The Long Tail Keeps Getting Longer

The amount of work in media communications continues to grow. Most of it in the long tail where the dollars are not as high, so in order to build a business and stay in business, you need lots of business. The number of people wanting to jump into the business continues to expand as well. So in order to compete and grab the business, producers need to find those areas where they can produce good quality media at a reasonable price point.

Neil Perry, president of Poptent, formerly with McDonald’s in a number of key positions and a VP of marketing at Monster.com, just posted an article on MediaPost’s Online Video Insider that showcases an under-videofied (I just made that up to go with the word video-izing that he used) area for media communications producers. Video manuals.

People are […]

Faffterglow Three

Last weekend was another example of the power of Amy Snively’s (rhymes with lively) brainstorm. FaffCon 3 in Hershey PA (it was actually in Harrisburg, but the graphic possibilities were far better with Hershey) was a complete success.

One of the great things about FaffCon is that it is a gift that keeps on giving. It is coming up on a week now since FaffCon 3 and while I have been busy with “life,” my thoughts keep drifting to FaffCon and the information exchanged. I have been using little tidbits all week. And I haven’t even begun to go through my notes!

The welcoming dinner and FaffJam on Friday night was wonderful.  Voiceover folks are pretty darned talented in so many ways! And I have to say that the 14 oz. slab of prime rib was pretty terrific too. And after an afternoon of heavy rain, we were able to walk down and […]

2017-04-20T20:45:53+00:00 October 2nd, 2011|Categories: Business, Marketing, Musings|Tags: , |

Variety. Is it the Spice of the Voiceover Life?

We’ve all heard the saying “Variety is the spice of life.” What does it actually mean? I take it to mean if you do the same thing over and over you can get in a rut and perhaps  ultimately get bored with what you are doing. Toss in something different and it tends to work as an energizer.

How does it apply to the voiceover business? As a voiceover performer, there are two basic schools of thought how to approach the business. Do one thing well and market that. Do a lot of things well and market all of them.

Do One Thing Well

I think this works when you have a truly unique vocal style and delivery. People come to you because of your proven record doing this type of delivery. You might be a “personality” and what they want is you – your unique style – your pacing – attitude – […]

2017-04-20T20:45:53+00:00 August 23rd, 2011|Categories: Business, Marketing|Tags: , , |

Balancing Life and Work

The past few years have been interesting to say the least. After getting my mom to move across country in order to be closer to me so that I could start to help her as her need to be helped increased – I started to see a dramatic increase in personal time in my calendar.

As a rabid type A – most of my time has been spent working. As a free lancer and the sole means of support for my critters and my house – most of my time was spent working or marketing or bookkeeping or networking or something else that required large amounts of time in my “cave.”

So, learning how to carve out the time for my mom was a challenge.

Combine that with the down turn in the economy and there was a bit of a dip in work – which in retrospect was perhaps a good thing […]

2017-04-20T20:45:54+00:00 July 11th, 2011|Categories: Business, Marketing, Musings|Tags: , |

Working Class Jill Meets Super Stars (sort of)

As a working class voiceoverist* plying my trade, I rarely get to rub producers with top name talent. By that I mean, I don’t often get to work with producers who are in the habit of hiring big time celebrities. That doesn’t happen much in my neck of the woods.

But a couple of times in the past few months, I have had “new to me” producers (who have found me on the net using a search engine, or who have heard my audition through a P2P site) use my name in the same sentence with some very well known voiceover actors.

I heard from a producer who pulled me from around 20 auditions to voice his project. Well, at least the initial showing of his project. He also has a call into (insert name of very famous actor/voice guy with gravitas) to see if he is interested in the project. I’ll […]

2017-04-20T20:45:54+00:00 July 7th, 2011|Categories: Marketing, Musings|Tags: , , , |

Work. Invoice. Thank. Promote. Repeat.

