I often say that the voice acting business is a marathon, not a sprint. You know - that overnight success you have been dreaming of? Usually only happens after years of dedication, hard work, and never giving up. At some point, If you have done your due diligence, you should start to see those jobs come your way. Yay! Time to celebrate! It can feel really good to finally have some income. But try to avoid buying that new Lamborghini right away. :) You want to put some of that income back into your business! By reinvesting that money, it can help you to grow even more. But what does smart reinvesting look like? Let's take a look.
Money for Nothin’
There is a mindset that every voice-over entrepreneur needs to cultivate when it comes to cash flow. Understanding the difference between lazy (unproductive) money and useful money is key when it comes to growth. The idea of saving your cash for a rainy day is not without its merits, however, when you look at money from a business standpoint, you need to make sure every dollar is helping you grow. I know I know - it's a scary thought to give up that hard-earned money. I myself was frozen for many years - not knowing where my next gig was coming from. I lived gig to gig without any extra money. Then when I had a little money the LAST thing I wanted to do was to give it up and reinvest it into something else that I may not really "need". And I’m not exactly sure where the “save at all costs” mindset comes from, it could be from our depression-era grandparents, or maybe it’s a sense of insecurity that drives us to stuff cash in our mattresses. Wherever it comes from, it’s not doing you any favors. You are wasting a valuable resource if you’re not taking a portion of your business income and reinvesting it into your voice-over business. It can be prudent to research articles and listen to podcasts that help you cultivate a growth mindset. If you find yourself hesitant to this idea, seeking to understand how reinvesting works, and why it works should be where you start. Shifting this paradigm can put your business into high gear and help you grow exponentially.
I hear you saying, “Yeah, that’s all well and good, but I gotta pay rent, I gotta eat!” Of course, you do. Taking care of yourself and keeping a roof over your head is paramount to staying in business! It’s when all the standard expenses are taken care of, and you still are seeing money in the bank that you should start thinking about how that money could be put to work. Take a look around your business and ask this simple question, “What if?”
What if I could hire an assistant to help generate leads?
What if I invested in a vetted email marketing campaign?
What if I took some training sessions to help me improve my craft?
What if I had more free time to do the things only I can do?
If you think about it from the standpoint of “What if”, then you’ll find yourself thinking like a business owner. You’ll be thinking with a growth mindset. Then you can start to think strategically about how your money can do the most for your business.
The Nitty Gritty
First think about investing in your business infrastructure, and how you can improve your customer's experience with you. Do you need to set up a better website? Increase your Internet speed? Or maybe it’s time to invest in ipDTL or Source Connect. Does your recording space need improvement? All of these investments and more can improve and streamline your workflow, which in turn will improve your customer relationships.
Next look at ways to improve your marketing. That could be hiring a graphic designer to help you create a logo. Maybe that looks like consulting with a branding expert. Or, it could be as simple as hiring someone to help you generate leads. I would suggest that you first look at improving the marketing that you are already doing, you’ve got that ball rolling, see if you can get more traction out of it. Then look for new ways to reach out to new leads, new roads that you might not have considered.
Maybe it’s also a good time to look in the mirror for ways to reinvest. Investing in yourself, your own skills and talents will always pay off. It’s always a good idea to continually coach. You have to keep moving forward with your craft, otherwise, it’s almost like standing still. Even elite athletes have coaches. Even the fastest man alive has a running coach. It’s always a sound investment when you invest in yourself.
Do you know that thing that you hate doing? That when you sit down to do it, you feel all of your energy leave your body? Yeah, that thing. Well, maybe it’s time to delegate those tasks to someone else. Outsourcing can help alleviate some of the drudgeries you feel when doing tasks you hate, which in turn can help you focus on doing the things you love.
Last, but certainly not least, look at improving your SEO. You know me, I’m all about SEO. Your website is one of the most powerful tools you have. Make sure the blades are sharp and your SEO is optimized as fully as it can be. Your goal should be to get your page as close to the top of Google’s search results as you possibly can. That might mean hiring an expert that knows the ins and outs of SEO. It could even mean retooling your website for better search results.
Math is Magic
I would like to leave you with this final thought.
Please allow me to elaborate through an allegory.
There once was a chess champion who was to receive a prize from his King for winning a grand championship. A large sum of gold that would feed him and his family for years. Instead, the man had a request, instead of a large lump sum of money, he requested one gold coin be placed on the first square of his chessboard. Then two gold coins would be placed on the second square, and then four pieces placed on the third square, and every square after receiving double the amount of the square before it. The King agreed, but then quickly realized that before he could complete the 64 squares on the chessboard, his kingdom would run out of money. In fact, there weren’t enough gold coins in all the world to fill the board.
The same can be said about reinvesting in your voiceover business. When you spend your dollars on your own business, you’re creating a compounding equation that will yield exponential results. So, start reinvesting as soon as you can, you’ll find the rewards just might surprise you.
Much love and Keep on rockin' your health and your biz!
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.