Good morning, folks! Is everybody feeling as wiggly & weird as me? Just one of those mornings, I guess…
So, a couple of weeks ago I got an email from an aspiring voice talent. He said he was new to the business and asked if I could pass along the names of some of my e-learning and e-book (e-book?) clients.
So, I looked on Facebook and LinkedIn to see if we were connected. Nothing. I Googled him. No website listing or any other search results except for three posts on Craig’s List offering his services as a voice talent. (if you learn nothing else from reading my blog, DO NOT advertise yourself on Craig’s List. It’s remarkably tacky. )Apparently this guy just ran a search on voice talents, found me, and decided to ask me for my client list.
So this is what I wrote back:
“I just want to make sure you understand what you’re asking for. You want me to give you the names of my clients (when I can’t vouch for you) in the hopes of them giving you work that they’re currently giving me?
I’ve been doing this for a long time and I try to be as generous with my time, knowledge, and experience as I can (go to my Good Karma Network and Edge Studio.com to see what I mean), but I’ve never had someone just straight up ask me for my clients. I never did that when I started out and I know of no one who has done that, either.
It took me a year to land my first client and there are no short cuts in this business. If you want to build a clientele; have a good website, a good demo, a good coach, start cold-calling, subscribe to sites like Voice123 and voices.com, and audition as much as you can while bidding ethically. If you can’t or won’t do that, than this may not be the vocation for you.
BTW I wouldn’t recommend soliciting my peers. Some may not respond as constructively as I have and the voiceover industry is a very small world…”
He then immediately replied with a dazzling Gregory Hines-like tapdance, saying that he was not asking for my clients, just a few contacts to get him started. Um, isn’t that the same thing? Needless to say, I didn’t reply.
I posted my experience on the Voiceover Bulletin Board and the responses were hilarious and apparently inspiring! My buddy Jeff Kafer writes a voiceover comic strip called Voice-overload and, well, see below (you can click on it to make it bigger):
TIP OF THE WEEK: I did some research to determine what the technical term is for such an individual, and I found it: ass clown. Here’s the definition according to the sublime Urban Dictionary:
Don’t be an ass clown, kids. Stay in school, eat your vegetables, and don’t ask people you don’t know (or anyone for that matter) for their client list.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public. P.T. Barnum
STUFF!: I would like to extend an apology to those readers who are either by profession, personality, or species an ass or a clown. By no means do I clump you in the same category as the subject of this blog and I hope you enjoy this blog entry in the spirit that it’s intended.
From Tom Dheere’s apartment, this is Tom Dheere, GKN News…