VOICE ARTS™ AWARDS
Why Enter An Awards Competition?
10 Reasons Why Awards Matter
August 1, 2014
Note: The Voice Arts™ Awards program (see announcement) - which is accepting nominations through August 31 - has drawn industry praise, such as this from popular voice talent/trainer Pat Fraley:
Yet skeptics question the program's value and purpose. Below, Rudy Gaskins - producer, voice over coach, and one of the program's creators - responds ...
By Rudy Gaskins
CEO, Push Creative
CEO, Society of Voice Arts and Sciences
As one of the creators of the Voice Arts™ Awards, I have been fairly surprised by the resistance expressed by some and the void of information available to folks who have never entered a professional industry award competition.
I’m happy say that entries are indeed coming in, but for those unfamiliar with the awards phenomenon, it’s important to help them provide some perspective.
There are many good things about awards contests, not the least of which is to inspire us to always look to the pursuit of excellence in all we do.
Fortunately, those who don’t wish to take part, are in no way forced to do so. For those who are genuinely trying to figure out why or if entering the Voice Arts™ Awards, or any award competition for that matter, is right for them, I want to offer a few thoughts that may help you make an informed choice.
MARKETERS PLAN FOR IT
As a marketing professional who has spent more than a few years inside the TV networks and more than a decade running my own marketing agency, the idea of entering awards shows is second nature.
Not only do networks, corporations and agencies enter numerous awards contest each year, they actually include the cost as part of their line item budgeting. Yes, they plan for it!
It’s not a superfluous extravagance, but a smart and strategic business consideration. Running a business means having a marketing budget, period.
As a voice actor, you too are running a business. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you understand the first thing about marketing or even want to. You can always hire a pro to help you.
Entering awards contests, however, is one element of a larger set of marketing possibilities that you should consider. It not only drives business, but it elevates morale.
10 REASONS WHY ...
Here then, are the top 10 reasons why awards matter.
1. MARKETING EXPENSE
The money you put into annual awards, advertising, boosting FB pages, etc., is all a necessary part of doing business. And, as a voice actor, you are a business.
Never be so shortsighted as to think of marketing expenses as a singular unsustainable expense. You will only find yourself feeling overwhelmed and intimidated.
Instead, think of marketing expenses as amortized over the entire year. At the Early Bird rate of $175 per entry in the Voice Arts™ Awards, for example, that’s a marketing cost of 48 cents per day. You can spend five times that much for a daily coffee?
It’s easy to talk yourself out of spending $175 but not as easy to talk dismiss the value you can get from 48 cents per day. Amortization changes everything.
2. CLIENT RELATIONS
Include your collaborators (director, clients, agents, etc.) by crediting their roles as part of your entry. This is not only a thoughtful gesture as a member of a team, but it’s a savvy step toward building stronger relationships with your clients.
Not only will they appreciate you including them, they’ll appreciate having a conversation that didn’t include a hint about hiring you for work.
3. PUBLIC RELATIONS
There is no better endorsement than that of a third-party entity that has no vested interest in your success, telling others that you have something special to offer.
This is what an award does for you. It speaks volumes where your own voice would be met with skepticism. Third-party acknowledgement is the basic definition of public relations (PR). Good PR is the foundation upon which the best advertising stands.
4. STRATEGIC MARKETING
Entering an award immediately gives you marketing options:
Obviously, winning breeds confidence. But confidence begins with faith, self-determination and dedication to success.
The minute you put yourself into the race you elevate your state of mind. It's an opportunity to face your personal doubt about how you stack up among your peers. Through the act of entering, you send a powerful message to your inner self about who you are and who you believe you can be.
An old proverb says it best, "You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
Winning is an amazing feeling that will have you walking on air. And you’ll feel great about acknowledging those who worked with you. A nomination feels great too! And either one tells your clients friends, family and potential clients that you’re capable of bringing something "special” to the table.
7. SELF RESPECT
When you enter an award, you are saying to yourself and your constituents that you believe in what you do. Get on the playing field and let the chips fall where they may. People respect those who stand up to be counted.
The other choice is to go unnoticed.
Winning is fantastic, but entering, whether you become a nominee or not, is what tells the story of how you feel about yourself and your work. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should the client?
Awards generate buzz. Press releases, media coverage, internet buzz, blog mentions, social networking comments and more. The recognition carries far and can put winners instantly in the spotlight.
The buzz is a big plus, not just for the finalists and winners, but also for the clients, agencies, companies, studios and organizations, sponsors and partners.
Awards on the shelves, certificates on the walls, media and industry recognition. The endless buzz and conversation doesn’t stop so soon after you win an award. It continues to build and becomes a part of your identity.
You are an award winner and will most likely continue to be an award winner. You will continue to grow and to make your mark, always striving to meet new standards of excellence.
Awards are a meeting place. They’re a focal point that draws the attention of those most interested and involved in your industry or profession. They’re an opportunity to engage your professional community in discussions of topics and controversies, in reviewing standards or discovering trends.
Awards tend to involve the leaders and experts. Awards are a place to learn, to network and to enhance professionalism.
Rudy Gaskins is a producer and voice over coach, especially known for producing the That's Voiceover events with wife Joan Baker. He is CEO and Creative Director of Push Creative, and President and CEO of the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences (SOVAS) - a non-profit organization that sponsors the Voice Arts™ Awards and other programs.
Voice Arts Awards: www.VoiceArts.org
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