You’ve heard voiceovers in all sorts of situations, from phone voice mail messages to radio commercials to animated films. Providing voiceovers is a thriving business for Roanoke, Virginia-based freelance female voiceover artist Lisa Rice.
My customers range from production companies to other firms that maintain in-house production departments and seek freelance voice talent, to people who want a professional voice for things like telephone prompts, and PowerPoint presentations.
When my business transitioned from being local to internet-based, Daylite was crucial. I began gathering potential contacts worldwide that might be willing to collaborate. After the day was done, I would spend two or three hours entering information into Daylite. Now, Daylite helps me keep track of over 1,000 potential customers in addition to regular ones. I work with so many different companies. My customer base constantly changes. Some people come to me for work once a year, others on a more frequent basis. It’s hard for me to remember whom I contacted and what I said. That’s what Daylite does for me. It watches my back. It helps me organize my thoughts. It’s attractive, and… It just works with my brain. That’s the best way I can put it.
I record from my private broadcast-quality studio. My tools include: Prima LT ISDN codec Neumann TLM103 mic Grace Design 101 Preamp Mackie VLZ Pro mixer ProTools on Mac Whisper Room Sound Isolation Enclosure Twisted Wave, a simple recording program that I also have on my iPhone and iPad
Daylite syncs with my address book. Everything is seamless. When I go to my phone, I don’t have to enter the same information again. It also finds duplicate contacts, so I can better track my records. You can email right out of Daylite, and go straight to a contact’s website.
My iPhone is with me all the time. I’m in the car a lot when I’m not in my booth, because I have children and they’re very active in sports. So if I’m waiting to pick somebody up, I can get on it and do some work.
My goal is for new customers to become regular ones. They’ll trust me to do what I say and follow through on the collaboration process. I have a neutral accent – I grew up in the Midwest, in southern Indiana – and it helps me book work. Companies want a voice that adapts anywhere. This has been a great help for me.
I use the calendar periodically. I need to do that more. I only use it when I’m not busy, and I’m so busy I don’t have time to use it. My day happen so fast that I don’t have to write it down. I just start piling up the scripts that have to be voiced. It’s the tyranny of the urgent, so to speak. But work comes in waves. On some days there’s a tsunami of work and others days projects trickle in. On those days I go to Daylite, look at who I need to contact, who I haven’t contacted, what I sent after the last phone call and reach out by email or a postcard via snail mail.
One of my goals is to create an electronic newsletter where I can highlight recent work and touch base with customers in a low-key way. Customers call me with projects that require multiple voices, so they ask me to cast other voices or at least provide them with options. It takes a lot of time to manage other people, but I’m interested in doing this when I’m not as busy in my personal life. I would also like to teach voiceover at a local college.
When I had an issue upgrading my Daylite to Mountain Lion, I emailed Marketcircle and they emailed back. As often happens, I got so busy with my work that I didn’t have time to even work on my computer. I have to deal with the tyranny of the urgent. Marketcircle emailed me not once, but two or three times and asked “How is it going?” They were proactive in making sure I was able to upgrade, to the point that we were able to do a remote session where they literally did the whole thing for me. That, to me, is great customer service. They were proactive and took care of my problem.
One thing I have to do every day is warm my voice up, and many days I’ll just read this list called “What is a Customer?” I saw it in a restaurant and decided to convert it to a freelance version. I blogged about it, too. A customer is the most important person in my business. A customer isn’t dependent on me. I’m dependent on them. A customer isn’t an interruption to my work. They are the purpose of it. A customer does me a favor when they come to me. I’m not doing a favor for them by providing service to them. A customer is part of my business, not an outsider. They aren’t just money in the cash register. They’re a human being with feelings who deserve respect. A customer is worthy of the most courteous attention I can give. They’re the lifeblood of my business. Without them, my doors would be closed.