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Pam's Blog

Pam Farris - Local and International Female Voice Talent

Re-marketing Your Voice-Over Image

Motivation! Nothing gets me more motivated than the opportunity to add to my income! One of the most important aspects of any business is marketing. Specifically, re-marketing. Starting fresh, revitalizing, putting the punch into your voiceover business.

Often, once the studio, your clients and your referrals are in place, its easy to become complacent. The clients will automatically come beating on your website wanting more of YOUR FANTASTIC VOICE! Right? NOT! In fact, whether you like it or not, they just might actually forget you! Re-marketing is an important skill that needs to be a part of your repertoire. Remarketing necessities:

New Demos

New demos need to be updated, making sure the quality is nothing short of excellent. Demos are your calling card. Make sure these are updated annually either in your own studio or by using a professional audio engineer to guide you through the process.

Website

Make sure your website is up to date and showcases your voice to rise above the rest, while voice-seekers are searching the internet for a fresh sound for their product.

Contacts

Time to hit the streets! Believe it or not I remember when Richard Branson was schlepping records for his record company. He hit the streets, shaking hands, making new contacts and above all - SMILING! If at all possible visit all your current and past clients in person. Let them know you are still alive, hand them your new demo, and let them see your professionalism first hand. Canvass your city, hitting every potential voice seeker, so they will think of you for the little on hold message coming up for the holidays, or the major web presentation coming up for their marketing campaign. Do this and I guarantee you will receive call-backs within a very short time.

Contact Again!

For those clients that are national or global, email them with info to your new website, and links to your demos. Snail mail is also an excellent idea. Personalize your business as much as possible. After your initial contact, email a short message that you were happy to see them the other day, that you hope to work on new voice projects with them in the future. Holiday cards and birthday cards are also helpful in personalizing your business AND re-marketing yourself.

Re-marketing always infuses your voiceover business with a ray of sunlight, and connecting with your clients enhances the spectrum of those rays. Using these tips will make your voiceover business shine!

You’ve FINALLY Got Your First Home Studio…NOW WHAT?

After working as a voiceover talent for a number of years I realized I needed to make the jump to having my own Home Studio. I have always been lucky to have great sound engineers as friends and tossed it around with Greg Price, current Sound Engineer for Ozzy Osbourne. At the time we figured about $15,000.00 to put it together. NO KIDDING! Fortunately, computer prices, hardware and software prices, etc have all come down and a simple studio is very easy to put together for under $5,000.00. So, been there done that. But the hard part came, time after time, when it was time to MOVE the studio. I have done this numerous times now and I can go mobile in a pinch.

This year was a bit more challenging after a ski accident fractured my pelvis. I was basically immobile for at least a week and half. My home studio is located downstairs in a separate room behind the garage. Since I couldn’t go up the stairs, my family put a twin mattress in my office, so I was comfortable and was inches from my mic. Sleeping and living in this space could not go on forever and finally the firemen arrived to take me up the stairs as a public service. My son Matt, unhooked all my equipment and moved it upstairs to my (jail) rather bedroom, where my studio had been moved a few years before. I had to make sure my sound quality was the same for my many clients first and foremost. As I began to heal, the space upstairs was just not user-friendly. Wires mixed in with tossed scripts, along with personal files. I have always believed in back-up equipment, since most clients won’t spare you any down time. So I was pretty good to go in that department. 2 mixers, 2 mics, 2 computers. Time to move BACK downstairs. The first thing I did was to paint the old space, move some furniture in as well as out, and clean things up. I also upgraded my equipment…..new Mac, new MBox 2, new ProTools, new mixer. Learning to use the new equipment had a longer learning curve than I expected, and I am still learning. The Adobe Audition 2.0 that I always loved and relied on was not compatible with the new Mac, so I had to upgrade. I still have to upgrade again to the new Adobe Audition CS5.5 which also has the capability to interact with ProTools, that I have yet to master. New cables and back up cords…and the most important aspect again, making sure my sound quality to my clients is as good or better than my previous setup. In this case, the day before! My total cost for computer upgrade, external hard drives, new mixer and compatible software is still running under $2500.00. Really not bad investing in my home-based business with little overhead.

So once you get YOUR home studio together, BE HAPPY! But be ready and knowledgable about ALL your gear. The odds are in our Voiceover Journey, you will have to go with the flow, change up and out, and invest in yourself. It’s worth it for you AND your clients!

You CAN interview anyone…and not get fired!

My birthday, November 4th. Same birthday as the late, great Walter Cronkite. While working middays at KOZZ-FM, Reno, I was brainstorming on how to give my show some pizzazz and enjoy my birthday at the same time. I thought, why not call on some others that share my birthday? My hero, the Communication King himself, Walter Cronkite had retired years before and I knew he was at least 80 years old. Why not try to find him and wish him a Happy Birthday? Any other day I would have thought “Fat Chance”, but let’s start with CBS in New York.

I called information, got the number, and when the receptionist answered, “CBS, may I help you?”, I replied, “Walter Cronkite please.” I was connected to another line, again asking for Walter Cronkite, and after the third connection, I almost wet my pants when the familiar voice at the other end of the phone said, “Walter Cronkite.” I immediately had to go into “pro mode”, I knew the policy of my company, Lotus Broadcasting and that I needed recorded permission to proceed. I never expected to get this far so my mind went into overdrive, like a ski patroller assessing a skier down, a mountain biker making their way through rough terrain, all the gears kicked in. There is protocol and I am talking to Walter Cronkite. I might add this was before digital recording, press ‘Play/Record’ at the same time on the 4 track- 12 inch reel to reel machine, and don’t let your fingers slip. “Mr. Cronkite, my name is Pam Farris and I am calling you from 105.7FM, Kozz, Reno, Nevada and I request your permission to record you and to play the recording on our frequency today and in the future, as I would like to wish you a Happy Birthday, its mine too.” He replied, “yes, Pam you have my permission.” OK, got by that part, now I am really talking to WALTER freakin’ CRONKITE! He told me we shared a birthday with another great person he looked up to, the late Will Rogers, and that he would be spending the evening quietly with his loving wife Betsy.

It was a short, sweet and memorable interview, and though I managed to press ‘Play/Record’ properly and play it back during my show, I also demagnetized the old tape before having a chance to make a copy. But the memory, the motivation, and still a constant reminder that YOU can make things happen remain. Today in the many facets of broadcasting, the fact remains that many companies do NOT allow “Call Out” phone calls.