Ice Cube once rapped:
"You better check yourself
before you wreck yourself."
We’d like to apply this to your performing business...
#1 - Listen to Your Voicemail Greeting
Does your voicemail greeting suffer from any of the following...
First of all, is it your voice that greets the caller?
Or, is it a robotic voice that says something like:
"You've reached 555-1234 (**beeeeeeeeep**)"
If this is the case, it's time to record a friendly greeting. People who could be calling for your next gig want to know they've left a message for the person they are trying to reach. NOT someone hiding behind a cold robotic voicemail.
THE DOWN & OUT
How do you sound when you speak on your voicemail? Does your voicemail greeting:
- Sound like you lost your best friend?
- Sound like you have food poisoning?
- Sound like you can’t get off the couch?
Is your voice reflective of someone that is a professional? Or, does it sound like it would ruin your day to be called in to audition, go to a meeting, or show up on set? If so, it's time to change your voicemail greeting!
THE SICKENING SOUND OF MUSIC
Does your voicemail greeting have music playing BEFORE you even answer the phone?
Is it loud & abrasive... or, is it like elevator music?
Sure it may reflect your personality but someone on the other line just might hang up and call someone else if the music turns them off. Perhaps it’s time for you to have a personal line and a professional line where you can have whatever music you prefer playing on your personal line.
THE GOOD OLD DAYS
Does your voicemail greeting sound like who you are now? Today? Or, is it you from 5 years ago when you first set-up your voicemail?
If so, it's time to change it and make sure you sound current!
#2 - E-Mail Yourself
E-mail yourself a test e-mail and see what comes back... here's why...
When we send out our "3 Things for Performers Report" or "Performer Alerts" there’s inevitably a person who has an auto-responder that reads something like:
"Thanks for your email.
I’m on vacation in Ireland until February 20th!
If you need me, call my assistant…"
We received this same auto-responder month after month. Hmmm... probably a good time to check that auto-responder. Did you forget to change it? Are you no longer using this e-mail address?
If this is the case with your auto-responder then someone who sends you Audition/Booking info may think you didn't get the e-mail.
Perhaps you could zest up your e-mail auto-responder with:
"I'm out of town right now.
Please contact my agent Bill at XYZ Agency
for Audition and Booking inquiries."
"I'm out of town right now.
Hey, in the meantime, take a look at my new demo reel
#3 - Get to the Bottom of Your Newsletter
Do you use a newsletter service to promote your Bookings, Air-Dates, Screenings, Gigs, etc.? (by the way, we HIGHLY recommend ShowBiz Sender to use as your newsletter service). If you do, look at the most recent issue of your newsletter in your inbox. Now, scroll all the way down to the very bottom (or as the pros call it... "The Footer"). Is your physical mailing address there for all the world to see? To comply with the CAN-SPAM Act a physical address needs to be on your newsletter. For that reason, most newsletter services by default simply grab your billing address and place it at the bottom of your newsletter (without you realizing it).
Make sure you check this! After all, do you really want the 500 or 5,000 people on your newsletter list to know that you live at 451 Main Street, Apt. 506? Of course not!
Instead, use your tax-deductible P.O. Box Address. Or, as a last resort, list your Agent, Manger or Union Mailing Address.
#4 - Your Social Network Profiles
Log into each and every one of your social networking sites and go into your "Profile" areas. You probably set these profiles up a few years ago too. Does it have your:
Professional email address (i.e. - firstname.lastname@example.org), or is it still reflecting that old non-professional e-mail address you onced used (i.e. - email@example.com)
Does it list your home address? Dangerous! We think you get it. But just remember we all have fans and we don’t want them showing up at our home asking for an autograph.
Does it showcase your new website url or other professional performing sites?
Check them out and update accordingly.
#5 - Your Online Talent Portfolio Pics
Okay, what year is it? It’s really time to pry your hands away from those old headshot images. Don’t sell something you no longer look like.
Sure you paid money, probably, to upload them, but now is the time to be current. Delete away!
Not sure? Ask your agent or manager if they ever submit them.
Really not sure? Look back in your PerformerTrack Breakdowns area. Are the headshots you are submitting really getting you called in?
Have any other suggestions to “Check Yourself” before you wreck your business? We’d love to hear them and maybe share them.
Let us know what you think of this article in the comments section below.
Remember, now is the time to run your performing business as a professional company. Think of a HUGE company like Nike... Would they really have an inadequate voicemail greeting, have an old e-mail auto-responder, list private information on a newsletter, or distribute old advertising? Of course not!
Take a few minutes today to evaluate what you are putting out there... You may be surprised by what you find out about yourself when you "Check Yourself".