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 you are trying to add new qualified leads to your list, that method is evolving.

For the newbie – a quick review…

Part one – knowing what you have to sell. You have to know what sets you apart from the rest of the people selling themselves as voice talent. What kind of scripts showcase your unique sound and style? Some of this can be developed in classes, workshops and with coaches. But so much of it is really done on our own as we listen, analyze and talk back to what we are hearing as we go about our normal day.

After you truly know that you can compete in an area of voiceover, it is time to create a demo that showcases this particular talent. Just what constitutes a demo these days continues to evolve, and will depend in part on what you do well, where you live, what kind of technical skills you have – and whether or not you subscribe to web-based casting services with their unique SEO/SEM.

Part two – finding the people who want to buy what you have to sell means basic marketing skills. This is an element of voiceover “training” that most classes leave out. And it is arguably more important than your talent.

The Internet is both a blessing and a curse. It has made some of the search for potential clients somewhat easier and certainly much more expansive as you can now market globally. But it is changing the way we approach people

I recently heard a story on the radio about how social networks are playing a much more important role in the search for potential clients or employess. People want to work with people who other people trust. While preferring to work with people you know and trust isn’t new, the days of approaching a complete stranger with your resume and getting the job are waning as more and more people jump into the referral pool.

My summer-time goal is to whittle down my huge contact list and focus on those who actually know my name and what I do.