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 […]

2018-02-06T06:48:35+00:00February 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 […]

2018-02-06T06:48:35+00:00January 19th, 2011|Categories: Business, Marketing|Tags: |

Casting the “net”

As part of our job as voiceover talent, we do a lot of auditions. Some are part of a small select group. Some are more like cattle calls. But that is part of the game.

While wearing my producer hat, I listened to lots and lots of demos and/or auditions with a certain “sound” in my head – pressing the skip button to advance the CD compliation to the next track after a couple of seconds. That was time enough to know if that was what I thought was going to be right for the production. Music cuts – same process. We really do know it when we hear it.

Just sent off an audition for a project that clearly stated that the client was going to listen to lots and lots of auditions in their search for a spokesperson. My Christmas wish for myself is that I am the voice in […]

2018-02-06T06:48:35+00:00December 26th, 2010|Categories: Auditioning, Marketing|

2-Sided Business Cards?

Back in September I left nearly all my business cards at FaffCon and suddenly realized that I would need some for the VO gathering in New York in December, so it was time to re-order.

When I looked at my standard order, I thought about the back – which has been blank.  One thing I have noticed over the years is that I like to jot down notes on the back of cards, but I don’t normally fill up the whole back of the card, so I decided to pay a little extra and add a short line or two of text at the top of the back of my card – with just a bit of smile to it – and plenty of room to make a few notes. I also went with color on the back that is a screened version of the logo on the front.

Do you do this? […]

2018-02-06T06:48:36+00:00November 16th, 2010|Categories: Marketing|Tags: , |

Is Cold-Calling Dead?

Interesting discussion on Facebook right now about the benefits (or not) of cold-calling. Smiling and Dialing is a term I have used.

Conflicting opinions have emerged. Could advances in technology be killing the Cold-Call?

The original post espoused the positive results of cold-calling using the example of  more work for a repeat client who had initially been the result of a cold-call. This is, of course, cold-calling people who you KNOW are interested in the kind of work you do. Marketing 101 – pre-qualify your leads.

An immediate opposing viewpoint was posted – with face-to-face networking indicated as the key to conversion.

I think that as with so many other things in our business life these days, the times they are a changing.

Do the networking thing first if your potential client is in your physical area. If you are touching someone remotely, then you have three practical choices – email, social networking, and the phone.

My […]

2018-02-06T06:48:37+00:00October 27th, 2010|Categories: Business, Marketing|

The Free Lance Mindset Helps Bridge the Gap

I have always been risk averse. Never was a dare devil. Never did anything “wrong” when I was growing up. I was a good kid, because I didn’t want to get into trouble. I couldn’t imagine gambling, or playing the stock market. So how did I end up in the kind of job where  you never know from day to day if you are going to earn money?!

It could be due to the fact that I saved the peanuts from the Peanut M&M’s during road trips so I would be able to spread out the goodness for a long time. It could be because of my parent’s example of creative eclectic thriftyness. It could also be due to the number of places I lived while growing up – my stability was in being flexible. The ability to jump in and make things happen in pretty much any situation.

And due to the […]

2018-02-06T06:48:37+00:00October 17th, 2010|Categories: Business, Marketing, Negotiating|

Tooting the FaffCon Horn just a bit more

Whatever happens down the road to the concept of FaffCon, the first ever FaffCon Voiceover Un-conference was a rousing success in so many ways. Dave Courvasier posted a blog this morning with his thoughts on day 2 of FaffCon.

The most appealing part to me about this whole event was the lack of selling and the abundance of sharing. Oh, there were people in attendance with something to sell, but this was not a selling event. In something like 30 separate “sessions” I didn’t hear of any that were a sales pitch for anything. I couldn’t get to all of them of course, but that is the feedback I have heard.

Sponsors were promoted during the event with signs, handouts and thank you’s. And the final session on Sunday afternoon was devoted to reading live “commercials” for our sponsors and then drawing tickets for valuable door prizes.

Here is a link to the FaffCon website for more information. 

I have […]

2018-02-06T06:48:37+00:00September 13th, 2010|Categories: Marketing|Tags: |

One door closes…

I saw a Facebook post from a friend today that talked about a regular client who had decided to move their voice work in house – so minus one job. But shortly thereafter a new client entered the picture. Subsequent comments to her post illustrates that this is a common occurance for people in our business – with those who are good at what they do.

The same kind of thing happened to me today. I was just starting to record the first of 4 modules for a semi-regular client, when I ran across some small questions about the script (acronym land) and called to clarify. He was in the process of writing to tell me that plans had changed and the end client had suddenly decided not to move forward on the project at this time. So, he told me to bill him for my efforts so far and we’d […]

2018-02-06T06:48:37+00:00August 31st, 2010|Categories: Business, Marketing, Musings|

Get your ACT! together…

OK, that was probably not very original, but I really need to get my contact act together.

I mentioned in an earlier post about being in reaction mode – and one of the ways to help this situation is to get a better handle on my contact database. I tried Outlook Business Contact for a while, but after many phone calls with their tech support,helping them debug the software, I just gave up and have been limping along with the regular Contact part of Outlook for the past few years.

After researching several other CRM solutions, I installed ACT. While still in the early learning stages of this new software, I see that it integrates pretty well with Outlook – although I don’t know exactly how at this point.

So I imported more than 1400 “contacts” from Outlook into ACT! and started weeding and feeding. After the initial purge of duplicate cell phone numbers created in […]

2018-02-06T06:48:38+00:00August 14th, 2010|Categories: Business, Marketing|

Time Balancing Act

There has to be a better way to allocate my time. Lately I seem to be living in reaction mode. The BlackBerry has a lot to do with this I think.

Ever since I got the little pacifier, I am a slave to the flashing red light. It sits next to my keyboard while I am working on an edit or doing some research or marketing or bookkeeping – and when it starts to flash I am COMPELLED to stop what I am doing, pick it up, and see what emergency is calling.  

OK, not very many emergencies in the voiceover business, but probably more than one would expect. But usually it is something like an ad for discount travel or hotels, chain letters from friends, Facebook updates, and auditions. I also get scripts from clients for jobs and requests for quotes for possible jobs.

The point is that instead of finishing up what […]

2018-02-06T06:48:38+00:00July 28th, 2010|Categories: Business, Communication, Marketing, Musings|