Entries Tagged as 'voiceover advice'

Accept Change and Let Go of Mistakes In Voiceover Marketing

Peter K. O'Connell voiceover email signature comparisonWhen other voice talents call me about their marketing or how to do marketing, there are many things I try and remind them.

Yes, I hammer on the importance of database and ALL that entails. Marketing plans too. And in reality, the anxiety and eye rolling that these points cause for many voice talents lets me know quickly that they really aren’t cut out for small business or micro business ownership.

But for those who still seem engaged after those two previous points, for those that want to learn more, I try and focus on two more things: be adaptable to change (change is OK) and know that you will make marketing mistakes (and don’t spend the emotional effort beating yourself up about your mistakes).

In my conversations with people, they can really be hard on themselves and feel like they’re failing. They feel like they have to get everything right…folks, it’s not going to happen.

So if you are one of those people, let me share with you the insignificant but maybe helpful (for you) story of my voiceover email signature.

At the beginning of 2024 I did a couple of things for my voiceover business:

  1. I created a new logo for my voice acting business that better reflected my voiceover brand in many ways
  2. I dropped my paid voice talent email signature tool (it felt like money wasted) and opted for a static design that I created for free from the templates available in Canva (my Canva signature is living proof that such templates make design like this idiot proof — says the idiot)

What you see in the graphic is the email signature that I created in February 2024 and then in July 2024…so 5 months.

Within that 5 months (again, just 5 months)….this Certified Marketing Executive and business owner for 40+ years made the following changes to the tool that is my email signature:

  1. I took the logo design that I created (shown in February) over to my graphic designer and I think you can clearly see why it’s worthwhile to hire a professional (so the signature has an updated logo) — that’s the CHANGE
  2. In my information ON my email signature in July, you’ll notice there is an additional line of information that was OMITTED, LEFT OUT and FORGOTTEN in the February email signature design – my voiceover credits (that’s the MISTAKE)

This last part is a significant omission/mistake because many media producers – whether they like to admit it or not – prefer to work with voice actors with national brand credits. It’s not that Chico’s Bail Bonds is not a respectable account (and I have voiced for many smaller brands) but if you have those recognizable credits, it gives you a leg up in the eyes of some hiring producers.

VO Workshop Mistakes Happen

But this experienced marketer, this “certified wizard of marketing” (I just made that up), this guy WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER left off the V.O. credits line from a marketing tool that is easily one of the most visible in my marketing arsenal.

How could I make such a mistake??

Because I was recording voiceover work, because I was producing audio, because I was fielding client calls, because I was sending out emails…because I was and am overwhelmed and I-made-a-mistake.

It’s going to happen and I am truly not beating myself up over it. You should not either – but I KNOW many of you are…knock it off! 🙂

So to summarize:

Yes you can and occasionally should (if warranted) make changes to your marketing – even if it’s only 5 months old – be open (but not a slave) to change.

You are also going to make errors in your marketing…some may even cost you money. Whether they do or not, stop the self-loathing and negative talk. Every darn body makes mistakes.

You. Are. OK.

Hope this helps.

A Declaration of Voiceover Networking and Education  

WOVOCON Unconference 2024I HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT….in my voiceover career 😉  – I’ve learned from many great voice acting teachers but I also feel some of my best professional learnings have come from my fellow voice actors during workshops and discussions.

One of the best examples of that for me was the FaffCon unconference events. They were awesome but FaffCon – with its wonderful uniqueness – is not coming back.

However, the unconference format (which FaffCon founder and fellow voice actor Amy Snively adopted) is about to make a major comeback in the voiceover industry and I am here for it.

World Voices (WOVO) board member George Washington, III met with Amy some months ago and Amy agreed to train George in the unconference format. While Amy will not be part of the event, WOVOCON (WOVO’s annual member conference) will adopt the unconference format in 2024.

This is not Faffcon redux – this will be its own event within the walls of a very popular and well proven voiceover conference format.

Voiceover Emcee Peter K. O'Connell at FaffCon 8

FaffCon 8 Emcee and Voice Talent Peter K. O’Connell

MY big news is that, similar to the role I had at FaffCon, World Voices President Dan Lenard has asked that I join George Washington as co-host the WOVOCON Unconference in Chicago on October 18-20, 2024.

A very nice honor indeed and I appreciate it.

Why does the unconference meeting model make me so excited for the 8th WOVOCON in Chicago?

I am happy because the WOVOCON Unconference format is 180° different from all the other voiceover conferences out there, both in presentation and spirit.

Does that mean the other conferences are bad? Nope, they are, generally, just not for me for — so many reasons, on so many levels.

The WOVOCON Unconference has nothing BUT fresh perspectives, discussions and topics. You pay one fee and that covers all your learning from association members. Simple, clean, effective.

I think this new opportunity wrapped up within the WOVOCON Unconference is a great gift to all the members of World Voices. I hope you’ll join us.

How Do You Not Know This: Print on BOTH SIDES

Peter K. O'Connell Voice Actor Business Card - Use Both Sides

You know how we all know stuff that other folks do not seem to know or are at least unaware of at that moment?

And yes…we’ve each been that person that didn’t know or was unaware (I know I have).

So anyway – I‘m just going to throw this out there for small or micro-business owners that might need this reminder – cause we gotta help each other out.

For most print marketing purposes (yes, I know there are exceptions) – print on BOTH sides of a sheet of paper.

What made me post this was (and I think over the decades I’ve posted this message before) AGAIN TODAY got an unsolicited flyer in my mailbox from a window cleaning service (printed on nice paper, attractively typeset, etc.) that was only printed on one side.

