The title of this is obviously Valentine’s Day related, but the topic is timeless. In my time here, I have the chance to read many blogs, tweets, posts etc. filled with theories, but the fact remains that this is a new voiceover industry. So…what do you do to make clients say, “I love you”? What I mention below, not only applies to Voice123, but for any business, online or offline. I write what I do below, with the understanding audio production, and excellent script reading, are already in place.
10 Business Tips To Make Your Voiceover Client Say, “I Love You”
Understand what “they” see to save them time
Fact is, you cannot make proper business decisions on how to run a business unless you know what you look and sound like to others. That is your journey of discovery. In the case of Voice123, use a job posting interface on a casting site, and find out what they do and why. You start to figure out why you are paid more when you figure out how to save people time in your own special way.
Write emails based on facts, and if you do not know, you should ask
Nothing makes a laptop explode more than an email filled with assumptions and accusations. I sometimes witness messages going back and forth where someone goes on the attack over a drop in communication. If you are not sure of something, simply ask. It is new to work without face-to-face reassurance, so you have to compensate for the unknown that may be happening, until you have enough facts to decide what to do.
Submit for things that you know you can do in your sleep; not ‘kinda do’
EVERYONE working online deals with this. If you work in PR, and a journalist asks you for info, but you reply offering what you kinda know…not what they ask for…it is frustrating. If you see a job offering, and you apply saying, “I think I can kinda do it”, it is frustrating to the employer.
Related to here…Auditioning for a voiceover job when you cannot offer what is asked for…is frustrating. Why? Simply put, the abundance of content quantity creates a greater demand for targeted quality. We are all working, and that has never changed.
I see this across the web…Many believe that the abundance of opportunities means you can send a million emails/posts/tweets/check-in’s, and that will lead to work. But that is the illusion…Reality has not changed…You still have to work hard to get work. Applying for work is not perfecting what you do…It is agreeing to accept punishment.
Read directions…and then…read them again…and again
Truth is…at times we will never understand what a person is trying to say, even if explained with a 1000-page tech manual, because we all learn at our own speeds. Reading directions two or three times, gives you the time to absorb the true nature of the request.
Do people always explain themselves in a way you understand? No, but that maybe a sign also you should not work with a person. No one likes hand-holding online, no matter who is doing it, if only because we are all figuring this business out for ourselves, individually.
Know when to say “No”
Did you know that this skill of turning work down when you know you cannot do it, saves people time, and in the process, creates an opportunity for you to work with that person again in the future? Why? Knowing when to say “no” is a sign you “know” your business.
Example: I was contacted once by an agent asking me to be in their talent stable for kids. I jokingly replied with a “No” because of my age, and still stay connected to this person on Linkedin.
Whatever is bothering you today, keep it to yourself
A voice seeker or voice talent is not going to know that you just came from a conference where you discussed something important that led you to comment, dealt with a difficult client, or read a blog that left you emotionally charged.
The worst thing to do in any business transaction (usually via email), is to make angry or vague remarks based on something that bothers you. No one reads minds, and should never be expected to. In addition, whatever does bother you will be changed through positive interactions, not sarcasm or negativity.
Be sensitive to where a person is coming from
If you work in a major market or not, and charge fees based on where you live, at times it will seem like way too much or way too little. To be blunt, sharing an example, it makes absolutely no sense for a LA/NY voice actor to get upset with fees offered by a shop merchant to do an in-store video in Bangkok, Thailand. They cannot spend 2-yrs worth of salary on a voiceover from a major US-market.
A way to respect where a person is coming from is many times shown in how “worldly” you can be, by respecting a business’ per capita income. If it is not within your interest to work with a person due to budget, then do not even get involved.
In addition, be aware of how you are writing to people. Referring to people as “people overseas” can be seen equally insulting as referring to a group as “these people”. If you find yourself emotionally charged by a person’s heritage, avoid working with a person or see previous advice.
Reply to emails fast
Not sure what it is…but even when late with work, if you reply to emails fast to offer reassurance, it buys you time.
I was once taught, “Early is on time. On time is late. Late is unacceptable.” Whether you know it or not, we all feel this way when something is important to us. I was taught that by Disney, if you were wondering, a very tough company that is known for “guest satisfaction”.
Understand the online voice talent/client relationship
In a “do-it-yourself” environment, you have to know that any reasons for not getting work rest upon the artist, the agent, the casting director, business developer, marketer, and CFO…all of that is you.
When websites breakdown, you can throw tomatoes at them, and you should because the service provided has failed, but not before then. The outage may have hurt your relationship. We prevented love. 😀
I guess I write this today because this time of year is very busy, and not long ago, I used to attend 5-7 theatre/voiceover/on-camera auditions a day, and was rejected constantly, until I started to see where I was wasting time, and where I was doing well. That kind of ‘stomach’ for having to learn to understand ‘people’ still exists today. In a web environment of 700 million users…You can never let it get to you. If you do, you will start teaching yourself how and why to hate all clients, who may in fact be quite beautiful for your finances.
One of the best things of working online is that you get to meet so many wonderful people, and…sometimes you do not. You have to see the beauty in all people though, consistently, to keep making clients say “I love you”, even when you cannot hear it.
Happy Valentine’s Day…a day early, but be sure to watch our Twitter and Facebook tomorrow!
Do you have special ways to make clients love you more?
Photo by Escowles