Is there such a thing as too authentic?

Holy smokes. Everywhere you look, there’s a Kardashian.

Whether you like ‘em or not, you can’t deny that they are successful. Reality TV culture is a thing, love bugs. It’s the world we live in. That’s why I couldn’t resist picking up the book, The Kim Kardashian Principle: Why Shameless Sells (and How to Do It Right).

I laughed when the author, Jeetendr Sehdev, wrote, “Like most Brits, I grew up in sheer terror of causing offense.” I think lots of us can relate. But this play-it-safe mentality could be getting in your way from a being-awesome-at-business perspective.

Want to be a wildly successful VO actor?

Don’t squish your spunkiness. Don’t dilute your drama. Don’t water-down your wackiness!

Okay, so not everyone will like it. Not everyone will need your particular brand-of-special. Not everyone will swoon. But the ones who do really will. And they’ll book you first.

I say it often…you must be incredibly talented. But when you’ve got the talent—you’ve got to be real. YOU ARE YOUR BRAND. So let your brand REALLY represent you. (Being 100% authentic doesn’t mean you need to share every detail of your personal life…it just means sharing who you are.)

So is there such a thing as too authentic? I don’t think so.

The more real you are, the more you’ll create a riveting connection with your tribe.

One of Sehdev’s recommendations is AIM TO OFFEND.

Sure, aim to offend…if you’re authentically an offensive person.

Otherwise, be as ass-kickingly authentic as you’re comfortable with.

Ready to make sure your branding is representing the authentic you? Schedule a free 15 minute brand-strategy session.

Celia

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And then I pressed play…

It’s hard to admit, but it’s true: His website almost scared me away.

When a new potential client sent me his website, I assumed he sucked. Then I pressed play. His voice was like butter. His timing was great. He was amazing—but his website was sending the message that he was anything but…

I made pessimistic assumptions about his awesome talent. Because of his website.

And it made me so freaking sad! Because most people never move past first impressions (and discover that you’re actually incredible).

How many talented VO actors are hiding their amazingness behind crummy marketing materials? How many of you are busting your butts to make up for all the positive connections you’re losing because of an ugly website? How many of you are considering driving Uber to make ends meet? Ugh!

No, you don’t need to go spend a fortune on a perfect website! This guy would have been better off just picking his favorite color and putting up a giant button that said “play”.

Make your life easier. Make sure your marketing authentically reflects your talent. Let your charisma come through—not just in your demos and auditions, but everywhere. As people are passing through their busy worlds, let them immediately know that they’re in good hands with your talent!

Share authentically and consistently.

If you’re brave enough to tell your story—buyers will know you’re confident enough to tell theirs!

Make it easy for others to know that you’re amazing. Don’t make ‘em work for it.

Ready to start showing off? Schedule a free 15 minute brand-strategy session.

Celia

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3 ways to be like Birchbox

I had stubby lashes. Not anymore…Because Birchbox just sent me the best mascara ever!

When Birchbox sends me a package, I know everything inside is going to be amazing. And then it is.

In case you live under a rock, Birchbox is the marketing darling of subscription services. They are doing it right! And because of that, their marketing and their offerings are a welcome addition to my life (and maybe yours too). Here are a few things we can learn from Birchbox:

  1. Be amazing looking. Look at this branding! It’s not just on their website, but in everything they do, from their social media channels to their packaging. Do all of the materials that reflect you look authentic and amazing? Tell your story beautifully and consistently—that’s how you make connections.
  2. Personalize. Talk directly to the individual like Birchbox does. Birchbox knows I’m a mom with puny lashes who likes paraben-free products. They know this, and they cater to me! Want to do promo work? Speak directly to the promo producers and their needs.
  3. Sell unique products in the same box. Birchbox sends me 5 products a month in the same box. You also offer many “products”—like promo narration, gaming and e-learning demos. Look at your brand like the package itself, and then within that brand, show off your individual categories. When you’re selling me lotion, sell me the best darn lotion ever.

I don’t just pay for my Birchbox subscription. I eagerly await it. I jump up and down when it arrives. I read all the emails they send me and follow their social media channels. Everything they do reinforces my trust. And then, of course, I buy full-size products from them.

