Four days ago, essentially the same piece had dropped into my email in-box – with a slightly different headline: The 7 Bad Habits That Will Hurt Your Voice Over Career. Author and voice over artist Dan Hurst had adapted Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to his own purposes, and it had caught my attention twice in less than a week. http://danhurst.com/posts/7-bad-habits-of-struggling-entrepreneurs
Dan and I seem to have two things in common:
1. We are both voice over artists with tons of experience (one of only a few hats I wear comfortably).
2. We both understand the need to communicate competitive advantage in a clear and compelling way – which requires an unusual degree of self-awareness (most often learned by thrashing your way down that hard road people talk about all the time) and brutal objectivity. It seems especially true of lone-wolf types like consultants and voice over artists but likely rings equally true in your business as well.
“It’s important to see yourself for what you really are,” writes Hurst, “but that needs to be tempered by really understanding how your clients view you. The right voice is like choosing the right oil color for a painting. Ok, fine. You’ve got the right color, but it’s more about what you do with that color that counts.”
Communicate a REAL Difference.
On the consulting side of my business, I am a Key Messaging Expert. I help clients come up with words to Attract The Customers You Want Most. In voice overs, I am The Natural Choice known for my “Mercedes delivery.” Dan Hurst is One of America’s Most Experienced Bi-Lingual Voice Over Talents whose English and Spanish voice overs are “smooth and powerful.”
In assessing what I call the Marketable Truth© of your business, brand or product (even if your business is just you), it’s critical to know what standard you’re comparing yourself to. Dan puts it perfectly: It’s all about “knowing the difference between good, better and great. Good is based on the market standard. One isn’t even competitive until one is good. Better is stepping beyond good to get noticed. But great is what the client chooses.”
All too many marketers (not limited to voice talents and consultants by any means) are content with communicating “pieces and parts” – we do this or we sell that -- without reference to the benefits they bring to a world that’s all too willing to reward mediocre positioning with mediocre results.
“I don’t want to hire someone that ‘can do’ something,” Dan Hurst concludes. “I want to hire someone who excels … who owns the element that I’m looking for.”
TakeAway: Don’t be content with selling GOOD. Or even BETTER. Sell GREAT! And communicate your greatness in terms that make a big difference for your customers or clients.
Marketable Truth and content © by Brian Faulkner.
Tags: 7 Habits, Steven Covey, Dan Hurst, Mercedes
About Brian Faulkner:
Brian also is a three-time Emmy award winning Public Television writer and narrator of UNC-TV’s popular Our State magazine series, on the air since 2003.
His distinctive voice overs have been heard on many hundreds of radio spots and client projects since way back in 1966. People say he sounds a bit like Charles Kuralt, which Brian considers a welcome but happy illusion.