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2014 Is Coming, Are You Ready?

Tom Dheere

2013 is almost gone. Crazy how the older one gets, the faster time flies.

How did you do as a voice talent this year?

* Did you hit all your financial goals?

* Upgrade your equipment?

* Are you better at your craft?

* Did you strengthen your marketing presence?

Edge Studio students are taught that success in our industry takes more than time at the mic. It’s not all fun, but it can all be interesting, if you have a plan.

Did you have a plan of any kind, or did you just slam into things sideways, hoping gigs would automatically spill out of your phone?

Unfortunately, that’s the case with many people, maybe most. And for everyone, there’s always something more you can do to make the most of your time, and fill in the gaps.

So it’s already time to make your New Year’s resolution. Don’t let 2014 become a year where you didn’t accomplish anything of note. Think now about how to schedule your cold calls, write that blog, and perform better. Stop the vicious “I’ll do it tomorrow” cycle, and truly advance your voice over career.

To get on the right path, you need three things: a Mission, Goals, and a Plan. These may sound similar, but they are distinct and, in my opinion, critical to your success as a voice talent.

The difference is that a Mission is broad, while Goals are focused. A mission declares who you are, what you want, and what you will do to get what you want. It is the changeless core that will allow you to withstand change. Writing a Mission Statement is a challenge and takes time. It forces you to examine who you are and your values. Trust me, it’s worth it!

Once you have the Mission Statement in place, you have to set goals to realize that mission. The goals should be specific and address all the major areas that are integral to a successful voice over career.

What are your revenue projections for the upcoming year? Ensure your spending habits and personal bottom line are in sync with your estimated earnings. Is your performance ability up to par? If you feel that you are lacking, what can you do to enhance your booking potential? Continuing education in voice over isn’t a luxury, it is a necessity. Make sure you are budgeting time and money for training. Branding and marketing are also key areas that need to be addressed. You are your own voice over business! Unlike other industries, your body IS your business, so proper vocal care is vital in maintaining your career. Once you have booked voice over work, it is also imperative that you preserve those client relationships, so it always pays to remain professional.

Although it may seem daunting, all these concerns must be dealt with for you to be a truly successful voice talent.

Like defining your Mission, crafting Goals requires some serious thought and a thorough examination of how you want to be a part of the voice over community. Vague goals will get you vague results. Specific goals will get you specific results. The goal, “I’m gonna make more money doing voice overs” is nice, but what can you do with that? How is that actionable? The goal, “I will earn 10% more than I did last year by building a marketing campaign to focus on acquiring more e-learning clients” is MUCH more specific, actionable, and effective!

At that point, an Action Plan is critical! This is what you use to achieve those Goals on an incremental basis. Your Action Plan should be task-oriented and designed to help you develop a regimen. Your criteria in pursuing these tasks should be specific and strong. Make them clear, and attainable on a regular basis. And start now.

It’s amazing how time flies.

If you want to learn more, please join me at my Edge Studio Business and Money 201 webinar “Setting Goals for 2014’ on Thursday, December 12 at 8:00 PM EST.