So take a lesson from Birchbox. Look amazing. Customize. Sell specific products. And before you know it, they’ll have you on subscription and be buying full-size YOU again and again.

Ready to plump those marketing lashes? Schedule a free 15 minute brand-strategy session.

Celia

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No offense to Uber …

First, a disclaimer: In this industry, you have to be freaking talented. If you can check the “freaking talented” box—this tough-love-newsie is for you.

I know so many voiceover actors talented enough to make a solid living every month … yet they say things like: “I’m probably going to need to drive an Uber” or “I just want to cover my rent.”

If you’re saying things like this, STOP! A starving artist mentality won’t get your super-talented butt very far. It fuels a mindset of lack, and it makes it harder for abundance to come your way. Instead, craft a mindset of abundance; it’s one of the best things you can do for your career (and your life)! Here are some tips to get started:

  1. Set an auspicious monthly goal, then work your business-minded booty off to reach that goal.
  2. Let go of your frugal mentality. You don’t reach your goal by eating ramen noodles, only doing free yoga videos at home, and applying to become an Uber driver.
  3. Invest in yourself. Attend that conference. Hire that coach. Fix your crummy demo. YOU are your own best investment. And guess what? These investments are tax deductible.
  4. Maximize your time. If you’re spending all day cleaning your house when you could pay someone $100 to do it, don’t you think your time could be better spent?
  5. Create a killer brand. Be it. Own it.
  6. Find resources that inspire you. To change your money mindset, find experts who appeal to your personal money style.I like Get Rich Slowly, Wise Bread, MoneyNing, Tim Ferris and Suze Orman.
  7. Reset your thinking. Stop talking about scraping by. Stop thinking about lack. Choose your words and actions from a mindset of abundance.
  8. Fill your pipeline. If your pipeline isn’t full, audition like a madman/woman.

If you are talented—and your mindset isn’t abundant—you are doing yourself and the industry a disservice. Honestly, as an entrepreneur performer, this industry needs you! Get moving.

Ready to grab your talent by the you-know-what? Schedule a free 15 minute brand-strategy session.

Celia

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Feel the wind blowing in your hair…

If your brand were a car, what car would it be?

Mine would be an acid green Jeep Wrangler Sahara with big-a$$ tires. Or maybe if the used-car-Gods were on my side, a refurbished El Camino—pimped out with four-wheel drive for Minnesota winters (also acid green, of course).

Like a real car, your brand is a vehicle to help you express yourself in your VO career.

After all these years, I realized something really exciting:

When you nail your authentic brand (which is based on the authentic you), everything gets better—from your relationships to your self-expression to your mood. Everything falls into alignment and works together. You enter a clearer mental space which provides a turbo boost when you’re picking auditions, getting behind the mic—and everything else.

When you cultivate your brand:

Your brand is your dream car. When designed and delivered correctly, it will give you the career maneuvering vocal-motion to not only arrive at success – with authentic style, confidence and control – but to enjoy the ride there.

Ready to grab the keys and jump in the driver’s seat? Schedule a free 15 minute brand-strategy session.

Celia

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Always a VO bridesmaid—never a bride?

Feel like you’re always a VO bridesmaid—never a bride? Do you almost get the job, but not quite?

First of all, there’s merit in being a bridesmaid. It means somebody loves you! If you almost got the job, it shows your standing. It’s gas in your engine. Fuel in your tank. Feel the love, baby, because you’re in the game. You’re a contender—and don’t forget that!

But, alas, being a contender doesn’t pay the bills.

Maybe you’ve been a VO bridesmaid a few too many times. Maybe you don’t look good in peach and you’re tired of crinoline. When you’re sick of being a VO bridesmaid, how do you overcome all the obstacles and become the top dog?

Well, pretty much, the answer is this…

You can either show up in the bridesmaid dress, or the wedding dress. It’s your choice.

Recently I was in a really awesome webinar, and during the Q&A, everyone asked pretty much the same questions. Is it okay if my studio isn’t up to par? Is the sound quality of my demo good enough? How current should my website be? Etc. Etc.

People were asking permission to half-ass it!

If you want to be the bride, show up like a shining star supernova. Take control of your awesomeness. Kick down the door. Get in front of eyeballs and eardrums. Wear the white dress.

Seriously, don’t make me brand you as “Always the bridesmaid VO.” You’re better than that.

