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Amy Snively, VO & FaffCon Producer: 
Network for Resources & Relationships
Your opener is not an elevator speech. Throw that away. Your opener is asking people about themselves, like, "How do you know Judy?" or "Hi Jim, have you been here before?" or "Is that your Hyundai out front? I'm thinking about buying one." - Amy Snively
By Kelley Buttrick
Voice Actor & VOXtra Staff Writer
Networking is not about sell, sell, sell.
It’s about learning who that person is and making a real connection, says multi-talented voice actor Amy Snively, also well-known as producer of the popular FaffCon unconferences.
Snively recently voiced for Merck, Totally Sketch, HGTV and a reality pilot.
And she's the hilarious voice of the “funny modern mom,” noting that for her, networking even involves undergarments. Seriously.
“I start every day with five business cards in the left cup of my brassiere and don’t allow myself to go home until they are gone, and there are five in the right cup,” she laughs. 
“My mother taught me that people who don’t use their bra are missing out on a lot of storage potential.”
Snively admits to being shy in formal networking situations, sometimes registering for an event and then deciding not to go.
So instead, she makes a point of connecting with people in her day-to-day life.
For example, if she's at a recording studio and notices a business next door that has some indication they could use her services, she walks in, asks to speak to the person who hires voice talent and pulls a card out of her left cup.
“Most networker people make me wish I had a potato gun in my purse,” she quips.
One day, while chatting outside with her friend, a jogger stopped to say hello to the friend.
Snively asked the jogger how the two knew each other, and the jogger responded that their husbands used to work together, but now her husband works in the instructional media industry.
Recognizing an opportunity, Snively said she guessed he produced videos and CDs, and that she knew someone who did that kind of voice work who also had a professional studio capable of producing those projects.
Reaching into her shirt, she pulled out a card and made a connection.
This kind of networking has been successful for Snively who connects with people everywhere she goes - from the grocery store to her Bunco group - but she also relates a networking opportunity that went wrong.
“It is important for effective networking to make sure everyone knows what you do,” says the Los Angeles-based Snively.
“Not only should everyone in your life, who is in a position to tell someone else, know what you do, they also need to understand what you do and have your business cards in their brazier.”
Her comedian mother, Mrs. Hughes - "America's Funniest Grandma" -  travels quite a bit.
Back when Snively was hosting an 80s radio show, her mother’s first-class seat partner revealed he was a television documentary producer. When he responded positively to mom’s question about his involvement in casting, she gave her the producer her daughter’s radio name - making it next to impossible for him to track down Snively.
And unfortunately, her mother also neglected to secure the producer's contact information - an incredible opportunity that jetted away on airplane wings.
Snively doesn’t call what she does networking. Instead, she builds relationships.
“Networking isn’t always important to lead to work. Rather, it’s important to lead to resources and relationships,” says Snively, who credits relationships for 75% of her business.
“As long as you take care of relationships, everything else will happen.“
Her focus on the importance of building relationships and serving as resources for one another is evident in the unique event she spearheads: FaffCon, the "voiceover unconference."
Held in cities around the U.S., the next FaffCon conference is slated for Sept. 23-25 in Hershey, PA. 
At these unique voice over events, participants set and lead the agenda. Commercialism is banned, and participants are not inundated after Faffcon with emails hawking shirts, CDs, photos, services, etc.
Snively sincerely appreciates the sponsors, knowing the event could never be produced without them.
“We encourage our sponsors to take the relationship approach by supporting an event for their customers, not the newbees, wannabees and nevergonnabees,” she explains.
“They create new paths to resources."
For FaffCon participants, Snively repeats it’s not about the networking but about relationships.
“For me, what has led to the most work is interacting with voice over talents who are different than me; different niches, different sounds, different genders,” Snively explains.
Her voice work specializes in corporate communication, including instructional media, product sales, point-of-purchase and trade show presentations, among other projects.
“They say, I know Amy is good with comedic scripts and she’s also really, really smart.”
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 (11)
Dan Friedman
7/11/2011 at 5:20 PM
Amy is a ROCK STAR! That is all.

Dan Friedman
Liz de Nesnera
6/22/2011 at 11:28 PM
Amy is awesome!
The relationships that have been forged at FaffCon due to her amazingness? PRICELESS! :-)

MJ Lallo
6/20/2011 at 3:47 PM
Go Amy Go Amy -- who I have auditioned and hired for VO -- great article --
So good to hear about the bra part ,as I just realized all these years I have been wearing mine backwards. Now my shirts fit much better!
Jane Ingalls
6/20/2011 at 11:26 AM
Sounds to me like someone needs to design a networking garment for men:)
You and Amy both encourage me to be a little bolder about connecting. Thanks, Kelley!
Rick Lance
6/20/2011 at 11:17 AM
A nice reminder to take advantage ... and look for ... opportunities as they present themselves. Lord knows I've passed up my fare share and kicked myself later for being shy, stupid or lazy about initiating a conversation.

As far as the business cards, as a guy I think I'd better just continue keeping mine tucked in my shirt or back pocket. Since I always tend go braless.
6/20/2011 at 11:15 AM
So true. I love everything Amy! I'm wondering though, if this would be as effective using athletic supporters ... ok, maybe not.
John Florian
6/20/2011 at 11:05 AM
Cute, Jim ... a gentle way to tell us about a misspelling. We've changed "brazier" to "brassiere."
John Taylor
6/20/2011 at 10:59 AM
Amy is a LOT of fun to know ... that's a big part of it. Being fun to work with ... and being USEFUL! Like Amy, I am a big advocate of learning what each other's strengths are. I had a friend e-mail me last week who had a longtime client looking for an Obama impersonator. I don't do Obama, but I know who does. My friend Ray booked it and is coming over to record today. The friend is a hero, the client is happy, Ray gets the gig and I get a studio fee for recording the session. That's a Win-Win-Win-Win situation ... and that's networking to me.
Jim Conlan
6/20/2011 at 10:54 AM
Very refreshing, Kelley. Another good argument to avoid selling and embrace connecting. One thing, though ... I do have a brazier, but it's way too big to carry around. Plus ... live coals and paper business cards don't mix.
Herb Merriweather
6/20/2011 at 10:07 AM
...Hilarious, but spot-on! We may not all wear bras, but we do have opportunities to connect and network in and outside of the studio. Thanks for the great reminder about being prepared to build new bridges...
Derek Chappell
6/20/2011 at 1:36 AM
Thanks for sharing Amy's funny, but successful, networking stories. Proving once again, there's not one 'right way' for everyone to do this.
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