What Voice Over Client Correspondence is Appropriate during a pandemic?
As a small business owner, this is a very personal choice, but to me the line is extremely clear: the only unsolicited communication that should happen during a pandemic is genuine, caring correspondence. Period. If you have spent years of your life building and maintaining client relationships so that each booking is not a one-off, but instead a life-long client relationship, than be a friend and check in. But when I say this I mean genuinely check in with care and concern in your heart. If your heart isn’t in it, don’t do it.
Why is it wrong to try to see yourself right now?
If you are reaching out to folks you have already worked with, odds are they know as soon as they see your name and your email that you are a voice actor. If they needed you for a booking they would have asked. I have been checking in on clients. At radio stations, the program directors and operations managers are working with skeleton crews and their limited crews are running multiple stations and doing the jobs of many. They are working long hours just to keep radio going. Other clients tell me with great concern how their business has been decimated. Those who also do live events have had massive cancellations. So does this seem like the time to ask how their projects are and send a demo? NO.
This is a test…
This time period will pass. Some companies we have worked with will exist when this is over, and others won’t. If you have clients, actual clients that you have worked with repeatedly, be a friend now. Be supportive. Don’t make it about you. When the pandemic ends, regardless of what is left of their business, do you went to be remembered as a greedy pest or a supportive, kind soul? Only you can decide what your Coronavirus legacy will be, but I would much rather be defined by posting too many pictures of my precious dogs than by stalking my clients in their darkest hour.
The Present Situation
It’s flu season and unfortunately it’s apparently also Coronavirus season this year. Different countries have different levels of preparedness, but I never like to leave my wellness, or my families, in the hands of others. I don’t like to wait around like a sitting duck and take action after I am sick. I believe very strongly in preventative care. I have learned that preventative wellness is key to the success of my business. Particularly for those of us who depend on the quality of our voice to make a living, it is best not to get sick in the first place. Here are some best tips, tricks, and best practices that have helped me over the years:
Hand Washing and Wipes
It is really important to both wash your hands frequently AND not touch your face. According to the CDC’s website:
“Teaching people about handwashing helps them and their communities stay healthy. Handwashing education in the community:
- Reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 23-40% 2, 3, 6
- Reduces diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58% 4
- Reduces respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21% 3, 5
- Reduces absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in schoolchildren by 29-57% 7“
Another trick that I have found when out and about is carrying lysol and Clorox wipes. I always do this on trains and airplanes. They come in little travel bags, and you can wipe around your entire personal area which has likely not been cleaned any time recently. Here is a link to the wipes I am talking about:
Supplements That Help
I take a blend of supplements daily to prevent illness. I have been doing this since I got started in voice over full time as any illness stops work. Twice since 2015 I have had to tell clients I was unavailable for several days because of sickness. One client waited for me, one could not and I still regret missing that opportunity. These are some of the supplements that work for me to stay well even when those around me are a hacking mess, perhaps they might help you too:
- Cold Quell https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Poppy-Cold-Quell-caps/dp/B0044U4HVA/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=Cold+Quell&qid=1583074607&sr=8-3
- Elderberry: https://www.amazon.com/MegaFood-Elderberry-Promotes-Defenses-Servings/dp/B07JYFJMZG/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=1PU99320INAT6&keywords=megafood+elderberry&qid=1583074674&sprefix=mega+food+Elder%2Caps%2C158&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFRWVdUQUVBMzc2VlAmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTAwNjM4MTIxNlNPQVU1QTU3VTE5JmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTAzMjMyNDUzV0pLMlREQjVQWVAmd2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGYmYWN0aW9uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl
Straight to The Throat If you are already fighting something and have some symptoms, these are some must haves that I turn to and always keep on hand. They have helped me immensely over the years!
- Vocal Sprays- I have two that I love:
Find practitioners in your area that will help! In my area, these are some that I depend on both for treatments like acupuncture, for medical consultations, and for homeopathic supplements.
I have also found a food regimen that works for me. With the help of the above practitioners, I have learned that sugars feed illness, so I typically avoid sweets. I have also led a gluten and dairy free lifestyle as well which I believe helps fight illness and for me has helped me stay well. I use to get almost monthly sinus infections but those days are long gone. Again, a good medical professional in ADVANCE of illness can help with all of this. We also ALL GET flus shots. I hope this helps you in time. Wishing you and your family wellness in 2020.