Honestly, I don’t even remember who told me. But I was intrigued.
I do remember that the source was reliable, and the pitch was believable. When I got home that night, I called up NetFlix on my TV, and started watching “Stranger Things“. In the next 36 hours, I had binge-watched all 8 episodes. I woulda gone further, but only 8 episodes are available.
Later, I told my kids, my neighbors, my work colleagues, friends on the phone… it always just seemed to “come up” in the conversation…and before I knew it, just about everywhere I was hearing about this great new series on NetFlix.
And so it is with WOMM (Word of Mouth Marketing). Those who specialize in marketing — you know, marketing “gurus” — claim it’s the best kind of marketing there is.
If someone who already knows you and your work is willing to spontaneously vouch for your service and your integrity… that’s strong. It means they’re not selling…they’re giving real first-hand testimony that was unsolicited, personal, unexpected, genuine, believable, and oh-so-welcome.
WOMM doesn’t exactly fit into the well-known “4 P’s” of Marketing: Putting the right product in the right place, at the right price, at the right time.
So how do you get friends/acquaintances/current clients to just GUSH about your work that way? As you might expect, it doesn’t happen overnight, or after a weekend marketing workshop.
20 years ago, WOMM relied on mail, in-person or phone conversations. Today, WOMM’s principle driver is Social Media (big surprise).
So it’s also no surprise that today effective word of mouth marketing involves careful and consistent branding, reputation management, persistence, and a product so compelling that everyone who knows you is more than happy to tell your story, and do it enthusiastically.
You probably know someone like that in our own VO community. I’ll bet you’ve gladly referred a client to a fellow voice-actor who specializes in a genre that you don’t dabble in. Hopefully, you’re quick to tell a newbie about a reputable coach, instead of letting them go to the demo mill wolves.
On and on and on…YOUR authentic off-hand comment about a certain brand of shaving cream, microphone, or tire is likely to sway someone who trusts you.
Ah!…and there it is: TRUST.
Like all direct paths to a strong family of clients…trust is at the heart of it. Often it begins with an offering of help or information, then a conversation, a relationship…and the next thing you know, that ephemeral element of trust develops. Sooner or later, that trusting soul will have the chance to pass along to someone else the “find” they have in you, as a dependable and capable voice-actor.
An exhaustive treatment of WOMM is beyond the scope of this blog. Entire blogs, books, workshops, and careers are built on WOMM tips. I’ve listed a few links below.
In voice-acting, your peers and friends are sometimes your best WOMM. I can only hope you think of me that way. Believe me, I’ve heard of stranger things!