The Compassionate Voice
by Leesha on September 18th, 2018

Today’s voiceover business professional knows the importance of a strong Web and Social Media presence.  Since success our goal, we want to post our demos and information on as many sites as necessary to reach voice casters. In the same way, there can be an increased need for voiceover professionals to practice proper online safety.  Practicing smart online safety is vital for your business and personal information’s security.
 
Whether posting, surfing, or viewing, online safety is an individual responsibility. The Star On-line’s article, Identity Theft Poses A Threat to Every Internet User, notes the most common forms of internet theft occur when a fraudster uses someone’s date of birth and username for online purchases.  But for social media networks, it’s "nicknapping." Using a portion of the words “nickname” and “kidnapping,” nicknapping is the “...classic identity theft, especially since Facebook access is often the master key for other portals connected to the social network," says Michael Littger, an Internet safety campaigner.
 
Here are a few suggestions on how to stay safe online (The following section are suggestions and NOT guaranteed or legal advice):
 
Make online purchases as a “guest.” When shopping, make your purchases as a guest and don’t use your social media logins for buying online.  Less is more.
 
Beware of Phishing. As an online business, be careful of Phishers, those methods that try to obtain financial or confidential information from you through emails or messages that look as if it’s from a legitimate source. 
 
Research unrecognized voice casters or contact sites. Confirm the identity and authenticity of unknown voiceover sources.  Type the name in several search engines and on LinkedIn to make sure the site and person are legitimate.  Also, review the social media profiles and websites of new contacts. Notice how much information is posted.  If a company or person claims to be a significant voice-acting site or manager, there should be some available information or a good summary.  If not, you may want to steer clear.
 
Beware of sites that ask for personally identifiable information. Reputable sources will never ask for your SSN, birthday, or other personal information via email for a voice-acting site or job. For tax purposes, sometimes you must provide some information. Obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to represent you and your voiceover business.  For more information, see the U.S. Internal Revenue Service website.  
 
Read the Privacy Policy (anyway). We all have an aversion to long-form yadda yadda, but it's a good idea to read the privacy policy of each site before you create an account. The policy will outline what you're giving up in return for your membership. Your membership could include giving up a lot more than you expect. 
 
The Small Business Administration’s Top Ten Cybersecurity Tips will help secure your small business:
  1. Protect against viruses, spyware, and other malicious code.
    Make sure each of your business computers is equipped with antivirus software and antispyware and update regularly. Such software is readily available online from a variety of vendors. All software vendors regularly provide patches and updates to their products to correct security problems and improve functionality. Configure all software to install updates automatically.

  2. Secure your network.
    Safeguard your Internet connection by using a firewall and encrypting information.  If you have a Wi-Fi network, make sure it is secure and hidden. To hide your Wi-Fi network, set up your wireless access point or router so it does not broadcast the network name, known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID). Password protect access to the router.

  3. Establish security practices and policies to protect sensitive information.
    Establish policies on how employees should handle and protect personally identifiable information and other sensitive data.  Clearly outline the consequences of violating your business’s cybersecurity policies.

  4. Educate employees about cyberthreats and hold them accountable
    Educate your employees about online threats and how to protect your business’s data, including safe use of social networking sites.  Depending on the nature of your business, employees might be introducing competitors to sensitive details about your firm’s internal business. Employees should be informed about how to post online in a way that does not reveal any trade secrets to the public or competing businesses.  Hold employees accountable to the business’s Internet security policies and procedures.

  5. Require employees to use strong passwords and to change them often.
    Consider implementing multifactor authentication that requires additional information beyond a password to gain entry. Check with your vendors that handle sensitive data, especially financial institutions, to see if they offer multifactor authentication for your account.

  6. Employ best practices on payment cards.
    Work with your banks or card processors to ensure the most trusted and validated tools and anti-fraud services are being used. You may also have additional security obligations related to agreements with your bank or processor. Isolate payment systems from other, less secure programs and do not use the same computer to process payments and surf the Internet. 

  7. Make backup copies of important business data and information.
    Regularly backup the data on all computers. Critical data includes word processing documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payable files. Backup data automatically if possible, or at least weekly, and store the copies either offsite or on the cloud.

  8. Control physical access to computers and network components.
    Prevent access or use of business computers by unauthorized individuals. Laptops can be particularly easy targets for theft or can be lost, so lock them up when unattended. Make sure a separate user account is created for each employee and require strong passwords. Administrative privileges should only be given to trusted IT staff and key personnel.

