Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Usage: Working In 'Multi-Horse' Towns

A common 'first lesson-learned' in working online is finding out that what you did offline will never transfer into the online environment. It may work if you are only working with those you know, but what happens when other visitors to your voice over website, who do not know you, want in?

If you answered, ‘They cannot, unless I say so.’, you are making a mistake; a bold statement made from hard lessons learned. Their exists grand psychological reasons as to why, but I want to touch on beliefs that lead to failure online for voice talent. Below, I explain why there are no ‘one-horse towns’ online:

No one ‘owns’ it...
  • Websites are not real estate. Any business online understands that if they are the first to do something, sure, they cornered a market, but having a market cornered does not mean you have bought real estate! Even more so, if you treat people you talk to online with a sense of, ‘I own you’, you will slowly build resentment against you.
Put away the knife...No need for cut-throats online.
  • I remember very well being at auditions and on sets as an extra where I commonly heard, ‘I was here first!’, and watched people make clever moves to be first in line for whatever reason. Online, that behavior (a common survival instinct) is surprisingly viewed as childish through the psychology of an entire world watching and thinking behind the keyboard, brazen enough to share opinions without consequence.
  • If you think 'paying to be first' helps, you are buying into the offline ‘country club’ ideal and it screams of 1987. The technology has to allow for everyone to build, share, and grow a successful career while keeping in mind, ‘We are all businesses. No one is above the other, until’
It is good to have competition...
  • I notice that some believe the way to work is to claim to be the only one who can do something. Believe me...that is not a good thing online. Why? Buyer options.
  • One amazing thing by itself is a freak of nature.
  • Two amazing things gives a buyer the ability to compare and contrast, and in that process, both find work. Without competition, your product becomes very lonely. A creative industry is about ‘expanding on ideas’, so you will be used less by the majority, if you have no one that compares to you.
  • Offline, this may not be the case. works this way. We know we have competition, and many times exactly who, which is good for you if they are doing well. Thank Google for that one.
Saying ‘No’ to technology and evil numbers? Bad idea....
  • Technology can be scary. Stepping out of a comfort zone can be even more scary. There are some who truly believe that if they learn how to use a laptop or a blackberry, audition online, or learn how it works; that they are somehow betraying their brethren. As a result, they do not learn what to do with it. Why is this bad? Technology never stops.
  • Sure, there may be ways to get work, and maybe you do not need the Internet, but what are you going to do when the people hiring start working online more. If you think a business will be ‘loyal to the resistance of change’, after they find out how much easier it is, you will be left behind.
  • Life is a journey of learning. We are only as smart as the past and present has taught us to deal with the future.
  • As for numbers, simply put...They are difficult to accept because most of the time they prove our gut instinct was wrong.
Greed is a ‘no no’...Sorry Gordon.
  • Remember those easy days of ‘Greed is good’, and ‘all I need is a job with benefits’? They are simply gone. These days, there is no such thing as a ‘steady job’.
  • If you are not passionate and creative, dig deep inside you.
  • This ideal used to only apply to those in the arts, but now, it applies across the globe. You have to love and commit to what you are doing.
  • Working online, sometimes you do have to offer something for free (NOT in a job posting), in order to earn more than you would if you made everyone pay.
  • It does not mean becoming a charity. It means having a solid online business plan, whereby that which you give now, you will be able to take back in volumes later.
  • Some have asked me, ‘Why doesn’t Voice123 charge a commission?’. Aside, from it being illegal in New York State to accept commission on a paid service, it goes against the very foundation and moral obligation of Voice123 to operate as a marketing service to help the voice talent ‘do it him or herself’.
  • If we got somewhat greedy and started charging commission on jobs booked, we may make quick money, but Voice123 would soon ‘go bye bye’ because we disrupted the very fabric of what people like, ‘They can be their own business, make their money, and not worry about subversive behavior’. You cannot build a website on greed.
Food for thought...What do you think? Want to know more?

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Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace

Steven Lowell
Community Development Manager
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