I’m pretty open and honest about my business.
In this blog I share some aspects of how I make money as a voice talent. But there’s one part of my profession I don’t advertise.
It’s my work as a coach.
Over the years I’ve helped lots of colleagues become more successful, and I feel they should take the credit. Not me.
Plus, I’m quite busy voicing projects and I don’t have a lot of time to coach. Frankly, I can make more money recording a three-minute script, than spending an hour giving someone advice.
But two years ago, things changed. I had my stroke, and it affected my vocal folds. My voice doesn’t last as long as it used to, and I can’t take on every project that’s offered to me.
Over time, my coaching hours increased, and I discovered that helping others can be much more satisfying than recording a pancake commercial.
Now, some coaches specialize in accent reduction. Others know all about audio books. I call myself a Visibility Coach because my strength lies in helping people stand out in a world filled with noise.
GETTING VOICE OVER JOBS
There are basically two approaches to finding more work:
– You can target and approach clients all day long by cold calling, by begging agents to send you gigs, and by auditioning online until you’re blue in the voice, or you can…
– Make those clients come to you by having a strong online presence through your website and social media
The second approach cuts out the middle man, and gives you the freedom to negotiate with clients on your turf and on your terms. Most people have tried the first method and they end up being frustrated, broke, and exhausted. Oddly enough, they’ve never spent much time trying the second method.
If you are one of those people and you’re wondering if coaching is for you, I have a question for you:
Can you pull yourself up by your bootstraps and make things better?
If you could, then why haven’t you? And if you haven’t, what’s holding you back?
You can always ask friends and family for advice, but what do they really know about the business you’re in? Do they know what it takes to put yourself out there, even if you don’t feel like selling yourself? Do they have the practical experience to figure out what’s keeping you from booking more jobs?
Do they have the right connections to improve your visibility in the field, without plastering your face all over the internet? Do they know anything about branding and marketing? You see, friends and family will always have an opinion, but they lack the objectivity, the skills, and the know-how to guide you.
That’s where I come in.
Twenty years ago, I came to the United States with two suitcases and a plastic bag. No one knew who I was, and I had no idea where to begin. But I did it anyway. Now I have a thriving business, happy clients, and over forty thousand people that subscribe to this blog. I speak at conferences, I give interviews, and I have written one of the more successful books on voice overs and freelancing.
One could say that I’ve figured a few things out about what it takes to do well in this ever-changing business. And I’m happy to share them with you. The Dutch are known for being very direct, and I am no sugar-coater. In fact, I am probably the person who will tell you what you don’t want to hear. If you can’t handle that, find a coach who will gladly massage your ego.
As your coach, I will be your greatest fan and cheerleader. I will hold you accountable for the actions you choose to take. If you want to talk the talk, you will have to walk the walk. I will help you plan a path, make connections, and teach you what I know. Not from boring books, but from international experience.
For instance, many European colleagues are wondering what it takes to break into the American market. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible. I’ve done it. It’s all about talent, strategy, and connections. You bring the talent, and together we’ll focus on the rest.
My ultimate goal as a visibility coach is to make myself redundant. Your job is to do everything it takes to get to a point where you stand strong, and take full credit for your accomplishments.
We live in testing times. As the economy is crumbling and you’re not working as much as you’d like to, this is a good moment to dig in and make some changes. If you don’t, others will take this opportunity to develop a competitive advantage.
I believe you deserve to do well in the world. I believe you deserve to use the gifts that you’re developing to the best of your ability.
If any of this resonates with you, I hope you’ll get in touch. I have to warn you, though.
I don’t take on every student that seeks coaching. My time is just as valuable as yours, and I only work with those who are highly motivated and ready to do whatever it takes. You must be prepared to spend some serious time on whatever it is that needs to improve.
IT’S UP TO YOU
Please realize that I don’t have a magic wand to lead you to instant success. Coaching is not the same as making a prefab microwave meal. Coaching is more of a crockpot process. Each student has different strengths and weaknesses, and needs a different recipe.
One last thing. This is important.
As your coach, I cannot force you to do anything. I cannot make clients hire you on the spot, but I can teach you how to drive and navigate the road, so to speak. You, however, are in the driver’s seat, and you determine the destination.
Once you’re ready to get behind the wheel, please drop me a line. I’ll send you a copy of my Coaching Agreement to give you a better sense of my approach, and the required investment on your part.
Let’s speak soon!
Paul Strikwerda ©nethervoice
- Why is doing voice-overs so difficult? Part 3
- Why is doing voice-overs so difficult? Part 2
- Why is doing voice-overs so difficult? Part 1
- 4 Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Got Into Voice-Overs
- The Vital Voice-Over Skill We Never Talk About
- The Myth of the Shortcut
- The Fallacy of ME, ME, ME Marketing
- The Deaf Leading the Blind
About the author
is a Dutch-English voice-over pro, coach, and writer. His blog is one of the most widely read and influential blogs in the industry. Paul is also the author of "Making Money In Your PJs, Freelancing for voice-overs and other solopreneurs."