  9. Create a mobile device action plan.
    Mobile devices can create significant security and management challenges, especially if they hold confidential information or can access the corporate network. Require users to password protect their devices, encrypt their data, and install security apps to prevent criminals from stealing information while the phone is on public networks. Be sure to set reporting procedures for lost or stolen equipment.

  10. Protect all pages on your public-facing websites, not just the checkout and sign-up pages.
Make your voiceover business as profitable, safe, and secure as possible by making your cyber presence a better place.

After you change those passwords… go ahead and break a lip! 😊


by Leesha on September 4th, 2018

Social media is a great way to communicate what you want the World to see and know about you.  We have the luxury of being whoever we want and as perfect as we want others to believe. But we all know no one is perfect, so don’t let human failure be the end of your strive and desire for success.  Learn to keep moving after a failure; it’s just a sign that you’re human.

As a member of several professional communities on the Web, I love to read about my colleagues' new jobs, big clients, and other great voiceover successes.  However, I rarely see postings about the lost jobs, voiceover communication that didn't go well, or the missed goals. Life happens, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of, but we need to keep failure in the proper perspective. I don’t recommend you note every loss on your voiceover website, but you can appropriately share how you dealt with your loss and how you keep moving toward your success.

Pick up from Failures

No matter how hard we try, mistakes, missteps, and failures will happen.  Voiceover has its own unique set of challenges. The business is very competitive and can feel like jumping off a diving board into 12 feet of water after only a hand full of swimming classes.  When we are on the other side of what we know was a failed voiceover audition or the loss of a big job, we may feel the loss personally. Moreover, if the event is the result of our mistake or wrong business decision, there’s no way to feel right about it.  After a debacle, new talent often question the purpose of their business efforts. A seasoned talent may also think that years of experience can insulate him or her from flops. A major loss may cause them to question their ability as a voiceover performer.

Failure is not usually fatal.  The best thing to do is to remind yourself that you are doing your best and sometimes you will miss the mark. Examine your efforts and see what you can learn from the experience.  Be a little nice to yourself and keep the loss in perspective. In life, we make many mistakes from the time we first learn to walk through our Social Security years. It’s a part of life not a determiner of life.

Reboot Failure – Success Groundwork

Okay, now that I’ve covered the low point, let’s look at the power of your comeback. A voice actor is like a traveling salesman. We spend time and effort training and getting to know the craft (our voice product), but we can still experience many closed doors (lost auditions or opportunities). Many letdowns may lead to procrastination. We may not fully focus our marketing and auditioning efforts.

But you must continue. Reboot failure by examining the failure and learning lessons from it.  Moreover, by sharing your failures and lessons learned with others, you make the failure a part of your success journey.  Once again, I don’t believe posting all your faults on social media is wise, but you can tactfully phrase your learned lessons to others as you share your experiences in the voiceover business.

Make your voiceover business fiascos into stepping stone and not brick walls. Remember your most admired voiceover talent and other mentors have made many, many mistakes. Failure can help with the climb to eventual success.  Keep moving toward your voiceover goals, especially after unexpected glitches. It’s a good sign that you’re learning, growing, and moving toward your personal development and potential long-term success.

You know...break a lip!


by Leesha on August 28th, 2018

A few weeks ago, I blogged my thoughts related to age and voiceovers. We know that you are as young or as old as you sound.  You can use marketing to locate the clients that need your voiceover tone and skills. But what about if you’ve retired from a career and want a voice acting career with time for other activities? What if you want time to travel, write a book, volunteer, or other activities?  I don’t believe you have to hang up your microphone and dream of becoming a voice talent. It’s all in the time and commitment. Practically plan your voiceover business for enjoying your retirement life.  

Time Well Spent.   As a retiree, you may have a regular income and not need your voiceover business to pay for all your basic needs. But that doesn’t mean that your business should be regarded as a hobby.  Your company should provide a valuable service in exchange for fitting compensation.

To keep the big picture in mind, develop a list of goals for your voiceover income. For example, do you want to travel to a faraway country, or would you like a professional booth for your home studio? What about saving to purchasing the car of your dreams or a camper to see the sights? Develop a list of voiceover profit goals to help you remain focused on your activities.  If possible, note your time frame to recall as you work toward your goals daily.

