Fast Food Voice Hobbyists Are Not Your Competition

February 25, 2016 by  
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Do you think a four-star restaurant chef panicked over the new McDonald’s value menu?

Could you picture him in the kitchen sweating bullets, worrying that his loyal customers will abandon his Filet Mignon for McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish?

Of course not! The odds of something like that ever happening in real-life are ridiculously low, right? But, why is that the case? The bottom line is that a four-star restaurant chef knows that fast food is nowhere near his radar.

Sure, he might not have any $5 value menus or Buy One-Get One Free coupons for his menu items, but he knows that he doesn’t really need them either. The quality of his food and customer service speak itself. Customers looking for that type of quality know they will have to pay a lot more for it than they would in a McDonald’s drive thru.

You might be thinking, “Why is Terry talking about food? Is he craving a burger or something?” No, it’s nothing like that. Let me get to the point before you all start thinking about your next meal.

If high-quality restaurant chefs are not worried about low-quality fast food, why should a high-quality VO professional worry about low-quality Fiverr talents?

The same “ridiculous” response that you more than likely thought as you listened to my illustration should be the same response you give when you think about your potential clients choosing Fiverr deals over your services.

Fast food customers are not concerned about quality, which is why they will never expect to receive Filet Mignon for a Filet-o-Fish price. The same principle is true for VO customers. If they are seriously looking for a quality VO professional that can deliver quality work, they are not going to look for a cheap deal to save a few bucks. They will fully understand that quality professionals have quality rates for their services – and the great ones never budge on their prices.

Stop trying to figure out a way to compete with those “fast food” VO professionals. Continue to cook up those quality projects in your VO “kitchen” for your clients, because the ones that you want are the ones that will pay your rates without hesitation.

The average customer would think twice before taking advantage of a 99 cent deal for Filet Mignon, right? The same red flags wave in front of quality VO clients when they see deals for low-price VO deals.

You just need to trust in yourself and your services. Stop panicking over who’s heading towards the Fiverr drive-thru and pay more attention to the people looking for the long-haul journey of quality Voiceover services. At the end of the day, those are the clients that will stick around and help you to build your business – not the bargain bin customers that choose price over performance.

 

…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.

Lowballing Is Normal In ALL Businesses!

June 6, 2013 by  
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Yeah, I know exactly what you’re thinking right now. After you read the title of this blog, you probably thought, “Oh man! It’s yet ANOTHER blog about lowballing in the voiceover industry!” I know you might find it ironic and even a little funny that I have already made a post advising people to stop blogging about this topic and here I am – jumping on the bandwagon right along with the rest of them. Before you decide to click away or curse me out in an email or private facebook message, bear with me for a moment because I’ve developed a perspective that is much different from many others and just might lead this bandwagon in a completely different direction.

Within this industry (and in the world of professional services in general), it is important to have a “Field of Dreams” perspective when it comes to quality. What do I mean by that? Well, if you are familiar with the movie, then you probably already know where this is going, but (for those that do not), “Field of Dreams” was a hit 1989 Kevin Costner movie about a farmer that follows the guidance of a mysterious voice to plow under his corner in to build a baseball field. The voice uttered one of the most famous movie quotes of all time, “If you build it, he will come.”

His wife allows him to go through with it, but they both later regret the decision when they realize that no one came, they were broke and were about to lose everything. However, that is when Kevin’s character (Ray) started receiving visitors who were actually dead baseball players from the early 1900s. The voice provides him with guidance to help these players fulfill their long lost dreams and goals. Other people believed that Ray was crazy, because he was the only person that could hear the voice and see the players so they kept urging him to change his mind, replant his crops and get back to making money as a farmer. However, Ray ignored them and kept moving forward, helping these players fulfill their dreams. Towards the end of the movie, Ray’s dream was fulfilled as he was reunited with his late father followed by thousands of people driving to the field to watch the game, making it a huge success.

Now, you might be asking yourself, “What in the world does this movie have to do with lowballing in the voiceover industry?” Before you start thinking that I have lost my mind, that I am hearing voices or that I just really love watching Kevin Costner movies, hear me out.

Regardless of the type of work we do or the specific industry that we might be working in when we do it, we always need to focus on providing quality work for quality pay. It is very easy to get so caught up in the playing the game of numbers that you forget about what is truly important. There are so many lowballing parasites that are feeding off of the voiceover industry right now that it can be extremely difficult to survive in this industry. Many people have decided to drastically drop all of their prices and become one of those parasites just to be able to make a little money. Even though that may seem like the key to success, many voiceover talents and artists find out the hard way every year that it is not.

