress free you’ve ever felt in your life. It was an amazing experience.
Let me ask you, does this upset you? Are you annoyed? Do you have negative feelings towards the massage therapist? Of course not. Your experience was awesome! You’re thrilled that someone responded to your query and you got an amazing massage.
That massage therapist promoted their business. One of your friends found out about it and tried it. Then they recommended the service to you. You had an amazing massage and are grateful for the experience. None of that, however, would have ever happened if the massage therapist hadn’t first promoted their business and service.
We accept it when other people do it. We expect it even. But we’re afraid to promote ourselves because we don’t want to be seen as arrogant. It’s time to break the chains!
Self Promotion is Good
The benefits of self promotion for your business are really pretty obvious. The more you get yourself out there the more work you’ll do (if you’re doing good work). The more work you do the more referrals you’ll get (if you’re doing good work). All of this leads to greater success and prosperity for yourself and your brand.
Talk about your business on your social networks. Create a web site that offers a description of all your services. Send out demos to potential new clients. Look for new followers on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn whom you think might benefit from your services. Don’t be afraid to let people know about yourself!
Great service is about solving a problem. Your customer needs a voice for their project. You have one. If you solve their problem and do it in a professional way, they’ll be grateful for the fact that you reached out to them. Not annoyed that you’re just another arrogant creative.
Tomorrow I’ll continue with part 3 of the series, looking at the negative aspects of self promotion. I hope you’ll come back for it.
If you’d like to do some reading on personal branding and self promotion for your business I strongly recommend Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future by Dan Schawbel and Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt.