business

Mind your manners.

At the end of the day. You're serving your client. 

At the end of the day. You're serving your client. 

 

I might be writing this because I’m British and manners were drilled into me at a young age or maybe because I see it more and more and it rubs me the wrong way. It irritates me and I think it’s something that could help a lot of people.

 

A huge gripe of mine is that people don’t know basic customer etiquette both online and offline.

This might sound harsh to sound so blunt but from a customer perspective, you can ruin or reward a business relationship based on how you act.

If you’ve ever worked in retail or at a restaurant, you’re face to face with your customer. There’s no emails, there’s no social media. You’re talking to them in real time. You are *typically* trained to be polite and courteous.

You wouldn’t ignore someone talking to you face to face if you were assisting them, so why would you let an email sit for two days before you respond? Madness.

Politeness should be your mantra in your business. It goes a long way. Clients want to work with artists that are easy to get along with, who are professional and courteous. It makes you stand out when others may not give them that level of attention.

People that play it fast and loose in their communication can give off a bad vibe to a customer. Lack of responses or heavily delayed responses makes it seem like you don’t care about their project. They will remember that and undoubtedly will become frustrated.

Text is interpreted differently to speech. This is a huge talking point. Before you rush through an email and hit send, think about what you’re saying. Read the words aloud and say ‘If I read this, what would I think?’ I’ve put my foot in my mouth a few times and experience has taught me blunt replies can be misconstrued as you don’t know the emotion behind them.

Communication MUST be kept open when doing a project. I can’t stress that enough.  If your client asks you a question, answer it as soon as possible. Don’t let it sit. You may be busy but in today’s world, instant is sometimes not fast enough, so you need to make sure YOU’RE staying on top of your call backs, your emails and your follow ups.

You don’t have to write them an essay (Believe me, us Brits LOVE to pen lengthy letters). However, starting with clear, concise communication is vital; just as if you were writing a cover letter for a prospective job.

The medium will dictate how you respond to people. This is absolutely true.  For Facebook, you may write a few lines to a colleague or client. Nothing too lengthy. For Twitter, you have a finite character limit, which can be fantastic for getting straight to the point. In emails, you have some more room but conversations may already be established, so adjust accordingly. Be flexible but when talking to a client or prospective client but keep it cordial and on mission.  

Even with more challenging clients, I always take the extra step of asking what THEY need from ME to complete the project. You will find the wheels become greased far more easily if you remind them of why they hired you. If you offered to do A, B and C – why not offer D as well?  Prove to them you’re worth the fee.

 

Make them remember you for all the positive things you’ve provided, so next time, when it comes to hiring for a new project; you’ll be at the top of the pile.

 

In a world of ever decreasing attention spans and seemingly less care, take that time to stand out. Take that time to make yourself stand out as distinguished, not just mediocre.

 

 

 

Patience and why you should fail.

There, I said it. You can fail. It's OK to fail.

There is an overwhelming pressure in today's society that if you're not instantly successful, then you must be an instant failure. Completely untrue and honestly it is a reflection of the world we live in. Patience is small and dreams are big.

This applies to voiceover as it does any other profession. 

Fail. Fail over and over again. You don't start out amazing at anything in life. You have to fail a great number of times before you can get good at something. I've failed so many times so far and I've only been doing this over two years. I've been frustrated, angry, disappointed and had zero confidence in the fact that I was making any progress. If you fail - find another way to make it work. 

Pick your phrase, 10,000 hours....big oaks from little acorns grow...the list goes on. The point is, look at anyone that you consider to be great or successful. Do you think they came out of the gate that way?

Let's take successful/career youtubers as an example. I dare you. Find the one with an insane amount of subscribers. Go look at their first video. I am willing to place money on the fact it is 5 years old or more. 

Pick your favourite athlete - Research them, see when they started playing the sport. Compare it to their age and status now. Is it less than a year? I doubt it. I'd bet 10 years of playing the sport even before he or she went pro. 

Think how many hours of practice, planning and so on that went into getting their channel/persona to the stage you see today? 5 years. Think about that number for a moment. Are you trying to sprint or are you marching toward your goal? 

If you can sprint and can get there sooner, bravo my friend. However, for the vast majority, you will be marching. You will not see the goal, you will just see the road. You may fall, collapse from exhaustion or be injured. The question is do you let obstacles in your path dictate your success? 

Surround yourself with people that support you. People that are more talented then you. People that are further along in their journey than you. People that will make you reach. People that will push you to excel.

Is being 'okay' at something going to fuel you to strive for greater things for yourself and your business?

This applies to any one who is running their own business or in life in general.

Grind. March forward. Take risks. Be patient. Don't compare your journey to anyone else. Remind yourself, it is OK to fail. Just don't let failure consume you. 

Only you can dictate how far you take anything.