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NETWORKING / PART 1
Liz de Nesnera and Trish Basanyi:
Build Relationships, Show How You Help
"When you meet someone, discover what it is that they need, and see what you can do to meet that need. It’s important to find out what YOU can do for others before finding out what they can do for you." - Liz de Nesnera
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.
 
ALWAYS RELATIONSHIPS
 
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:
Twitter: Lizden
 
Trish Basanyi
 
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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Comments (4)
Linda Ristig
5/5/2011 at 12:22 PM
Loved, loved, loved this article about two wonderful, clever and innovative VO friends of mine. I've learned so much from them due to their generous and giving natures. Their practical advice has always been spot on. They are both very upbeat and charming. I love their philosophy of giving back to the VO community by sharing their time and knowledge. They are a wonderful example for all of us to emulate! A very well-written article, Kelley!
Lynn Benson
5/5/2011 at 11:55 AM
Thanks for sharing. Interesting how my mind goes so often to narrow areas. VO sites and talk are not the only places to spend time. Clients are in other pools swimming in their own circles.
Lynn
Rosi Amador
5/5/2011 at 11:53 AM
Great article Kelley! Beautifully written and articulate, but very personal. Just like you! No two finer subjects are out there who can speak knowledgeably and from the heart about this important topic. I only recently had the good fortune of meeting both Liz and Trish and they have already been very generous with their knowledge. Thanks to all three of you for the great reminder to take the time to keep those connections happening even when we're crazy busy. Thanks!

Rosi Amador
Spanish/English VO Actor
www.amadorbilingualvoiceovers.com
Deb Stamp
5/5/2011 at 8:48 AM
I have the pleasure of knowing one of the two ladies profiled in this article - Ms.Liz - and am happy to see her talents being recognized and applauded! The day we connected on LinkedIn was the start of a valued friendship.
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