Let’s Rock the Mic in 2014!

January 4, 2014 by  
Filed under Blog

The clock has been reset. The slate has been wiped clean. You are back at day one. Now what? Do you put the pedal to the medal and go for broke, hoping for the best? Sure…if you want to crash and burn before February.

Look at January 1st the same that you would the first of any month. Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean that the fun, vivacious and jolly spirit you had for the last three months needs to end right along with them. However, it can definitely be tough to get the ball rolling after the holidays. You have to go back to reality – away from the close friends, new friends and family members that you became so close to throughout the holiday season. Whether your holiday season didn’t pan out the way that you planned or you weren’t quite ready for it to come to an end, it is very easy to shut down emotionally and mentally at this time of the year. For those of us who live in the Midwest, the cold and snowy January weather really doesn’t help us to put any pep in our step either. What are you supposed to do? What is the best way to break through this awkward period and get us back on track?

For voice talents, keep yourself pumped up with water and Vitamin D, make sure that your studio AND your face are both well-lit and get back to work! Even if you don’t have any solid sales or meetings coming up, fill up your calendar anyway! Schedule time to catch up with a client that you already have or a prospect that you’ve had in your funnel since last year. This will help you to keep your mind busy, blood pumping and energy flowing.

Take a look back at your business plan and make sure that it POPS! No, I don’t mean to make it colorful, bright and filled with pictures. I mean – make sure that it P.O.P.S – Predict, Organize, Present and Stay up-to-date. Let’s break this down a little further.

Think about where you were able to take your business back in 2013, but focus on where you want it to go in 2014. Get back to basics when it comes to studying the market, searching for potential opportunities for growth as well as improvement. Network with other voice talents in the industry today to pick their brains and use the Internet wisely as a resource for further research and reference. Keep in mind that everything is not going to go as planned, so you have to be fully prepared for the bumps and roadblocks ahead while remaining optimistic.

Before you become too focused on how big you want your business to grow in 2014, make sure that you can afford to get it there. Consider all of your expenses for the year and make sure that you will have enough capital and generated revenue to stay afloat. Keep in mind that clients may come and go but remaining under budget will keep your business open forever. Maintain balance by considering a 10 percent cushion hypothetically – reducing projected revenues by 10% and increasing them by 10%. Develop a detailed marketing plan that covers your complete strategy when it comes to maximizing exposure, reaching new customers and getting more work from your old ones. Make sure that your marketing plan covers the online and offline worlds. Having a Facebook brand page has been extremely effective for me. Make sure to get one going this year! They show up not only in facebook searches but Google searches as well. Complement that brand page with an official website and traditional advertising methods (i.e. post-cards, business cards, etc.)

Whether you’re marketing via snail mail or email, have some effective templates ready. Keep them brief. Prospective clients do NOT want to hear your life story or how incredibly awesome you think your voice is. Your demos should speak for themselves. Have a game plan in place. When I first started doing voiceovers from home, I built a spread sheet of potential clients that I discovered from directories on the Internet and Linkedin! Spend ample time putting something like that together before you make initial contact.

A perfect plan today is not necessarily going to be a perfect plan tomorrow. Think about the different loops, twists and turns that your business had to endure throughout the roller-coaster of 2013. Do you honestly expect anything different just because the year changed? Take the time to study and update your business plan periodically throughout the year, measuring your progress and searching for new opportunities for growth. Never be afraid to make changes, especially if those changes can potentially lead to you taking your business to the next level.

Go back in time to 11:59 PM – December 31, 2013. You are filled with hope, ambition and drive. You are pumped, motivated and excited. You are clearly ready to take on the world, making your professional and personal life so much better in the year to come. You can’t wait for the final second of the night to pass so you can get to work. Keep that passionate drive! Do not allow the change of date to change your pace and focus.

HAPPY 2014!

Ten Reasons Your Microphone Is Collecting Dust

June 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

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.

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