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29 Super-Quick Tips To Keep Your
Voice Over Biz Running Smoothly
By Maxine Dunn
Voice Actor & Solopreneur
If you’re anything like me, and I’m guessing many voice actors are like this, you can sometimes be seduced by two extremes.
Both of which can leave you with the realization that you didn’t get that much accomplished!
One is the hectic, day-to-day “busyness” of checking emails, recording auditions, social media, balancing your checkbooks, and fitting in jobs and client correspondence here and there.
In other words, working IN your business instead of ON your business, and just getting through the day fielding what’s presented to you.
The other extreme is having huge, grandiose goals and feeling overwhelmed by all that it will take to move forward on them.
Then you spend too much time fantasizing, researching and planning - forgetting about the business you already have that needs your daily attention.
Sometimes what helps me get centered, and enables me to bring my focus back to what’s useful in my voice over business, is to think of simple but effective ways to make a positive difference, day-to-day.
Or, to revisit useful business practices that I’ve let go by the wayside because I’ve either been too involved in “busyness” or too enamored with huge new goals.
I’ll share some of my favorite business practices and tips for improving your voice over business.
Some are ridiculously easy, but ALL will benefit your business.
THE 29 TIPS ...
1. During business hours, keep your focus only on revenue-generating activities.
2. Follow up with client inquiries within 24 hours. Preferably less.
3. Get crystal clear on who your target market is, and who your ideal client is.
4. Keep the company of supportive, motivating and inspiring people.
5. Ask for testimonials from satisfied clients on a regular basis. Remind them if they forget. (And don’t forget to ask engineers at recording studios, as well.)
6. Be yourself at all times. Be genuine and authentic. That’s what sets you apart from everyone else and makes you unique.
7. Set goals for your voice over business regularly. Weekly. Monthly. Yearly. Then break them down into doable steps.
8. Keep your office well equipped. Be prepared. Don’t “run out” of business cards, thank-you cards, printer paper, print cartridges, etc.
9. Craft a 35-word description of exactly how you help your clients, and what your voice over specialties are. Then practice it, out loud. So when someone asks you, “What do you do?” you know exactly what to say without fumbling for words or rambling.
10. Assemble a Mastermind Group (two or more people) and meet regularly to discuss and brainstorm your business ideas, goals, and challenges.
11. Create an email signature that promotes your voice over business.
12. Have a checking account, savings account and credit cards that are strictly for business use.
13. Ask for referrals from your clients and customers on a regular basis.
14. Always be learning: new technology, public speaking, social media strategies, communication techniques. Keep up on current events.
15. Use mail (snail mail) as well as the Internet to keep in touch with existing clients and to reach out to new ones. Thank-you cards, direct-mail pieces, gifts, letters, post cards and “lumpy mail.”
16. Ask for advice when you need it. Even if it means asking clients or “higher ups.” People love to be helpful. Don’t be afraid to ask.
17. Have a great business card and hand it out like candy.
18. Invite your best clients to lunch, out for drinks, or coffee.
19. Contribute monthly to a cause you believe in. Make giving back a part of your business practices.
20. Trust yourself. Don’t be derailed by naysayers. Stay away from negative blogs and negative people in the industry, and have faith in your vision and your abilities.
21. Diversify. Develop abilities outside your current skill set and comfort zone. Stretch yourself into different niches. For example, if you typically do corporate narration, try character voices. If you usually do radio imaging, try documentary narration.
22. Refer your clients and business colleagues to others. Be a resource while at the same time helping others succeed in their businesses.
23. Take time to unplug and spend time away from your business on a regular basis, even if it’s only for short periods of time.
24. Check your website(s) regularly to make sure everything is functioning exactly as it should be. Make sure your demos play quickly and that the volume is consistent.
25. Keep track of the top 20% of your clients and treat them like GOLD. Remember the 80/20 rule? You’re probably earning 80% of your income from 20% of your clients. Make sure they know how important they are to you.
26. Reach out to a new client at least once a day.
27. Reach out to an existing client at least once a day.
28. Focus on one task at a time. Don’t multitask.
29. Remember daily why you started your voice over business and keep your passion, faith, and contribution amped up!
Maxine Dunn is a top voice over artist and on-camera spokesperson who maintains an extensive clientele locally, nationally and internationally. She’s the author of the forthcoming eBook, The Voice Actor’s Tool Box – Beginner’s Edition: Get started in your voice-over career with these step-by-step, low-cost strategies. She is also a featured contributor to the 4th Edition release of James Alburger’s book, The Art of Voice Acting. A free subscription may be ordered at her website and below to her weekly e-zine, The Creative Business Advisor - advice for savvy voice actors and entrepreneurs. The subscription includes her free 7-day Audio Mini-Course: 7 Surprisingly Simple Strategies to Get You on the Road to Success, Right Now!
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Comments (16)
Dave Courvoisier
5/23/2012 at 9:23 PM
These are all drops of gold, Maxine, but numbers 5, 7, 13 and 26, 27 and 28 are not on my radar and probably never will be. That's why you are a marketing maven, and I am not.

