An Essential for Every VO Talent Tool Kit by Scott Burns

On any voice over forum, you’ll find all sorts of discussions about what’s the best microphone, processing gear, soundproofing material and whatever. These are obviously important tools for a voice talent to have. But to really succeed in this business, there’s another item, seldom mentioned, that should be on your must-have list – a thick stack of Thank-You cards!

“What?” you ask. “Thank-you cards? What century are YOU from?”

As antiquated as this may appear in today’s digitally instant-messaged world, I’ve found thank-you cards to be a very effective means of marketing.

But I can hear you now, “Wait, how crass! Thank-you cards are supposed to be expressions of genuine gratitude with no ulterior motive.””

Well, of course, they are. They should convey a truly heart-felt thanks! But if you’ll quit interrupting me, I’ll share an a-ha moment with you, where such a note did that and much more.

One of the fun duties of my day job as audio production manager for Destination Marketing is to cast and hire voice talent for our clients’ radio commercials. I often need to turn the spots around “yesterday,” which means I have to scramble to find a talent NOW. So just the other day, I was again scanning my brain for tried-and-true talent, whom I knew, who have home studios, and who were probably in their studios now.

Enter the thank-you note.

A few days prior, I’d received a thank-you card from a talented student who had attended my voice over workshop. Just as I was about to go through my voice talent roster, I glanced at her thank-you card on my desk. What a serendipitous moment! If she had not sent that card, in my rush she would not have been top-of-mind.

Another thing that was noteworthy about her note, she hadn’t included a business card or verbiage such as, “I hope you’ll think of me for your next voice project.” She didn’t have to. I already knew how to get hold of her, since her contact info was on the class roster. A sincere expression of gratitude was enough to get me to look it up.

“Hey,” you might well say, “I already do that – by email!”

Yes, an email thank-you is nice; receiving it can warm the heart. But almost as soon as that email is read, it’s deleted, or moved to a folder, or buried by tons of other emails.

And email can’t compare to receiving something tangible, something even enclosed in a real envelope. Now you’re spending more time with the recipient. As they handle the card and see who it’s from, senses are engaged. They open it up, feel the quality of the card stock, admire the design, then discover a personalized, hand-written message! Most likely, the recipient is going to feel guilty tossing it away, especially if the card is extra special with your own arty touch. The “art” needn’t be profound – just so long as the graphics are clean and professional, and the message (if you add one) is something thoughtful and specific to you, or the recipient, or the session ... something not everyone’s card will say.

“But Scott, postage isn’t getting any cheaper, and it’s hard to find cards that don’t look like they came out of Grandma’s doily collection. Besides, emails are more environmentally friendly!”

There you go interrupting again. To that concern, I say budget thank-you cards in your marketing plan, designing and printing them as you do your business cards and letterhead. If you can use recycled materials, so much the better. I can pretty much guarantee that, properly done, they won’t themselves quickly wind up in the trash. Even if they do sometimes re-purpose nicely as coffee coasters.

For more information about coaching with Scott Burns or any other Edge Studio instructor, please click here or call our office at 888-321-3343.

Great VO Talent and Great Guy!!!

I had the pleasure of meeting Scott at a VO workshop in Seattle. One of the things I love about this business is the GREAT people you get to meet and work with. Not only is Scott an incredibly talented VO artist and producer, he is a great guy. People like working with people they like. The "Thank You" note is one of the least expensive ways to put yourself back into the minds of those you have worked with. Some else has also said, "your first job with a client is your audition for your second job with that client." Give them every reason to come BACK to you. (by the way Scott, you can send my $5 promotional payment to my PayPal account! )

Lonny Schmitt
VO Talent

Genius, Pure Genius!

This is something Mom taught me decades ago. When somebody gives you something, send a thank you card. It's inexpensive and gets in the face of clients in a good way.

Nice one Scott! You're my hero.

thank you cards

I agree with Scott, old fashioned always works for me!! I've found that the cheapest, most reliable resource for anything printed is've used them many times for many different thing, and have never been disappointed. Now it seems, I'll be using them for Thank You cards!!!!!

I second that.

Hey guys,
Scott is spot-on here! In our e-mail-centric era, a nice hand-written thank-you card will make a much bigger impression than a quick e-note. It is 100% worth that extra little cost... besides, if that snail-mail note leads to another booking, it has more than paid for itself.

Great article, Scott!
~Kristin Price, Edge Coach

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