Tag Archives: faffcon

Voice Talents: Go Outside and Play! (and Faffcamp)

Voice Talents spend way too much time indoors. In fact, on certain days (neighbors mowing lawns, airplanes zooming by) we kind of curse the outdoors. Noisy!  Those of us who do this full-time, and primarily from home,  know that when we are not recording and editing we are “supposed” to be still chained to the computer: marketing, researching, attending webinars, adding to databases, flaunting our latest work….and before we know it our brain hurts from activity but our bodies hurt from inactivity.

Plus, unless we’ve been lucky enough to work that day in an outside studio with actual other humans, we are often isolated and mentally locked in. Yes. This has become an occupational hazard.  And while the “Social Media Water Coolers” (facebook groups, video conference calls, blogs, twitter, etc) provide a lovely reminder that we are, indeed, part of a community of others in the same boat (or, rather, booth), they do not take the place of actual physical contact with other real live humans – and the world outside our sound-dampened spaces.

It happens if we want it to happen!

It happens if we want it to happen!

One big fix, of course, is to make room in your budget and schedule to attend some kind of voice over conference. These vary from local meet-up groups to the more national ones like WoVoCon or Faffcon. If you have heard of Faffcon but haven’t been able to get in (attendance is limited) , here is your chance to go to another incredible Faff-event called Faffcamp.  This will happen in March of 2015 but only if enough sign up by tonight! (July 10, 2014)  Newbies, this is your chance. Don’t blow it – take the step now! I can attest that every single time I have attended one of these, my spirit soars and my voiceover business increases. So register today, and if you use this code,  VT9026055 , you’ll get $25 off!

 

Between conferences, however, we need to take care of our mental and physical health as well – every day. So, on a daily basis – what to do?

Voice talents: go outside and play!  It is not something to do “if you have time” – make time. Continue reading

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The Full-Time Eclectic Voice Talent: Many Eggs, Several Baskets

When I created my Voice-Over website with the amazing folks at Artist Upgrade, we wrestled with the age-old question (well, for voice talents, anyway):

“Just” a Voice Talent, or  More?

I opted for the latter.

RandyeKaye.com

RandyeKaye.com

Yes, I am a full-time voice talent. My VO clients are my highest work priority. If you book me, the job will be done on time (well, usually before that deadline), at budget, and to your satisfaction.  This is what I do for a living. The only thing standing in the way of your project is a prior commitment to another job – and you will know about that before you book me for your project.

So – does that leave room for the other things in my life? Can I let my clients know that I also do other things? Stage, on-camera, writing, speaking, teaching, broadcasting — or, for that matter, parenting? rock climbing? (well, I don’t actually do that, but you get the point. Maybe you do it!)

You bet.  At least, that’s what we decided. Because every other skill and experience in life makes us better voice talents. Continue reading

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Fruits vs. Laurels:The Balanced VO Life

resting on our laurels?

resting on our laurels?

Running a small business is not for sissies. Nor is it for dreamers who don’t take steps toward the dream.

Yeah, yeah. We know that.

We know we can’t just rest on our laurels…but at times, we do need to enjoy the fruits of our labors.

Most of my voice-over pals get that first part; we don’t let ourselves rest on past success. Yes, we know…”you’re only as successful as your next booking.” In fact, we’re constantly sharing progress on our never-ending to-do lists (finish the project, register for Faffcon or Voice-Over Virtual, send the audition your agent wants) as well as ongoing projects

fruits of our labors...

fruits of our labors…

(organize clients and prospects clients into a database, write that next blog post, revamp the website and demos) – and, often, we feel we come up short when we look at what we still want to accomplish.

Nope, no resting on laurels here. What we forget to do – or sometimes don’t let ourselves do – is to enjoy some of the fruits of those labors.

Voice-Over Talents: Can a Small Business Owner Take a Break? Continue reading

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Ask, Show Up, Follow Up: Old-Fashioned Marketing Still Works

Take a look at your last ten voice-over jobs – or, if you are just starting out, think about another business venture you had that was successful, or even your solid friendships.

You may find that the “secret” to that success is as simple as ASF:

  • Ask

  • Show Up

  • Follow Up

business card

Step One?

Sales experts talk frequently about “5-7 Points of Contact”  before we “make a sale” – ooh how I hate that term – so why whine when after one contact we are not hired, especially in a business where the need for our particular service, with our unique sound, has to match at the right time?

