No bookings? You can still be productive!
So ... it's Monday morning. A new week looms - the entries and bookings are alarmingly scarce.
Anyone who is self employed knows how this feels. Being your own boss has its very own set of challenges - and facing a blank diary for the week ahead can feel very scary. If, like me, you work as a 'performer' you're likely to be very used to this but that doesn't make it any easier, because of course - an empty few days with no auditions, pending submissions or bookings means that everybody hates your work and you will never, ever, under any circumstances ever work again!
Rather than descending into a decline and spending your days watching daytime television, while muttering, 'I could do that' ... 'that voiceover was rubbish, why did they choose her?' why not fill those empty days? Make them work for you!
Here are a few suggestions:
Clear your desk ... if you're anything like me, there will always be a 'things to do' list! Do those things ... empty your intray and while you're at it tidy and polish your desk.
Clean up your inbox: Give your inbox a good clean up. There are always going to be emails that can be deleted ... and if you're like me, half a dozen draft emails that were abandoned for one reason or another - usually started on another empty diary day, but never completed. Complete them and send them today - especially if they're letters of introduction to potential employers.
Archive & store old files: I keep a record of work I have done and audiobooks I have recorded. Audio files take up an enormous amount of space - and I may have several audio files for each job - all I need to keep is the final clean version, so I can free up a lot of space on my computer by removing duplicates and just keeping the final version of everything. I use an external hard drive as well as cloud storage for my archive, so my computer works efficiently.
Update your online presence: You have an online presence - how up to date is it? As a voice actor, I am featured on several voiceover websites - and I have presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter; my voice samples are on Sound Cloud and ACX; there are videos that I have voiced on Vimeo and You Tube. How old are your audio samples, show reel or voice reels? Is your resume up to date? Review them ... listen to the audio, watch that showreel? Are you still 100% happy with it? Make good use of this slack time to record some new samples, update your CV, revisit your online profiles and update them all.
Write at least ten marketing emails: Make contact with some potential clients, share your new voice samples with someone you worked with previously, but haven't been in touch with for a while; find some new contacts to connect with on LinkedIn or other business related websites and introduce yourself.
Catch up with some training webinars: There is masses of really useful online information for VO folk, whether they work in audiobooks or commercial VOs. Organisations such as 'Gravy for the Brain' (www.gravyforthebrain.com), 'The Voice Over Network' (www.thevoiceovernetwork.co.uk) offer some fantastic voiceover related webinars. They also offer training and workshops, which are often available to members as video downloads, so even if you missed a session, you can still catch up with the video version.
Meet up with friends: I find it really difficult to meet friends who have 'proper jobs'; you know those people who have lunch hours and don't work in the evening or over the weekend. Working remotely with people from the other side of the World, sometimes means working very odd hours because of the time zone differences, so meeting up with pals can take a back seat. Use those free diary spaces for some social time. It's important.
And you can bet that as soon as you start doing all these things, the phone will ring - and your diary will start to fill up again.
Have a good week.
I've gleaned quite a lot of knowledge over the years, knowledge that might be of interest to others, especially authors, actors and voice actors. Because I read so much, for pleasure and professionally, I also occasionally write reviews of what I read - so they're here too.
All opinions and views are my own!