In an article from Forbes.com on the 5 Pitfalls of Starting A Business in Retirement, retires are cautioned of “Misaligning your goals with your lifestyle.”  Forbes continues, “Often, retirement entrepreneurs decide to start a business out of boredom and only later realize there are other things they’d rather do with their time.” Make sure you are ready to commit for the long haul.

Days of Our Lives.  Let’s say you prefer not to work a 40-hour week as a retiree.  I can understand that. So, decide your work days.  For example, you may want work 3 to 4 days during the week and leave 1 to 2 days for enjoying other activities.  Plan to work your voiceover business 5-6 hours on your work days exclusively performing your voiceover business and no other actions.  Also, give yourself the flexibility to move your off-day or days to accommodate any short-notice voiceover projects.  The point to make sure you’re actively working your business no less than on a part-time basis.  

Wise Learning. The fast pace of technology has not left the voiceover industry on the sidelines.  Keep up with the changes in the sectors, trends, styles, and marketing techniques. Make sure you have a good grasp of social media and a strong web presence to remain viable as a business. You want to make sure that although you're making time for family and perhaps a fishing date, you are still a working voice talent with office hours, products, web postings, and a business plan.  

Likewise, use any free or downtime to learn more about the business. Take a couple of voiceover books, podcasts, or videos with you when you travel. You may have downtime at an airport, or while waiting for dinner, etc., to catch up on voiceover tips and skills that you can utilize the next time you’re in your office (so to speak).  

As a side note, another essential item to address is mouth clicks.  As we age, eliminating mouth clicks can be an uphill battle. Learn how to deal with those pesky clicks and breaths by applying software plugins. The iZotope RX 6 is an excellent tool to address these vocal issues and can significantly reduce your editing time, which saves you time overall.  

The Road to Sundown.   Remember your business’s timeline. There’s no shame in working your business for just a few years.  But remember, it can take five years or more to build up your business and reputation to achieve the voiceover success you desire.  So, decide how long is long enough for your voiceover career.  See my blog on the Endgame for tips on how to tactfully and professionally close your voiceover career.  It’s better to have worked consistently for a few years than to run your voiceover career more as a hobby haphazardly.  

Be about your business and make it as fun and rewarding as you've imaged.  You’ve worked hard to reach your retirement time, so you deserve the recognition.  Moreover, make sure you’re operating your new voiceover business like a business. Don’t let your voiceover career fall into your retirement hobbies.  

Use proper time management skills and goals for a prosperous voiceover career and favorable time in retirement.  

Break a lip!



by Leesha on August 22nd, 2018

We’ve all started on pursuits that looked fun and assumed that’s for us. But as a voice talent involved in managing and operating a business, it’s important to know what works and what doesn’t. Voice acting is a competitive and exciting business, so talents need to be aware as to what works and respond correctly to the signs of required career changes. Be mindful of what is working and what is not working in your voiceover business through learning, leaving, and growing
 
I first learned to ski in my 30’s.  The sport seems fun, and although for years I saw the commercial clip of the skier falling down a ski run, I was determined that was not going to be me.  After years of hit or miss skiing, today, I spend my ski resort time more on the small slops or the tubing runs.  While I took many lessons over the years, I did not take time to hone my craft through regular practice.  Over time, I realized that skiing might look fun, but it was not fun falling or poorly navigating the slopes.  Skiing is a hazardous sport and not a casual activity. So, when I realized that I was not going to put in the time and effort to be proficient, I learned from my experience and hung up my skis. 
 
Learning - As a voiceover talent, it's important to know what is working and what is not.  Voiceover learning means asking yourself essential business questions truthfully and honestly.  Have you been working toward a particular skill set for years and it's just not working?  Are you putting in the hours needed to make your voiceover business successful?  Are you effectively marketing to reach those in need of your services?  Your response to these questions helps you learn from your efforts and determine what is and is not working. 
 
Leaving – Leave behind the areas of your business that are not working for you.  Major manufactures sometimes discontinue specific products that are not selling to concentrate on the products that are making money.  In your voiceover business, do you have any areas that are not working well?  Is it because the area you are pursuing is not your skill set or because you are not putting enough effort into that area?  If it’s effort, you know what to do next. Likewise, if a voiceover genre is not working for you, perhaps it’s time to discontinue in that business area.
 
