Essentials vs. Electives

by | Aug 24, 2015 | VO Business

electivesAdvice for mounting a successful voiceover career is everywhere.  Even that guy — Dave Courvoisier — wrote a book about it…so  how tough can it be?

Tough.  Success at VO can be elusive as hell.  You hear from those who make it…but we’ll never know how many tried and gave up.  Thousands, probably.

Once you’ve got some seasoning under your belt, you KNOW your shortcomings, and it’s safer to find help in that direction, ’cause you can rely on peers for referrals.

Problem is: advice — although well meant — may not be the advice YOU need.  ‘Cause while there are some rock-solid tried ‘n’ true ESSENTIALS to VO success, there are scads more ELECTIVES.

Here’s a short-list of the essentials:

  1. Practice
  2. Get good coaching
  3. Acquire acoustics and audio knowledge
  4. Find hardware/software knowledge
  5. Practice
  6. Acoustically treat your studio well.
  7. Engage in effective marketing
  8. Develop a business plan
  9. Practice
  10. Curry Internet skills

The list of electives is beyond the scope of this blog, but include:

  • make cold calls
  • buy expensive mics
  • hire a manager
  • go to conferences
  • buy throat coat tea
  • send postcards
  • read CourVO’s blog
  • read Strikwerda’s book
  • subscribe to Pay-to-Plays
  • join FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn
That last one, specifically, I bought into early-on.  I don’t regret that, because social media continues to bring many rewards.  Sometimes it’s difficult to find the hard metrics that show the direct result of jobs…but I’m having fun, networking, forming relationships, and learning a lot in the meantime.
But just to show you the tomfoolery that can surround the “electives” from time to time, check out the following article explaining how an agency’s completely blank 4-minute YouTube video got 100,000 views.
Stick with the essentials.



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