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Voice Coaches Radio #433 – Communication is Key

 Voice Coaches Radio. Everything voiceover. And welcome into this week's edition of Voice Coaches Radio, as Josh would sing it. I am Sam, and I am without Josh today. I am playing solo, ladies and gentlemen. There is no Joshua in the building. Baby Bear has left the building. Josh is on vacation, he is at a wedding, having a grand old time as we record.

So you just getting me today? Lucky you! I'll try to emulate Josh as best I can. I'll try to infuse this show with his energy, his sensibilities, his singing, and most of all... Bad jokes. That's between you and me. Don't tell him I said that, please. I don't want to get back to him or if it does, that's fine. I always love to give Josh a hard time as it is mutually a reciprocal, hard time relationship.

That's what we do here at voice coaches radio. But today it's just going to be me and I want to give you all a bunch of information that I've been thinking about as a voice actor. So today it's going to be me. It's going to be you and we're going to have a grand old time and we're going to share some information. about being a voice actor. But first, I want to start with a listener shout out. I recently received an email from Doris Forte, and Doris told me that she auditioned and then booked a podcast as a voice actor. So this... aired recently. It aired this past Monday, and it's for an organization called Sight Into Sound.

org. Again, that is Sight Into Sound. org, which was formerly Taping for the Blind. So this is an organization where they read a lot of different things aloud. They convert a lot of written words, a lot of written, um, things, you know, books, magazines, things of that nature. into audio podcasts and she recorded a magazine so if you'd like to listen to it go to site into sound.

org and then find the magazine rack section and find natural living that's the magazine she was reading and i think she'll be reading this pretty regularly going forward regularly that's a hard word to say regularly going forward so check it out give it a listen and doris congratulations for your job This is so exciting to hear.

If anyone else has some good news, some questions, anything they'd like to share, send it my way. I would love, love to share this with the group. Sam at voicecoaches. com is the best way to get a hold of us. Sam at voicecoaches. com. I will definitely respond to you. I'll try to get in the show as best I can, but I'd love to hear your experience as a voice actor.

Today, I want to talk a little bit about something that I find super important, and I know some of you might have some ideas about it, but there's a lot of, a lot of questions around this idea of marketing and communication in particular. So let's say you've gone through the program, you've made your demo, you're now out in the world, you're a working voice actor.

What do you do? What do you do? Well, we know we've got to put ourselves out there, Josh and I talk all the time about saying it out loud. Say it, say it, say it, say it, say it, say it. I'm going to say it again. Say it out loud. There's power in saying it out loud. However, however, I want to add more to the mix.

I want to start developing this strategy even more, even more deeply. So what do we do now? Now, what we need to do is put ourself out there and we need to start developing contacts. And we need to make better contacts and more contacts. And this requires a little diligence and work on your part as the voice actor.

It requires a little bit of research. So what we need to do is start cultivating lists of people who might hire voice actors. There are two types of people that I like to consider broadly. who hire voice actors. There are the usual suspects. Those are the people who have hired voice actors forever.

They've been doing it for a long time and they'll continue to do it. Those are PR firms, ad agencies, marketing companies, people of that nature, broadcasting facilities, recording companies, video and recording companies, all of these entities that use voice actors, that use VO in their work. Those are great people to look for.

You can do a quick search in your area and you might be surprised. How many there are around you. The world is changing drastically. Technology has really broken down the old guard. Has broken down the barriers to entry. So there's a lot more of these companies everywhere. Check them out. That's a great place to start looking.

Another place to look are the emerging consumers of voice acting. Now, these are the people like tech companies, like startups, like new businesses that are trying to raise their profile. These are people who have a need to get their name and their brand out to other people. These businesses are trying to evolve, as are you.

These are great opportunities and great people to look into. Who are the new players? A quick search on your, on an ad club, on your local newspaper, just start doing some research about what is around you. And then you can take. the same idea and start making concentric circles that get bigger and bigger and bigger. Who are the players that hire voice actors? So great. Let's say we've got lists. We've got some people. We are ready to start contacting them. What do we do? What do we do? So, what we need to start doing is communicate with them, people, talk to them, reach out, say hello, call me once in a while, I'm here, I'm not scary, they're not scary either, maybe you think I'm scary, Josh definitely thinks I'm scary, no doubt about that.

Honestly, I'm gonna still rib him even if he's not here, just to keep the spirit of Voice Coaches Radio alive. Even, even in a solo recording, even as I do this myself. But okay, so we're going to start reaching out to people. What is step one in your communication strategy? Simply put, I would say this. What do you do?

What are you? Who are you? You're a voice actor, right? And what is that predicated on? Your voice! You use your voice, that's the product! Your voice is the product, you're the product, your humanity is the product, your sensibilities are the product. So, what I want you to do, step one on a communication strategy is, call your contacts.

