Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

December 22, 2009

More on the Business of VO

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , , — connieterwilliger @ 10:19 am

I read a lot of message boards and user groups focused on the voiceover biz. One of them is the Yahoo Voiceover Newsgroup and a recent thread has been about some of the many changes facing the – well, pretty much ANY business these days.

Combine the economy woes with the changes that the Internet brings every day and you have a lot of old-timers scrambling to make the new world of voiceover work for them. You also have more and more who want to break into the business lured by promises of easy money just for talking. It takes a lot more than just talent…

Here are a couple of paragraphs of sage advice from Jennifer Vaughn.

Talent doesn’t take the front seat in any successful business.  A successful business requires a savvy business person who is knowledgeable in all the elements required to make a business profitable.  That includes: a strong work infrastructure built by you, marketing, sales, promotion, branding, networking, advertising, negotiating, customer service, recording keeping, and bookkeeping. Yes, you have to be a bean counter too first, then hire someone when you start making the money. If you don’t know the first thing about bookkeeping, you are not going to understand the numbers to discuss strategy in your business which is required to hit your numbers each and every day, week, month, and year.  The very same thing with Sales….if you are not the ultimate salesperson and you think your work speaks for itself, you are sorely mistaken.   If your thought is, “I’m just a talent, I don’t get involved in that”…then expect to have issues with the IRS, expect to have issues with “down” years, and expect to not be a consistently thriving business.  You would be lacking the responsibility of working your business into a constant state of evolution.  Do you think Oprah, Warren Buffet and The Donald would be the icons of our time if they just through their “talent” was key to success? Nada!

And let’s not forget the personality type which is almost a necessity to make a business successful…..the type “A” personality of: quick study, flexible, self motivated, ambitious, goal oriented, work ethic or work-a-holic mentality, overly competitive, creative thinker, multi-tasker, strong/deep desire to achieve, firm demeanor (you’re not seen as a pushover) all play into making headway into success.  Without these personality traits (and these are ingrained in you as person, not learned in a few years), the ability to achieve is even farther away from you.  The other side of the coin is “luck”, and luck is one in a million….the odds of being successful with “luck” is like winning the lottery.  Odds are against you.  It happens, but it’s a one in a million chance.



  1. Pretty much calls a spade a spade, CT.

    It seems like I get a request to mentor about 3 times a month. At first, I turned folks down because I was, literally, too busy. Now I have 3 proteges and am limiting it to that for now.

    I know this is a public forum, but I must admit, candidly, that all this hand-holding of newbies tends to be annoying. 22 years ago, when I was trying to break into the business, there was NOBODY – ZIP – BUPKUS to help me. I had to make all the mistakes, and learn all the hard lessons, and get my chops the hard way. I think the newbies need to solve their own problems just like I had to; doing so makes one STRONG.

    We have an incredible irony these days thanks to technology: it is cheaper than ever to create a semi-pro home audio studio, so everybody who’s been downsized in radio (or wherever!) jumps in to see what the water is like. Then, because we have too many talent, nobody gets any work, or at least enough to get even close to fulfilling the myth that you can make money in this biz. I believe we will see a great exodus of weak players in the coming 2-3 years (by end of 2013). Supply/demand will come somewhat back into balance, and this “market bubble” in VO will finally have the air let out of it. I can’t wait!

    Comment by Dick Ervasti — December 22, 2009 @ 10:04 pm

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