Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

October 27, 2010

Is Cold-Calling Dead?

Filed under: Business, Marketing — connieterwilliger @ 12:17 pm

Interesting discussion on Facebook right now about the benefits (or not) of cold-calling. Smiling and Dialing is a term I have used.

Conflicting opinions have emerged. Could advances in technology be killing the Cold-Call?

The original post espoused the positive results of cold-calling using the example of  more work for a repeat client who had initially been the result of a cold-call. This is, of course, cold-calling people who you KNOW are interested in the kind of work you do. Marketing 101 – pre-qualify your leads.

An immediate opposing viewpoint was posted – with face-to-face networking indicated as the key to conversion.

I think that as with so many other things in our business life these days, the times they are a changing.

Do the networking thing first if your potential client is in your physical area. If you are touching someone remotely, then you have three practical choices – email, social networking, and the phone.

My phone results have slowed down lately and my social networking results have gone up. The emailing results have stayed about the same. These are not scientific results, your results may vary.

Where a few years ago, I would leave messages on a cold-call, today, if I can’t reach someone in person on the phone, I choose not to leave a message – if it is a company voice mail. If it is a cell phone that tells them that someone has called, well, that is a different story, then I feel compelled to leave a message – usually saying that I will follow up with an email so no return call is expected. 

So my marketing efforts are shifting – away from cold-calls and relying more and more on networking, referrals, and social media. However, I still use use the phone to RECONNECT with someone IF I have something very specific to say.

October 17, 2010

The Free Lance Mindset Helps Bridge the Gap

Filed under: Business, Marketing, Negotiating — connieterwilliger @ 8:18 am

I have always been risk averse. Never was a dare devil. Never did anything “wrong” when I was growing up. I was a good kid, because I didn’t want to get into trouble. I couldn’t imagine gambling, or playing the stock market. So how did I end up in the kind of job where  you never know from day to day if you are going to earn money?!

It could be due to the fact that I saved the peanuts from the Peanut M&M’s during road trips so I would be able to spread out the goodness for a long time. It could be because of my parent’s example of creative eclectic thriftyness. It could also be due to the number of places I lived while growing up – my stability was in being flexible. The ability to jump in and make things happen in pretty much any situation.

And due to the moving around, the idea of having to work in an office every day with someone peering over your cubicle wall checking to see if you have arrived was not appealing. Even working at a radio or TV station on the air was ultimately not my cup of joe. Oh, I loved the idea of being a DJ, but you really did have to be there – at least back then in the dark ages.

So, I started to free lance doing lots of different things – eventually ending up  working out of my home studio as voice talent. And there are weeks when things get very slow – no denying that. The key is not to panic – to have a plan to fill in that time with productive work-generating or body-renewing activities.

This summer was a bit slow, so I redoubled my marketing efforts, digging through the old client folders and reconnecting, using my social networks more aggressively, and taking some time for myself.

The result of some of this effort was a fun week of work and bookings. Some of it continuing projects, but most new work from new and repeat clients. Most of the contacts last week did not ask for auditions, they knew my work and were simply contacting me to do their job. Even more positive was that ALL of these jobs were for my usual and expected rates, not the race to the bottom rates that seem to come from many of the leads you get from the P2P sites.

This did not happen overnight of course, but my free-lance mind set and thrifty life style helped me get to this point.

October 3, 2010

Car Noise Reduction

Filed under: Recording, Technology — connieterwilliger @ 8:56 am

Controlling random noise in a studio is a constant challenge if you don’t have a heavy duty floating walled recording space. Even if your space is treated acoustically and your tracks end up clean and noise free, sometimes there is a lot that ends up on the cutting room floor to achieve that result.

While it may sound a bit odd, I have two recording spaces. One inside a small closet in the main house is primarily for my ISDN projects. The other – the spot where I do most of my work – is out in the back yard in a separate structure. There is a small recording space and another larger area for the rest of the work we need to do when we are not recording.

I’ll tell the story of the two spaces sometime, but right now a growing noise issue is on my mind.

The bulk of my work is short form spots, short marketing pieces, IVR prompts and eLearning projects with lots of individual files. I have been able to work around the “noise” that passes by in the alley behind my studio – not completely frustration free, but successfully.

Lately though, the noise has been increasing. New neighbors? Different work schedules? Am I recording at a different time of the day? Don’t know, but I have noticed more cars passing – which takes just a second or two, but it does interrupt a take.

And now, on those occasions when I am recording a longer form project – when I want to record as many paragraphs as possible in one take – the noise from the alley is starting to be a bit more obtrusive. Recording an audiobook in this studio would require much more work and perhaps not as spontaneous a storytelling result.

The solution is probably relatively simple and not very expensive. Add a PC to the inside studio so that I can record. This would also be a value added service to my ISDN work.

 I don’t want to be in the main house all the time – I need a place to “go” when I go to work in the morning. I know myself well enough to know that the 25 foot walk from the back door to my outside office is enough to help me focus on my job.

The walk also reminds me to water the garden.

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