To quote Tom Daniels, a fellow VO talent and friend (at least on facebook!), “If you have your equipment together (which today can be a laptop with free editing/recording software, a good USB Mic and a quiet area to record), you are just nanoseconds away from any location worldwide! The rest is passion, talent and marketing skills.”
Well said, Tom.
Passion – yes! You’ve got to love the process of lifting those words off the page (or computer screen) and bringing them to the ears, heart and mind of your listener.
Talent – value it, and keep at it! The great VO talents work constantly on improving skills, not only because it’s necessary in this ever-changing business. but because its’ challenging and fun. Complacency only gets you so far. There’s a mortgage payment due next month, too.
Marketing skills. Ah, yes, the missing piece for so many hopeful beginners. I teach a class called “Investigate Voice Over” for Edge Studio, and am amazed at how many seem surprised that VoiceOver is a business. We’d all like to be discovered by the some imaginary roving VO talent scout, but lets’ face it. Um, no.
Investment is part of running any small business.
So this week I am working with the terrific team at Artist Upgrade to revise my website. They are worth every single penny. I can’t wait to unveil the results!
And on Friday, it’s a trip to Atlanta for faffcon2! I got so much out of the first one, in Portland (yes, I am a “faffcon founder”), that I would not miss this chance to learn, teach, connect and laugh for the world. More investment, and greater return than you can imagine. Voiceover folks form the most generous, humorous, caring community.
And networking is vital – online, sure, but occasionally a friendly face in person is a welcome change –and much more effective. Last week I went to a live-and-in-person networking event in Connecticut – the CT Business Hall of Fame monthly gathering. Got up at 6 AM to drive to Hartford by 7:30, and sip lukewarm coffee while we each stood up to talk about our businesses in 30 seconds or less. Who was there? Bankers, Real Estate brokers, insurance agents, Amway people. At first I thought, “No media producers? No ad agencies?” Why did I get up so early?” – and then I rethought.
Duh, Randye. Everyone in this room has a business, a brand, and needs to present that brand. This room is full of end-users. What voice is on their phone system? How many real-estate brokers need audio for virtual tours? Whose voice is creating the first impression for their business, when customers call or click? And I was the only voice over talent in the room.
Bottom line – I revised my 30-second intro speech to revolve around the needs of the people in the room. I collected about 10 business cards, and gave away more than that. I followed up on each contact, and two have already turned into potential work for me. And – oh yeah – I met some nice people, and had fun.
Networking in person: priceless. That’s investment.