In the wonderful world of voice-over, a lot of our opportunities exist within the digital sphere. Thanks to tools like LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google, we can research and find new target clients and markets with just a few simple clicks.
However, in addition to the plethora of resources to be found online, there’s something to be said for taking advantage of local resources, which can not only expand your horizons for
work, but also hold you accountable.
Think about it like this: when you’re working only digitally, your options are broader, but the lack of showing up physically, in-person can, at times, make it difficult to feel like you’re actually establishing new relationships.
Here are some ways to turn the tables and “go local” for success:
Weekly, In-Person Workouts
Don’t get me wrong – I love online workouts and training. Heck, I coach voice-over remotely, after all. But I always tell my students to see if there are other Such A Voice students or voice-over artists in their own geographical areas. If there aren’t groups, make them!
It just feels good to get together face-to-face. Not only that, but there’s something deeply gratifying about getting to work in real time which makes your body come even more alive (and that ends up being great prep for future sessions in the booth). Use forums like Meetup and Facebook to find fellow artists, then plan monthly or weekly get-togethers and actually make them happen.
Another local resource you can and should tap into is local networking groups. Austin, for example, has an entertainment networking group which meets for happy hour a couple of times a month. Networking events for other fields and industries can be equally valuable, because those are your potential customers, and they may love the idea of working with someone from the same area.
To take advantage of local networking groups, research what currently exists, by checking LinkedIn, your local Chamber of Commerce, or even upcoming conventions or events which cater to the local community. Have a goal in mind of how many networking events you want to attend each month, then show up prepared, with your brand’s marketing materials, swag, and genuine interest in other businesses and people ready to shine. It’s amazing how far word of mouth can take you if you’ve got the moxie to put yourself out there in the early days.
Improv classes are incredible for just about every profession on the planet. They open you up creatively, encourage you to have a generous spirit and approach to the work (“yes, and..!”), and they build up your confidence in trying ridiculous things and making bold choices. So chances are, even if there’s limited voice-over in your small corner of the world, there’s an opportunity to get on your feet and do some improv.
Check with local community theaters or even community colleges, which likely offer groups or courses you can take. In signing up for ongoing sessions, you’ll have to work on flexing those creative muscles regularly, instead of just thinking about it at the end of a long day.
Part of your job as a creative entrepreneur is finding new ways to engage with your circle of influence, as well as stay disciplined and focused on building your skills toolbox. By focusing some of that energy on engaging with local resources, you’ll set yourself up for success, by building roots that ground you in both local work and play.