Can You Get There from Here?

I recently attended an amazing voiceover workshop in Seattle taught by Pat Fraley. During a conversation with the other voice talents, I was asked, “What would be your ultimate gig?” It took me a slice of a second to reply, “Narrate a documentary on one of ‘The’ TV channels.” What do I mean by a ‘The’ channel? Well, that’s any one of the cable channels that starts with ‘The.’ The Discovery Channel. The Science Channel. The History Channel. The Food Channel. There are several more but these are the ones that come to mind for most folks. I’ve set this goal as one that I’m working toward and it drives me to improve my skills, business and creativity, as a voice talent.

I Think it’s important in any line of work that professionals continue to learn and keep perspectives fresh. While maintaining your clients satisfaction by fulfilling their expectations is probably on the top of your list, the same clients may be amazed by your services or deliverables if you exceeded their expectations. Do the unexpected to add value, either directly or indirectly. Because you are learning or coming up with new ideas about your business, those bits of extra value will be easy to apply.

10 Ideas to get you started (but there are many more!)

  1. Complete the project early
  2. Followup to find out if there is anything else they need
  3. Invoice Promptly
  4. Make Social Networking Connections
  5. Don’t be afraid to use the phone to communicate with your clients
  6. Go beyond your borders
  7. Read a book or take a class about freelance or small business marketing
  8. Write a monthly client newsletter and highlight (with permission) a few of your clients
  9. Take acting classes or get involved with community theater
  10. Take time for yourself. You’ll be surprised what a little away time can do for you.

Much of the work we do does not happen behind the microphone. As independent voice talent, we market our skills; make connections with prospective clients; negotiate terms, conditions and rates with new clients and maintain professional relationships with existing partners. And, we give life to words; engineer our own sessions; edit files so what we record can be used immediately; and stay on top of all that technology, which lets us work from the comfort of our home studio. There is so much to our business.

Working toward your big goal or ultimate client and keeping your business fresh can be done simultaneously. Each supports the other as you travel your voice talent path. The new business skills you learn and develop today will help you engage with your clients at a higher, more valuable level. Your desire to attain your goal, will feed your passion to be better than you were yesterday. Larger opportunities will make themselves available and build your confidence upon successful completion. By the time you connect with the thing for which you’re striving, you’ll be ready to take it on with ease.

I encourage you to identify ways to make your business more than what it is today. Move forward so that tomorrow you’ll be prepared to fulfill your expectations.

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9 thoughts on “Can You Get There from Here?

  1. Marc Scott March 26, 2013 / 9:15 am

    Solid advice! Wishing you great success as you work towards your TV goals! I’ll be listening for that narration one day!


    • J. Christopher Dunn March 26, 2013 / 10:20 am

      Hey Marc- Thanks for stopping by and the kind words. I recently accepted a gig that will get me a step closer to my goal. After the project completes I’ll be able to talk about it. I’m stoked!


  2. Judy Fossum April 2, 2013 / 9:23 am

    Thank you, very good advice. I have heard from you and so many (and am working it into my everyday regimen as well) that it’s not just about the audio/project, but that it’s really about building relationships.

    All the best!


  3. flyfishingscott May 17, 2013 / 8:24 pm

    That’s a great article, Christopher! I’m just getting started in Voice Over and your offer some real actionable advice. I’ll check back regularly.

    By the way, I really like your website. Great colors and design.

    Take care!


    • J. Christopher Dunn May 20, 2013 / 8:27 am

      Thanks for checking out my blog. I like to hear back from readers who find something useful. I appreciate the comments on my website. The folks at ArtistUpgrade designed that for me. If you need a website checkout what they have to offer.


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