I hear wedding bells,
Celia

P.S. If you need help shredding your bridesmaid dresses and showing up in white, schedule a free 15 minute brand-strategy session.

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Does Twitter Spark Joy?

Hi there,

The awesome Marie Kondo (queen of decluttering) says you should pick up an object and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If it doesn’t spark joy, you should get rid of it. It’s such a simple, almost laughable idea, but it’s brilliant. I’ve really incorporated it into my life and business.

And I think this concept is relevant for our social media efforts, too. Hear me out.

Are you doing social media because you should? That’s nonsense. You’re not sharing anything cool, authentic, or follow-worthy if you’re feeling forced into it. Life is short. Have fun. Your social media presence should spark joy!

Look at this list. Do any of these platforms make you happy?

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest
Linkedin

Marie Kondo says you have to hold something in your hand because you actually have to experience it. Same goes for social media. You have to experience each platform and its capabilities. Confusion and frustration don’t spark joy, so sometimes, this means learning how to use these platforms. (The more you educate yourself, the more fun it gets!)

Give them a chance. Learn how to use each one. Ask yourself: Was it fun? Did it allow me to express myself and be authentic? Did it fit with my personality? Did I kick up my heels and get a bunch of retweets, or did it distract me?

Find one you really love, and rock it. Live in it. Give it your heart. As long as you’re doing one really well (with joy and authenticity), you can make things happen for your business and your brand.

Listen supernovas… Twitter at first did not spark joy for me. I was afraid I’d say the wrong thing. Once I realized that Twitter is just like being at a cocktail party-where you don’t need to calculate every word that comes out of your mouth-it became a lot more fun.

Ready to banish everything that doesn’t spark joy immediately? Not so fast. Meeting with my accountant doesn’t exactly spark joy right away … but the finished report of my yearly finances … that certainly does. Sometimes in life and business, the joy comes at the end. But if something doesn’t spark any joy (beginning or end)-don’t do it!

Like the rest of your VO marketing efforts, you need to lead with your brand when it comes to social media. The cool thing is … your brand is within you! If you need help pinpointing your brand (and sharing it authentically), schedule a free 15 minute brand-strategy session.

To your success,
Celia

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4 Easy Tips for Accomplishing Any Goal

Goal setting is sort of my jam. So, I spent the whole month of December nose-deep in goal-setting tools and planners. Yes, I went a bit nuts. Because I love goal setting! Then, after the fun, I honed down the goal frenzy into the big, gorgeous goals I plan to accomplish in 2017.

My main goal for 2017 is organization. I want to know where everything is-at all times-and have systems in place so I’m never reinventing the wheel. I’m excited just telling you about it!

Now maybe you aren’t as wild about goal setting as I am. That’s okay. You can just skip the frenzy part and get right to the end result … a few big things you plan to accomplish. Whether you do this every year, every month or every week, picking just a few things to accomplish is smart and doable. Then comes the actual accomplishing part. This is where we can sometimes get stuck.

But as a lifelong goal-accomplisher, I’m here to help!

Here are my favorite tips for checking those big goals off the list:

1. No goal is outrageous when it’s broken down. Make a million dollars. This might seem outrageous. But when you break it down into small, specific steps (like how many bookings you’ll need) it becomes doable. Rome wasn’t built in a day … but stone by stone, it did get built. Have a clear, specific goal, no matter how big or small, break it down into tiny action steps and make sure you’re moving forward every day. Don’t discount the small steps!

2. Choosing yourself is always the first step. Before you can accomplish any of these goals, you’ve got to decide to make yourself, the goal-achiever, a priority. In a world where you’re living alone in your booth, checking your emails and hustling for that next job, it’s easy to lose sight of your intended end game. To achieve, you need to feel good from the inside out. Keep to the steps, plan your work and work your plan. Then and only then can you truly service the heck out of your clients!

3. Systems are time-savers and everyone should have them. How often are you checking emails? How are you getting back to people? Could this process be easier with templates for the information you send again and again? I bet it could. Look at your CRM, your filing system, your invoicing system. If you can be more disciplined and consistent with your systems, chunks of time will open in your day. Treat yourself like the big business that you are and focus on systems that can make you more efficient!

