Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

February 14, 2011

Unsubscribe at your own risk!

Filed under: Business, Musings — Tags: — connieterwilliger @ 2:54 pm

I’ve heard stories about how clicking on unsubscribe links can actually lead to more spam email. And I know about spoofing and fake URLs. But I thought my spam filter was doing pretty well at keeping the flood of “illegitimate” spam (or would that be “legitimate” spam because it actually IS spam?) away from my In Box, so I have been madly clicking on “unsub” links and trying to get off most of the commercially oriented lists that I have over the years accumulated. These are companies that I have bought something from one time, or asked a question, or something and ended up on their mailing lists, but am now simply trying to see if I can cut back a bit.

So far, with pretty good success. But today, I got an email from a company selling (ironically) mailing lists and saw an unsubscribe link at the bottom. So in a moment of abandon I clicked on the link – and it unsubscribed me from Groupon. Quite a suprise to end up there and I wondered if it this was a mistake or intentional on the part of the person selling the mailing lists.

There was a contact phone number and a live person answered – and when I asked if his name was “Paul” (the person who purportedly sent the email), he said yes. I then informed him of the “problem” with his link. He told me that he would take care of it. I hope he does.

The link to Groupon automatically unsubscribed me. And although the webpage did offer an option to resubscribe, that link didn’t work, so I had to call Groupon to get back subscribed.

I’ve learned this lesson before, but so much time has passed without problems and I just got lazy. So, in the future, I will make sure that the Unsubscribe link is going to a place I recognize as “legitimate.”

February 12, 2011

Thinking about FaffCon 2

Filed under: Announcements, Business, Techniques — Tags: , , , , , — connieterwilliger @ 4:03 pm

Just about 2-weeks now before FaffCon 2 – this time tagged with Electric Boogaloo – so I am trying to find appropriate clothes and platform boots. I do have a pair of macrame earrings from the 70’s so those are going into the suitcase.

The trip to Atlanta will be a double treat because prior to the weekend conference, I will be able to spend some time with a friend who moved there several years ago. Hope that it warms up a bit there over the next week or so!

No doubt, FaffCon 2 will have a completly different vibe* than the groundbreaking first unconference for working voiceover pros, but I am sure that information exchanged will be equally valuable – perhaps even greater in value because of the lessons learned. Prior attendees may be more prepared to lead and/or contribute to the posted sessions – and will be able to jump right into posting session topics and encouraging new attendees to do the same.

If you are on your way, be sure to pack those business cards, comfy clothes and an open mind. Stop by the FaffCon 2 website to check out the session ideas that have been posted so far – and add one or two of you own on topics you want to know more about. Or perhaps you have some special area of expertise you want to share. In that case, be prepared to lead a session! You actually don’t have to know a lot about something to lead – you can just start the conversation and moderate.

It really is free form chaos that somehow seems to work really well.

Safe travels all and see you on the 25th in Hot-lanta!

* Clarifying what I meant by “completely different vibe” – since there will be a different mix of people with different backgrounds and experiences and in a different place, the way everyone works together will simply be different. Perhaps the adverb “completely” is too strong a word. Yeah – too strong – let’s just go with different – but just as fun, just as informative, just as much of a bonding, growing experience as the first FaffCon.

February 6, 2011

The MacGyver Approach to VO?

Filed under: Business, Marketing, Musings — Tags: , , , — connieterwilliger @ 4:40 pm

A post on a Facebook thread* this morning got me thinking about what you need to start a business. Can you make it in the voiceover business with “duct tape” and creative thinking? Well, not eveyone can be MacGyver. There is a bit more to it than that.

David Cross, a man with natural talent in voiceover and a deep background in marketing and business stated:

…for anyone “starting a business – don’t think you need any investment. It’s easy to get your first sales in through duct tape and creative thinking and use that money to put back into building the business. “Never a borrower nor a lender be.”

To which I too quickly replied in a lame attempt at humor…

I know duct tape is wonderful, but I tried to make a mic with it and failed utterly.