Call them! Literally pick up the phone and say, hi, my name is Sam and I'm a voice actor. You don't have to say Sam, obviously use your own name. Hi, my name is Sam. And I'm a voice actor. I'm new to the area. And I'm curious, do you hire voice actors? Do you have a need for voice actors? Oh, great. You do. Who is the person in charge of casting voice actors at your facility, at your business?

Oh, wonderful. May I get their information? May I get their contact information? What's a good email. What's a good phone number to reach them. Wonderful. How would you think they would like to receive my demo? Would they like an mp3 or would they like a link to my website? Doesn't matter to me. I just want to make sure I'm not bogging down their email if that is a consideration.

So there you have it. That is a small script that you can use literally when you call people. Call them up, tell them who you are, ask if they hire voice actors, ask if they have a person in house who does casting. Find out who that person is. Get their contact information. And now we've done the first step.

Wonderful. That's it. You've called them. Why do I say call them? Most people don't call anymore. Nobody calls on the phone. So, you're already going to be separating yourself by doing this. And two, you are promoting yourself as a voice actor by using your voice. You are putting yourself out there. You're putting your voice out there.

You're putting your words out there. Your story out there. And you're making a personal introduction. It's much more personal and effective than just sending a blind email. Which you could do. Which you could do. We'll talk about that in a moment here. But, call first. That is my strategy. Next step, this is what I want you to do.

You've called them, right? You told them you're going to send them your demo, that's the purpose of the call. We are trying, in all of this strategy, we are trying to drive people to your demo, to your sound, to get them to hear you. The next step, what I want you to do, is I want you to email them immediately afterwards.

Email them quickly, a short email that says, Hey, thank you so much for taking my call today, I really appreciate your time. As promised, here is a link to my demo, or my demos are attached. Look forward to working with you, look forward, thank you for listening. Have a nice day. Something like that. It doesn't have to be very long.

Short. Sweet and simple. That's it. That's all it has to be. Send them an email, send them your demos, and now you've done the step one. Now you've done the first, I guess, step, first two steps. We've done the first half. Let's just call it that. Great. And now you might be saying, Great, Sam. I've done my work.

I've done my job. I've put myself out there. Boom. Mic drop. I'm out. It's not that simple. This is not the end of the process. In fact, This is just the beginning of the process. This is not a one and done strategy. This is, ladies and gentlemen, get ready for it, this is a campaign. You are campaigning. This is advertising.

It's constantly being in front of your audience. You are solving problems. What are you as a voice actor? You're a small business? And what is a small business? It's a solution to somebody's specific problem. And that's what you're doing. You're solving their problem. How do you solve their problem? By being present.

That's what you've got to do. So we've got to do a lot more than just this. Let's say a week goes by, you haven't heard anything. That's pretty customary. I don't know about y'all, but every time I get an email, I have so many emails to respond to. I always can't always get back to people right away. So that means sometimes they just sit in my inbox.

And if someone was asking me to listen to a demo, I might not get to it immediately. this happens. What I will say is a week later what I might do, what I might suggest, is follow up. So step three is follow up. Whether that is through email or phone, that is fine. Just call to make sure, hey, just wanted to make sure you got my demo, didn't get lost in your spam folder or, uh, filter somehow.

Or send them an email being like, Hey, thank you so much again for listening to my demo. Just wanted to make sure you received it. Hope you're doing well. Please keep me in mind for any future work. Kisses. Have a nice day. Whatever you want to sign it off as. Hearts. XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO whatever you want to do and then that's it.

You follow it up. But I probably wouldn't do the hearts and kisses thing. admittedly. Let's keep it professional, but if you wanna have a little fun and tongue in cheek, eh, hey, roll the dice. That said, but you gotta follow up. We've gotta follow up because we've gotta remind people. This is another opportunity for you putting your name in front of them.

Odds are they didn't listen to your demo right away. People are busy, they've got a lot going on, it is not at the forefront of their mind. But by reinforcing it, now you are guilting them into listening. Now you are suggesting, and they promised on the phone perhaps, they're like, oh yeah, totally, I'll listen to your demo, send it to me.

And now you're being like, hey, here's my demo again, thanks so much for listening, and they're like, oh shoot, I promised, I promised Sam that I'd listen to his. demo. I, I should go do that. Oh gosh. Okay. I'll go, I'll go get, get to that right away. But still yet, we are not done here. Step three, still not done.

We still have more work to do. Step four, let's say a month goes by. You still haven't heard anything. Again, this is common. We need to make contact and we need to make more contacts because we need to find better contacts. Not everybody you contact is going to be the best fit for you as a business.

You're not going to solve their problem perfectly and they're not going to solve your problem perfectly. And your problem is getting jobs right now, right? Getting to do the work. So, Transcribed That's okay. We need to find those contacts. We need to find those better contacts and then build those relationships.

