…It’s the Principle of the Thing!

October 10, 2013 by  
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When it comes to growing their businesses, there are too many people that seem to focus on following the Law of Large Numbers. They feel as if the more customers and clients they are able to have, the more successful their business will become due to all of the work that they will be receiving. It is all a numbers game to them, which is why they want to focus solely on getting as many clients as possible. In theory, it seems as if this is the very best approach to take – especially if you are interested in making a lot of money. The more clients you have, the more money you make. That is so simple that a 3rd grader running a lemonade stand during the hottest day of the summer could figure it out. And by the way, when I was a kid, I had the worst lemonade stand ever. The table was wobbly and there was way too much sugar in the lemonade! I hope you never stopped by! Lol! Anyway, that’s another blog altogether.

It is imperative for you to realize that this is not the proper principle that you should be following if you want to experience maximum growth within your business. In order to make a maximum amount of money, you need to focus on a minimum amount of clients. Does that mean that you need to shut everything down when you have acquired a specific number of clients, placing a “Closed” sign on the door of your recording studio? Of course not! However, it does mean that you need to change your perspective when it comes to how much value you place into growing your client base.

You need to realize that the Law of Large Numbers is not necessarily the principle that you need to be following in order to effectively grow your voiceover business. Regardless of the type of business that you have, the best course of action to take would be to follow the Pareto Principle instead. What in the world is the Pareto Principle? That is technical name for what many people today commonly refer to as the “80/20 Rule.”

The Pareto Principle was originally developed based on a mere observation of wealth throughout Italy. It was determined that 80 percent of the country’s wealth belonged to just 20 percent of its population. This observation was then applied and proven to exist within many different aspects of life as well. 20% of the features found within the average product generate 80% of the usage. 20% of the complete list of computer viruses is what lead to 80% of the computer crashes experienced each year. However, what we want to focus on today is how the Pareto Principle applies to our clients – 20% of your clients will generate 80% of your revenue.

I know that’s a lot of numbers and if you’re like me, math was more than likely one of your least favorite subjects in school, so let me break this down for you even further.

Let’s say that you have been able to follow the Law of Large Numbers to grow your client base to the point where it has recently reached an amount of 100 clients. You might be ecstatic over this milestone, since (theoretically) it should spell long-term success and peak potential for your business. However, based on the Pareto Principle, 80 percent of the revenue that you are going to receive is going to be generated from 20 percent of those clients. If you generate $50,000 in sales this year from your business, $40,000 of it was generated by 20 of your 100 clients.

Regardless of the numbers that you place within this hypothetical scenario, the result is always going to be the same. You will clearly see just how powerful that 20% truly is to your overall success. What does this mean for us? How can we use this principle to take our business to the next level?

 Identify the Core Group of Clients

You need to first be able to identify which clients are included within that core group of 20%. Pay close attention to the specific clients that have given you substantial amounts of work within the past year and then list them in order. Focus on the value of the jobs and projects that you have received, not necessarily the quantity. For example, one client that has given you five jobs totaling $1,000 is more valuable than one client that had to give you ten jobs just to reach the same amount. Creating this list will make it rather easy to identify your core group of clients.

Shift Your Focus to the Core

Once you have identified your core group of clients, then you need to make sure that they have your undivided attention. Now, this does not mean that you should immediately burn bridges with all of the clients that did not “make the cut” when you were identifying your core group. That would actually defeat the purpose, right? However, you need to make sure that your core clients are treated as your most valuable assets. Do you find yourself putting their projects on the back-burner just to address the needs of some clients that were featured at the bottom of your list? While this might be acceptable occasionally, what will happen if your core clients are always being placed on your back-burner? They will eventually find their way to the front burners of someone else’s stove.

Manage Your Business Based on the Core

If you truly want to take your business to the next level and increase your revenue, then you need to manage it based on your core group of clients. Focus on getting as much quality work from them instead of quantity work from everybody else.

Get the Law of Large Numbers out of your head when it comes to growing your client base and managing your business overall. The Pareto Principle (excuse me…the “80/20 Rule”) is the approach that you need to have from here on out. Stop stretching yourself so thin trying to please and satisfy the needs of the masses when not even one-fourth of your clients are truly keeping your business afloat in the first place. Doing so will also lighten your overall load because you will be able to identify the dead weight that is weighing you down in the first place.

Do not allow the clients that are not listed within your Core group to sink the ship of your business, causing you to drown in the sea of competition. Use that 20% to not only keep your boat afloat but to also assure that you will experience the joy of smooth sailing from this point forward.

Surround Yourself With The Extraordinary

February 6, 2011 by  
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When you surround yourself with inspiring and uplifting people, amazing things will happen. It makes such a difference to have people in your life who support & encourage you. It can make the difference of a successful, fulfilling life or having an average, uninspiring life. Life is so short…don’t we all want to feel inspired?!

