Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

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.

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