A while back, I wrote about offering unsolicited advice to anyone, especially potential or existing voice-over clients. Today, I have a story about solicited marketing advice that has made my day!
I have previously mentioned Henriette Klauser’s wonderful book Write It Down, Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want And Getting It. The author provides a variety of writing method which can be emulated to reach your own success. I am a firm believer in the process and consequently find myself writing almost every day, most often in some sort of journal.
I have journals for my voice-over career, my harp practice, design of my dream house, books I’ve read, and, most importantly, my everyday life. Given that I like to write as much as I do, it should not surprise you to know that I enjoy writing with fine pens.
In the last couple of years, Drew and I have become passionate about fountain pens, and we have assembled a small collection. We were therefore were excited to go to our first pen show, which was held in Atlanta this past April.
My favorite color is purple, and I fell in love with this luscious fountain pen the moment I walked in the door.
Part of my everyday journal entry for that day relates to this fountain pen and today’s marketing story:
As you can read, I found myself talking with the Taccia company president, who told me that the pen was a prototype for which a name had not been determined. She was asking for input on the names for the 4 pens in this new collection. On my way home, I thought of a name for the collection and for the individual pens, and I discussed them with her when I returned to the show the next day.
She was very appreciative of my ideas and insisted on giving me a Taccia leather pen case. Most people don’t value ideas unless they pay for them. She didn’t have to give me anything, so her gift of the pen case was generous and representative of good karma. (Stay tuned for an upcoming story about karma.)
I had forgotten this incident until I was reminded of that pen yesterday. When I looked at Taccia’s web site, I was thrilled to discover that most of my idea for these pens had been implemented!
The collection name is a little different, and the copper color changed to another city. Still, the concept and names of the other cities are true to the ideas I presented.
If you’ve read this far, you may be wondering how this marketing story helped my voice-over career. Actually, I never thought that it would. I’m telling it for 3 reasons:
1) I’m proud and happy that a company chose to use some of my marketing ideas.
2) Everything I do isn’t about me or my voice-over career. I like to help others as good citizen of the world.
3) I love and am good at marketing but don’t need or want to make it my career.
I want to write for a minute about this last point. I have been told countless times in my life that I am good at marketing. People tell me that I should work for an ad agency. While I love marketing, I don’t want to make it my career. Just because you love something or are good at it doesn’t mean that you have to make it a career, or even do it for money. Our society gives the message that the only things worth doing are those which make money. However, it really is okay to do things just because you love doing them!
I believe that if you do something just because someone else thinks that you can make some money from it, you may find yourself feeling miserable much of the time. Almost every day, I hear from someone who wants to become a voice-over talent because they have been told they have a nice voice. They want to use their nice voice to make money.
To my ear, most people have nice-sounding voices. It’s what you can DO with your voice in transparently interpreting the client’s copy that can possibly earn money for you. Since it takes time, money and energy for classes and demo production, I always recommend that newcomers start with a book from my recommended reading list.
If you want to become a professional voice-over artist, you will be someone who runs a business and constantly markets yourself and that business. If you aren’t prepared or don’t want to operate as a business person, you still can use your very nice voice to volunteer to read/record for the blind, tell stories to children at libraries and hospitals, announce sporting events in your community, be a political activist, etc. In other words, use your voice and time in ways that you love and not just because someone else made you think that you can make some easy money as a voice-over talent.
To finish with the pen story, I already own 2 Taccia fountain pens, and you can be sure that I soon will own a third — the Paris Lilac that I named! 🙂