Repeat after me: Voice Acting is a business…Voice Acting is a business…Voice Acting is a business.
Yeah, it’s a fun business. There are real ego-boosting moments. It’s performance, it’s technology, it’s rubbing up against Hollywood. All that.
But above all, it’s a business.
Getting down to…er…BUSINESS
Self-styled Social Ecologist Peter Drucker was famously attributed with saying: “…the purpose of a business is to create a customer…” Notice he didn’t say: “grow” the business, but “create a customer.”
Uh-huh. What exactly does that pie-in-the-sky gobbledygook double-speak MEAN, Dave? It means you better give some serious consideration to what you will be doing for roughly 80% of your time in this business: marketing, sales, finding a need to fill, convincing the prospect you can fill that need, and then providing customer service better than anyone else at a competitive price you can live with and still feed your family. THEN you can get behind the mic.
Where Social Media Fits In
So you’re willing to spend most of your time finding clients, and not just play around in your studio. Great! You’ve found the financing, sketched out a business plan, read Peter O’Connell’s Voice-Over Entrance Exam, and perused through all the links on my blog article: Advice for Newbies, part II (just making sure…if you’re an experienced VO, and just want the Social Media tips, skip that last part).
Yes, Dave…I’m ready to do the work. How can Social Media help me?
You’re alive at the right time in the history of humankind. The kind of marketing tools that Twitter and FaceBook and YouTube provide have NEVER been available before in history. They’re FREE. They reach more people than you could handle if just 1% of them offered you a job.
Great. But how do I find them? Well, some of them will come to you in time by doing your social networking right, and that’s Part IV tomorrow.
The Holy Grail of Leads
But how to actively seek out qualified prospects? There’s a free social media tool for that, too, and it’s called LinkedIn.
Using their basic free membership, and working its deep, broad, and advanced search tools, you can find more names, addresses, descriptions and information about specific companies seeking voice talent…or studios who use voice talent than you can possibly contact for the rest of this year. For a mere $24.95/mo you can upgrade to a “business” account and have access to even more extensive resources!
I’m not going to do a step-by-step tutorial right here…that would be an insult to your intelligence, because you’re smart enough easily navigate the intuitive and rich LinkedIn interface and make your own way. Right? I kid, but seriously…it’s not hard, and I don’t want to (1) give away too many of my secrets, nor (2) limit the unique style YOU will develop in mining the deep veins of golden prospects on this social media site.
Nonetheless, watch the video below I put together about a year ago on this very subject. It’s still totally germane to this topic.