Wednesday, July 22, 2009

11 Reasons Your Voice Over Business Will Be A Success

I try to spend an hour each morning reading interesting articles about business and voice over. It helps to start the day with fresh ideas, and I like seeing what people are up to. This week, however, there seemed to be a very negative energy in the least with the articles I've come across. The one that put me slightly over the edge was the article that explained in detail the 9 ways my business would fail. Ok, it didn't target me specifically- it was written for anyone who owned a business.

The way I see it, there are plenty of unhappy things going on in the world today, so why contribute in any way to the negativity?

So, without further ado- here are the top 11 reasons I believe you are going to be a great success:

1. You care about your product. You've invested time and money into proper training, ensuring you can handle anything that comes your way.

2. You are trust worthy. You deliver your product on time and in the way your client asks you to (note: please check out my friend Caryn Clark's great blog on integrity).

3. You have the proper tools. Your studio sounds great, and the files you deliver are clean (no hum, mouth noise, unnecessary compression or EQ).

4. You are professional. From the first phone call or e-mail to the final invoice, you are up-front with your turn around time and rates, and you deliver on your promises.

5. You are likable. Relating back to a previous blog I wrote, your clients call you again and again because they enjoy you as a talent- and as a person. Other talents admire and like you as well, and aren't afraid to refer you to their own clients.

6. You are honest. If there is something you can't do, you are upfront about it. If the project is going to take longer than expected, you call your clients to let them know as soon as possible.

7. You are consistent. You take care of your voice (your tools) so that you are always able to deliver the same great product.

8. You value your services. You don't drop your rates to get the job, or 'beat out' someone else. You know you are worth the money the client will spend.

9. Your pride never gets in the way. You realize this job isn't about you, it's about providing a great product. You don't worry about auditions you didn't book, you don't take it personally if the client decides to go another direction.

10. You are innovative. Your studio is always up to date, and you are always researching ways to better yourself and your services.

11. You are a positive inspiration. The most powerful word in the English language is 'choose'. Every day you choose to say positive things, think positive thoughts, and be an inspiration to those around you.

So, there you have it. 11 reasons I know your voice over business will be a great success! I am quite sure there are many, many more reasons- so feel free to leave a comment and tell us about them!

Kara Edwards Voice Over

Monday, July 13, 2009

Outside of Voice Over...

Any full-time business owner would say that they have a 24 hour a day job. Voice Acting is no different. Have you ever recorded an audition past 11pm? I have. Have you ever just finished dinner, had the phone ring, and the next thing you know it's 8pm and you are in your recording booth doing a session? I have. Have you ever woken up with the sunrise to make it to your studio for an early morning session? I have. In fact, I'm guessing most of us have done these things many times!

When you truly love your job, it never feels like you are going to work. So, the late night or early morning sessions never feel like a burden. Auditioning can be fun, and great practice- so it never gets old. The truth is, passion is a great driving force, and success can be a little addictive. The question is, when was the last time you allowed your business to take a backseat?

Trust me, it's something I can easily write about in this blog, but it isn't so easily accomplished! I recently asked myself a few important questions: When was the last time you took a vacation without your travel studio? When was the last time you didn't look up the nearest studio to your hotel? When was the last time you took two hours out of your workday to do something you love?

And most importantly...When you work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week- don't you think you deserve the break? Yes, I do. So- I enrolled recently (after some serious encouragement from my husband) in photography classes. Now, I am someone who loves to learn, so I've taken many, many classes over the years. Yet, somehow they always relate back to voice over. Acting, Spanish, Improv, etc...they all help me with my job. But photography has absolutely nothing to do with voice acting- and that was little scary for me!

Friday was my first class. It was only two hours out of my day, and my business held up just fine in my absence. I managed to complete my class 'homework' this weekend, and yet still made it into my booth first thing this Monday morning to complete a recording. No one suffered, the sky did not fall...but I grew. As a photographer, and as a person.

So, I ask you...outside of voice over, what will you do this week?

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Importance of Being Likable

Last week an 'anonymous' LA Agent put a comment on Twitter that actors should always remember the importance of being likable. I couldn't agree more! We've all worked with someone that came across not so likable, and it can really leave a lasting impression.

Now, imagine being the client with a job on the line! It makes everyone's lives easier when we act professional, reliable, and yes...likable.

However, you don't want to ONLY be likable when you are behind the mic. As I always like to say, you never know where your next job is coming from.

Case in point- a couple of weeks ago I was in an airport in NC waiting on a delayed flight. I struck up a conversation with the woman next to me after I had helped her plug in her computer charger (the outlet was behind me). We chatted for a bit before she asked me what I do for a living. I'm a voice actor, I explained. I was expecting to have to offer more of an explanation (as I usually do), but she surprised me when she knew exactly what that meant! As it turns out, she works for a company that creates online tutorials, and regularly hires voice actors as part of her job. She asked if I had a card, and well- I gave her two :).

A different example happened just yesterday. I stopped into the local Pier 1 to see what things they might have on sale for the holiday weekend. I was contemplating a set of patio pillows when the sales girl asked if she could help me. We chatted a bit before she asked if we had ever met before. According to her, she 100% knew my face. I didn't recognize her at all. She asked if I had ever lived in South Carolina. I told her I had recently moved to Tampa from North Carolina. No, that wasn't it. I asked where in South Carolina she had lived. She said Florence, SC. Well, I knew instantly why I looked familiar to her. I've been the on-camera spokesperson for a car dealer in Florence for a couple of years now. That was definitely it, and we had a good laugh about what a small world it really is!

Now, imagine if I had been rude to her. She could have called her family and told them that the infomercial girl was not very likable. And believe me, I'm from a small town and I know how word can spread!

So, should we all be likable in the hopes of scoring a gig, or impressing someone that knows our work? No. We should all be likable because it's the right thing to do- and it makes the world a better, brighter place. Everything else is just icing on the cake!

Kara Edwards Voice Over

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A New Demo and a Valuable Lesson!

I've always been a big 'do it yourself' kind of girl. I like to make things, paint things, fix things, etc. Several years ago I tried to create my own website. It wasn't such a smart idea, which is why I ultimately had a website done professionally. (by Village Green Studios)

In the past 13 years that I've been a voice actor, I have never had a demo professionally produced. I've always done them myself, using real material and adding little bits on my own here and there. They've always served me quite well, but I've always wanted to have a demo created by a pro.

And now, a quick story if you don't mind. When we moved into our new house late last year, I knew I wanted the entire interior repainted. Florida homes are famous for their high ceilings (it helps with the heat) which are extremely difficult to paint. Still, I wanted us to do it ourselves. After putting 12 different samples on the walls in the past several weeks, I finally settled on a beautiful shade of beige. And so we painted, and painted. Proud of our accomplishments, we went off to bed. The next morning we awoke to a house that quite clearly had turned pink overnight. And not a very pretty pink at that.

Thankfully, one of our neighbors is a color expert. He runs a company that matches car paint after body work has been done. As he puts it, he knows color like I know voices. He came over, knew immediately where we had gone wrong, and accompanied us to the paint store to find the color we had intended all along.

The moral of this story? It's always better to go with a pro if you want the job done right.

Which brings me back to my new demo. I recently worked with the great folks at Voice Hunter to create a fresh new TV promo demo. I'm very happy with how it turned out! The process was a blast and there were ultimately so many cuts to choose from, it was difficult to get the demo down to a minute (a good problem to have!).

If you have a minute, please check out my new demo here! You can also hear it on my website at Then, if you have another minute- please let me know what you think!

Kara Edwards, Voice Actor