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Making New Year’s Resolutions that Count!

2013With the start of 2013, be sure to have a list of New Year’s resolutions to focus on over the next year. Not only should these resolutions be fun and important to you, but they should be attainable. To really make the most of this multi-decade tradition, start with a few different areas of your life that you want to improve upon and build your list from there.

Ask yourself some questions to help inspire your resolutions list. Are you happy with your career? Have you been saying for months (or years!) that you want to do something different? Are you currently pursuing something that needs an additional push to get it moving in the right direction? What about your health or your family? Or your hobbies? Be inspired and make a list that counts!

Here’s a Voice-Over Resolutions list to get you started:

– Get the best education possible for your craft. Work with someone who is qualified, flexible, accomplished and is a practicing voice-over professional. Someone who truly loves not only being a voice actor, but also educating others. And don’t forget about your continuing education–as your skills grow your knowledge needs to grow along with it. You never stop learning!

– Be proud of your demos! If it’s been years and you’re using the same demos and not seeing the results you’ve been looking for–or you’re ready to take it to that next level, then it’s time to reassess! If your voice and skill level are more advanced than the product you’re using to market yourself, then it’s time to record a new one.

– Have a solid marketing plan in place. Make a list of businesses that fit your niche, companies that you want to contact. Follow-up with contacts and clients you’ve already made. Focus on your collateral: website, business cards, postcards, etc. Establish your branding!

– Make goals for yourself and stick to them! Where do you want to be in 3 months, 6 months, a year? These can be financial goals, number of clients goals, landing that first TV commercial–you name it, the opportunities are endless.

– Get involved in social and in-person networking. Find (or create) a voice-over meetup group in your area. Join the voice-over Facebook groups, online voice-over forums, attend networking & educational events that are available throughout the country.

– Have fun! As they say, “if it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing.”

Find something that inspires you this year–that engages you creatively and mentally. Whether it be starting a new career, or fine tuning your current one. Find that challenge that you’ve been seeking and go after it!

VO Meet-Ups!

A large aspect of marketing yourself as a voice actor involves networking. Networking not only with potential clients, but also with fellow voice actors. Forming and maintaining relationships with other voice-over artists is important for both your career and for your sanity!

Meeting with other voice actors will give you the opportunity to learn and grow from another person’s experiences, ask for advice, and hopefully get honest feedback on your voice-over technique. In the right setting, a casual group could be the most affordable voice over training out there!

One such voice over group is the Orange County VO Peeps Meet-Up, which started out as a small group of classmates from a local voice over workshop. Anne Ganguzza organizes the group that meets bi-monthly, and it’s as informal as a potluck with a group of friends with a common interest.

“Our group welcomes all talents, from beginners to advanced professionals in the industry,” says Anne Ganguzza. “We strive to educate, motivate, and inspire — hopefully helping members achieve their career goals and go out and get as many voice over jobs as possible!”

The group’s members are comprised of varying backgrounds and levels of experience. They each bring a dish to share, and they take turns reading copy and giving each other feedback as if the script were an actual voice over job. They even featured a special guest, Tim Keenan from Creative Media Recording to give them tips on reading corporate narration copy.

The group has set topics to talk about in the upcoming months as well. On the agenda is everything from marketing to finances, editing auditions to bidding, and writing business plans to working with VO agents.

While Meet-Up groups can be a great source of continuing education for voice-over artists, they aren’t a substitute for traditional voice-over training. Meet-Up groups tend to lend wonderful follow-up support and guidance, as the group can certainly become greater than the sum of the parts! We recommend that you search in your area using meetup.com or networking with other voice-over talent through social sites (facebook voice-over groups, Voice-Over Universe, etc.) for a meet up group to join to improve your networking and career possibilities.