Establishing a Voice Over Business Workflow
As a freelance Voice Over artist, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our Voice Over marketing plan, making greater impact on social media, and driving business from the outside in. We continually imagine spending most of our time “In the Booth” recording and working in a multitude of recording markets. I have envisioned myself, who specializes in technical scientific narration, would love to see the day of “being somewhat in the Weeds” with projects on a continual basis. What I sometimes forget in the visual for this level of workload is, “How can I Effectively, Efficiently, and with Professional quality complete all the projects taken on.
Optimally if we could have office support services provided workload would be eased, but few of us freelance Voice over artists have that. In fact, most of us are trying to do more with less, that’s why designing of an effective and efficient workflow system(s) is so important.
Workflow, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is defined as: “The sequence of steps involved in moving from the beginning to the end of a working process.” Another defines workflow as: A process and/procedure in which tasks are completed. It may be defined with a flowchart to define participants, actions, results, decisions, and action paths.
A business workflow is a repeatable process that consists of a series of tasks that generally need to be completed in a specific sequence. Think of it as work flowing from one stage to the next until it is finished.https://www.lucidchart.com/blog/what-is-workflow
So, what does a properly thought-out workflow provide the Voice Over actor and their freelance business? Workflows are useful for ensuring that important processes are done the right way every time. This important concept brings to light the idea that effectiveness means that a task is performed the same way all the time, and efficiency, that the task is done correctly. Now I know many of you will say, “But I have different types of Voice Over work, animation, audiobooks, explainer and eLearning, how can I have a single workflow”? Simple, you don’t, create one for each and it needn’t be complex.
Simply writing down steps might not constitute a workflow, but it’s a great start. For me, having a workflow in areas of scientific narration, technical eLearning, and video narration for various technical healthcare markets, provides me direction.
So, what are the benefits of having a well-designed and thought-out workflow(s):
- Improve Operations
- Eliminate redundant processes and activities
- Quickly respond to issues or problems
- Automate processes
Improving operations by taking the 30,000-foot view on what as we, freelance Voice Over Artist are tasked, means looking at the artistic, technical, and business roles for each project. How do we design a step-by-step method in interpreting scripts and delivering the tone, pace, and personality to the audience were communicating with, while fulfilling the client’s specifications? ? First, one must have knowledge of the equipment and software needed to handle different projects, either in their own studios, as self-directed, during remote live sessions, or in “On the Road” studios. Whatever the situation, having a workflow to follow ensures that the job is completed in the proper order, and within a specified timeframe.
Eliminate redundant processes and activities: When designing a workflow for Voice Over markets, you can consolidate steps while charting moves from the initial client contact to completion of the deliverable. Think: How important is this in the simultaneous management of multiple projects, and when is time management critical for deadlines?
Quickly respond to issues or problems: When issues arise before, during, or after a project everyone still needs the end result to please those in charge. Everyone wants the project to go smoothly the Client, Director, and especially you but we all know Murphy’s Law is a constant companion regardless the complexity of the booking. What a well-thought-out workflow provides the Voice Over Artist is stress reduction amid possible chaos. Making sure you identify areas of concern in the project by following a solid workflow gives the Voice Over Artist a proactive ability to identify and solve problems before they occur, handle problems effectively and efficiently as they happen, and correct mistakes after they happen with speed and accuracy. As the saying goes, “When things go wrong, the degree of professionalism and ability one has comes through”.
Automate processes: As a Voice Over Artist, I record and release weekly podcasts that require a fully transcribed copy of the material. It would be hours of work per week to do this task by typing out the episode content myself, but by employing software that transcribes audio to text, this task is easy, fast. and accurate. The automation of this process saves me at least six hours of transcription of my 15-minute weekly “The Pharmacist is In” podcast episode. Learn to work smarter, not harder.
I hope this article shows the value of what having a well thought out and employed workflow(s) can do for a Voice Over Artist in their freelance practice. It is a method on how you approach any Voice Over project with professionalism and detailed care regarding your artistic skills, your business acumen, and professional reputation.