4. Do what you’re great at. Get help with everything else. Don’t love it? Aren’t awesome at it? Get help. The awesome thing about being part of this crazy, cool VO community is the sheer amount of talented people who can help us. I’m a firm believer that to be efficient and accomplish goals, we have to focus on our strengths and get help with everything else. When it comes to my goal of organization, I hired a coach!

If you need help reaching goals like creating an amazing brand or stepping-up your marketing I can help. Schedule a free 15 minute brand-strategy session and we’ll talk about the possibilities.

To your success,
Celia

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17 questions to ask yourself (about your brand) for 2017

Happy December, figgy puddings! Before you unwrap your holiday gifts, start the festive season by unwrapping your best asset as a voiceover artist—your brand! Ask yourself these questions to see if your brand is as fantastic as you are:

  1. Does it make you feel at home? Like you could snuggle up on the couch inside your brand and stay for weeks…
  2. Is it on-trend or trend-setting? You’re talking to ad buyers and writers—the trendiest people on earth. Your brand has to look and feel fresh, smart and streamlined.
  3. Does it scream you? Talk like you talk, walk like you walk…If you were in a lineup with 10 other voice actors, could we match your brand to you?
  4. Does it open doors? You’ll know because your tribe will be attracted and you’ll land work.
  5. Is it better than your competitors? Let’s face it. We all want to be top dog—and here’s a tangible way to do it.
  6. Does it tell your story? Your brand should tell your personal story—so people can know you as a human. Yup, be real!
  7. Is it a preview of working together? Your brand should set up what’s awesome about working with you. After all, you are your product.
  8. Does it make you feel excited? Pay attention to what’s happening in your gut. When you complete your authentic brand, you know it’s right. Some people even jump up and down.
  9. Does it encourage you to spread the word? You can’t just be talented; 50% of your job is educating the world about your voice.
  10. Does it have legs? Your brand should be so good that it gets shared in meetings and goes places for you.
  11. Does it make you look at least AS successful as you are? Your brand’s gotta lift you up, not hold you down!
  12. Does it up your confidence? Every single VO artist needs swagger, bravado and belonging. Your brand is ultimate confidence-booster.
  13. Is it fast? At even a quick glance, your brand should speak a thousand words.
  14. Does it give you control? A good brand helps you manage the story that is out there about you. It helps you reinforce and share the right message.
  15. Does it reflect the brands you’re attracted to? One cool way to hone in on your brand is to pay attention to the brands you’re attracted to. They are clues to your aspirational self!
  16. Does it match your demos? Nothing is more jarring than a demo that’s at-odds with a brand.
  17. Does it include your shadow side? Don’t try to be too perfect. Sometimes it’s the stuff we don’t love about ourselves that creates the intrigue it takes to land the job. Don’t brush your real self under the rug.
    When you get your brand right, you’ll feel like you’re unwrapping the best gift ever—every day!

If your brand doesn’t unleash festiveness and excitement, I can help. Ready to make 2017 the best year yet? Schedule a free 15 minute brand-strategy session and we’ll talk about the possibilities.

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Want to ensure success? Do this…

Want a surefire way to land the jobs you need? Read on, VO butt-kicker…

The other day, a new client told me that “sometimes things just feel so up in air.” Well, I told her something important and I’m going to tell you: You have (so much) more control than you think! Why?

It’s not about logging the results, it’s all about designing your future.

How do you do this?

Take a look back… What have you done in the past that generated success? And, how can you systematize these actions to generate ongoing success in your business?

Every action you take to grow your business has an outcome. Everyone’s numbers are different, but statistically speaking, you can figure out stuff like this:

  1. For every 50 phone calls you make, you get one new client.
  2. For every 30 auditions, you land one job.
  3. For every piece of swag you send…
  4. For every in-person networking event…

You get the idea. You might not necessarily know these numbers, but it’s time to start tracking.

When do you notice an uptick in business?

Need inspiration?

I love Marie Forleo’s recent interview with Bryce Dallas Howard because of Bryce’s numerical approach to auditioning. (Yup, she used the technique I’m talking about…and of course, it worked!)

Don’t have time to make phone calls yourself? At CSM, we’ve got a big ‘ol list of buyers and we can do it for you. Schedule a free 15 minute brand-strategy session and we’ll talk about the possibilities.

– Celia

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