It opened up new doors, and it made us lazy.
That’s an oversimplification, but true nonetheless.
Voice actors revel in the new paradigm of recording in their own personal studios and sending auditions left ‘n’ right. But we’ve also come overly reliant on the new online clearinghouses for jobs.
When we began trusting in THAT over our own methods for finding jobs, we turned over control of our job destiny.
Once they gained our trust…and we became dependent on their leads, they changed the rules. WE became the commodity, not the job.
For some people.
But I prefer to have a personal relationship with my clients. The most overbearing of the P2P’s won’t even let you in on the client’s name.
It’s not too late…not at all!
In fact, now is the perfect time to hunker down and get your own jobs. Here are five suggestions:
1) Chutzpah. Otherwise known as hustle. See the blog I wrote about this essential ingredient in running your own freelance business. Without learning or having an enterprising spirit, this VO thing is gonna be a long haul for you. And yes, hustle CAN be learned.
2. Agents. For the longest time, current wisdom said you had to have an agent to get the best-paying jobs. That’s still true to some extent. Currying the favor of an agent is a bit like giving up control, but it also creates a relationship with someone who is in the know, is a conduit to great jobs, and sometimes a confidant or mentor.
3. Research So, while the internet has given us all these P2P pariahs, it’s also granted us history’s most incredible research tool. For the cost of a WiFi connection and a decent computer (or go to the library), anyone can get the low-down on any prospective client – given a little determination and sleuth work. Don’t know who to research? You can do that online too.
4. Marketing OK, there it is…that word most of us love to hate. Some might call it promotion or advertising…even networking, but it’s essential, and it can’t be ignored. The trick is to find what style of advertising fits your personality, ability, and budget. After you’ve figured that out…re-read #1 above.
5. Word of Mouth This one combines elements of marketing and chutzpah, but it is SO effective as to earn a mention all its own. You can encourage word of mouth, even ASK for it through peers, clients, friends, and relatives. Some marketing “experts” claim it’s the most effective of all the methods. Check out this infographic about WOM (word of mouth).
My friend Dan Hurst just published an excellent blog about the need to Step it Up!
While you’re doing research, check out the many profoundly helpful free blogs and online resources available for freelancers. Most of the material you find is applicable to voice actors, even though it may be designed for photographers, writers, or ______________.
Nobody said it would be easy, but I’d much rather be the master of my own VO destiny, that’s why we got into freelance work in the first place, right?