If you focus on building a quality business, then you should not settle for anything less than quality pay for the hard work and consistent effort that you bring to the table day in and day out. There are many more customers out there right now that are looking to spend as little as they can to get what they need than there are customers that are willing to pay quality prices for quality work. However, that latter group is the only group that we should be targeting! We need to be willing to stand our ground and be fully prepared to defend our work, refusing to compromise or jeopardize our quality standards just to be able to work for a client that clearly has no respect for them. You can’t expect to find a diamond in a shop that only offers cubic zirconia and you definitely should not expect to purchase a brand new vehicle that runs great from a salvage yard. Therefore, why would a customer expect to receive anything other than cheap imitations and junk from a lowballing voice talent?

This is the picture that we have to be willing to paint for our prospective clients that are “shopping around” and “weighing their options” but always seem to be leaning more towards the lowballing talent instead. Whenever a client even thinks about using the line, “Well, Mr. Lowballer is willing to do this work for half of what you charge,” I simply will reply with something like, “You would not even be able to receive half of the quality that I can offer you, Mr. Customer, for half of the price!”

We have to be confident in ourselves as professionals. Instead of whining about the different lowballing workers that are hunting down as many clients as they can, focus on taking a stand and reminding your clients why they should stay with you in the first place. Remind them that quality is not something that comes cheap. Even though they may pay a little more upfront, they will get exactly what they need the first time around instead of being forced to pay even more on the back-end to have a lowballing contractor’s work fixed or replaced all together.

Think about it just like you would a poker game. A lowballing contractor wants to make people think that they have the perfect hand, but is really just a great bluffer. Instead of identifying their bluffs and staying in the game, there are so many quality players that willingly giving up their quality hands as a sign of surrender. Don’t give up! Keep fighting by continuously raising the stakes until they are forced to reveal their cards to their clients. That is the moment that we should be fighting for because that is the moment when those customers and clients that insisted on “shopping around” and “weighing their options” will start to realize that they were wrong all along.

Instead of being so quick to match lowballing offers, take a different approach. Do not focus too much on defense, but, rather, focus on a counterattack. Use the work of lowballing talent against them in order to show your prospective clients a sneak preview of what they might be getting by deciding to reject your offer because of a pricing difference. One of the most effective tools that I use is found at this link: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMtmeQRuU6k. Whenever someone tries to get me engaged in a bidding war with lowballing workers that charge $50, I simply send them that YouTube link to show them exactly what they can get for $50.

I am not using this YouTube link as a way of bashing this person, so please do not take it that way. I use this as a tool as a two-edged sword to remind myself why I will never compromise the quality standards that I have set for my work just to close a few more clients and it reminds my potential and existing clients about why they should never expect me to do so.

If a client expects quality work, they should be focused on investing the right sound for their project more than the right price. If you build a quality business, quality clients will come! Other people and professionals will try to discourage you, distort your vision and distract you from achieving your goals. That is just because they do not see what you see when they look at your business. They cannot see the successful baseball diamond, because they are too focused on the cornfield. They cannot see the needles, because they are too distracted by the haystacks.

Just as they need to go to a diamond jeweler for diamonds and a dealership for a brand new car, lowballing clients are never going to find the true gems and showroom quality that they expect without coming to you first. That is the mentality that you need to have and fight to maintain, regardless of how many clients seem to be turning you down because of it. I would rather struggle for 10 quality clients that each lead to thousands of dollars of work this year instead of for thousands of clients that only wants to pay me 10 dollars.

Believe in your work. Believe that what you can offer to your client is worth every dollar that they spend for it, even if it is a little more than they expected to pay upfront. This is how you will be able to achieve the success and longevity that you have been dreaming about since you first began this journey. And do not let any lowballing client ever make you think otherwise.

For the record, yes – I do like Kevin Costner movies, but that’s not the point! (Lol) Use that perspective to clear the field of corny lowballing clients and plant the seeds that will allow you to eventually cultivate a field of dream client that will offer you high-quality pay for high-quality work for many years to come!

Show Me The Clients!

May 28, 2013 by  
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Do you remember how you treated your very first client?

