Seattle voice talent Jeffrey Kafer recently wrote a terrific blog entry about ways to go above and beyond in your service as a voice talent. While I do several of the things on his list, the most important one is expressing gratitude for the voice-over gigs that come my way.
Whenever I first work with a client, I always send that person a hand-written note and include a small gift card. I have been surprised how many people respond by thanking ME for the gesture! They truly seem touched by the thoughtfulness. Apparently, many people emulate Don LaFontaine’s view of thank-you notes and gifts:
While I don’t pretend to have the stratospheric demand or accompanying financial blessings of Mr. LaFontaine, I disagree with his statements about thank-you gifts on several points. First, voice talent cannot compare themselves to postal workers. American postal workers are salaried employees of the US federal government who automatically earn a paycheck and benefits. As I worked for much of my life as a federal employee, I can also state that federal employees are prohibited by law from accepting gifts exceeding a very modest value, and all gifts received in a calendar year count toward that value.
Aside from these monetary issues, the bigger difference between voice-over artists and postal carriers is that the postal service has a monopoly. If you want to receive mail and have it delivered to your house each day, you know you must contact the postal service.
Someone choosing voice talent doesn’t have such a clear-cut decision. The decision-maker could search for the ideal voice-over specialist through millions of individual web sites of voice actors or on various on-line casting sites. The person looking for voice talent may decide to contact a talent agent to narrow the field, or they may be influenced by the marketing efforts of a particular voice talent. Perhaps the person asks someone in their industry for a recommendation.
Regardless of the manner through which they decide to hire me, I am well aware that my clients had a choice. When they have another opportunity to contract voice talent, I want to do everything in my power to ensure they choose me again. My thank-you note may signal the end of the first job, but often, it is the bridge to a long-term relationship.
In the big picture, gratitude is a critical attribute for attracting prosperity and abundance. How can you expect to receive more of anything — including voice-over jobs, wealth and prestige — if you don’t convey constant gratitude for everything that you already have?
Showing gratitude today will not only set you apart from other voice talent, as noted by Jeffrey Kafer, but more importantly, you will put the right kind of energy out in the world. As I continue to read and learn from works based on the Law of Attraction, I understand more and more that what you put out in the world will come back to you and probably in ways that you didn’t expect.
Because of the energy that I am sending forth into the universe, I expect someday to achieve the level of success in voice-over currently enjoyed by Don LaFontaine. Even then, I would still send a personal thank-you note to each new client.