I've been a voice artist (voice talent to us Yanks) for quite a while now and I have a confession to make - over the years I've become a bit lazy.
What ever happened to that young woman with a fire in her belly - that feisty, determined wannabe who was hell-bent on breaking into the VO biz and was willing to scale mountains to make it happen? I'll tell you what happened to her - she boarded the Apathy Train, with stops in Got an Agent City, I'm Established Parkway and Regular Clients Junction. I didn't decide to stop nurturing my voiceover career, I just stopped stoking the furnace, and that's simply not good enough. Yeah, I could produce a dozen excuses for why I haven't been spending as much time on marketing as I used to - family commitments, pursuing other interests, lawn needs mowing, blah blah blah. But the truth is, being a voice artist/talent is the coolest job on the planet (not to mention a privilege) so making sure I get to keep doing it has got to be a priority.
For me, self-promotion as a working VO is a tricky business. My thinking has often been 'If I'm already established, how I approach potential clients without sounding pathetic and desperate?' So I asked a deeper, more important question: 'What is my roadblock here?' The answer - my thoughts.
First, I had to let go of the self-limiting belief that approaching new clients would make me appear needy and weak. I then had to embrace the idea that marketing my business is proactive, professional and absolutely essential!
New VOs are entering the business every day. If they all have the same drive that I did all those years ago, whilst I'm here doing the bare minimum to stay in the game, it doesn't take a genius to work out where those tracks lead - last stop Obscurityville.
So! It's time to fling myself off the caboose (for you Brits, that's the last car of a train and also your arse) and do a parachute roll into the great unknown. After all, just because I'm already on the mountain, doesn't mean I should stop climbing.
by Dian Perry
Dian Perry is a US Voice Artist and voice coach based in London. She teaches character voice at City Lit in Covent Garden and runs character voice workshops at drama schools in Cambridge and London. Visit www.dianperry.com for more information.