Growing – We as humans evolve in our life’s journey. As such, you may have had the "killer instinct" in some area of sport, but as you aged, you may have found that the same inclination for that goal waned over time.  As a voice talent, note if it’s time to refocus your business attempts.  Look for ways to incorporate sharing your voiceover expertise through your business. 
 
Volunteering your voice talent is an excellent way to grow or help others learn from your experiences.  You don’t need to be a seasoned talent to share with others what you have learned in your voiceover journey.  It’s amazing how when you open your life and time to giving to others, your mind is opened to new ideas and creativity for growing your business. 
 
Learning, leaving, and growing in your voiceover business helps your stay with what works, set aside what doesn't, and grow into your future.  Keep fine-tuning your voiceover career, and you’ll find yourself heading toward your harbor of success.  

Break that lip!

by Leesha on August 7th, 2018

Business professionals know the importance of maintaining good relationships.  Voiceover pros also understand that building and retaining contacts can lead to good client relationships.  In this current environment of constant social and political reporting, it’s important to stay focused on your business goals and use communication wisely to maintain good interpersonal relationships.  As a voice talent, maintaining good bonds with your clients and associates keeps your business growing.
 
Find Neutrality: Never Take Sides.  Now, this may seem like a coward’s way out, but keep reading.  If you are out socially or professionally, there’s a high potential for social issues to work their way into conversations.  If you’re in earshot of or in a discussion that turns political, or even ugly, maintain your focus.  No matter your personal views, it’s better to stay neutral.  Feel free to listen with an open mind as views are expressed, but don’t feel that you must agree or disagree.  Even if you’re asked to give your point of view, be very tactful in your response. Your reply can work for or against you, so it’s best to be an opinionated listener.  
 
Always Be Pleasant.  Not all interactions are pleasant ones.  As a professional (self-employed) voice talent, you are still available to be seen by or reached by potential clients.  As such, there’s usually no need to share your political, social, or religious views with all clients; you’re engaged to provide high-quality voiceover and or audio services.  When interacting with potential or current clients, maintain a positive attitude mentally, and that attitude will come through in your communication.  As a voice talent, you are looking to provide a service and to meet client needs.  Your business is where you shine the best. Be professional and pleasant.  If you find yourself in an interaction that is inappropriate, excuse yourself and move on.  It’s just business. 
 
Build Positive Relationships. In relationships, give and take can help maintain a good rapport.  As a voice talent, you don’t have to limit yourself to just providing voice over services.  Look for opportunities to share information and assistance to others.  For example, if you know of innovations that could be of interest to your clients, share the information with a friendly note.  Likewise, if you have clients who celebrate certain holidays and events that you don’t observe, feel free to send well wishes on those particular days.  A simple acknowledgment of clients’ special days is not an agreement or disagreement, and it’s a sign of respect and courtesy. You don’t need to go overboard on your acknowledgment.  Stick to a simple greeting or acknowledgment respectfully.  Such kindness can go a long way to help maintain relationships with others, even if you don’t agree on all personal and professional topics.
 
A voiceover actor is like an ambassador. See yourself as a provider of excellent services no matter the political and social climate.  Maintaining good client contacts through wise communication can position you as a great person to work with and a stable business professional.

Break a lip!


by Leesha on July 24th, 2018

 We all have areas of curiosity in our search for the career that fits our personality and will give back to our pocket.  The voice acting business is a creative way of self-expression and to help clients connect with their audiences.  Running any business involves keeping a watchful eye on its structure and progress. If you find you’re not getting the results you’d hoped for as a voiceover artist, it may be time to move on and seek another creative pursuit. 
 
Recently, I did a little moving on from Golf when I tried it over a year ago. As a former tennis player, I thought it would be a good fit (maybe I wanted to be like Althea Gibson).  The concepts seem similar, and I felt I had a good eye for focused contact with a ball (or any other object hurried at me).  So, I took a few group lessons and semi-private classes then spent time at the range practicing my swing.  Well, a couple of months into new pursuit, I realized my assumed natural bent to hitting the ball at least most of the time, may have been a little off. Not willing to give in too soon, I kept at it for a few more months.
 
Then one day while leaving the golf course, I asked myself an honest question, “Is golf something that I have the time, the willingness, and the finances to continue until I reach my perceived success?” Although my intentions were good, I realized that learning to play golf would take years and substantial finances to achieve a good handicap. Not only that, but I didn't really enjoy my new pursuit, it wasn't my passion. The activity was just something I picked up because it looked fun, and I thought it might be an excellent way to expand my friendships.  It was time for me to move on.
 
