Fudge

An Attitude of Gratitude

All year I work hard to maintain an attitude of grattitude. It is not something that just happens. I’m a pretty happy and upbeat gal, and I am genuinely appreciative of each and every one of my voice over bookings and clients, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have to work hard to create a routine that fosters this attitude of grattitude so that the folks I work with know without a doubt how appreciated they are! This time of year is one of my favorite times of year! Not only do I get to spend more time with the people that I love, but it is also a great time to give a little something extra in the way of thanks to those who help a small business thrive! As a solopreneur, I love these special moments and find that they make all the difference!

Being Considerate with Holiday Schedules

According to Nina Zipkin of entrepreneur.com, in the last census there were 2.7 million solopreneurs! Imagine if you went to Whole Foods to go grocery shopping and they did not post their holiday hours, or if you showed up at the mall only to learn that the hours were different over the week of the winter holidays. Now that there are 2.7 million of us, and we are indeed business owners, we need to make it as easy as possible for our clients to know when we are and are not available over the holidays. Here are some helpful hints:

  • You can add  updated schedule and availability to your email signature.
  • Add an updated hours notice to your website.
  • Add an out of office reply when you are actually out of office.
  • If you send a monthly news letter and know you will have limited hours over the holidays, let clients know.
  • Post a travel rig notice on your facebook business page.

Why does all of this matter? Your clients my still need something right away even if it is the week of Christmas and your kids are home. If you have not made it clear that you are not in your booth, do not leave them guessing. Make it as easy as possible for your clients to get what they need when they need it!

Well Wishes and Spreading Cheer

I love sending holiday well-wishes and cards. I send special cards to clients I have worked with in the last several years both domestically and internationally. I spend a lot of time and effort on my cards and I want my clients to smile with joy when they open them. Throughout the year, I update my holiday card spreadsheet, carefully adding new clients and updating addresses when I hear people have moved. It is not easy but I am really excited to send them and hope that my clients and industry friends are happy to open them.

Presents

My special clients who represent a certain percentage of my business get an actual present and a hand written note. Every year I send something different. I try to send presents that have meaning to my family or are from shops from my town. I always pick something that I would be excited to get.  Since I am almost always sending gifts to an office, My husband typically gives his opinion as well, since Harlan actually works in an office. Harlan is of the strong opinion that clients want food, particularly sinful food, and that they would not indulge in on their own. So the past few years specialty food like fudge from the Jersey shore and high-end candies from Sugarfina have made the cut. I have something very special planned for this year.

Thanks!

When you feel truly thankful, it feels great to let people know! My efforts around the holidays are just a continuation of what I do during the year, and I know I’m not alone, a lot of other voiceover talents have similar practices. After I complete a job and send delivery of finished audio, I always, always, always send a hand written note. I now typically send a small Starbucks gift card too. I really appreciate the opportunities that come my way and I realize that there is always a choice when casting, so I might as well let me clients know what they mean. A LOT. Do you know how excited I am every time I go to Starbucks to pick up these gift cards? I am thrilled. Absolutely delighted. Going the extra mile to send my thank you note is my year round expression of the cheer I feel this time of year. I know how I feel when people take the time to write testimonials and say thanks, so I know that a little bit goes a long way.

Happy holidays!!

Giving Thanks

I don’t know what it’s like in your family, but around here when we have a yummy treat like fudge it only lasts for seconds! We circle around that package like a bunch of starving wild animals in for the kill and in the blink of an eye that box is torn apart and empty!

So, when I need to come up with a special gift, naturally fudge comes to mind! As a professional voiceover actor, all year I am rather focussed on physical wellness as it is so essential to my success. But, when holiday season rolls around, this is the time to roll out the treats and send them to the folks I am most appreciative of- my major clients. Each year, I review my financial data and take my top clients and send them a special treat. The treat should be just that, a special indulgence that they are not likely to buy themselves and lets them know just how thankful I am of their repeat confidence in me. It should be something that they are super excited to receive and that they will truly savor.

So, why did I pick a special assortment of fudge and salt water taffy from the Fudge Kitchen in Stone Harbor and Cape May this year? Well, first and foremost, the fudge is outstanding. Next, this fudge shop is special to my family. Let me flesh this out a little more….

Another Opportunity To Get to Know Each Other

As a small business owner, it is really important to me to build meaningful relationships with my clients. So, I try to make it easy for them to get to know me better. When I started my newsletter, I included this video

 which talks about how important going down the shore every summer is to my family. When we go down the shore, every night my kids get fudge from this very fudge store. They try different flavors from the samples being passed out and we typically let them buy a square. Let’s just say the fudge doesn’t last long! The fudge, then, is one of the best items that seems to be authentically part of the Jersey shore and since I am a Jersey girl, this is just perfect!

Carrying on the Tradition – While Supporting Local Business

It means a lot to me to take my kids to the beach every summer. As a full time working mom, I treasure this time with them and love every second! As a voiceover actor, it is often hard to step out of the studio, because leaving the booth means walking away from potential work, and I think as a small business owner there is always that struggle. But, on a beautiful, sunny summer day, there is no where I would rather be than on 96th street in Stone Harbor with my kids!

I have memories of being at the fudge store with my grandparents, and parents, and of all of them there with my kids, so in a very real sense with every purchase of fudge I am carrying on a family tradition.

I also love supporting a local business. It means so much to me that the small businesses stay open and continue to thrive. I have joked with my dad since I was a teenager that when I shop it’s good for the economy, but in this era of online shopping, I feel that it is more important than ever to patronize local stores. If we want these businesses to be there for the next generation, we must go to them now! Otherwise, with such stiff online competition, they will not stand a chance. So, when it came time to select a special treat for my clients, buying local was a priority.

The Holiday Spirit

How better to thank my clients and let them now how I feel about this special time of year then to give them a present fraught with meaning?  When folks say “’Tis the Season” the words “Of Giving” or “for Thanks” immediately spring to mind.  I am thankful for every single booking, bug and small. That is why I also take the time to send all clients and industry friends holiday cards as well. But I cherish the relationships I build as a small-business owner. I am not looking for one-offs, I look forward to working with clients over and over again, and I use this time of year to acknowledge how appreciative I am.

Building a voiceover business does not happen over night. It takes years of hard work and diligence. It requires a level of perseverance. It also requires an attitude of gratitude, because at the core of a sustainable voiceover business are these repeat relationships. I believe that clients come back for a reason, and I do not think that it is ever as simple as the voice on the other end of the mic or the equipment in my broadcast-ready studio.  After years of working with clients all over the world, from video production companies, to advertising agencies, to talent agents, to instructional designers, it is essential to stand out. And if you want to know me and to know my brand I leave you with one final thought before Christmas: fudge helps.