Networking In 2020

Networking is a scary word for many new business owners and especially voice actors. I always say, there’s a reason we work alone and behind the mic! We’re artists and we want to be creating art, which is often a solo endeavor.

But in voice-over, you can’t create your art without networking.

The word brings various images to mind, depending on the person. You may be imagining something like one of the many conventions for voice actors (VO Atlanta, WOVO Con, VOXY Ladies Summit, just to name a few). Or you may be picturing yourself at an e-learning convention (good idea, actually). Perhaps you’re imagining yourself striking up a conversation with anyone who will listen and pitching them your services like some time-traveling Amway salesperson.

In 2020 I think the term “networking” has evolved. The goal isn’t to get a client. You want to find the client.

And by the client I mean the client who uses you over and over again because you’re her “go-to-girl” for all of her voice-over needs. You become this person only when you have a genuine connection with someone.

So I try to find things I have in common with my clients/the businesses they run. Consequently, because I have a background in all things kids and family, I often end up working with a lot of 40-something-year-old women with kids. I speak that language and I can relate.

For example, I sent this email to a client I had been working on a project with for two weeks;

“Here are those edited files! Is there anything else I can do to help you out? You mentioned Avery was teething so I know you must have your hands full! Let me know what I can do :) “

We ended up having tea over Skype that night because she needed to talk to an adult (stay at home parents, you know what I’m talking about) and now we’re good friends in addition to having a working relationship.

That’s just one example. I connect with dog-friendly companies and counter-culture, alternative, LGBTQ, sex-positive, and indie brands because those are very natural connections to make for me. I have zero interest in the automotive industry so I don’t pursue that type of work. It doesn’t interest me and I probably don’t have a lot in common with the other folks who are passionate about making e-learning programs for cars.

So when you think of networking, think of it more in terms of making friends or looking for a club to join. You want to find the right fit.

That’s what I think of when I hear “networking” in 2020. Do you agree?

Let me know in the comments!


Tawny Platis

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