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what will happen to my voiceover business?

Free Voiceover Marketing Seminar Peter K. O'ConnellIt’s a question voiceover business owners are urgently asking right now. Communicating with your clients and prospects is vital….but what to say and how (and when) to say it…that’s a big question.

Tuesday, March 24th at Noon ET, I’ll host a Zoom Room, offer my thoughts and answer your questions about marketing plans, messaging, execution and anything else related to marketing your VO business.

So if you have more voiceover marketing questions than answers or just want to get some ideas and input on your plans…or just listen in, join us. It’s free.

Panic is not an option… thoughtful communication is an action…this will be all about taking action!

Here’s the LINK.


coronavirus notes from the flying voiceover

VO_Atlanta_LogoMost everybody in VO knows that I am on planes…alot. Travel is part of my marketing life just like voiceover always has been a part of my life.

I’ve traveled through most of the major modern health and terrorist challenges America has faced over the past 2-3 decades.

I go to two or three big conferences each year. Many of them during prime cold and flu season.

On many trips, I see my VO pals for lunch or dinner.

Cars, planes, trains, hotel rooms & people…germs everywhere. Sometimes I get sick (not yet, knock wood). Maybe you do too? Imagine that.

Oh, and I live with three little germ factories too. I love ‘em.

I respect the reasonable concern about the Coronavirus…but for most us, health-wise the virus would be manageable…based on the stated, published insights of real medical professionals.

So watching people, groups, events, financial markets and even countries go quite nuts about the Coronavirus has been kinda disappointing.

Unless your health is compromised by age or special disease states…the Coronavirus will be only an unpleasant flu. Not enjoyable but far from deadly. Yet panic has reigned and that panic is causing bigger problems.

While basic hygiene and thoughtful, simple behavior will help keep us all healthy, people aren’t emotionally handling this virus very well.

My point?

As everything does in this blog, my point about this virus comes back to voiceover.

Peter K. O'Connell Moderates Voice-Over Agents Panel VO Atlanta 2016

VO Atlanta 2016’s Voice-Over Agent Panel. L-R Peter K. O’Connell, audio’connell Voice-Over Talent (Moderator); Erik Shepard, Voice Talent Productions; Jeffrey Umberger, Umberger Agency, Tanya Buchanan, Ta-Da Voiceworks; Marci Polzin, Artistic Talent; Susie De Santiago, De Santi Talent and Ralph Cooper, Capital Talent Agency./i>

Soon voiceover event producer Gerald Griffith is set to host VO Atlanta, a voiceover conference in like it’s 8th year now. I’ve been to VO Atlanta twice…I even accidentally hosted a voiceover agent panel once, because….Jeffrey Umburger.

But Coronavirus is causing what I imagine is a big business headache for small business owners like Gerald and hundreds of (small business owning) event producers like him right now.

It’s small business guys like Gerald who really take it on the chin in situations like this…there are many of these event producers who are in a no-win situation because of this darn bug. Gerald’s got hundreds of people coming to Atlanta…two hotels involved, I think…untold airfares booked, hotel fees charged, food contracts signed, talent fees accounted for and no doubt some panicky sponsors whose checks have long ago cleared. Now Gerald and event producers like him have some tough business decision to make. Go or no go?

I don’t have any inside info on any of this regarding VO Atlanta…I’m not attending the show and I am not involved with it in any way. But I know business and I know event planning. So I have been quietly praying (on behalf of all the small business “Geralds” out there) that each event producer has a good event disaster insurance policy.

For event planners, it would seem the Coronavirus scenario now before them is a business nightmare that I envision being second only to what faced the event and travel industry with the Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak I remember from the 1970’s. Two different health situations yet both impactful to the event and travel industries.

I gotta say…I’m indifferent about the financial impact on the attendees or sponsors of a possibly cancelled VO Atlanta (if it comes to that whether by a personal attendee’s decision or if the event calls off). The financial impact of a cancelled VO Atlanta on those folks will likely be annoying but absorbable (unless they financially over extended themselves – and then, they made a bad business decision…we’ve all been there, done that). Costly yet that’s the risk inherent in owning a small business.

