I’m starting a new series called, “What are you doing with your blank?” I will pick a different blank for each post. You’re probably wondering, ‘What the blank is a blank?’ Blanks are the thousands of things in our lives that we could each make more interesting and distinct with a tiny bit of effort. Just ask athletes Ocho Cinco and Metta World Peace.
Today’s blank is: voicemail message. (So the question is ‘What are you doing with your voicemail message?’) Your voicemail message impacts your personal brand or your business (and probably both) whether you make an effort or not. Yet most people completely ignore these valuable messages. If you have chosen the default setting on your phone, you are hanging up on the opportunity to make a strong, favorable brand impression.
I’ve been having fun with my voicemail messages since they were called answering machine messages. Maybe too much fun. When I was in college, my roommates and I were recording an enthusiastic voicemail message at 4:00am, when Police Officer Buzzkill banged on our door to tell us they had received noise complaints ‘down at the Cop Shop.’
At The Perfect Agency Project we believe there is great value in unique, memorable or funny voicemail messages. Partially because they are so surprising. Our voicemail expectation are so low that it is easier to jump over the voicemail message bar than to limbo under it.
Last night I got a text from Monica Baer, a former coworker of mine from Cramer Krasselt. The text read:
Hey, I’m going to call your vm so my kids can hear it :). Don’t pick up.
Does that happen to you? Probably not. Could it? Absolutely. Offer a message that will put a smile on your caller’s face. Make them feel important, give them a great quote, a piece of trivia or useful information. If you do, they’ll be happy they called. Maybe they will even be a little disappointed when they get you instead of your interesting recording.
A memorable voicemail message is also free. It costs no more to create a great, value-adding, entertaining message than to leave no message at all. You can also update messages to match the weather, holidays or major events. You can tout business awards and successes. You could even use your voicemail message to tell callers about an interesting blog post you read about voicemail messages.
I often offer a voicemail promotion, offering a faster call back if the caller performers a specific request, like yodeling. I’ve asked callers to sing their voicemail messages. Think, The Voice: Voicemail Edition.
Don’t be afraid to try. The great thing about unique voicemail messages is that they can be changed at any point. So try different messages and learn what works well for you and your brand. Just keep it relatively brief.
If you would like to hear my voicemail message give me a call. You can always text me first to tell me you want to hear my VM, so I know not to pick up. My number is 614-256-2850. Don’t be afraid to say hi. I look forward to your message.