You probably spent hours each day trying to stay in contact with them – through phone, e-mail, text or whatever other form of technology you had available at that time. You were interested in getting to know everything about them, personally and professionally, and made yourself available to them whenever they needed you, right? Why?

Because you knew that they were all you had. If they left, you would have been left with nothing. It is imperative that we do not lose that line of reasoning. View every single client the same way that you did the very first one. Get to know them like the back of your hand; find out their needs and do whatever you can to make sure that they are met.

The last thing that you want is for your clients to feel the need to go anywhere else for something that you can provide. Become a one-stop convenience shop for all of their vocal needs and services. Think about every other successful business today. When they realized that they did not have something that their customers needed, what did they do? They found a way to get it!

Why did McDonald’s start selling chicken sandwiches and salads? Why did Wal-Mart expand into “Super Centers” with garden, grocery and even automobile departments? Have you noticed that the local convenience store up the street is starting to carry more and more products every time that you shop there?

These companies understand that, as professionals, we have to struggle in order to stay relevant in our industry. This is true even if it means that we have to branch off into other industries just to enhance the quality and efficiency of our own services. If you cannot do something for a client but know someone that can, introduce your client to the “other” services that are offered by your company?

If you are a male but your client needs a female for a new voiceover project, introduce them to the other voices that you have available on your roster. You might be scratching your head, saying “But I don’t have any female voices on my roster!” If not, then you better find one! There are plenty of websites available today that can connect you directly to freelance voiceover artists looking for work. Facebook is a great tool for this as well. Put these sources to work for you. The goal is to make sure that your clients only have one name in mind whenever they need the services that you offer – yours!

Building this type of rapport with your customers and clients will make it much easier to ask for referrals and even ask for more business from them. They will be able to clearly see that they are more than just a number to you. They will strongly believe that you do not view them as expendable assets or mere pawns on a chess board that can be given away to the other side without causing any significant damage. They will be able to see that you truly care about them and their needs and will be willing to do whatever it takes to show you just how valuable you are to them as well.

Remember the Academy Award-winning film, Jerry Maguire, with Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding, Jr.? I’ve only seen it like 89 times! In this movie, Tom Cruise plays a successful sports agent that has an epiphany inspiring him to focus more on truly appreciating each individual client by focusing on their individual needs instead of focusing too much on having an abundance of clients because the only thing that you care about is the commission. Even though his character was chastised and criticized for this and literally had to start his business over again from scratch, he was able to build a more solid foundation based on quality instead of quantity that created a path for him to be achieve an astronomical level of success in the near future!

Have the Jerry Maguire mentality. Be willing to do what your competitor’s don’t so that you can live the life that your competitors won’t! If you view all of your customers as expendable assets, what happens when they are all gone? You are completely out of assets! If your customers are nothing but mere chess pawns that you allow to be taken easily, then your game is going to end much sooner than you think.

Keep in mind the words of Kenneth B. Elliott, Vice President of sales for the The Studebaker Corporation who said that “a customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”

Remember that your customers are the reason why you exist as a professional. They are your family. Their projects are your children. Your clients are your keys to personal and professional success. Take care of them now or someone else will be more than happy to take care of them later!

 

How to Cure the Disease of Negativity in Your Voiceover Business

February 20, 2013 by  
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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that companies collectively lose close to $3 billion on a yearly basis because of the negativity within the workplace that is manifested through the attitudes and behavior reflected within the work environment. Can you imagine how much you would be able to do for your business and for your family with even just a small chunk of that loss each year?

Your income and lifestyle may drastically change, would it not? Well, the next time that you are feeling negative yourself or are becoming surrounded and overwhelmed by negativity, the best thing that you could do for yourself and your business at that moment would be to imagine you throwing hundreds and thousands of dollar bills into that $3 billion annual pit. If people that have to punch the clock every single day have to deal with negativity in their workplace, what makes you think that you will not have to deal with even more of it on a daily basis since you are working for yourself?

Even though the voiceover business can be very profitable at times, there are instances where you can go weeks and even months without regular work. Does that give you the right to sulk, sob and whine about your lack of work? No! However, is that something that is very easy to do? Of course it is! There are days where I feel like a punching a hole in my lava lamp! Yes, I have one! Why is that? The simple answer to that question is because it is extremely easy to be negative – especially when you have nothing but negativity around you. Just as it is much easier to reflect on everything that went wrong for you in your business last year than it is to remember exactly when and how you went right, it is easy to become fully clothed by negativity on almost any topic – personally or professionally. What happens when you indulge yourself in the dark world of negativity? Think about that for a moment and the answer will become evidently clear.