Sure, there is a delicate balance between contacting and pestering…but stay helpful, respectful and patient — and then have faith in the process and in what you have to offer.

Here is an example:

A month ago, I received an e-mail from a local chapter of Ladies Who Launch.

Cool name, right?  I looked up the concept, and re-read the e-mail. It was an invite to go to the home of the local chapter Managing Director Kathy McShane  for a “Pot Luck” evening.

ASK: Who? What? But I wrote back to Kathy asking for more info. It Ladies-Who-Launchsounded really interesting: a gathering of local female entrepreneurs, solidifying goals for 2013. So I said yes. Risk? Sure! I knew none of these people. But for $15 and an entree contribution, I asked myself another important question: Why Not?

SHOW UP:  Chicken dish in hand, I went to the event. What a great group of women! After way too much food, we gathered to share what our businesses were about and what our goals were for 2013. Who was there? Realtors, garden designers, hot-dog-truck entrepreneurs, Mary Kay managers, insurance salespeople, interior designers…and not one other Voice Artist.  When it came time to share what I did, I simply told them all that “It’s my business to make your business sound better” – and went on to explain what that meant. Sometimes I play a demo from my SmartPhone, but it didn’t feel right here, so I didn’t. Still – lots of oohs and ahs, as if they’d never heard of a voice talent before. So I was really glad that I showed up.

FOLLOW UP:  Still, that was only one point of contact. Later that week Kathy sent a thank-you note to us all, and (with permissions) shared e-mail addresses. I waited a few days, and followed up with the group to re-introduce myself, share website info (demos)  and offer to help their businesses  make that “sound first impression.” Of the 35 women I contacted, three wrote back to me express interest –  and admiration.  I said thanks, and asked for permission to add them to my contact/mailing list.  They said yes, and now when I follow up with my client/prospect list with an update or newsletter, there will be more points of contact.

And there you go.  Any bookings out of this yet? No. But there might be. and meanwhile I met a really cool group of women!

As I write this, I am sitting in the broadcast booth at WSHU, an NPR affiliate where I get my occasional radio fix as understudy for the classical music hosts, newscasters, and talk-show announcers. How did I get this gig?

  • I asked for a tour after leaving my full-time commercial radio job
  • I showed up for the appointment, on-time and enthusiastic about the opportunity
  • I followed up with a big thank-you, and willingness to learn as many gigs here as possible.

So – how about those last ten bookings? Here’s how mine played out:

  • 1 agent booking
  • 2 from roster listings or P2P (new, but slightly different process)
  • 2 clients who use me monthly – telephone messages, radio imaging
  • 4  repeat clients – the backbone of any business!
  • 1 word-of-mouth referral
faffcon 4

Networking works great too – thanks, Faffy!

In this case, there were no brand-new clients – but all of them were, at one time, new to me. The relationship began with ASF, and continues with the addition of quality work.  Cultivate  your new clients – take that risk! So worth it.

And by the way, the formula works in friendship too 🙂

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Frequent Faffers: Why We Can’t Wait for Faffcon 5

Two weeks from now I’ll be back with fellow Voice Talents, this time in Charlotte, NC.

faffcon 4

loving faffy the mascot

My name is Randye and I am a frequent faffer. (everybody all together: “Hi, Randye!”)

Why? Why spend hard-earned voiceover income on plane fare, hotel lodging, and a registration fee? WIIFM? (“What’s in it for me….?”)

Oh, so much. That’s why I am doing it for the fifth time. Yes, I am not only a frequent faffer, I guess I’m kind of addicted.

If you are saying, “huh?”, allow me to explain.

This is from the official info department:
Voice talent from around the world (Australia, Great Britain,

founding faffers 2011

some founding faffers – we were in Portland OR in 2010!

Canada, United States) have come to FaffCon since it began in 2010. The objective for participants and guiding principle behind FaffCon
is very simple- “Get What You Need, Share What You Can”. FaffCon continues to provide a very educational, interactive and fun environment that encourages peer-to-peer professional development for
all unconference contributors (who are nicknamed “Faffers”).