When you are trying to accomplish your objectives and goals, stay away from cynical glass half empty folks that will only bring you down. Most times, when people discourage you, they are wrestling with demons on their own.

When I took the big step of starting my own voice-over business, I definitely had those people telling me it was too competitive and not to waste my time. While these people might have been trying to support me in their own way – it was very discouraging. I chose to focus on the people that would say to me “you are talented and you should go for it!” Every business is competitive and that should never stop you from following your dreams.

Even if you were to fail at least you tried – we learn the most from our failures. I think we always have to keep that in perspective. What is the worst thing that could happen if you did fail – then you move on to the next thing with more knowledge and confidence in knowing that you tried at something instead of always wishing you would. Edison had 10,000 prototypes of the light bulb. What an amazing example of perseverance and not listening to the naysayers.

So many people give up too easily due to FEAR. We all get stuck in the spin, forgetting to grab hold of what you want and letting others steer your life…the DAILY ROUTINE. Ugh. Sometimes, the only person that is in the way is yourself. Take a minute and just imagine what you could do if you did get out of your own way. If fear wasn’t stopping you. If you weren’t listening to that little voice in your head as a result of those few naysayers. Listen to your gut and GO FOR IT!

Find your EXTRAORDINARY. Surround yourself with those that support you, can give constructive criticism and help you to move FORWARD.

Are You Stuck?

August 26, 2010 by  
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Are you stuck?  Before you answer, consider how much of your work is from repeat clientele and referrals, the amount and quality of testimonials you receive from your clients, the strength of your web presence, and the effectiveness of your auditioning and voicing techniques.  Take some time to reflect and be totally honest with yourself.  This is the business side of voice over and if you neglect it or forget to pay attention to it, you will find yourself stuck. Stuck has no momentum.  Stuck does not pay the bills. Stuck stinks!

Get “unstuck” and build momentum by taking time to analyze how you can improve your voice over business.  Think outside of the box.   If you do have repeat clientele, find out what it is you are doing that makes them come back to you.  Think of how you can provide even more value to them, whether you offer to voice their phone system, or add audio to their website, voice their blog, or introduce their podcast.  Next, identify which of your one-time clients you would like to have as repeat clients and do the same.  Take it to the next level by identifying your dream clients – the ones you want to voice for but haven’t done so yet.

Add some speed to your momentum by allowing your clients to advertise your business for you through referrals and testimonials.  Referrals and testimonials are powerful because they speak about the quality and integrity of your work and you.  Go ahead and ask for referrals.  Develop an arsenal of testimonials by asking your clients, especially your repeat clients, for a testimonial about their experience working with you and post these on your website.

Google yourself.  Are you on the first page? Better yet, how many pages do you fill?  The strength of your web presence is vital because the Internet is a major marketplace for voice over talent services.  Having a website is fantastic but you need to get plugged in to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube too.  Social Media is a powerful force in optimizing your web presence. Likewise, it allows you to access, connect, and engage other voice over talent, creative directors, and potential clients.  Leverage the power of social media to express your personality and brand your image – it’s free!  To optimize your social media, visit www.SocialMediaVO.com.

Finally, we audition a lot and we voice a lot.  Sometimes in the process it becomes more of a chore which inevitably comes out in our performance.  If you are finding your auditioning effectiveness to be slipping and the jobs seem to be fewer and further between, it may be time to revisit the basics or shake things up a bit and treat yourself by investing in a few training sessions with a professional voice over coach. Yes, even the pros get coaching to keep their competitive edge and learn new techniques!

Yes, even the pros have to get “unstuck” and find new ways to improve their voice over businesses. Going through this process is exactly what makes them pros and what sets them apart from the amateurs.  It’s time to get “unstuck”.

To your success!?

What Do You Truly Want?

July 26, 2010 by  
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Seriously, what do you want?  Something for nothing doesn’t exist and unfortunately for many of us, neither does the land of Dairy Queen with its chocolate mountains adorned with peanuts, topped with ice cream and flowing rivers of chocolate and caramel!  So let’s just be real for a moment.
You’ve been told all your life that you have this great voice and should be a voice over talent.

That’s not enough!

You’re curious about the possibility of becoming a voice over talent.  People have told you that you have a great voice and it’s something you’d like to explore.

That’s better!

You want to be a professional voice over talent. You want to know how to do it right and want to get mentoring from real working voice over professionals who are doing what you want to do.

Now you’re talking!

If you want to be taken seriously, you must have serious intentions.  You must clearly define what you want and decide what you are willing to give to get it.   It’s quite simple, really.  To complete a triathlon you will need to be able to swim, bike, and run.  That will require some strength, cardio and endurance training. Additionally, you will need to fuel your body appropriately and have the right gear to complete the event. That will likely mean investing in some professional training to learn and improve your skills in each of the three sports, disciplining yourself to commit to the training regimen – even when you don’t feel like it – and investing in the appropriate gear so you can compete.

