A few weeks ago I started making a list. I wanted to write down 10 things I learned this year about voice over. I quickly realized 10 just wouldn't cut it. If I was to be honest with myself, the list would likely be closer to 1000 things I've learned this year!
I decided to stick with the number 20.
While I actually learned a few of these items prior to 2008, they were at the very least reinforced in 2008- and therefore worthy of my top 20 list.
So, in no particular order...here are the Top 20 Things I Learned About Voice Over in 2008...
1. Trusting your own instincts with voice over work is always the way to go.
2. Social networking (VOICE, VO-BB, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc) is vital- you never know where your next job may come from, and you never know when you may have a job to offer!
3. If you want to install ISDN at home, it helps tremendously if you are incorporated. They will want your tax ID#, incorporation date, state, etc. Otherwise, expect to wait at least 6 weeks for instillation.
4. It is possible to keep deadlines regardless of what happens behind the scenes.
5. Relocating is no fun, but building a new studio is!
6. Creating a budget and sticking to it will help you be successful.
7. To have a home studio- you need an engineering degree. If you don’t have an engineering degree, it is important to have smart friends.
8. Receiving feedback from clients on your work really helps you improve!
9. It’s not how many clients you have; it’s how many relationships you develop that counts.
10. Saying no to work is OK.
11. Saying yes to fun or meaningful work at slightly lower rates is also OK.
12. Regular, monthly work rocks!
13. Unexpected, last minute work rocks!
14. I don’t do hard labor for a living; therefore it isn’t the end of the world when a client asks for major revisions. I can do them, and I can find a way to not be insulted by them.
15. Pilates helps with a stiff “I’ve been producing for 8 hours straight” neck.
16. When you are up against a deadline, and the creative juices just aren’t flowing…take a walk and have a conversation with your dog. Both will clear your head and inspire you.
17. When a project feels overwhelming, focus on recording the first line…the rest will then flow right out of you. Just getting started can be the hardest part.
18. You have a thousand chances to win over a client, but only one chance to lose them. Once they are gone, they aren’t coming back (said as a customer who will no longer give my business to a certain company- that blog will come later).
19. It is always best to under-promise and over-deliver than to over-promise and under-deliver.
20. The greatest people in the world are in our line of work. Those who may be your competitors will likely also be your best friends. Pick up the phone at any time and call tech support for any of the audio equipment suppliers, they will be the most helpful folks around.
So, there you have it...the top 20 things I learned about voice over in 2008! One thing I've always known is how truly blessed I am to have a job I completely love. Waking up each morning, walking into my studio, recording the best audition I can, and solving my client's problems make each day unique and special.
This New Year's Eve I will be looking forward to a 2009 that is even better than 2008, though I'm not sure how that could be possible! I'll also be wishing the same for you.
Feel free to leave a comment telling us the top things you learned in 2008! And, for a look ahead at 2009- be sure to check out "The Report On The Voice Over Industry in 2009" by Voices.com!
Happy New Year!!