Staying Focused on Your Voice-Over Career Goals

voice-over careerRecently I hosted a Bi-Weekly Teleconference on Creating a Strategic Plan for your Voice-Over Business. If you haven’t put together a plan detailing goals for your business, by all means, start there. You must have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish both in the short and long term. Without that, you are just another pretty voice.

So you have your goals and plan in place. Great! Make sure those goals are S.M.A.R.T. = Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Based. Now get working on them! Every. Single. Day. Success in the voice-over business is 50% your lovely and unique voice and 50% hustle (marketing and business). Don’t let anyone out-hustle you.

After you have been working on those goals for a while it’s time to check in with yourself and see how you are doing. I have several different types of goals – weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly. I check in with myself based upon when the deadlines are for each goal.  If I haven’t achieved the goal yet, I evaluate the reason and either adjust or abandon that goal.  Assessing yourself can be a good tool, but I’ve found something that works even better: Accountabilibuddies!

An Accountabilibuddy is one who keeps another accountable in their actions. I’ve also heard the term Accountability Partner, but I like Accountabilibuddy because it comes from an episode of South Park!  Accountabilibuddies do three things for us:

  1. Help give us measurement and feedback. They check to see how we are progressing towards our goals and offer feedback to help us do better.
  2. Keep us honest. We tend to fall for our own excuses – “I am soooo busy!”, “The kids started school this week”, “I’m exhausted – I just can’t.”.  If we know we are accountable to someone else who knows what we are committed to, those excuses don’t sound so valid.
  3. Help us get over perceived walls. If you’ve set quality goals for yourself, it is going to be hard work – fun – but work!  You will get frustrated after the 10th audition that doesn’t get booked.  You might even flirt with quitting.  When, not if, but when this happens, you need someone who knows your goals and your struggles, and how to help you get unstuck.

How to choose an Accountabilibuddy:

  1. Choose someone you respect and trust. You will be sharing your goals, your fears and your struggles with this person. Make sure you can trust them. Also, make sure you are able to have frank conversations with this person – it’s important to be able to call each other out on your excuses when you aren’t accomplishing your goals.
  2. Choose someone who is not financially or emotionally tied to your success. An Accountabilibuddy is there to support YOU and vice versa. If they are too emotionally or financially entangled, objectivity goes out the window.  For this reason, spouses and family members make poor Accountabilibuddies.
  3. Choose someone who wants accountability too. It works best if you are both at the same level in your industry – or if you are from two different industries. Have set meeting times. Have an agenda for those meetings. I promise, you’ll want to have your goals accomplished by the time you meet with your buddy!

No matter how you follow through on your SMART goals, whether it is by checking in with yourself, or by acquiring an Accountabilibuddy; remember that this voice-over business is a journey. Best wishes on your grand adventure!

For more information on marketing your voice, please attend my next teleconference on Tuesday, September 20th at 8pm Eastern.

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Jillian Nielsen is an expressive voice talent with over 14 years of experience in radio and television commercial and promotional voice-overs.



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