Thursday, February 14, 2013

How to Cure the Disease of Negativity in Your Voiceover Business

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that companies collectively lose close to $3 billion on a yearly basis because of the negativity within the workplace that is manifested through the attitudes and behavior reflected within the work environment. Can you imagine how much you would be able to do for your business and for your family with even just a small chunk of that loss each year?

Your income and lifestyle may drastically change, would it not? Well, the next time that you are feeling negative yourself or are becoming surrounded and overwhelmed by negativity, the best thing that you could do for yourself and your business at that moment would be to imagine you throwing hundreds and thousands of dollar bills into that $3 billion annual pit. If people that have to punch the clock every single day have to deal with negativity in their workplace, what makes you think that you will not have to deal with even more of it on a daily basis since you are working for yourself?

Even though the voiceover business can be very profitable at times, there are instances where you can go weeks and even months without regular work. Does that give you the right to sulk, sob and whine about your lack of work?  No!  However, is that something that is very easy to do? Of course it is! There are days where I feel like a punching a hole in my lava lamp! Yes, I have one! Why is that? The simple answer to that question is because it is extremely easy to be negative – especially when you have nothing but negativity around you. Just as it is much easier to reflect on everything that went wrong for you in your business last year than it is to remember exactly when and how you went right, it is easy to become fully clothed by negativity on almost any topic – personally or professionally. What happens when you indulge yourself in the dark world of negativity? Think about that for a moment and the answer will become evidently clear.

You wake up tomorrow morning only to find that you do not have any e-mail messages or responses from the jobs that you submitted auditions for recently. The only people that have left messages for you in your voicemail are bill collectors demanding money from you that you just do not have free to give them yet – especially since there are no clients that are calling you about upcoming projects that they want to hire you to complete. Now here you are – sitting in front of your computer with nothing to do. What do you do at that very moment?

Let’s say that you decide to feed into the negativity. You start whining and complaining to your colleagues, friends and family members through face-to-face chats or even chats on Facebook. You may even just talk to yourself as you pace back and forth in your studio, whining about how all you need is one big break and how you are so upset that you have not been given that big opportunity yet. Hours and hours have now passed. Nothing has been done and you decide to close up shop for the day and do something completely unrelated to your career before going to sleep only to wake up to the same cycle of negativity the next morning.

So, let’s focus on the original question again. What happens when you indulge yourself in the dark world of negativity, though? Nothing! By feeding into that negativity, you are spending your entire day and night complaining about everything that is preventing you from getting ahead but you are not taking the time to truly find out what it takes for you to take one step forward in the right direction. You need to reverse that in order to truly see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you truly do want to feed into the negativity, that is fine but you have to be smart about what you are being negative about. What does that mean?

Think about the simple math. When you add a negative to a negative, you are just getting a sum of the two negatives together so that is all that you end up with – a bigger negative. However, if you take a negative and use it to create a product out of a negative (hint: multiplication), then you will be able to generate a positive result.

You have to be able to have a negative outlook about the negativity that surrounds you. Don’t feed into it, adding to the negativity that is already existing because you will get nowhere by doing so. The key is to transform that negative into a positive product by any means necessary! Instead of complaining to your colleagues and friends, spend that time trying to brainstorm ideas with them about what you can do to get more leads and open more doors. Instead of using Facebook to ventilate about all of the things that are going wrong with your day, use this social networking tool to reach out to prospective clients and customers in order to focus on doing at least one thing right!

By not spending your entire day complaining and whining about nothing being built onto the foundation of your business, focus all of your efforts on how you can add just one brick at a time each day. Negativity is contagious, but (just like any other virus) it can be treated and prevented. You just have to keep your eyes open to the signs and the symptoms of this disease and shut them down quickly through early detection and prompt treatment before it spreads any further.

Otherwise, you might as well just start calculating how much money you will be contributing to that $3 billion pit in 2013.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Are Facebook Business Pages the key to Survival?

Stay with me for a moment, boys and girls, as we take a quick trip down memory lane. Are you ready?  Here we go.

A Blast from the Past

Two decades ago, the vast majority of businesses were still trying to adjust to using computers and other forms of technology within their daily operations as the popularity of the internet was beginning to spread like a plague throughout the world. However, you could still run a business successfully without even having a dial-up internet connection in your office. The internet was an optional luxury.

One decade ago, you would hardly find a single business (regardless of the size or number of years that they were in business) that did not have at least one computer and an internet connection. The digital age then required these two core elements as primary factors that played a significant role in the growth and overall success of most businesses.

That was when social media and social networking websites were introduced to the world and Facebook was created by a then-unknown Harvard student from his dorm room. However, you could still run a business successfully without setting up an online profile on one of these websites. Just as the internet was ten years prior, social networking websites were also considered as an optional luxury.

It is Just a Sign of the Times

Things have drastically changed over the course of the last twenty years. If you were still in the industry of vocal arts back then, you may still vaguely remember a time when our voice was the only tool that we needed in order to succeed. Advancements in technology have completely revolutionized the way that we live and the way that we do business today to the point where our voices are no longer enough to get us in the door and keep us there. Why not?

Facebook has been able to evolve over the past ten years from a hobby and personal project of a then-unknown Harvard student into a multi-billion dollar empire that is used by hundreds of millions of people on a global scale. Even though it started out as a personal tool to connect with old and new friends and long-lost relatives, it later embarked on a journey towards revolutionizing the worlds of business and digital marketing forever.

More business owners and upper-level executive seem to be investing more time, money and other resources into building and maintaining an online branding page for their business through Facebook than they do through any other means of traditional advertising. Why is that?

Embrace the Transition, Expand Your Business

The simple and short answer is because that is obviously where the world is headed these days. More and more people seem to be exposed to more advertisements and commercials within a few hours of surfing the internet than they will over a period of a few days of watching television or listening to the radio.

Everything that your customers and clients need is available to them with just a few clicks of the mouse and strokes on the keyboard – including an accessible listing of all of the vocal professionals that you are currently competing against. If you want any chance at making it in this business and continuing to be successful, then you truly do not have a choice but to make the transition and embrace the social media revolution.

Sink or Swim – Which Will You Choose?

Making the choice to not set up your own Facebook branding page for your business and regularly updating it to use it to your advantage is the equivalent of making the decision to put a “Going out of Business Sale” sign on your company today. Just as the tale of time has clearly explained over the past twenty years, we know that there is no going back now.

In the year 2013, all businesses have multiple computers within their offices that they depend on greatly in order to function properly on a daily basis.  Not only do they have an internet connection but the vast majority of businesses even offer a wireless internet connection that can be accessed by their customers and clients free of charge.  Facebook pages seem to be popping up more than traditional websites, because it is clear that they are viewed more as required necessities than optional luxuries.  

The bottom line is that you can either go with the current and continue to enjoy smooth sailing in your business by investing in a Facebook branding page for your business or you can fight against the current by trying to stay afloat without making that transition and it is only a matter of time before you drown your business in the rippling waves of your competition.