You wake up tomorrow morning only to find that you do not have any e-mail messages or responses from the jobs that you submitted auditions for recently. The only people that have left messages for you in your voicemail are bill collectors demanding money from you that you just do not have free to give them yet – especially since there are no clients that are calling you about upcoming projects that they want to hire you to complete. Now here you are – sitting in front of your computer with nothing to do. What do you do at that very moment?

Let’s say that you decide to feed into the negativity. You start whining and complaining to your colleagues, friends and family members through face-to-face chats or even chats on Facebook. You may even just talk to yourself as you pace back and forth in your studio, whining about how all you need is one big break and how you are so upset that you have not been given that big opportunity yet. Hours and hours have now passed. Nothing has been done and you decide to close up shop for the day and do something completely unrelated to your career before going to sleep only to wake up to the same cycle of negativity the next morning.

So, let’s focus on the original question again. What happens when you indulge yourself in the dark world of negativity, though? Nothing! By feeding into that negativity, you are spending your entire day and night complaining about everything that is preventing you from getting ahead but you are not taking the time to truly find out what it takes for you to take one step forward in the right direction. You need to reverse that in order to truly see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you truly do want to feed into the negativity, that is fine but you have to be smart about what you are being negative about. What does that mean?

Think about the simple math. When you add a negative to a negative, you are just getting a sum of the two negatives together so that is all that you end up with – a bigger negative. However, if you take a negative and use it to create a product out of a negative (hint: multiplication), then you will be able to generate a positive result.

You have to be able to have a negative outlook about the negativity that surrounds you. Don’t feed into it, adding to the negativity that is already existing because you will get nowhere by doing so. The key is to transform that negative into a positive product by any means necessary! Instead of complaining to your colleagues and friends, spend that time trying to brainstorm ideas with them about what you can do to get more leads and open more doors. Instead of using Facebook to ventilate about all of the things that are going wrong with your day, use this social networking tool to reach out to prospective clients and customers in order to focus on doing at least one thing right!

By not spending your entire day complaining and whining about nothing being built onto the foundation of your business, focus all of your efforts on how you can add just one brick at a time each day. Negativity is contagious, but (just like any other virus) it can be treated and prevented. You just have to keep your eyes open to the signs and the symptoms of this disease and shut them down quickly through early detection and prompt treatment before it spreads any further.

Otherwise, you might as well just start calculating how much money you will be contributing to that $3 billion pit in 2013.

 

Ten Reasons Your Microphone Is Collecting Dust

June 6, 2012 by  
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1.) You’re taking your clients for granted: You’ve built up a solid clientele, and now you’re assuming they’re always going to be there. This can be a dangerous assumption when it comes to developing your professional career as a voiceover artist. Never assume that those regular clients are going to be eternally consistent. This is a business and it’s important to reach out to new and existing clients on a regular basis. Continue working to earn their business because nothing is ever guaranteed in life.

2.) You’re not making time for marketing: It may sound basic, but a successful marketing campaign is what launches a career. Not only do you need to be sending demos out, but they need to be reaching agencies, production companies, marketing firms as well as audio-visual services weekly. Making the most of your voice means getting it out into the world and hopefully, ringing in the right ears. Make a point to prove to top executives that you have what it takes by actively submitting your best work with confidence.

3.) You’re not keeping it fresh: It may be easy to recycle the same demo time and again, but that doesn’t mean it’s the most effective method. Copy can become outdated as quickly as any music trend, so it’s important to update your material regularly. Promoting demos you used a year ago doesn’t show anyone that you have the ability to evolve. Market your talent, growth and ability to stay current in the industry by continually tweaking your demo to fit professional standards and trends.

4.) There’s a void in your virtual world: In our age of modern technology, it’s imperative that voiceover artists maintain a website to showcase their talents and run their business. Not only does this exponentially expand your sphere of promotional marketing, but it gives you a platform to connect with potential clients and share advice with other professionals in the industry.

5.) You’ve invested in sub-par sound quality: If your sound isn’t professional, it’s going to be difficult to be taken as one in the industry. If you’re sending out recordings and audition tapes that are fuzzy or filled with background noise, it’s only distracting from the star of the show—your own voice. In a business that runs on audio, quality is key. That being said, it’s important to invest in treating your recording studio. If it’s a job that seems out of reach, than it’s time to make an appointment with George Whittam (God of all things audio). A little Whittam influence will go a long way in turning your amateur sound into professional success.

