full-time voiceover

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.

When Working Mom’s Leave Home, Let’s Do it Right!

Remember, It’s Not a Vacation

As a 24 year old newly wed, I think I actually packed every single pair of shoes I owned on my honeymoon! We were going away for a week, and I knew that I wanted a different dress for every single night of our trip to Bermuda. Fast forward 15 years, and without my strong and handsome husband to carry and haul all of my stuff around, and it was A LOT of stuff, I had to figure out how to have confidence in what I was wearing, look adorable, and manage all my belongings on my own. I am quite intellectually self sufficient, but this realm of physical management was something that had to be learned I boy did I conquer it. So, as I set out for Dev Learn this week, I though I would share some of my favorite tips and tricks to help other working moms best prepare for their business trips too!

Dos and Dos (who needs Donts?):

Here are some of the highlights that get me through conference packing

  • DO Pack light.
  • DO Ship conference materials like brochures and swag in advance. I also ship my travel rig in this package.
  • DO Be sure to call your hotel and make sure they will hold the above package until your arrival!
  • DO Stick to one color palate.
  • DO Wear/Pack shoes you can actually function in ALL day and night! I love my chanel ballet flats. They look chic and are very supportive. I always pack black and gold for such trips. Sometimes, in summer, I also bring pink ones.  https://www.chanel.com/us/fashion/search/?text=ballerinas&page=0&suggestion=false&cat=True&axis=fashion
  • DO Use travel size toiletries. I keep mine packed always and replenish as soon as I run out so that bag is always ready. I use this bag from Tumi that is TSA approved and you do not have to take anything out at security: https://www.tumi.com/p/split-travel-kit-022193D2/

Today as I work on this blog I am in the midst of packing for a trip myself. In addition to actual work, I  have to pack a weeks worth of school lunches and snacks. I have to do all of the laundry. And sadly, my sweet dog who is always by my side is already at my mom’s house. I try to plan as much as I can in advance not just to make my departure easy, but to make my return easy. 

There are a few details that always help me. I keep toiletries that I need in flight in the same cosmetic case and check that I have what I need the day before departure. For cross country and international flights, which I often have, I would hate to be without anti-nausea medicine. I always brink a cozy scarf. I love the ones from J. McGlaughlin: . I also make sure that I not only have m computer, but that I have a cosmetic cased filled with my charger and a Mophie so that I can recharge when I land or if I have a long day at the conference. I always, always travel with my Bose noise canceling headphones. I am a little bit nervous when I fly, not about the actual plane, but about all the details that I can’t control like whether or not we’ll land on time and who will be in my row, and just removing the extra noise helps a lot! So, I always make certain to have these travel essentials!

A Little Pampering Never Hurt

Everyone has different goals on their work trips. When I am going and I will be meeting potential clients or seeing current clients, I want to look and feel my best. This is not the time to cut corners! I make sure to bring what I will sleep well in and will be most like home. This is not the day to try new mascara, nor is it the day to let your hair air dry. If you are a solopreneur investing in flying across the country to connect with clients, spend what is likely between $30-50 and have your hair blown out if you cannot do a decent job on your own. People come from all over the world for these conferences. Once you have actually gotten yourself there, you might as well but your best foot forward.

You can Always Buy It There

I find that it is far better to arrive organized and shop of you need to than to overpack and overwhelm yourself. Unless you are going somewhere very remote, if you forget something it is just a great reason to shop!

In the end, you can figure out what works for you! With lots of business travel under my belt, I have quite an efficient system. If you have tricks that work for you I’d love to hear about them! Wishing you safe travels and an enjoyable trip! Now, don’t forget souvenirs for your kids!   🙂