Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Voiceoverland- A Recap of Voice 2012

I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical at first when I heard that Voice 2012 was going to be at the Disneyland Hotel. I didn't think it was the right location for this event but I was wrong. It was perfect! Between the spacious conference rooms, beautiful pools and the bar/restaurants in Downtown Disney, this is one of the best Voice International events to date.

This year, the event seemed to lure a few more voiceover students than pros but it was a nice mixture and everyone got along tremendously. It was nice to meet a few of my talented students in person as well! Everyone was gracious with their time and the energy was uplifting. You don't always see that in other events.

Some of the best networking came by way of the conversations that took place in the infamous Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar. I had several intriguing conversations with Stew Herrera, Bobbin Beam, Dave Fennoy, Trish Basanyi, Tom Dheere, Stephanie Ciccarelli and many more.

I didn't make it to all of the presentations but Tom Dheere's presentation on "Goals and Action Plans" was fabulous. The Super Socials presentation was well received. For the first few minutes, I was hiding in the basement of the hotel waiting for Dave Courvoisier to come and get me. It was all a part of a skit, where I accidentally sleep in and Dave has to come and wake me up for the presentation. It felt like I was back in theater again. Loved it! Here's a pic of us on stage as well as the video we used for the opening!

Downtown Disney was fabulous! Tracy and I had so much fun going to dinner with our VO friends. We had a lot of laughs and it was great exchanging marketing ideas!  The Jazz Kitchen was one of my favorite places. Great food and scenery.

I took Tracy to this event not knowing how she would interact with a bunch of voice talents but she did great and everyone loved her. She was also a big help in running the PPT for our presentation. We had plenty of time to play. We spent some time at Disneyland. It was the first time I had gone since I was a kid and it was a very nostalgic moment for me. I had gone with my family in the mid 70's. We took a "Griswold" type family vacation to the west coast via motor-home!

The Garden Party was the last event we could attend due to having to fly home a day early. It was great to see Joe Cipriano and some other pros I hadn't seen for a couple of years. The weather was perfect. Crystal clear blue skies and the temp was in the middle 70's. This was another event where the networking was priceless. For the new talents, you can learn just as much from networking with some of the pros as you can sitting in the presentations.

Special thanks to Jim Alburger and Penny Abshire for putting on another impressive spectacle at Voice 2012 and for giving us, the "Super Socials" another opportunity to present on social media and the voiceover industry. See you in 2014, if not sooner!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ten Reasons Your Microphone Is Collecting Dust

1.) You’re taking your clients for granted: You’ve built up a solid clientele, and now you’re assuming they’re always going to be there. This can be a dangerous assumption when it comes to developing your professional career as a voiceover artist. Never assume that those regular clients are going to be eternally consistent. This is a business and it’s important to reach out to new and existing clients on a regular basis. Continue working to earn their business because nothing is ever guaranteed in life.

2.) You’re not making time for marketing: It may sound basic, but a successful marketing campaign is what launches a career. Not only do you need to be sending demos out, but they need to be reaching agencies, production companies, marketing firms as well as audio-visual services weekly. Making the most of your voice means getting it out into the world and hopefully, ringing in the right ears. Make a point to prove to top executives that you have what it takes by actively submitting your best work with confidence.

3.) You’re not keeping it fresh: It may be easy to recycle the same demo time and again, but that doesn’t mean it’s the most effective method. Copy can become outdated as quickly as any music trend, so it’s important to update your material regularly. Promoting demos you used five years ago doesn’t show anyone that you have the ability to evolve. Market your talent, growth and ability to stay current in the industry by continually tweaking your demo to fit professional standards and trends.

4.) There’s a void in your virtual world: In our age of modern technology, it’s imperative that voiceover artists maintain a website to showcase their talents and run their business. Not only does this exponentially expand your sphere of promotional marketing, but it gives you a platform to connect with potential clients and share advice with other professionals in the industry.

5.) You’ve invested in sub-par sound quality: If your sound isn’t professional, it’s going to be difficult to be taken as one in the industry. If you’re sending out recordings and audition tapes that are fuzzy or filled with background noise, it’s only distracting from the star of the show—your own voice. In a business that runs on audio, quality is key. That being said, it’s important to invest in treating your recording studio. If it’s a job that seems out of reach, than it’s time to make an appointment with George Whittam (God of all things audio). A little Whittam influence will go a long way in turning your amateur sound into professional success.

6.) You’re a no-show at networking events: A large part of marketing your services is meeting up with people who can boost your career and make your visions a reality. In order to meet these individuals, you must attend scheduled meet-and-greets, as well as events hosted by the Chamber of Commerce in your area. Not only are these opportunities to network with other professionals, but it’s your chance to hand out business cards and really get your name moving in industry circles of influence.

7.) Your taking your time getting work finished: A true professional doesn’t just finish on time… they finish ahead of schedule. In any business, it takes work to make sure you’re standing out in a crowd and the voiceover industry is no exception to the rule. When it comes to completing work for your clients, be early and show them you’re exceptional. Give yourself the time, space and focus you know you’ll need to delivery incredible work in a timeframe that leaves clients knocking on your door time and again!

8.) You’ve cut out coaching: Those who are most successful in the voiceover business never stop learning.  Professional voiceover artists are always working with coaches to remedy bad habits that may have slipped into their delivery patterns. Additionally, coaches are incredible marketing resources and can help keep you up-to-date on what platforms are available for getting your work into the right hands. Never turn down an opportunity to work with someone who can improve your method and help put you a step ahead of the competition.

9.) You’re not paying attention to protocol: When it comes to submitting demos, following directions and paying attention to the details is essential. Always take time to check the talent agency website and carefully package your demo according to their standards. Sending an mp3 attachment when they’ve specifically asked for a CD, is a sure way to miss out on a great opportunity.

10.) You’re not utilizing social media: While you may not be a personal fan of Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin, the fact of the matter is that businesses are booming in the wake of their influence. Not only are they FREE and powerful marketing tools, but they provide a consistent client pool each and every month.  Push past the idea of viewing social media as nothing more than conversations and photos. Instead, begin to use the virtual world to benefit your business endeavors.