It’s really a simple recipe. Do the job. Send the invoice. Thank the client. Promote the results (to the right places at the right time). Repeat.

OK, perhaps it isn’t all that simple. And I am still struggling – after all these years – with the thank yous and the promotion part of the formula. The repeat part is one of the keys to actually making a living in this business. And if your database is bloated with old leads you may be missing those repeat opportunities.

If you are just starting out, this formula is predicated by knowing what you do well and finding the people who want to buy what you have to sell. If you have been in the business for a while – or a long while – you may have the same problem I am trying to address – too many names in my contact list. And if […]

FaffCon Vibe in the Groove!

FaffCon 2 T-shirts
FaffCon 2 T-shirts waiting for their owners

So we were in a different location across the country, in a hotel that soared above the city, with about 75 people in attendance (25 or so more than in Portland) – and the end result of FaffCon 2 – Electric Boogaloo – fabulosity.

Seriously, this sharing ideas, experiences and even a few secrets with your working peers has all kinds of consequences:

  • Better business methods
  • Cool marketing strategies
  • Increased technological understanding
  • Practical performance ideas

But probably the most important is the feeling of long-term connection with your fellow performers with whom you share much more than the space next to them at a lecture.

While many of us do benefit from more organized conferences in some ways, FaffCon is different in that it is:

“…not VO 101. FaffCon is a participant-driven […]

2017-04-20T20:45:56+00:00 March 6th, 2011|Categories: Business, Marketing, Musings|

The MacGyver Approach to VO?

A post on a Facebook thread* this morning got me thinking about what you need to start a business. Can you make it in the voiceover business with “duct tape” and creative thinking? Well, not eveyone can be MacGyver. There is a bit more to it than that.

David Cross, a man with natural talent in voiceover and a deep background in marketing and business stated:

…for anyone “starting a business – don’t think you need any investment. It’s easy to get your first sales in through duct tape and creative thinking and use that money to put back into building the business. “Never a borrower nor a lender be.”

To which I too quickly replied in a lame attempt at humor…

I know duct tape is wonderful, but I tried to make a mic with it and failed utterly.

David followed up…

Duct tape is a “metaphor for getting things achieved even though apparent obstacles […]

2017-04-20T20:45:56+00:00 February 6th, 2011|Categories: Business, Marketing, Musings|Tags: , , , |

For some things you need to commit with every fiber of your being

How do you make the jump from good to great? It’s not hard to identify not-so-good from good, but just what it is that sets “great” apart?

Some of this is subjective, yes. We don’t all agree on who should win the Golden Globe or the Oscar for example. When it comes to Fine Art, there is even more subjectivity. But mostly we can see or hear when something is “good.” Or maybe not. Is it just natual ability?

When it comes to work where timing is critical – say dance, music – or – wait for it – (rim shot) – comedy, I think there has to be some natural ability to achieve “good.”. But you need much more than that to be “great.” You need passion, energy, and enthusiasm. And even then, if the audience doesn’t understand what is happening, then the ability to discern “greatness” falters. You also need committment, but if that […]

2017-04-20T20:45:57+00:00 February 5th, 2011|Categories: Business, Marketing, Musings|

How to pay the mortgage doing VO

A discussion about what a professional VO talent should/could/would make popped up on the Yahoo Voiceover Message Board in the past 24 hours.

A few $$ figures were tossed out and a quick posting fenzy ensued. Whatever that bottom line is for you, the reality of today’s cost of living means that you need a certain level of income to support a spouse and family. 

So whatever that is to you – and it will differ from person to person and place to place – it will not come from any one source. Your Marketing Plan needs to be one of the first things you develop as you dip your toe into the business. And that plan will include lots of different avenues for landing good jobs that pay well. (Rinse and repeat.)

Jennifer Vaughn posted a response to this thread that summed it up nicely and she has given me […]

2017-04-20T20:45:57+00:00 January 19th, 2011|Categories: Business, Marketing|Tags: |