NETWORKING / PART 1
Liz de Nesnera and Trish Basanyi:
Build Relationships, Show How You Help
By Kelley Buttrick
Voice Actor & VOXtra Staff Writer
(VOXtra) - Bilingual voice over talent Liz de Nesnera credits networking with generating 100% of her business.
And when meeting this jovial businesswoman, it becomes readily apparent why she is a master of the art of creating relationships.
“Networking is not going into a situation with a stack of business cards. It’s about meeting people, building relationships,” the New Jersey-based de Nesnera says.
“If I can be of service to them, it’s awesome.”
HOW SHE STARTED
In fact, de Nesnera’s networking skills are what started her business.
Immediately after being laid off from a corporate recording position, she called a man at a different corporate recording studio who had often contacted her seeking foreign voice over talents.
She was always willing to help solve his problems without expecting anything in return, and he eventually became her first post-corporate client.
Later, de Nesnera joined Media Communications Association International (MCA-I), where she established relationships that continued to grow her business, specializing in English and French non-broadcast narrations, telephony and commercials.
FIND COMMON BOND
Today, whether serving as a member of her local Rotary International club, MCA-I or as a participant in Internet-based groups, de Nesnera says finding a common bond has been helpful to her in meeting new people.
“It’s interesting to find a connection with another person,” she explains.
“When you have that, it can’t help but expand your world, your circle of people. That is ultimately how you get more work.”
FOR STARTERS ...
For de Nesnera, the bar is the best place to begin when entering a networking event. Another good location is the buffet or dessert table.
“I’ve started more conversations at the bar than anywhere else at those events,” she says.
“Desserts are also great common ground for starting a conversation.”
In addition to MCA-I and Rotary, de Nesnera networks through groups of personal interest like the National Family Caregivers Association, for which she has also done public service announcements promoting a cause that is important to her.
HOW TO EXPLAIN VO?
Fellow voice over talent Trish Basanyi, based in the New York City area, developed her own unique networking tool for events.
After generating few results from attending numerous group functions, she realized that people were fascinated with what she did, but didn’t understand how it could help their businesses.
At most meetings, participants are allowed a brief opportunity to give their “elevator speech” sales pitch.
Basanyi racked her brain for a different way to explain the business she’d been in since 1999.
“I needed a way to show them what I did, to illustrate that I’m not just a person with another voice, but a trained professional who does more than television and radio commercials,” says Basanyi.
SHOW AND TELL
To accomplish this, Basanyi created a 30-second montage of work she’d done, including pieces of a phone message, website greeting and other projects.
At the networking meetings, she introduces herself, and then hits PLAY on her phone attached to small speakers.
“People usually applaud. It turns on the ‘Oh, I get it now’ light bulb.”
Basanyi's numerous voice over clients have included Trump Taj Mahal, Weight Watchers, Sands Casino and Verizon Wireless.
AND ONLINE, OF COURSE
In addition to face-to-face networking, both de Nesnera and Basanyi are active on social networking websites.
“I’m always networking, starting conversations online,” says de Nesnera , who has been performing voice overs since 1990.
“The things I share on Facebook or Twitter are all conversation starters.”
Another networking site de Nesnera uses is LinkedIn, where she finds groups outside of the voice over industry that meet in person - like real estate agents and financial professionals.
Yet regardless of the venue, de Nesnera emphasizes relationships.
“It all comes back to being who you are and trying to be helpful to others.”
And this includes being helpful to other voice actors as well as clients. A resource page on de Nesnera's website features other foreign-language professionals.
“Being a resource for people, you’re providing a service and are not just a commodity," she explains.
TO CONNECT WITH LIZ & TRISH ...
Liz de Nesnera:
ABOUT KELLEY ...
Author Kelley Buttrick is a versatile15-year voice over talent and staff writer for VoiceOverXtra who also has extensive experience in marketing and on-air roles in broadcast media, newspapers and business. Also an actor and writer, Kelley's work experience on many sides of the microphone gives her a unique 'big picture' perspective for each project.
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