So, it’s a gathering of Voiceover professionals, only about 100 of us (hence the waiting list every year, and many of us camping out by our computers until registration  opens). Continue reading

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Voiceovers: That’s What I Like About You

So you wanna be in voice overs? Yes. Well, read up, person with that lovely voice. Just check the archives at voiceoverXtra, Edge Studio, or any of the number of fab VO blogs out there, and you’ll get the truth: becoming a professional voice over talent takes lots of training,  hard work, marketing,creating business goals, scheduling action steps, investments of time and money, and an effort to always think ahead.

When I teach Investigate Voice Over classes for Edge Studio, or in answering the inevitable cocktail party  “so how can I get into VO?” question, I make the hard work clear: Voiceover is a business. I don’t care if you have an agent or not – it is still a small business you must run yourself – as talent, salesperson, marketing team, accountant, perpetual student, networker, and often editor and producer.

So – why do we do it? What’s the payoff? The other side of the coin?

Faffcon VO Fun

Like in any relationship that needs work, sometimes we need to be reminded of why we fell in love in the first place. So, dear newbie or pro, here’s my love list.

Why I Love being a Voice Over Talent:

1. Fun! This morning I got to play a baby owl (who spoke English – yeah, animation), this afternoon a16-year-old girl for an audiobook, and then a medical expert who could explain fibromyalgia. That is a blast. Continue reading

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The Voiceover Community…Faffcon and more

Increasingly, my voiceover work is done from home – and so many others in this business (and others, I know) are finding the same trend affecting them. Very cool to send files to India (what’s the time difference again?), but also so nice to work in my own back yard – which in this case includes Connecticut, New York and parts

Faffcon Founders

Faffcon attendees twice so far!

of Massachusetts.  Real human beings  – woo hoo!

That’s only one of the reasons I am a devoted faffcon junkie.  Having attended two out of two so far, and planning to be there at the upcoming Faffcon in September, I know how it recharges my batteries in so many areas: continued learning

Faffcon Session Randye Kaye

We are learning to breathe, not out cold!

about our craft, great business sparks, and –  most of all – feeling like a part of the VO community.  Online is great but it’s hard to hear the laughter. LOL is nice, but truly laughing so much your stomach hurts – in a good way? Well, you know…priceless.

In person connection – never underestimate.

Faffcon 2

Connie Terwilliger and Randye

Word of mouth business referrals? Also gold. And while at it, let me recommend a company I first heard about through Edge Studio, the recent redesigners of my website: ArtistUpgrade. Check out the results here, www.randyekaye.com and especially on the Voiceovers page, vo.randyekaye.com!   The other parts of my business (actress/author/speaker) help to make me a better VO artist, but the voiceover pages (subdomain vo.randyekaye.com) are where we spent our main focus for now.  Couldn’t recommend them more highly. Thanks!

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Voice Talents, Live and in Person

Voicing a website narration in your pajamas (does anyone really do that? I have to be dressed to work – if you count t-shirt and shorts as dressed): great. Meeting people online who also get paid to talk (well…to communicate): really helpful. Connecting with these online friends and new VO talents, for real, in person?: priceless. (Is that cliché overused by now? Probably, but oh well. Blame the jet lag)

Immeasurable kudos to Amy Snively for not only dreaming this up – but making it happen.  Gratitude and love to all the Faffcon Founders (if we do say so ourselves –  self-named, but that’s what faffcon was about!) for sharing, teaching, learning, contributing, risking – and reminding me how much fun this business can be, because of its people.

Reading this and don’t know what the faff I’m talking about? Website! click here

founding-faffers-faffcon-20 faffcon roomie

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Many of us began as voice talents back in the day – um, like five years ago? – when most of us had to actually show up in person to record a project. The commute was long, but the laughter usually made it worth it.  Only the promo guys seemed to have an expensive home studio complete with whisper room and ISDN. I don’t need to remind you how things have changed, with all the pros and cons that come with it.

But – I will say this – when you’ve spent all day voicing, editing, e-mailing, and communicating from your home studio – all the skyping in the world can’t replace face-to-face contact.  So if you get the chance to connect in person, grab it. Or at least remember that lots of us are out there doing the same thing – if we’re lucky. 

Once you’ve connected in person – that cements the friendship. I really like my online pals, and now I love the faffcon folks I learned from, shared skills with, and laughed with all weekend long in Portland Oregon. Yeah, Priceless. It’s a cliché for a reason. Kudos and love to you all!

And I even won a door prize!

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