6.) You’re a no-show at networking events: A large part of marketing your services is meeting up with people who can boost your career and make your visions a reality. In order to meet these individuals, you must attend scheduled meet-and-greets, as well as events hosted by the Chamber of Commerce in your area. Not only are these opportunities to network with other professionals, but it’s your chance to hand out business cards and really get your name moving in industry circles of influence.

7.) Your taking your time getting work finished: A true professional doesn’t just finish on time… they finish ahead of schedule. In any business, it takes work to make sure you’re standing out in a crowd and the voiceover industry is no exception to the rule. When it comes to completing work for your clients, be early and show them you’re exceptional. Give yourself the time, space and focus you know you’ll need to delivery incredible work in a timeframe that leaves clients knocking on your door time and again!

8.) You’ve cut out coaching: Those who are most successful in the voiceover business never stop learning. Professional voiceover artists are always working with coaches to remedy bad habits that may have slipped into their delivery patterns. Additionally, coaches are incredible marketing resources and can help keep you up-to-date on what platforms are available for getting your work into the right hands. Never turn down an opportunity to work with someone who can improve your method and help put you a step ahead of the competition.

9.) You’re not paying attention to protocol: When it comes to submitting demos, following directions and paying attention to the details is essential. Always take time to check the talent agency website and carefully package your demo according to their standards. Sending an mp3 attachment when they’ve specifically asked for a CD, is a sure way to miss out on a great opportunity.

10.) You’re not utilizing social media: While you may not be a personal fan of Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin, the fact of the matter is that businesses are booming in the wake of their influence. Not only are they FREE and powerful marketing tools, but they provide a consistent client pool each and every month. Push past the idea of viewing social media as nothing more than conversations and photos. Instead, begin to use the virtual world to benefit your business endeavors.

Please help support our cause. Try Voice Over Club today for just $1: www.voiceoverclub.com/join-now 

Quality Of Service Over Quantity Of Prices

February 16, 2012 by  
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Two people decide to open their own separate restaurants on the same street. Both restaurants serve the same type of food and drinks and they both are able to satisfy their customers. If you’re hungry, going to either restaurant would satisfy your appetite. One of the biggest differences is that one restaurant charges more for their food than the other restaurant, even though it is the same type of food being served in both places. Even though people looking to save money would more than likely go to the cheaper restaurant, the higher-priced restaurant is not budging on their prices whatsoever and are still able to bring in a lot of business themselves. Why is this? Why don’t they feel the need to lower their prices to meet or beat their competition?

The primary reason for this is because they focus more on their quality of service than their quantity of prices. Sure, you may be able to get food from the other place for lower prices. However, the quality of the food that you get there would not be able to compare to the quality that they are able to guarantee their customers will experience each and every time they walk through their restaurant doors. Their chefs are educated experts in their culinary crafts, their wait staff has been thoroughly trained to provide the best service and the overall experience that their customers have when they eat there far outranks anything that the competing store could provide for their customers. Another reason why their prices are not affected by their competitors is because of the confidence that they have in their quality. They know that their competitors cannot come close to providing the quality of service to their customers that they have become known for. Therefore, they are confident that their customers will be able to see the difference and value it more to the point of paying more money just to experience it.

This scenario applies to almost every single scenario in the business world. Think about it for a moment! Why does Verizon Wireless charge so much for their service when there are so many other companies providing the same type of services for over half of their prices? Why does Disney World charge so much for admission when there are hundreds of other theme parks that don’t charge their visitors anywhere close to what they do?

No matter what situation you think of, it is all for the same reason. Experience, education, expertise, longer track records of successful service and an overwhelming number of satisfied customers all contribute to the overall quality that sets these higher-priced businesses apart from all other businesses.

Quality service should not be sacrificed just to be able to make a quick buck. This principle also applies to our industry as voice actors. We should not feel the need to change anything that we are doing or the rates that we are currently charging for our services just because of our undercutting competitors. Companies such as Voice Jockeys, Internet Jock and Voice Bunny have become popular in the industry because they are able to offer the same type of service that we are for much lower prices. Does this make them better than us? Of course not! Why? Because what we are able to offer, they can not.