The financial impact on an event producer, however, could be significantly more overwhelming.

Do me this favor, keep a good thought for those who have taken the biggest financial risks in these scenarios….the event producers out there.

We hope they have insurance, we hope their risk is manageable and we hope they will be financially OK with whatever decisions they have to make.

For them, the panic of the Coronavirus I think is like the (hopefully never realized) unpredicted Category 5 tornado bearing down on our  neighborhoods…and we cannot get out of its way.

my voiceover booth is famous

Peter K. O'Connell, voiceover talent, in his audio'connell Voiceover Talent Studio in Raleigh, NC.

Voiceover Talent Peter K. O’Connell, a 1986 graduate of the University of Dayton (OH), is featured in the University’s Class Notes article and social media post in January 2020. O’Connell is pictured in his voiceover booth at his audio’connell Voiceover Talent Studio in Raleigh, NC.

One of the more pathetic attributes of any professional voiceover talent is our strange pride in our voiceover booths.

Peter K. O'Connell Studiobricks Assembly 2

There may or may not have been 1 or 2 pieces leftover when the Studiobricks was “allegedly” all assembled

Whether we have had one custom designed (I’m thinking of your former, magnificent Pool House VO booth, Joe Cipriano) or purchased a pre-made booth like my StudioBricks One Plus VO Edition, we voice talent boast and preen about our booths and recording studios.

Some of that boasting is probably to justify the expense…even when these booths quickly pay for themselves (thank goodness)…it’s still one of the biggest one-time business investments a voiceover talent will make. The VO business, as a rule, does not have the kind of large capital expenditures than many other types of business owners experience. That’s one reason many folks want to become VO’s…and it’s a poor reason.

Another more business-based, marketing reason is that our professional voiceover booths are a point of difference versus many voiceover talents who rent someone else’s studio to record or just record voiceover in the their closets. Our voiceover booths are more professional looking, almost always more professional sounding and present to producers the expected aural and physical representation of where a voiceover talent should be working.

If image isn’t everything, in this case, it IS something.

So we feature our professional voiceover booths in blog posts (like this), social media posts (which this blog will soon become part of) and our marketing materials for web sites, direct mail and networking. If you don’t tell advertising agencies, recording studios and video producers that you have a booth…they won’t know about your professional voiceover booth.

UD Magazine Winter 2016-17 (not the real cover)

No this is not the REAL cover of University of Dayton Magazine. The guy in the pink shirt just pasted himself on there. What a goof!

It was last summer that I got my latest copy of University of Dayton Magazine, the alumni magazine of the 2020 Men’s Basketball Atlantic 10 Champion University of Dayton Flyers (yes, that was a blatant plug for WINNING Dayton Flyers’ basketball, so what?). Oh, you’re right, that IS the same University of Dayton Magazine that in 2017 wrote an article about one of their famous voiceover alumni.

Like I said, last summer in my office reading the new University of Dayton Magazine and I notice a section I had seen before, UD Notes. It features updates from alumni and sometimes pictures of University of Dayton alumni holding an issue of University of Dayton Magazine in a unique place…like a foreign country or inside the cockpit of a fighter jet.

For no other reason than the idea just popped into my head, I thought to myself ‘I’ve never seen anyone take a picture of a University of Dayton Magazine issue inside a voiceover booth.’

So I grabbed one of my kids and we took a picture. I filled out the University of Dayton Magazine alumni notes form with an update, attached the picture, then promptly forgot about the whole thing.

Male Voiceover Talent Peter K. O'Connell in University of Dayton Magazine January 2020

UD Notes from University of Dayton Magazine January 2020, featuring Male Voiceover Talent Peter K. O’Connell

However, there it was in the latest issue, a picture and class note. And I got some calls from it. Free publicity.

What I did NOT count on was that they also post these Class Notes on line! That was a surprise I came across this morning, more than two months after the issue came out.

I don’t know everyone who has seen it or will still see it and what kind of business opportunity this represents. From a business perspective, I know it represents very clearly that doing something is better than doing nothing.