Cost of the Learning Curve ( Don't make your clients pay for your learning) -  In a new pursuit, there’s always a learning curve.  A professional voice talent must make the time to learn the business, which includes recording, editing, marketing, and other skills. This time usually involves long hours of study and reading.  Costs can consist of hundreds and even thousands of dollars spent before reaching a comfort level as a proficient voice actor.  So, it’s not a good idea to venture out for clients until you’re well equipped to provide your best.  Producers expect the very best from professional voice talents, so determine the amount of time you will spent practicing and learning new voiceover skills and then double it.  Determine if you can financially operate your business and pay for your training with no incoming revenue for (sometimes) long periods of time.
 
Think About Your Passion - When I think back on my golf experience, the pursuit was not wrong, I just was not committed and passionate about spending the money and time to become proficient in the game.  While I liked and was fascinated by the skill, I was not willing to pay the fees, dues, and other costs long-term. The sport was not my passion, just an interest.  

Voice acting must be your passion.  Know why and what you want from the career field.  Again, there will be more long hours learning, marketing, and running the business than you can imagine.  Only a passionate pursuit and purpose can fuel a voiceover business in the making.  If you’re not excited about voiceovers, you may want to consider a different career field. 
 
Know When it’s Time to Go or Stay -  A new voice actor can take years to solidify himself or herself in the industry.  There are no shortcuts to voiceover success (read my earlier blog).  Know when you are on the right path to reaching your business goals or if it’s it not working out for you.  Don't spend all that you have physically and financially on a passing curiosity.
 
I meet a lot of folks who are fascinated with the idea of voice acting. However, when I explain to someone what it takes to become a successful working talent, he or she usually losses their zeal.  But, I think that’s a good thing.  It’s better to understand the costs of time and resources needed now or within the first year or two of a voice acting business, than after spending thousands of dollars on equipment and coaches to realize voice acting is not one's passion.
 
There’s no shame in deciding to move on with your shirt (financially speaking). So, you may not see me on the golf course, but I plan to be in my vocal booth for as long as I can.  Is voiceover your fun pursuit (my golf) or your real passion?  Only you have the answer and the way to the best commitment in your life. 
 
Break a lip.
 


by Leesha on July 17th, 2018

Voice acting can be a wonderfully fulfilling career field.  Most self-employed voice actors work alone and have to manage all aspects of their business.  For those first starting their own business, transitioning from employee to employer can be a bit of a challenge.  Without a boss or supervisor tying a salary and raises to performance, one may not be as driven to work as structured in a self-employed venue.  But with a little hindsight, many employee job practices can be applied as sole-entrepreneur business practices.  For long-term success, apply employee work practices as a self-employed talent to keep your business on track. Below is a list of best-practices for full-time employees that perfectly fit the independent voice talent.
 
Report to Work On Time 
While you don’t have to punch a time clock, schedule your daily report to work time.  Developing a routine will get you up and moving as if you were commuting into an office, but now it’s your home office.  You can even make your coffee at home.  
 
Schedule Lunch and Breaks
Most companies like to know when employees are on break or at lunch.  You’re the boss now, so schedule when to break for lunch, run errands, etc.  If you have to take an extended break from your home office, schedule make-up time that day or on a Saturday just as if you ’d taken leave as an employee. 
 
Attend Operation and Progress Meetings
Many businesses have regular Monday staff meetings to check accounts and status, review sales, and practices.  As a voice talent, have your own Monday status meeting to review your marketing, client follow-ups, billing, social media progress, and anything forwarded from your last week of business. The session can help you narrow your focus and limited wasting time in your upcoming week.  TIP: Record your free flow of ideas or thoughts and add to your to-do list if needed.
 
Attend Regular Training
To keep current, many employers require regular refresher training for their staff.  As a self-employed voice actor, you need to stay current too. Proper ongoing training can include listening to podcasts on all things voiceover related, attending conferences, and working regularly with a voice coach. 
 
Interact with your Co-workers on New Ideas
Full-time employees often share updates with their colleagues.  Voice actors are no different.  Facebook groups and Twitter postings provide alerts to new tricks and tips in the home studio recording.  YouTube and other direct streaming broadcasts from voiceover experts are excellent for discovering new ways to work smarter and not more laborious in the booth. 
 
