Jack-of-all-Trades or Master of None?

by | Sep 25, 2012 | Ruminations | 8 comments

VoiceOver True-False:

  • These days it helps to diversify.
  • Niche work is where the world is heading.
  • The more skills I have, the more jobs I can legitimately claim to do.
  • I don’t want to confuse (dilute) the customer’s understanding of my talent.
  • I get the customer on voice work, then sell them on copywriting too.
  • My website should reflect all my various talents.
  • I create a different web presence for each different service I offer.
  • Audiobook publishers like to hire commercial voice-over talent.
  • Clients are impressed when I show them all I can do.
  • Specialization – even within VO – focuses your talent, and your job prospects.

I could go on.

By the way, I’m not at all sure of which ones are true and which are false, but I pose the questions, because they’re worthy of consideration.  Many’s the VO forum that has wrestled with the pros and cons of these issues…much like the question:  “Do I post my picture on my VoiceOver website?”

Lately, I’ve noticed more than a few VoiceOver websites that show at least one or two other services being offered (i.e. copywriting or production music).  Does this water-down the message, or add value to the marketing proposition?  I could probably be persuaded to believe that there are as many answers to the quandary as there are clients seeking freelancers.

I have my own thoughts about all this stuff, but I’d like to know what you think.  How do you approach the debate of specialization vs. generalization?

CourVO

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8 Comments

  1. Jack de Golia

    I say start with your own strengths, make them solid, and build in the direction your talent and personal growth may take you. Be the “Jack of your own trades.”

    Reply
    • CourVO

      Thanks, Jack…that sounds like a sure-fire formula for success!

      I appreciate your feedback!

      Dave C

      Reply
  2. Michael Collins

    Currently heading in to my 11th year as a freelance VO, like others I’m sure, there was a point where I had to decide whether I wanted to be “everything to everybody” or if I wanted to pursue a more “focused” direction. I decided on the latter without even having a second thought about it.

    I am (and have been) a “niche” VO, marketing my signature vocal style and vocal personality with the focus on soft-sell and medium-sell commercials and short-form narrations (those categories are my strengths and are also what I most love to do).

    I obviously know, with my chosen path, I am not a “fit” for a lot of things but, I have been successful with repeat business from clients that desire my style. I have always approached my VO career as a turtle with a hard-shell…staying the course, building slowly, and always satisfying the clients that desire my signature voice.

    Reply
    • CourVO

      Michael,

      Truer words were never spoken…I think in today’s world you HAVE to specialize to survive..not that you can’t build from a base and be other things too… but start with a sweet-spot.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      dave c

      Reply
  3. Scott Angelo

    I think it’s really important to play to your strengths. Most VO artists also work a full time job. It makes sense to focus your limited amount of time and energy perfecting a certain segment of the business and developing a few really great relationships. Get exceptional at both and you won’t be lacking for work.

    Reply
    • CourVO

      You’re right on the money, Scott. BTW, I DO have an entirely separate site for audiobook demos. Audiobook publishers DO NOT hire voiceover people…the hire from theatre and acting. (http://courvo.net)

      Thanks for contributing to the conversation!

      Dave Courvoisier

      Reply
  4. Frank Frederick

    Finding your “niche” is finding out what you do best (and what makes the most money/project). Jack, Michael, and Scott are stating the financial/time relationship very well.

    Focus on strengths and then branch out to the areas of interest where you would like to dabble when it comes to valuable talents. If one finds peace in the “hobby” work; then so be it. But do not expect to get rich on your hobbies.

    Frank F.

    Reply
    • CourVO

      Frank!

      Thanks for visiting! How ya doin’?

      As always, your advice and experience benefits us all. Thanks for stopping by to add to the conversation.

      all the best!

      Dave Courvoisier

      Reply

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