I took my son to basketball practice yesterday. As I watched his coach put him through his various drills, I thought about how much of success in sports, life and being a successful voiceover talent, is tied to simple follow-through.
In so many sports, we talk about follow-through. Not only in a golf swing or tennis or baseball, but in following through with practice and strength training and having the correct mental attitude to succeed, whether it’s just for Pop Warner, high school, college or pro.
Following Through to Build a Successful Voiceover Talent Career
In voiceover, there is so much of one’s career that is dependent on follow-through. When first starting out, it’s essential to follow through with research, to uncover the information you need in order to determine if this is something you can and really WANT to do. Finding an appropriate workout group is the next step, to put into play what you think you can do, and get some coaching from someone with experience. And then after successfully completing a workshop, (or 3 or 4, or more) it’s about getting that all important voiceover talent demo together. So much follow-through there, to choose the copy you need, find a great audio engineer to mix it, get it packaged and branded appropriately, and tie it all together. You could spend many months, or several years just getting through this part of the prep work, to even put yourself in play to start looking for voiceover work.
Provided you get to the next level, and you have a demo, then you’ve got to follow through with attempts to secure agency representation (if you choose) or at least get out there on the internet with P2P sites, and other casting rosters, just to put yourself in the mix for the jobs you know are out there. But since there is so much competition for each job, it requires follow-through to continue building on not only your skills to be a successful voiceover talent, but also as a salesperson and marketing maven for your career. You have to follow through with emails, phone calls, social networking, maybe even in-person networking, depending on where you live and what kind of access to studios you may have.
If you’ve gotten this far, then you’ve got to follow through with getting your personal marketing skills in order, by putting together your own website to showcase who you are and what you can do. Again, this is probably something you will devote many man-hours to, and perhaps enlist the help of other professionals in branding, design, coding, SEO, and the list goes on.
Make Follow-Through a Daily Habit
And then, if you are finally a working, even moderately successful voiceover talent, the follow-through doesn’t end. Hopefully, you’ve built a solid engine that will keep chugging along, but you must still continue to stoke the fire. Every day, you are following through with clients who have projects in the works, and are waiting on that approved script. Or you’re following through with accounts payable, to make sure you’re not letting the money you’ve actually earned fall through the cracks. Or if you’re lucky, and have amassed a large database of clients, you must continue to follow through with them regularly, to make sure they know you’re still there, and ready to help with their next VO project.
Follow-Through: Without it, you are floating downstream with little direction or power. It’s not easy to stay motivated, day after day, year after year, with everything necessary to keep that career not only afloat, but thriving.
I know that many people are sometimes challenged with following through. But if you have developed a strong ability to consistently do what matters most, and you have a real passion and affinity for voiceover work, then there is potentially a successful voiceover talent career waiting for you. The secret is in the follow-through.
Debbie Grattan has been a working successful voiceover talent since the late 90’s, racking up thousands of projects and partnering with hundreds of production companies, marketing and advertising firms, commercial voiceover recording studios and corporate/business clients around the United States and throughout the world. Check out her Voiceover Talent Demos and request a CUstom Voice Audition for your upcoming project.