Set Regular Hours
Most jobs have regular hours of operation.  Set the hours you plan to work your voiceover business.  Try to consistently work for a set number of hours and days  (full-time or part-time) and remain faithful to those times.  If you have a big project, work that time, then as a reward, try to give yourself some time off for your overtime work.  Also, setting regular hours allows your family and friends to know when you are available for time away from the VO business.
 
Leave the job at the job
Working for an employer can bring many challenges during the day, and the same can happen in voice acting.  You will lose some jobs just because you are not the one the casting director needed (or liked).  Try not to take it personally.  It’s usually not a talent matter, but you will probably never know the real reason you didn't get a gig. So, leave the VO job at the job.  Do the best you can, come back the next time, and keep working your business. 
 
Take Time for Vacations
Most of today's top managers and business gurus tout the importance of vacation time.  Americans are known for being the hardest working people in the world. When it comes to vacations,  CNBC’S MakeIt reports, … a whopping 49 percent of Americans won't be taking one this summer… . 

Take time off and do something non-voiceover related.  There is no shame in taking your traveling recording gear just in case you get that big job while on the road.  (You’re in business so be prepared). Let your clients know you’re taking time off and when you will return.  Still, be prepared in case a client needs you for a job while you’re on vacation.  Also, don’t forget to change your voicemail message so callers will know when you will be available and back in your home studio. 
 
Let’s face it, if you’ve ever worked for someone else, most of these points are nothing new. That's a great start. Now, use these points in running your daily business to establish and maintain a solid groundwork for long-term voiceover success. 
 
Break a lip.


by Leesha on July 10th, 2018

If you've worked in various fields and now you find yourself exploring voiceovers in your 50s or older, you may be wondering are you too old to be a voice talent. That's the farthest thing from the truth. However, success in voiceovers may mean that you have to work a little differently than those under 50 to keep relevant.  Getting and being competitive as a voice talent involves preparation and smart work...and is not age based.  

Recently, I was listening to one of my favorite podcast, and one of the co-hosts mentioned that new voice talent often asks her how old is too old to be a voice talent.  Hearing the question, I had an immediate response.  You see, I spent over 20 years working in communication, and in the later years of my career, noticed a change in the way employees over 50 were perceived by younger workers and employers.  Many times, I witnessed older workers being labeled as out of touch, over the hill, or archaic in their careers.  The funny thing is that most of these same workers were performing at peak or better in their jobs.  The assumption of one being obsolete was made strictly based on age.  So, I understand why new talent over 50 would question whether there is an age maximum as a voiceover performer.

I’m here to say voice acting has NO age requirement.  It’s all about effectively sounding and emoting a particular age group.

Realize that Age is Just a Number:  Do you remember “Rocky the Squirrel”? June Foray was the iconic voice of Rocky from “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.” June worked many years over her 50th birthday and had a total career span of 85 years.  Now that’s what I call staying relevant.  

What about the voice of the first Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer?  Voice actor Billie Mae Richards performed Rudolph and other voices and was a working talent in 2004 at the age of 82, just six years before her death.  

Solomon Hersh (best known as Paul) Frees started his acting career in 1942 and remained active for over forty years. Frees worked for major animation production companies including  Walt Disney Studios, Walter Lantz Studios, UPA, Hanna-Barbera, MGM Studios, and Rankin/Bass. Paul worked well into his sixties. These actors worked into what some would call retirement years, but I call their best years.  

Review your Bridges, Keep Some - Burn Some:  It may be wise to decide which bridges to keep and which to burn.  If you worked in a career or field for several years, some of these earlier associations could lead to future voiceover work.  For instance, if you've worked in engineering or the medical field, you probably understand specific specializations not known to the average person.  That knowledge and experience gives you a leg up as the perfect voice talent for jobs in your former career field.  Let your colleagues know that you are a voice talent and available for related projects.  

Use Old Profiles to Showcase Your New Business:  Instead of combining your old social media professional profiles into your voiceover sites, consider rewording the information.  Show how your former work makes you a perfect choice for similar voice projects.  Let your voiceover profile stand alone, and let your old profiles link to your new information.  This way you keep the same connections and alert them of your unique skill sets. 

