People don’t make life easy! During my journey of enlightenment – my quest to learn as much as I can about voiceover – it seems there are many people out there who want to give advice. Then, once you pay, click or invest time you find out that all they are telling you is what you already know. Or is just plain common sense for any business. So. Darn. Frustrating!
The best learning comes from those who are laser focused on a certain outcome. They give you a defined curriculum or at least a path of learning and set the expectations of what you will get from your money and time. My commercial voice over coach, Nancy Wolfson, is a great example of this. Don’t lose hope quite yet if they don’t have a curriculum. They maybe have some proven tips that can help you in your journey. But that is the key. Proven tips. Point the mic at your mouth and start talking, although important, is not going to make you more successful!
A prime example of this is a colleague of mine – Chris McCloy. He posts some very interesting techniques that will help with your reads (Click here for an example). The way he presents them lets you know that they will work if you learn how to apply them. A perfect example of someone that works in the business and is prepared to share knowledge that you can actually use. An important part of that sentence is someone that works in this industry. If I am going to listen to someone’s advice, I always check their website for two things:
Do they have clear evidence that they are currently working in the voiceover industry? They should have links to projects they have completed recently. Check the date of any video uploaded to YouTube to make sure it is recent.
If they are a coach, they should have evidence of people they have trained that have gone on to succeed in the industry. Check the names they list by doing a search on Google. A huge red flag is when a coach has testimonials on their page and when you check the voiceover talents webpage, you find they are no longer in business!
Please remember that there are many people in this business who are entrepreneurs first and foremost. This does not make them bad people. One of the business buzz words at the moment is “passive income”. This is income generated from sources that don’t require your actual time to complete at the time of payment. A prime example of this is paid training courses. You can make money while you sleep once the course content is created. As a businessperson, I think this is a great model to aspire to. The problem is the content should be good enough to justify people paying for it. In many examples, this is not the case.
My point is – you must be diligent. I don’t feel bad about people who are trying to make money. I applaud anyone who goes out of their way to come up with a product or service that they can sell. It’s capitalism at its finest. I just wish people were a bit more honest about what they offer. It will make my life easier and make me feel better about my choices rather than chalk it up to another life lesson!