To compete as a voice over talent, you will need to be able to record your voice and deliver a variety of scripts, be teachable and directable, invest in professional training to learn and improve upon your skills and create a kickin’ demo.  You’ll need to discipline yourself to commit to the training, auditioning, editing and follow-through – even when you don’t feel like it – and invest in the appropriate equipment to get the job done.

You know what you need to do.  So what’s holding you back?

You need to want it enough to invest your time, money and energy into making what you want your reality. You need to want it – not your friends or all those people who have told you all your life that you have the most amazing voice.  If you don’t want it, investing your time, money and energy into training is simply foolish!

You need to want it and be bold enough to commit to it.  If you are not willing to commit to it, you will certainly fail because you will not be willing to give your full effort into making it happen. When you want it enough to commit to it, then the time, money and effort you invest in making it your reality will be an investment you are excited to make in yourself.

Good luck!

Find Your Why and Find Your Will

January 7, 2010 by  
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What is your “why”?  You need to know or your resolve will be weak at best.  Your “why” is your reason, your motivation for making one more phone call, doing one more audition, doing one more take… even when you don’t feel like it, especially when you don’t feel like it.  Your “why” will likely be a mix of rational and emotional reasons and, digging deeper, the emotional reasons are behind the rational ones anyway.   Either way, your “why” must be strong enough to move you to action!

It’s really no different from what we do in our voice over work.   We play to the “why” of the client’s target audience, using our voice to invoke the emotions of the audience to take action on the message we deliver.  We color the emotional words in the script, the words that emphasize the “why”.   Speak to their “why” and they will buy.  So will you, but you need to know your “why”.

So what’s your why?  Why are you a voice talent?  Is it the freedom to own your own business and call the shots?  Is it the flexibility of working from your own home?  Is it the perceived image or celebrity status of hearing your voice and knowing you were paid well to use it?  Maybe it’s the thrill of the challenge. Perhaps it’s the ability to finally do something you love!  Whatever your “why” is, find it and write it down.  Post it so you can see it each day as a reminder to keep doing what you need to do, whether its paperwork, auditions, takes, edits, you name it!  Find your “why” and you’ll find your will.

Is 2010 Your Year?

December 30, 2009 by  
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I’m dedicating this year to be the year of laughter, love, and living life to the fullest! It’s going to be my best year yet!  A year to take hold of my passions and work to make my dreams a reality.  A year to launch Voice Over Club, to speak at VOICE 2010, to challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone!

I am passionate about what I do and am blessed to work from home as a voice talent, producer, and coach.  I thoroughly enjoy all three aspects of what I do – they complete me.  It hasn’t always been this way.  It started as a dream, something I wanted to learn about and pursue.  Then I made the decision, took action, and followed through with resolve.

I had to learn to take action!  Each day I took action in my voice over career created a confidence in me that pushed me forward.  Each week built up momentum. Each month built credibility.  Each year my income increased.  I just had to start.

What are your dreams?  Are you a prospective voice talent or are you a voice talent?  Which one do you aspire to be?  If you’re serious about being a professional voice talent, do you have professional training and demos?  If not, what is your plan to get them?  What is your time-line?  What will you do to challenge where you are today so you can be where you want to be a year from now?  We each have the same number of hours in a day, the same number of days in a week, the same number of days in a year to accomplish what we choose to accomplish.  The only difference is in our priorities.

Go ahead and decide what you want!  Take action!  Follow through with resolve and make this your best year yet!

Wishing you joyful abundance and blessings for the New Year!

Brand You!

November 19, 2009 by  
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You are the entire package!  You have the skills, the personality, the training, the equipment and home studio setup, the knowledge, dedication, and attention to detail.  You’re it!  But how will anyone know?

It’s all about your brand. Regardless of your voice over prowess you need to figure out your brand.  Your brand is your image, your reputation, how people come to know you and what you’re about!  Competition is fierce, and as a voice over talent, if you don’t know how to brand yourself, much less know your brand, you might as well step into oblivion.

The concept is simple really.  Assess your strengths and what makes you unique.  Think of how you want to be known and begin positioning yourself.  What do you need to do to make your vision of you a reality?  You definitely need to have the obvious business cards, web site, demo, and social media presence.  That’s a given.

Here’s where the pros differ from the amateurs. Consistency.  Frequency. Quality.  Value.  Exposure.  The consistency and the frequency, and the quality and the value of your exposure are critical components of your brand.  Look at your current exposure. Is it consistently portraying the level of quality you deliver?  Is it portraying the value of what you have to offer?  How often are the right people exposed to your brand?  Now take a look at the opportunities to improve in each of those areas and begin!

Branding takes time and effort, but it is time and effort well invested.  Your brand speaks for you when you are not present to speak for yourself.  The fact remains, whether you choose to brand yourself or not, you will be branded!  The pros are sought after not solely for their voice over skills, but because they branded themselves so their voice over skills would be sought after.  What’s your brand?

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