Embrace Technology (or hire your kids):   Most working voice artists have professional home studios.  Voice talents must learn about recording software and hardware, acoustics, and other related skills.  Every day brings new technology into our mist, so this is indeed not an age thing.  Learn what you have to through online classes, YouTube videos, LinkedIn or private coaching.  It’s a necessary step, and you can do it.  Just take it slow and master one new item at a time.  Don’t try to learn everything at once. Master the majors like home recording (a software), editing, etc., and move on to other skills.  If you have children or know of others with audio, web, or social media skills, ask them to help you or even hire them to do some of the work.  You can also contract out the editing until you are comfortable with your new skill sets.  Don’t let not knowing something keep you from getting what you need for running your business.

Embrace a Young Attitude:  When you're home behind a microphone,  no one can see or care about how old you are, it’s all in the attitude. This is where your field work comes in. Look for opportunities to hang around younger people and listen and interact with them.  Listen to the thoughts and ideas of young adults, Millennials, and Gen Xers.  Note their tone, inflections, patterns, and attitude.  Look for ways to add what you’ve heard and observed into your voiceover delivery.  Experiment with speaking like someone much younger (or older) than yourself and review your performance.  By noting the way people talk, how they expressed themselves and incorporated these attributes into your performance, you can keep current and sound almost any age you want.  My cousin, who is at least 14 years older than me, has a youthful tone that reminds me of a 22-year-old and not her actual age of 60+ years.  

Keep it Healthy and Moving:  As we age our body and mind needs to keep engaged and healthy.  Make sure to monitor your health.  As we get older, sometimes we have to deal with mouth noises or diction problems.  Make sure that you are taking time to go to the doctor and keeping up with proper dental care. Lastly, daily phonetic warmups can help with diction and word pronunciation.  

Staying home is lovely, but it is even more critical for you to get out and move your body. Keeping it moving is whatever gets you moving. Walking is a great exercise.  Don’t forget about weekend getaways.  A change of scenery is also a great way to keep it moving and recharge your mind.  Don’t take the fun out of your life, add a little voice acting to it.  

Remember, as you age be timeless not timed.  Break that lip!

by Leesha on July 4th, 2018

Life happens even to me. While preparing for a weekend trip, I hit my thumb (really hard) and sprained it.  What's more, the sprained limb became infected.  With that said, I've had a little time away from my blogs and social media writings, or what I call "sprained away."  

I'm keeping the faith and hope to share more voiceover thoughts, ideas, and business tips after July 9, 2018.  

Keep voicing and break a lip!



by Leesha on June 14th, 2018

In the voiceover world, they say, "Beware January and June." So, if your June is not what your other colleagues may be experiencing business-wise, you need to come up with ways to regroup. Regrouping should lead to more jobs, better auditions, and more revenue doing what you love. Unconventional methods of regrouping can lead to better creativity and a renewed focus for business success.
 
Regrouping does not have to be boring. The more exceptional your activities, the better. Use this slow time for decisive actions that can keep you going through the slump and emerge as a powerful voiceover talent. Below are some ideas on how to regroup to keep you going and working your daily voiceover business tasks:
 
Consider taking up painting or even finger painting.
 
Try a new hobby.
 
Look up an old friend or make a new one.
 
Volunteer at a summer camp.
 
Visit a church on Sunday instead of sleeping in.
 
Change your hairstyle or change the color.
 
Make something using paper-mâché.
 
Go to the circus.
 
For one day, smile and speak first to everyone you meet.
 
Remind yourself of past victories and great business accomplishments.
 
Take a day trip.
 
Eat breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast.
 
Start your Christmas (what YOU want) list.
 
Let your kids cook for you one day or break your diet for one real meal.
 
Meditate on positive things.
 
Look at good comedies for one weekend and laugh like you mean it.
 
Play in the rain.
 
Think of five things you are thankful for in your life.
 
Stay away from sad or violent movies for one week. 
 
When it comes to renewing, think out of the box. Voiceovers should not be arduous, although sometimes it can feel that way. There is no downer as marketing for work and not getting the results you want and need. So use these times to change your thinking and regroup your world.
 
Need more? Trent Hamm’s "The Frugal Introvert: Fifty Ways to Have Fun By Yourself on the Cheap," gives ideas for having the fun solo.
 
Now go out there and be like other folks for a while. Come out of your vocal booth and use this (unplanned) little break in June for a mini-renew time. It will refresh your spirit more than you can imagine.

Have fun!