When working every day, there can be busy times and slow times. The odd day of no voiceover work can feel amazing, allowing you to relax and rest. But when the days and weeks pass with little to no work, it can leave you anxious, bored, or unproductive. Recently, there have been drastic changes in the economy, which can affect most areas of business. Hence, it’s essential to have a plan of attack when it occurs.
When work is slow for an extended period, sitting back and waiting for things to pick up can be very tempting. However, this can be a missed opportunity to improve your skills and work on essential tasks you need time for. As a diverse, millennial, and contemporary voice actor, there are weeks where it is so busy I can barely keep up and weeks where nothing seems to be coming in. Here are some tips on what to do when work is slow.
Review Your Voiceover Work Calendar and Prioritize Tasks
The first thing you should do when work is slow is to review your current workload and prioritize your tasks. This will help you determine which tasks are the most important and which can be put on hold. You may not have been using your time wisely. Could you delegate some of the work to a friend or hire a virtual assistant? Many creatives use these methods to assist in lead generation. By prioritizing your workload, you can focus on what needs to be done and ensure you are not wasting time on low-priority tasks.
Take the Opportunity to Learn New Skills
It is an excellent opportunity to learn new skills to help you in your job or career. You can take online courses, attend webinars, or read books to improve your marketing, project management, and communication skills. LinkedIn and Skillshare are two popular platforms hosting hundreds of courses relevant to your industry.
Because voiceover is a creative industry, having other interests outside of your line of work is critical. Learning other creative hobbies can allow you to think outside the box and indirectly benefit your own industry. Not only will this help you become a more valuable employee or entrepreneur, but it can also make you more attractive to potential employers.
Organize Your Voiceover Work Area
A slow period can be a great time to organize your workspace and eliminate clutter. When things are busy at work, cleanliness can fall to the waste side. A clean and organized workspace can help you stay focused and be more productive when work picks up again. You can also take the time to make sure all of your files and documents are properly labeled and stored, making it easier to find what you need when you need it. In my business, the times of the year when I usually find it slower are during the summer months and the last two weeks of the year during the holidays. These are times when I typically clean out and reorganize my office.
Network With Colleagues and Clients
It is also a good idea to network with your colleagues and clients during slow periods. You can set up coffee meetings or lunches to catch up and discuss potential projects or opportunities. This can help you build stronger relationships and potentially lead to new business or projects in the future. As previously mentioned, the last two weeks of the year tend to be slow, and many take time off during the holidays. This is a great time to write a card to your clients thanking them for their business during the last year or even drop them an email or a LinkedIn Message.
During the summer months, I aim to call my clients on the phone and have a personal conversation that can be very beneficial to keeping that personal contact. Every touch point with a client is a chance to help them remember you and your talent.
Develop New Ideas and Strategies
Another productive way to spend time during a slow period is to develop new ideas and strategies for your business or department. You can brainstorm new products or services, think of ways to improve current processes or develop marketing or sales strategies. This can help you be more prepared when work picks up again and ensure your business is always moving forward.
I do this again during the winter break to consider my business goals for the upcoming year. I also brainstorm with other voice actor friends in my industry as well. Sharing your goals with others can help you think out of the box, and you may devise a new plan you never thought of.
When voiceover gigs are few, it is important to use time wisely and make the most of it. By prioritizing your workload, learning new skills, organizing your workspace, networking with colleagues and clients, and developing new ideas and strategies, you can ensure that you are staying productive and setting yourself up for success when work picks up again.