While I was taking notes about the thought processes of voice talents and voice seekers, the perfect anecdote fell right in my lap…
As I was prepping this blog post, I noticed an “en-flamed” post in a closed Facebook Group. By en-flamed I mean the thread became argumentative and feelings were hurt. Since it’s a closed group I’ll respect the privacy of the participants but I’ll give you the gist.
The originator of the thread is an aspiring voice talent asking for input on an email template he wrote for contacting potential clients. It was riddled with spelling & grammatical errors. On top of that, the tone of the script was, well, needy? Desperate? Subservient?
Reputable pros gave him frank, thoughtful input. It didn’t go well. After the poster insulted some fellow members and angrily removed himself from the conversation (thereby cutting himself off from his fellow voice talents, which to me is a cardinal sin) the discussion continued. This was my two cents:
“I think this conversation touches upon one of the biggest obstacles to success in the voiceover industry: the mentality that you are an out-of-work employee with hat in hand and a “God I hope I get it” demeanor and the client is an employer who holds all the cards. You are not an employee, you are a business. The clients are businesses. This is a B2B relationship you are attempting to establish and you should comport yourself with confidence, professionalism, and pride while demonstrating both acumen and value-add.”
TIP OF THE WEEK
The above story is an example of how to NOT behave as a voice talent and how to NOT present yourself to voice seekers. If you want to establish a meaningful relationship with a potential client, I recommend the following steps:
Do Your Research to see if you’re a good fit for each other. Determine what kind of voice talents they use, whom you want to contact in the company, and how they want to be contacted. If it’s an agent, casting director, or manager, use The Call Sheet. Contact them EXACTLY the way the Call Sheets says to. If you don’t, the only thing they know about you is that you can’t take direction which makes you useless as a voice talent.
Put your best foot forward. Make sure what you send or say is on message as well as professional, thoughtfully branded, and carefully worded. Make sure your branding matches your website, logo, tagline, and demos. Your branding means nothing if it isn’t effectively communicated. Remember, your branding gets you in the door but your value-add keeps them coming back for more. Hey, that rhymes!
Don’t be a needy, desperate jerk. If nothing else, remember this:
Thank you, Rose Caiazzo!
Remember what I said about the B2B relationship? Forget it! They are people, not cash registers you’re trying to pry open. Also, don’t try to be everything to everyone. You’ll do a half-ass job with all of it. If this is an e-Learning company, you’re an e-Learning narrator, nothing else! Voice seekers wear horse blinders. They are very busy people and need to focus on one thing at a time. Respect their time and their needs. Don’t confuse them!
NEWS AND NOTES
Reminder! My next Edge Studio “Business And Money 201” webinar will be Thursday, February 23rd @8PM EST. The subject: Rates, Negotiating, and Invoicing. Click here to sign up.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
From my village to yours; this is Tom Dheere, The H Is Silent But I’m Not…
Tom Dheere is a 20-year veteran of the voice over industry who has narrated thousands of projects for clients in over a dozen countries. He is also a coach at Edge Studio, voiceover business consultant known as the Voice Over Strategist, and is currently writing & producing the comic book “Agent 1.22”.