David followed up…

Duct tape is a “metaphor for getting things achieved even though apparent obstacles exist.

Certainly some with the right natural tools and marketing skills can be in the right place at the right time and start their business on little more than a roll of duct tape. But “easy?” Therein lies the rub. What is easy for some is Mt. Everest for others.

The business of voiceover has changed so much over the years, but the bottom line still remains – you must know that you have something to offer, and find the people who want to buy what you have to sell.

For some, understanding what you bring to the table may involve classes, coaching, studying. For others, this knowledge may have been present from birth.

For some, figuring out who wants to buy what they have to sell may forever be a mystery – or the steepest hill they have ever climbed. Others may understand marketing 101 and are able to match up their skills with the people with the $$.

Do you need to invest $$ in order to make this happen? Or will the duct tape metaphor carry you to success? Everyone’s path to making the business of voiceover pay off as a career is different. There are no bread crumbs. And certainly, given just how hard it is to make a living doing voiceover work, if you are just getting started, you shouldn’t mortgage your house while waiting for the sacks of money to arrive. In that I do not disagree with David.

But, let’s get back to getting “your first sales in.” And then the next and the one after that until you know that they will keep coming. It really takes something special to reach that point where you know you can pay the bills on what you earn doing voiceover work – some unique combination of talent and marketing skills that cannot be bottled. For most people, it will not be “easy” to bring in those first gigs using duct tape and creative thinking.

* The thread was started by Nancy Wolfson – she had posted a quote from The Social Network about inventing a job, not finding a job.

February 5, 2011

For some things you need to commit with every fiber of your being

Filed under: Business, Marketing, Musings — connieterwilliger @ 3:39 pm

How do you make the jump from good to great? It’s not hard to identify not-so-good from good, but just what it is that sets “great” apart?

Some of this is subjective, yes. We don’t all agree on who should win the Golden Globe or the Oscar for example. When it comes to Fine Art, there is even more subjectivity. But mostly we can see or hear when something is “good.” Or maybe not. Is it just natual ability?

When it comes to work where timing is critical – say dance, music – or – wait for it – (rim shot) – comedy, I think there has to be some natural ability to achieve “good.”. But you need much more than that to be “great.” You need passion, energy, and enthusiasm. And even then, if the audience doesn’t understand what is happening, then the ability to discern “greatness” falters. You also need committment, but if that committment is only to the craft and not to the business, greatness may elude even those with the best natural ability.

The young boy in this video has a natural ability. He certainly has the passion, the energy and the enthusiasm. But will he have the committment (or be allowed to have the committment) to take this ability to greatness. At this point in his life, his parents will play a critical role in nurturing his passions with the right training at the right time.

No matter how “good” you are, there are other things you need to have to make it. A “great” artist with no business sense, no technological abilities, and no street smarts will probably not be able to show the world how “great” they really are.

Here’s to Jonathan – at age 3 he shows remarkable natural talent, passion, energy and enthusiasm. From the laughter and excitement of his parents, he may also find that he has the support to allow the committment. It would be fun to see what happens in 20 years.

February 3, 2011

Hey, it’s cold here too!

Filed under: Musings, Recording — connieterwilliger @ 10:35 am

A lot of my clients are snowed in. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to get around in all that snow and ice and just plain cold. It’s been a long time since I had to scrape a windshield. And this week I have had a number of sessions, calls or emails where the subject centered on them wishing they were able to transport themselves to sunny San Diego.

Please know that, while there is not 12 inches of snow on the ground – I did have ice this morning in a shaded area of my backyard – and I am presently sitting in my studio with a turtle neck sweater, a sweatshirt, scarf and gloves. It is pretty chilly here too!

In fact, the temps here in San Diego have been much cooler than normal over the past year or so and I have been thinking about moving somewhere closer to the equator – so that I can actually get in the water for some body surfing. I could work anywhere with a good Internet connection – couldn’t I? Ah – Italy!

OK – fantasy time over, I have to get back to work – there are voiceovers to do and maybe if I stand up in my padded room, the circulation will come back to my fingers.

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