I believe that was a wasted marketing and branding opportunity (also I threw the flyer out because this kind of forced, unwelcomed marketing  – jammed in my mailbox – I find annoying as h-e-double hockey sticks).

But now back to the more valuable, overall marketing lesson.

Flyers, business cards, mailer inserts, postcards (that one should be VERY obvious)—point is whatever the printed piece — use the space you are given on the sheet of paper to get your message and branding across to your audience.

This does NOT mean you have to fill the entire document (front and back) with every darn thing. No, no, white space is still your graphic friend.

But you can use both sides judiciously, creatively and memorably to get your brand, message and call to action across to your audience.

If you’re going to shoot your shot…don’t leave any ammo unused.

Hope that helps.

Sometimes, clients and prospects just need to be reminded

Voiceover talents are (or should be) always either marketing their services or planning their next marketing effort.

It’s simply part of being a professional voice actor and running a business.

It’s the same for me (or any business really) – trying to come up with inventive and pleasant ways of letting my audience know I’m out here and I am open to work on their voiceover project.

The trick is not to be a pest about it.

My most recent voice marketing project was a textbook case of “marketing as a reminder”.

This is my second year of producing a generic, self designed, free, printed football schedule (8 1/2” x 11”) for my favorite team. I then share it with a targeted portion of my database – who all likely share that fandom with me.

2024 Buffalo Football Schedule

Aside from my logo and contact info – the majority of the calendar is just that — public information about the team schedule that my contacts can save or print out or toss. It’s just what I consider a nice way to say “hi” and promote our beloved team with a tool I’ve seen real estate agents use for years.

I say the following with 100% honesty – I had no expectation that this schedule was anything more than a “friendly wave” to my database.

About a day or two later, I get an email from a long time media buddy who received the schedule, noting that he was working on a project that would need a narrator for and my little schedule reminded him to call me.

He just needed a reminder.

Our reminders don’t have to be fancy or expensive or even a thing – I guess a phone call is a thing but the conversation is not something they can put on their shelf or tack to a bulletin board (but phone calls ARE great, subtle auditions for voice talents).

Maybe the point is to see your marketing efforts – regardless of your budget – as friendly, non-pesky reminders about your voice acting services.

A way to say “hi, when you’re ready, I’m here.”

You may find that they are, indeed, ready.

Hope this helps.

Micro-Business Owners Beware of Moo Printing

Moo Business Cards - Small Business Owners Beware

When you have worked with a vendor in the past who did bad work, but fixed it and tried to make it right, it’s fair that you give them a second chance (especially if you got a free credit on the 2nd job because of the screw ups on the 1st job).

In that second chance, when you speak directly to customer service BEFORE the project begins, tell them about past problems and ask customer service to spot check the project to avoid problem (they say they will) AND YET the vendor screws up the project anyway…because there WAS NO QUALITY CONTROL as promised…that vendor loses credibility as well as the business.

That’s what Moo.com did (erased all credibility with me) on my latest, professionally designed and submitted business card printing job.

Moo was warned about the past printing problems I had with them BEFORE printing started, ignored those detailed yellow flags I gently laid at their feet and went ahead and thoughtlessly botched the 2nd project of 2024 — just like they did the 1st project in 2023.

If you look at the graphic above, the bad business cards on the left side look like the printer jets went in one direction and the card stock in another and card cutter was have none of either.

The cards are the right show the work after the correction (and quality control check….finally) were delivered many days later.

So let this be a warning to ANY small or micro-business owner that Moo.com doesn’t really have a quality control check on small print orders. The embarrassed customer service rep from Moo even said I would likely be better served going to a small local printer on a project like this…except if you look at Moo’s marketing, they think my size business is a good prospect.

In short….

  • Moo’s customer service people are great, helpful and attentive
  • The actual cards I have had printed (after multiple corrections on both orders) turned out fine
  • Moo’s production and quality control team is (in my experience) crap

First I warned Moo to please check my project through to the end.

Now I am warning you of the unnecessary headaches I went through working with Moo on two projects about 1 year apart.

I hope you hear better than Moo.

“SPEECHLESS” Voiceover Podcast to Celebrate 100 Episodes on April 18, 2024

Speechless Voiceover Podcast 100th Episode - Peter K. O'Connell VoiceoverIn almost all of broadcasting, be it radio, TV or cable, making it to the 100th show is a milestone.

The same is true for podcasting and it’s especially true for voiceover podcasting (says the blogger/podcaster who couldn’t get past 3-4 episodes back in the waaaay early days of the medium).

Seriously, I’ve heard and long forgotten a large number of VO podcasts from producers who seemingly lost interest in the medium.

So when I saw a post from my voiceover pal (and fellow Faffer) Natasha Marchewka about the upcoming 100th episode of her SPEECHLESS voiceover podcast with Kim Wilson (on April 18th), I know it promises to be a big deal.

Over 2 (maybe now 3) seasons/years, Kim and Natasha’s SPEECHLESS podcast has been a behind-the-scenes take on real life in the voice over biz! The good, the bad and the ugly.

SPEECHLESS Voiceover Podcast with Natasha Marchewka & Kim WilsonIt takes true production commitment and focus to keep a podcast (or any media program) on-air for ANY length of time. Guest aren’t always great, ideas aren’t always flowing….but if you have the determination, producers like Kim and Natasha fly over the problems and focus on the good stuff.

If you get to 100 episodes, that means the audience likes all the good stuff and wants you to keep going.

And that there (as we say in the south) is the greatest cause for celebration there is!