Each year, time seems to fly directly into the New Year almost overnight after Thanksgiving has passed. Before long, Christmas will be here and gone and then we will all have to flip our calendars over to the next month. You may have already begun reflecting on the amazing year that you had both personally and professionally throughout 2012.
Maybe it was your first year embarking on your journey as a voice professional or maybe it was just another notch on your career’s belt that was added along with the many other notches that you have been collecting over the years. Regardless of how you will finish 2012, it is important to make sure that you plan now in order to start 2013 off with a bang!
One of the biggest mistakes that people make in this industry is that they wait for the New Year to begin before they start making plans. Waiting that long to plan how to start means that they are also forcing themselves to wait to actually start working towards the goals and expectations that they have set for themselves and for their business. This simple mistake of waiting can actually kill your business. How so?
As is the case with many other industries that are based on specific talents, the voice talent industry thrives off of momentum. You have to be able to catch the wave right when is it about to rise up in order to enjoy the ride of your life. Otherwise, that wave is going to pass right over you, leaving you stranded in still water or possibly even drowning in the ripples created by your competition. The best race car drivers know that you have to spend the least amount of time at the pit stop in order to win the race, because staying there too long will cause them to get left behind and lose out on the race all together.
Enough with the sports analogies – I think you get the point. Right now, we need to focus on the steps that need to be taken now in order to put ourselves at the front of the line and in a prime position for success immediately after the New Year begins.
One of the best things that you can do for yourself and for your business is use 2013 to start over. What do I mean by that? Treat your business as if you are approaching it for the first time with a fresh approach; work with it as if you are just opening your doors and about to work for your very first client. Why is that so important? You have to leave 2012 completely behind you, because holding on to it too long will mean failure for your business in 2013. Even if you had the very best year of your career in 2012, that will mean absolutely nothing in 2013.
You have to have a fresh approach to your business each and every year as if you are starting at Day One, because that is where you are starting. Update your business plan or better yet, create an entirely new business plan. Try new ways to advertise your services to the world; do not get too attached to sticking with the methods that may have been successful for you in the past. You have to be willing to change what you do today in order to change what you make tomorrow!
Use this time to focus on reflection. Pay attention to the areas that you succeeded in 2012 and were able to grow as a professional and expand your business to new heights. Use those areas as building blocks to create a foundation that will allow you to build even further next year. More importantly, you definitely want to reflect and analyze the areas in which you failed in 2012 and possibly almost ruined yourself professionally, jeopardizing your current image within this growing industry. Those are the areas that you need to truly come up with an action plan as to how avoid those pitfalls and steer in the direction of success in the New Year.
Enjoy the holidays! 2012 is coming to a close real soon. Spend time with your family and friends and make sure that you take the time to truly understand your reasons for being in this business in the first place, otherwise known as your “Why?” If your vision for your professional voiceover career has gotten a little foggy over the past several months or even several years, now is the time to clear things up and get a better look. Just remember, if you wait too long, it may be too late.
Unless you are extremely disciplined a business plan, written down and committed to, is essential. Also, how many people know you are in the voice over business? A daunting list? You will need publicity and plenty of it which can be supplied by mass media, direct mail and a great website featuring your picture and your voice. Next there is telephone and, that most reliable way of meeting people – knocking on doors. Nothing like that personal touch.
Good comments Dick! However, I would never recommend “knocking on doors” when it comes to working with a talent agency. They frown on that, big time! It’s important to follow the protocol on their website to how they would like to be contacted. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :-)
For me, 2013 will be my first year in the business. After wasting 30 years dreaming of using my voice to do something I love, I’m spending the next few months working with a voice over studio to learn, train, and cut some demos. I’m counting on this coming year to be one of the most fulfilling I’ve ever had. Ever.
Thanks for this post. I want to do everything I can to position myself for success as I plan to eventually work in VO fulltime. Fortunately, the studio I’m using is very serious about the business and marketing side of VO as well as the individual technique. Articles like this one certainly help to supplement my knowledge as I continue to develop my strategy.
Take care and best of luck in the coming year!
I got my first taste in this monkey buisness of v/o back in 1999 and I have been taking lessons on and off because of $$, over the years I probably spent about 5 to $6,000, got a couple of killer demo’s one via piped in from LA Marc Growe Studio’s, so how do you live up to your great demo’s? Had a agent that just kept sending me auditions,never got a gig, broke the mold from another place that (had) to pay me, so I got one paid gig but was so nervous doing it that I thought I never want to do this again, so I stopped about 2 years ago. It’s like you keep practicing and your not sure if your doing it right, and then comes the marketing I am not a marketer and there is no guaranties, that’s life in general of course.I guess my question to you is if you could hear my demo’s and give me an estimate of how much more this could cost me maybe you could give me a truthful answer.
It’s good work if you can get it
Thanx for listening to the rants and ravs
We have a feeling 2013 is going to be a great year. Great tips on how to position yourself for success. We wanted to share with you our voiceover blog at Snap Recordings. Check out our recent voiceover spotlight interview! Thx! Looking forward to more of your blog posts.
This is so true – it’s very common for people in the voice over industry to put things off, using the New Year as an excuse. But why put off until tomorrow what you can do today? Great article!
Reflecting on your previous year and understanding how to improve things in the year ahead is a process we can all benefit from! I really enjoyed reading this, thank you!