We did not take the cheap route in being able to make it to this point in our careers and to become the skilled experts that we are at what we do for our clients. Therefore, why would we take the cheap route in getting customers to use our services over anyone else’s? Verizon is able to draw more wireless customers by refusing to lower their prices, because they are subliminally sending the message to people that there must be something that they have that no one else does. When playing Poker, if someone at the table continuously raises their bet without hesitation, you start to wonder to yourself, “What is in their hand? What kind of cards are they playing with?” The same sense of curiosity applies in the business world and is a great tactic in attracting new customers that want to experience whatever secret they have that no one else does.

We are not going to win over every single customer. That is just not realistic. No matter how good you are at what you do, there will always be someone that will want to follow the cheapest route possible. Some people will continue to choose companies like Voice Bunny over us the same way that they choose other theme parks over Disney World and other cell phone providers over Verizon Wireless. However, like these elite companies that do not budge, we have to continuously have confidence in the quality of our service that only we can provide. Fighting hard to compete with the prices of companies that do not measure up to our level of expertise, skillset and knowledge doesn’t make us better than them; it actually only makes us worse.

Would you really want to sacrifice all of the money that you should be getting by taking a firm, confident stand for the few extra bucks that you would literally be slaving over by lowering your standards and expectations to meet theirs?

The Art of the Voiceover

July 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Free Videos

Terry Daniel, voiceover artist and coach discusses the world of voiceover talent on FOX 9 News in Minneapolis.

The Art of the Voiceover: MyFoxTWINCITIES.com

An Epidemic: Mediocrity

January 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

How many times have we said the phrase “Ah, it’s good enough” when we knew darn well that is wasn’t? God knows, I have been guilty of that myself.  Mediocrity should be illegal in this country.  A crime punishable by a slap in the face and a kick in the ass!  Okay, I’m kidding.  Sort of.

When I first started out in voiceovers, I didn’t have the same principles that I do now.  I would record a script and send it off.  Always with the old “that should be good enough” phrase dancing in my brain and rushing to move on to the next project.  I realized how unsatisfied I felt working this way – I knew I needed to make a change.  Once I started giving every project my best and full attention, I felt fulfilled.  It actually ended up giving me more time in my day because I wasn’t going back and forth with clients to make changes and edits.

When we settle for mediocrity and don’t do our best – our integrity and creativity starts to get lost. We tend to spread ourselves too thin, so we don’t do anything well.  I can say from experience that this is not a good place to be – for ourselves, our clients or even society.  Whether I am producing a voiceover demo for a student or a commercial for a client, I always take the time to review it.  Listen!  Listen!  Listen!  You are always going to be able to do it better.  Don’t do something once, say that it’s great and pass it on.  Work at it like an artist works on a painting.

The creative industry is filled with talented people with short attention spans, I should know, I am one of them!  Clients used to tell me that I sounded like I was in a hurry or that I was rushing the copy.  Again, this goes back to the frame of mind I was in.  I was not in the mindset of a professional.  I would always try and get each project done as quickly as possible without even thinking about the client.  Shame on you, Terry!  I was settling for mediocrity.

The great Martin Luther King Jr said “Whatever your life’s work is, do it well.  A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead and the unborn could do it no better.”

Find your passion, don’t settle and you will be amazed at what you can do!

Be The One!

December 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

The Holidays are upon us in full swing and, in all of the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and perhaps quite tempting to forego sending out cards to family and friends, much less business associates. Big mistake.

Here’s the deal. If you want to be a top of mind voice over talent, you have to remain top of mind in the eyes of the clients. A fantastic way to do this is to send your clients and business associates a holiday greeting card that expresses your sincere gratitude for your relationship and wishes them well this season and in the New Year. It’s so very easy and so very important.

The statistics go like this. 10 people know they should send cards. Out of those 10, 3 of them never will. Another 3 will send out some generic card with their signature. Still another 3 will send cards with an added generic message. Yet only 1 will send out a card with a sincere, personalized message. Who do you think they will remember?

Be the one they will remember!

Here’s the great news – You still have time! Several sites allow you to personalize cards and send them either via mail or email like Hallmark.com, American Greetings.com or JibJab.com. Rattlebox.com even allows you to make personalized video cards. Some of the sites even allow you to track when your e-card is viewed and often times you will receive a response from the recipient too which opens the door for another opportunity to serve your clients in the New Year.

Wishing you all the best and every success this Holiday Season and in the New Year!

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