Over my voiceover career I’ve run across variations of pronunciations that are sometimes unique to areas of the country. As an example, I have pronounced the word, “ROOFING” as “Ruffing”. I’m sure you’d say, “No, no, no…it’s “ROO (long O) FING”. A word like that, I get. Or “ROUTE 66” is said two ways, “ROOT 66” or “ROUT 66” (Like “about”). Or “DATA” as DAY-TA or DAD-DUH.

However, there are several words I hear over and over again that I feel are just voiced improperly. Like OFTEN. The “T” is silent. You wouldn’t say SOFTEN. (pronounce the “T”) It’s properly spoken, “OFF-EN” Or how about, INTERESTED. It should be spoken as a 3-syllable word. IN-TRESS-TED. Not, IN-TER-EST-ED. Granted it may be subjective to you, but how many times have you heard the state Illinois voiced as, ILL-IN-OYE’s, instead of ILL-IN-OYE? There are so many of these words that I, as a voice actor, must say properly for not only the area, but the industry.

What words have you run into like these?

March Madness

Actually, I’m not mad. Maybe a little sore about the lingering winter weather. But today, Mother Nature has redeemed herself with blue skies and 71 degrees. (OPEN THE FRIGGIN’ WINDOWS!) There, that’s nice, but I may have to record soon, so don’t get too comfortable yet.

Since I last wrote at the end of February, I’ve picked up six new clients. So someone is shinning down on me. Thank you! So is March going to be a great month as we move into Spring? Or are you panicking and getting ready to discount everything to stimulate your biz?

Sure, the economy is still a bit fragile, but you can still be strategic. Here are a few insights I’ve learned over the years when lean months seemed to dominate my worries…

  • Heavy discounting can be the classic mistake. If you lower your rates, in order to attract business, be aware you are going to have a harder time raising them when we come out of this mess. Today’s frugality is NOT a passing fad. People are getting used to it. You’re not considered to be a cheapskate if you go shopping at Walmart any more, are you? Your loyal clients will not forget and will challenge your credibility when you feel it’s time to raise your voiceover rates back up in the future.
  • Instead of lowering your rates, which also affects your competitors, offer extra value. Add something to your deal that will make them feel they are getting a better deal with you than someone else. Perhaps, a limited 2 for 1 sale. Offer a simple premium with their next order. Offer free updates for timely commercials that need this month /next week / this week / tomorrow / tonight versions.
  • You can also offer a MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE. Just be sure to be able to back it up if you do offer this service.
  • If you do cut your rates on your voice jobs, do it only on low-margin items so you can retain rates & integrity on high-value voiceover items.

Of course, you should promote your length of service to the media at large, list some of your high-profile clients and show the value in your work. One way has always been to find a nitch in the market you can own. Find it, market it and specialize in it. Examples such as, Podcasts, Messages On-Hold, PA Announcements for chains, etc.. You get the idea. Now…get started!