At some point in the last several months, Facebook business pages changed their terminology, so that instead of having “fans,” my female voiceover services page now has “followers.” Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer the term “fans!” The word not only seems germane to the business of being a professional voice artist, but it also speaks to a new word I encountered recently: “fandom.”
Fandom refers to the community that springs up and surrounds a popular movie, television show, book, or even a single character. Those lines of folks dressed in costume as well-known characters? The wildly popular voice actor panels at conventions? Fandom in action!
In my decades of work in the entertainment industry as a working female voiceover actor, I’ve gotten to see the power of fandom in action, but I’ve also realized that I try to encourage a kind of fandom among my own clients as well.
Last year I was very fortunate to be asked to voice a character named Aquatique on The Centsables, an educational animated series for children that recently picked up a 2013 Telly Award. Aquatique is a duck with a Southern Belle accent — She’s a character that I absolutely love to voice and the kids that watch the show really enjoy her too!
The experience of voicing an animated character reminds me of my time at Disney years ago. I had the opportunity to play (in live-action shows) The Evil Queen from Snow White, as well as the truly delightful and practically-perfect-in-every-way, Mary Poppins.
Thanks to the work of Disney’s top notch hair, makeup, and custom costume team, I was able to totally transform myself and give the kids and their families the experience of seeing the characters they knew and loved, up-close and personal. Walking around dressed in Mary Poppins’ beautiful white carousel dress, I spoke in her famous accent and joined little girls for tea. It was a delightful experience and it showed me just how much people rally around characters they feel like they “know.”
Creating Your Own Female Voiceover Client Cheering Section
In my work as a freelance voice talent, I’ve definitely learned the importance of trying to get my clients to also be my fans. There are plenty of talented women out there providing female voice over services, so why should my clients stick with me over all the rest? The first answer that comes to mind is because I work hard to give them plenty of reasons to cheer for me and spread the word about how my involvement in their projects makes their job easier and gets the results that they (and their clients) are looking for.
In this day and age, the prevalence of telecommuting means I have to deliberately find those moments of personal connection that can turn a client into a true fan. I try to go the extra mile with all of my clients, not only responding quickly and professionally, but also demonstrating genuine interest and care for the details of their lives they share with me.
I also acknowledge that for many of my business clients, the work of bringing in a female voiceover actor can be one of the most creative aspects of their job. I strive to be the kind of fun, easygoing talent that they want to partner with again and again, knowing that our work together can be a lot more like play!
By consistently delivering 110% to each client and actively soliciting reviews of my work, I hope to keep building my “fan base” for years to come.
Debbie Grattan is a female voiceover talent with more than 20 years experience in the industry. She has recorded over 10,000 projects while partnering with hundreds of production companies, marketing and advertising firms, commercial voiceover recording studios and corporate/business clients around the United States and abroad. Check out her Female Voiceover Demos and request a Complimentary Custom Audition for an upcoming project.