So in a month, here's my suggestion for you. My suggestion is send a postcard, send out a postcard. Maybe it's a postcard that has your name, your title, voice actor, contact information. Maybe it's a beautifully designed logo based on your name and based on your sound, because then what you're doing is starting to suggest.

to people what you could sound like as a voice actor before they've ever heard your demo. Again, remember, we are trying, trying to get people back to that demo of yours. We are directing them to your demo. That's what we're doing. This is something to bear in mind, but this is a wonderful strategy because like calling, less people send snail mail.

This day and age. And today, less people send snail mail. Again, send a physical note to thank them, to follow up, and I would suggest thanking them in this physical note. Postcards are wonderful. Again, if you want to design a logo, extra bonus points there. It's really effective. A beautiful, beautiful thing to do.

It's starting to separate you as a business entity, which is what you are, a small business. But by saying thank you, again, you are guilting them to remind them a second time to be like, oh yeah, maybe I never got to it after the first week. Maybe I never got to it after the second reminder. But by the third reminder, I'm like, oh shoot, I did promise I would listen to Sam's demo.

So I am gonna go. do that now. Wonderful, wonderful strategy to employ. So this is what we're doing. This is part of the campaign. I forget which number we're at. Was that three? Was that four? It's four. I think three, four, whatever we're at. So the next step going forward is critical. You might still think, Hey, now I'm done.

I have called, I have emailed, I followed up. So that was step four. I've sent a postcard and now I'm done. Not in the least. We still have to keep. Contacting them. We've got to constantly stay in contact. Here's an idea from somebody who used to work here many years ago. So if you go back into the podcast archives, Warren Garling, who used to be a, he was a former voice coaches producer here.

He worked for the company for many years. He's a radio personality. This was his strategy and I really like it. So it's worth repeating. Every quarter, what he would do is literally send out a group e newsletter. I think eventually, originally, it was a physical newsletter, but he eventually evolved it to be an internet, an email newsletter, just letting people know what he's up to, what he's working on, what he's doing.

Hey, hey, community, just want to let you know I did X, Y, and Z projects recently. I'm about to do Z project, and I'm really looking forward for any other opportunities that might come down the pipeline. If you got anything, please keep me in mind. Kisses again. Warren. I don't know if Warren said kisses. He probably doesn't see, he probably didn't say kisses, but, but that's the idea.

And this is just another reminder to keep yourself every three months or so, doesn't have to be absolutely that, but just to constantly put your name in front of them. A great strategy. Again, we've got to constantly remind people, because even if it's not a great fit, Right now, it could be a great fit down the road.

Really, again, it all comes back to the relationship. Who do you know? That's how business is done. Business comes down to the relationships. So, this is a great communication strategy. It's a great start. It's something you can do today. And then you can start developing collateral if you want to. Maybe you want an email signature that's branded in line with your logo that's on your postcard.

That is totally something you can do and it'll also start separating you. It'll have a link to your demo on it. Again, we're driving people back to your demo. Or maybe you want to do this on social media. Maybe that's another way that you want to remind people of your existence. Periodically, you put a post on social media being like, Hey, voice acting just did a job for a Y company.

Uh, would love to help your company in the future. Keep me in mind. Here's my contact info. Here's a link to my demo. And you can do that with a beautifully designed logo, again, your name, that's based on your name, and your sound, and that will also direct people to your demo. The logo is such an important and wonderful additional detail, and the reason it's so pivotal is that what the logo is doing is that it is Suggesting to people how you could sound we have a graphic designer in house.

Her name is Anna. I work with her myself outside of the company. I've employed her to do some freelance work for me. She is phenomenal. She's an exceptional graphic designer. And just to tell you a quick couple of stories about what she does with logo design, she does all of our internal communications, our external communications, but she is also available exclusively to voice coaches clients.

What she can do is she will listen to your demo. She'll talk to you, learn about you, find out your sensibilities, find out your goals. And she will design a branded image that is cross platform that you can take and put anywhere. And she will create this logo that suggests how you sound before anyone has ever heard you.

We had this gentleman come through the program recently who was a former Air Force, retired from the Air Force, and he, she made him a logo that looked like an army patch that was a microphone, but it also looked like a plane with wings. And of course he brought to the table an authoritative sound, a very controlled sound, so already before I even heard his demo, I knew what this guy sounded like.

It was super cool, and that's just one example. She could do it across the gamut. I've seen her do corporate looking things, and I've also seen her do a cartoon for one of our clients who was interested in doing more character y work. It could be anything. Regardless, having something is better than nothing, and it all starts with your communication strategy, and it all starts with doing it.

This is my short, baby bear less episode without Josh, on communications, and something that I wanted to give you all to jumpstart this week. Get back out there, tell everybody you're a voice actor, start communicating, make those lists, and keep going, and do it day after day after day. The practice is more important than the results.

All right, folks. Thank you so much for indulging me on this solo episode. I'm flying solo here again, baby bear. We'll be back next week with me. We'll have that banter that y'all love so much. Enjoy. Have a nice week and so long folks. Visit voicecoaches. com for more voiceover news and information.

Team member Sam discusses the importance of effective communication when it comes to building lasting success in voice over.