October 4, 2021. An outage affecting billions of users. Certainly an unprecedented day for social media giant Facebook, with apps including Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Oculus - all down and inaccessible for over 6 hours. If you didn't notice it, you were probably better off than the rest of the population who were literally stopped in their tracks. An important reminder of just how attached and/or addicted we might be to this platform. It was a day that has more than likely taught every one of us some very valuable lessons, the very least of which:
1. Don't Build your Business Solely on Someone else's Platform
If you were one of the many who kept checking every 5 minutes to see if the platform was up so you could check on that job or get a hold of your client, It should now be quite obvious that building or depending on someone else's platform to build your business is a poor idea. Make sure your clients are not solely reachable on those platforms. A great entrepreneur will have multiple avenues and social platforms for reaching their current and prospective clients. In other words, dn;t put all of your eggs in one basket. Have an account on all the platforms your clients are on and make sure they aren't all owned by the same company :). Check-in every once in a while to show them you are still active and available on the platform. Even better than that:
2. Have a Central Website where Clients can Reach You
I have probably said this a thousand times. If nothing else, make sure you have a central website for your business. This way if any social platforms go down, you will still have a presence for people to find you, see you, and communicate with you. Make sure to have your contact information displayed above the fold, and don't forget to have both email and phone numbers (Just in case your email server goes down!) And of course, make sure your demos are front and center, and downloadable too. Now is a great time to install a chat widget on your site as well - for those prospective clients who may have questions or who might want to chat. But also:
3. Update your CRM
If you don't have a method of tracking your contacts, you may want to consider a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform. Or if you already have one, now is the time to make sure it is updated with all of the latest information. A CRM will help you to keep track of your existing client's contact information, social platforms, as well as all of your previous communication. It's a great way to get a complete look at your relationship and assess and schedule follow-ups. I have two CRMS built into my email services, one built into WIX called Ascend, and the other is Active Campaign. There are many other popular standalone CRM's such as Nimble, Hubspot, and Voiceoverview. And also:
4. Pick Up the Phone
I know, maybe it's old-fashioned, but once in a while I actually like to TALK to my clients, friends, and family! We are, after all, voice artists. We specialize in voice! Why wouldn't we take the opportunity to actually connect with our voices to the people we work with as well as reach out to prospective clients? These days it can add a special and creative touch rather than simple digital communication. Go ahead, leave a voicemail if there is no answer - It's a great way for your client to hear your conversational VO! Consider it a customized personal audition - or just tell them how much you appreciate working with them! A few kind words can go a really long way to strengthening those relationships :)
5. Take A Break and Refresh
It's been a wild and crazy ride on the social media train over the years. Somehow, social media seems to have permeated every aspect of our lives, allowing us to connect with the masses and showcase the best (and sometimes worst) sides of our lives. Back in the day, it was always advised to keep your personal and professional social profiles separate. However, over the years, the lines between personal and professional have blurred. Now more than ever, it becomes important to step away once in a while to refresh and rejuvenate. This helps us resist the temptation to constantly stay connected and seek approval from our online peers. We are also exposed to a much harsher and darker reality of social posting these days, which lately has been under scrutiny for disrupting our mental health. Go ahead - step back and do some deep breathing exercises. They will prep you more for your booth performance than that 500 comment thread about the latest political argument. Pet your furbabies. Go for a walk in nature. Go give your loved one a squeeze. I guarantee it will do you (and your business) a world of good!
The bottom line here is to make sure you have multiple avenues to advertise your business and communicate with your clients. Your livelihood should never be dependant on something that is not under your direct control. Now go on and Rock your business like a BOSS!
Much love and XOXO,
About the Author: Anne Ganguzza is a full-time voice talent and award-winning director and producer who works with students to develop their voice over and business skills - including VO demo training and production. She specializes in Conversational Commercial and Narration styles, including Corporate, E-Learning, Technology, Healthcare - Medical, Telephony, and On-Hold. Located in Orange County, CA, Anne offers private coaching and mentoring services to students in person and via Skype, ipDTL or Zoom.