…and none of them have anything to do with a microphone or a pre-amp.
Across the US, voice-actors and their families will cover the gamut of activities over the holiday weekend, and I hope you’ll find SOME time to take a break from the routine.
Me? I’m heading up to a favorite haunt in Truckee, CA near Lake Tahoe for the smell of pines, and to get away from the 110°+ heat of Vegas. You’ll find some scenic pics of my travels here for the next few days.
But, like most of you, I’ll have my laptop close…checking email, keeping up with auditions, and meeting the needs of that client (it always happens), who invariably sends work while you’re away. I’m not complaining, believe me. I love freelancing, and I’ll have my mobile set-up with me.
I’ll also be paying attention to the never-ending needs of marketing and prospecting. This sort of work can easily be labeled “non-essential”. Of course, you’d rather be in front of a mic, recording a spot or a project! But please put the following four suggestions back on the front-burner. They’re just as important as mic placement, recording environment optimization, and copy interpretation.
1) ASK YOUR SATISFIED CLIENTS FOR A REFERRAL. This one does not come easy for me. It’s probably best to do this right after you’ve completed a project with the person your approaching. Tell them how wonderful it was working with them, ask them if they know of anyone else in their business who might need a sound like yours, and then ask them if they’d consider referring you. Do this by snail-mail, and send a few extra business cards along with your short note. It should be a personal appeal, not stiff or formal.
2) REVIEW YOUR LINKEDIN AND FACEBOOK PAGES. I could write a book suggesting changes under this heading (actually, I AM), but the main reason for doing this is: social networks never stand still. In fact, they seem to really work at changing things up on purpose, just to stay busy! Look at other successful pages, and see what people are doing. Spruce up your profile, complete it fully, and check keywords.
3) INVEST IN VOICEZAM, AND SPEND THE EXTRA $2-3 FOR “STRAIGHTSHOT”. Disclaimer: VoiceZam Pres., and CTO Bob Merkel is a friend, and I’ve helped him market this product, but honestly, I can’t think of any one service that can benefit your client/prospect tracking better than VoiceZam. StraightShot officially debuts after the 4th. It’s a simple add-on, and it lets you embed clickable boxes in your email signature that will send the seeker right to your targeted demos on your website.
4) REVIEW STASHED MATERIALS. I hoard old recordings of EWABS, VO Buzz Weekly, VO Peeps, and VoiceOverXtra webinars. I just know someday I’ll find the time to listen to them. This weekend is that time. These resources are your private coaching lessons. YOU KNOW how helpful VO people are! They share golden nuggets all the time. Sit back, put your earphones on, dial up that Terry Daniel or John Melley podcast from February, and get smarter!
If I’ve left off something that you think is an even better idea…please…share it in the comments below.