In any business, networking is important. But because Voiceover Talents work from behind the microphone, I believe often they may neglect the sunshine and the rain. From your soundproof closet or booth, its sometimes hard to remember that there is a whole world out there where people shake hands and kiss babies.
It’s a world where you are not just heard, but seen. I often hear from other talents that your demo is your calling card but I disagree. Its a handshake that’s your calling card. For this reason I spend much of my time reaching out to actual people, and shaking their hands.
So much is made of who you know or what you know. But the key is who knows you. For a long time Voiceover talent never wanted to connect their faces with their voices. Demos and online presence was never associated with pictures. This was to keep people guessing about your voice type and not pigeonholing you based on your appearance. But when you run a voice over business, that traditional thinking may go out the window. Its important that people remember your face when a project comes up 6 or even 12 months later.
There are several things that I arm myself with when networking. The first one cost me nothing. Its my smile. I’ve been complimented on it for years. And when I realized that it was an asset in my business, I started to use it. In fact, just smiling helped me break out of my introverted vocal booth mindset to make networking more fun and effective. People remember it and respond to my apparent friendliness.
But the smile is only part of it. We’ve all heard the legends of the the voice talent with bummy sweats, dirty sneakers and ruffled hair who went into the studio and walked out with a $10,000 check for 10 minutes of work, right? After all, that was the selling point that I was told. But I discovered when I got out into the world of decision makers, that that guy was an urban myth. Or at least this wasn’t going to be my reality any time soon. In fact I had an incident that proved the opposite. I was out with friends at a restaurant when a client I had been wooing saw and approached me. He looked me up and down and said “You look quite prosperous.” I gave him that smile and a handshake and received a call from him a few weeks later. Since then, he has been my client going on 2 years now.
So what does a voiceover talent look like? For me it means looking comfortable and stylish. Its a cosmopolitan look. It’s look that says “I do voice over work and I’m successful at it. And I’m comfortable in life.” After all, people like doing business with people who are experienced. Because of this, people believe in my product before they even hear it. But recreating “my style” and image won’t be effective for everyone. YOU must choose your look but remember that people will think of that look as your voice type, or as your level you are at in your career. So I recommend that you at least dress in something that will draw positive recognition.
The last thing to remember is that going to one event gets you invited to others. This will build your network of potential clients and friends. I sign myself up for list so that I can be notified of upcoming events. Exposure, Exposure, Exposure. This is your key.
Voiceover Talent available at DaneReidMedia.com