By Stephanie Ciccarelli
April 14, 2010
Inevitably you won't be able to do every job that comes your way. This is particularly true of projects that don't align with your personal beliefs, a topic which we've touched on before.
But what do you do when you are sick, on vacation or too busy to take on a voice over job with a tight deadline?
Instead of just passing on the gig, how about applying some thought to creative solutions that will still help you to serve that client and be perceived as helpful.
Being sick isn't fun, especially if it means that you have to pass on work opportunities that you could have done in good voice for a client who depends upon you or for a prospective client who has a great opportunity.
There are different ways illness manifests itself and in some cases, you can record no problem when you're sick... however, if that illness affects the desired timbre of your voice or quality of performance, it really is in the best interest of your vocal health (and your business) to use your time wisely to rest, heal and build up energy reserves.
Some talent may say that their voice is still in demand when they are sick, however, if you do record and speak when your voice should be resting, you may find that you set yourself back in the healing process thereby prolonging or worsening your illness. The choice is up to you, but keep your voice and health in mind when making that choice!
Another tidbit I overheard was that some talent give discounts if they are in poor voice. This is a topic on its own that could be discussed at a later date. The thinking behind this is that you aren't at your best and you also won't be able to replicate that sound as easily again.
That aside, here's something that every voice over artist should do!
A Good Suggestion for Any Voice Artist:
à¹ Make a list of backup talent you can refer just in case the need arises
à¹ Create a client account at Voices.com in case you need to outsource the VO
Instead of simply turning your client away with nothing, you could make a recommendation or cast someone in your stead. This will help them achieve their goal and meet their present needs. They'll appreciate it and find value in your creative problem solving skills.
Everyone needs to take a break, right? If you have plans to go away for a vacation, there are a couple of things you should do well in advance of your trip that will make your getaway more relaxing and less inconvenient for your regular clients.
One idea is to write a email newsletter that you can send to your client list. I've seen many voice over talent do this a couple of weeks in advance of the date they are leaving to go away.
By letting your customers know you'll be unavailable well in advance, you can give them a much needed heads up and also the opportunity to record for them before you leave. This results in grateful customers and can also lead to an influx in work for you prior to your vacation.
This Translates To:
à¹ More work coming in almost immediately
à¹ Peace of mind for the clients who depend heavily upon your services
For those of you who have regular gigs and need to deliver regardless of where you are (even if you're vacationing), here are four recommendations to consider:
à¹ Make contact with a fully equipped recording studio in the city you're visiting
à¹ Bring a portable recording studio with you (laptop, microphone, etc.)
à¹ If recording in your hotel room, insulate the "studio" area well
à¹ Ensure that your Internet connection is sufficient to deliver large files
This can happen! I know that you're probably thinking that this phenomenon is only reserved for the people making six or seven figures, but it can also happen to you.
God willing, there will be days when you are booked with back to back sessions. This could be true even more so for those of you who teach, produce or consult in addition to perform.
I mean, just think... in a given day you are auditioning, promoting your voice, doing client work and juggling any number of responsibilities.
To illustrate, let's say you booked an audiobook narration gig and you had to set aside three weeks of your life to dedicate to that specific project. Doing this wouldn't leave you with much time to work for other people, would it?
What Can You Do?
Just as we discussed earlier, you will need to use good judgment and only schedule in work that you know you are capable of doing in a professional and timely manner.
à¹ Find a good way to budget your time
à¹ Keep an online booking calendar for your clients to view your schedule
à¹ Discern which projects can be recorded and which ones you cannot
à¹ Have a list of talent you can refer the extra work to
The idea of using discernment crosses all three of the identified situations, those being illness, vacationing and unavailability.
Be sure to comment with your ideas or thoughts!
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