This is such an important topic, I could write a book about it. Wait-a-minute…I did! More Than Just a Voice: The REAL Secret to Voiceover Success was a direct response to all the calls I’d rec’d from people who have an incredible voice, and want to make hundreds of thousands doing voiceovers (but had no clue what all was involved).
Yes, a fantastic set of pipes is nice…but it makes up only about 15-20% of your success formula (if that much). And yes, persistence, fortitude, practice, and other skills are in the mix, but there is no proficiency that makes a bigger impact on your voice-over career than being good at business…being smart at business…treating voiceover LIKE a business.
This is an area where sound practices from other freelance businesses really work, and can be translated over to the business of voice-over. Things like marketing, follow-up, planning, accounting, promotions, customer relationship management, and oh so much more. Some of the most successful VO’s I know were well-grounded in business first, and then turned their attention to the talent side to make the picture complete.
In fact, if it were up to me, I’d make every voiceover newbie/wannabe take a couple of year’s-worth of business management courses. Or at least intern with a successful voice-actor for a year. There are no formal collegiate-level degree tracks that lead to a Bachelor’s in “Voice Over”. Hence the many fraudulent, scammy voice-over “schools” or “coaches” out there taking advantage of VO hopefuls.
Instead, the bulk of us got where we are in the VO marketplace by hook or crook…stumbling and trial ‘n’ error. I suppose there are some advantages to the “school of hard knocks”. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
I lived and worked in the broadcast business world for decades as an employee. Boy!…did I get an education when I began delving into being my own boss.
Lots of legitimately successful voice-actors are willing to share their knowledge. We’ve got two of them on the next WoVOChat. Tom Dheere presents at conferences and webinars on this topic. He’s about the closest thing to an “expert” on running a successful VO business that this industry has. Melissa Moats proves everyday in her highly-successful VO business that she’s grasped the essentials of a successful freelance VO business.
The two of them will be our guests on the next hour-long WoVOChat, this coming Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at noon Pacific.
You know this drill by now, right? Find a Hootsuite or Tweetdeck screen, and create a search column using the hashtag #wovocon, and get ready to join in. The #wovochat hashtag must appear on all communications.
Our moderator is WoVO professional member and content marketing guru Pamela Muldoon, and I’ll tag along as your humble host. We’ve found that http://tchat.io and http://tweetchat.com are two perfectly-usable (free) sites for participating in the chat.
We’ll tackle subjects like whether you really need a business plan, how to set goals, keeping to them, finding inspiration in the right resources, whether you REALLY need a great voice, and what are some realistic timelines, processes, and budgets to be successful.
I don’t care where you are in your VO career, you will learn something during this hour-long tweetchat.
So be there, OK?