I have a brand of cereal I eat every single morning. Yes, every morning. I've even been known to travel with a box or two. The brand is called Nature's Path and the type is Pumpkin Flax. It is a healthy, organic, but oh-so-tasty kind of cereal and I love it! In fact, I've been known to scare my fellow shoppers by screaming "NO!" when I discover the local grocer is sold out of my beloved cereal.
I've gone store to store throughout town to discover which locations carry my cereal for the lowest price (that would be Trader Joe's). I buy several boxes at a time to ensure I never run out.
You may be wondering to yourself why I am writing a love letter on a public site to a box of cereal. It has nothing to do with a box of cereal, and everything to do with your client's expectations of your product.
You see, one day (a few months back), I decided to try a different type of cereal from the same manufacturer. It was in a larger box than my pumpkin flax, so I expected to get more cereal for my money.
When I arrived home and opened the box, I was shocked to discover that this large box contained half the amount of product in relation to the packaging! I felt I had been ripped off!
I immediately contacted the company with my complaint. I didn't honestly expect them to respond or to care...but they did! A response came within hours. They explained that the package's large size was due to shipping concerns (I'm sure it's a valid reason, though I was unable to fully grasp the explanation). She explained to me that the cost of the larger box was actually less than my smaller pumpkin flax because of the ingredients used. The company followed up on this conversation by sending me a coupon for one free box of their product.
Needless to say, I was impressed! Because of their professionalism (and outstanding product) I continue to use them to this day.
How does this relate to your business in voice over? Part of being a voice actor is creating your own packaging. From your demos, to your website, to the way you treat your clients. It is all part of the overall impression you put out every day.
The question you need to ask yourself is if your product matches your packaging? Can you back up that slick website? Is your talent properly showcased in your demos? Most importantly, is your product something your clients will want to use again and again?
While you consider these questions...here are a couple of links I strongly recommend checking out:
First, a post on VoiceOverSavvy in which Bob Bergen discusses the need to develop your own individual brand. Second, a post from my friend Mary McKitrick about all the things one must consider when setting their voice over rates.