I'll plug along anyway.At least I know my limits.

Dave Courvoisier
Pearl Hewitt
3/17/2011 at 2:33 PM
Hi Maxine,

Thank you so much for this. Just lately I have been a little A.D.D and unfocused. I have printed out your points and will regularly refer to them. Great advice.
You're a treasure!!
Maxine Dunn
3/16/2011 at 4:54 PM
Hi everyone!

Thank you very much for your comments and I'm so pleased that you've found this helpful! Sometimes deciding to do just a few simple but effective things each day can keep everything moving forward. xox

Rick Lance
3/16/2011 at 1:51 PM
It's good to see these things written down. I think we can all use a reminder about staying productive and organized. Nice, Maxine!
Howard Ellison
3/15/2011 at 5:22 PM
Isn't it great that people as prominent as Maxine Dunn make the time to share what they know. Her chapter in Alburger's mighty book The Art of Voice Acting has already helped me to build business faster than I ever thought possible, and here is yet more. Thank you.
3/15/2011 at 3:48 PM
Only one word will do: AWESOME!

OK, two more: Thank you!!
James Clamp
3/14/2011 at 9:22 PM
Hi Maxine,

What a fabulous list! Thank you so much for this. Number 16 is my personal favourite. Fear attacks us all in some way, and for whatever reason, too many people are afraid in life - too afraid even to ask for help.

David Brower
3/14/2011 at 5:52 PM
Maxine, that list is a 'keeper' and I thank you. Really well done.
With gratitude,
Mike McGonegal
3/14/2011 at 1:25 PM
Max - I agree with Philip, 20's gold. Stay away from folks who want to drag you down to their level just because you're doing something they can't/won't/etc.

Paul J. Warwick
3/14/2011 at 10:26 AM
Well Dunn, Maxine!! Oh, did I just type that?
Johnny George
3/14/2011 at 10:25 AM
Thank you, Maxine, for the refresher list. Great ideas and solid advice. One can never expect it all to happen without our own serious effort. Remembering WHY we got into this biz is paramount.

Brian Whitaker
3/14/2011 at 9:58 AM
Great info Maxine - thanks for sharing! The 80/20 is always a great reminder. BRIAN
Philip Banks
3/14/2011 at 8:51 AM
I particularly like this one ... 20. Trust yourself. Don’t be derailed by naysayers. Stay away from negative blogs and negative people in the industry, and have faith in your vision and your abilities.

Be very clear in your mind not to confuse the negs and naysayers with people who simply say thing you may not like. I genuinely grow and improve thanks to the people who are not afraid to speak out, tell the truth and sometimes "call me out." We often dismiss as negs those who are simply in touch with the reality of our or any other business.

If your time allows it, read as much as you can and embrace all views from the "Woot awesome" brigade and the "Pah phooey" troop. Be careful not to dismiss something as wrong when the truth is you don't like what has been said, and take similar care to not value something just because it suits you.

Success comes to people who are able to routinely do the things other people don't like doing, and taking on board without personal affront the views we may find uncomfortable.
Jeanne Fishman
3/14/2011 at 1:39 AM
Fantastic reminders and strategies. Maxine is spot on with advice on managing day to day VO strategies. Thank you!
Debbie Irwin
3/14/2011 at 1:22 AM
Helpful reminders, Maxine-- thanks!

Dan Friedman
3/13/2011 at 10:26 PM
Nicely done Maxine! Sounds like good advice to me.
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