Reflections on 2021
It’s somewhat hard to believe it’s now December. Somehow the last few months have blown by in a busy whirl. For me, as a working mom of twins who happen to be high school seniors, this fall was extremely busy. With the New Year fast approaching, I am starting to reflect on 2021: what I’m proud of and what I might have done differently. The year is not over yet, and I plan to use the rest of the month to end strong.
Thoughts on My Business
I like to think a lot about where my business came from. The clients who came directly to me, not through a pay to play or an agent, were up 44% from last year. Repeat clients makeup 2/3 of my business. Clients from my website were up 136% compared to 2020, so I was very pleased with that number.
I also grew my coaching and demo production business substantially this year, and it made up about 3.5% of my annual income thus far. I was pleased with that.
My pay to play numbers were down. While I did have some stellar bookings on CastVoices that I am pleased with as that site is just starting, my bookings on Voice123 with new clients were down more that 30% from 2020. While I continue to submit, I find this quite frustrating. One major goal is to surpass my 2020 numbers in 2022.
Reflections on Equipment and Gear
I made some sound equipment upgrades this year that I am very pleased with. Dave and I added the Presonus to direct clients when they come in for demo sessions. I got a fantastic new desk setup for outside of my studio space. I am really happy with this. I added the EVO4 preamp to my travel rig. I also finally got to use my new rig that I invested in before my trip. That has been fantastic for me. Most recently, I upgraded my laptop that I use daily when outside the booth. My original one was from 2015, and it simply died. I am so happy to have a new, fast, working device.
I have a lot of thoughts about my marketing efforts. This is the one area I put so much time and on-going effort, every, single day. I updated my headshots. I kind of felt that the photos should actually look how I look, and if I looked in the mirror and looked nothing like the gal in the photo it was probably time to change! My website was then updated with the new photos. My website was not only updated superficially, but it got an update from the inside out, as it also now meets the requirements for Google Core Values. That update actually just happened, and I hope that clients now have an even easier time finding me. I continue to reach out to clients and industry friends with my monthly newsletter. After so many years, I am finally feeling more comfortable with mail chimp and have improved the format. I have also gotten a lot better with Canva this year and use their template consistently for my instagram posts. I have tried to be very much on top of my social media posts in 2021 and have grown a much larger following. I have also continued to blog at least once a week, and sometimes twice a week. I am proud that I have maintained my efforts with my blog.
I do feel that since August I have not been as on top of my direct emails. I feel that as I got busier with my twins, I became too relaxed and did not follow up as I typically do, especially in two main areas: with repeat clients and with my radio imaging outreach. When I sit and do it I regret that I dropped the ball a little.
Let’s end the year strong!
The year is not over! The next week and a half until Christmas can be a strong one! All marketing an be done with gusto. All auditions can be awesome. All booked work can be submitted with extra effort to make clients feel appreciated. Every single day matters, and each booking counts. As I reflect back on the year, I am so thankful for another year to pursue my dreams, and another year to work in the field I love. With the SOVAS this weekend, I am so excited to spend the last Sunday before the holidays surrounded by so many industry friends who are flying in from all over. Sometimes I say “there are no words” but for this weekend there are many words, and they are words of reflection and gratitude.