For me, one of the best things about being a parent has been the hours I have spent reading books to my children when they were younger. I have many happy memories of telling stories with my own special character voices and sound effects to my “little sponges.” My kids are now grown up but they both have a passion for reading and can often be found engrossed in a book. Sadly my “job” is done with my kids so naturally, as a voice-over, when the opportunity comes up to narrate a children’s story I’m beyond thrilled.
About a year ago I had the opportunity to narrate a story written by a fabulous Australian headmaster – Henry Grossek – who has been teaching and writing for over 40 years. After narrating the adorable story of “Darby Dingo” and his endless quest to find something good to eat, Henry kindly invited me to narrate his other stories – Bertie Bushfly, Peter Platypus, The Wandering Kangaroo and Bushfire. Frankly, I was in my element!
It’s always lovely to keep in touch with clients and recently I was delighted to hear from Henry’s assistant Liz, who wrote to tell me Henry’s stories had been published and made into beautiful books. As a “thank you” she asked if she could send me copies.
Guess what’s just arrived in the post? Six beautifully written and illustrated books that has brought back many fond memories of narrating the stories for Henry.
So… as my own kids are all grown up, can anyone lend me some little people? I’ve got a few stories to tell, complete with beautiful pictures too!
Did I happen to mention I love my “job”? Thanks, Henry – you’ve made my day!
I recently encountered an “interesting” situation which I wanted to share with you. It sounds like a “tall tale” but believe me it’s true!
Are you sitting comfortably? Then of course, I’ll begin…..
I recently received an invitation to audition for a meditation narration project and, as this is a genre of voice-over I have a lot of experience in, I was happy to submit a demo of a segment of the script for consideration. The client was happy; it was just what they were looking for, and as I enjoy this type of narration I too was pleased and looked forward to getting my teeth into the project.
As this was a lengthy project, I narrated and submitted the first script for feedback, just to double check the client was satisfied before continuing with the whole project. Their feedback was somewhat of a surprise…
Before I tell you what they said… can I ask you, dear reader, what style of narration springs to mind when you think “meditation”? Let me give you a clue… we’re thinking narration for relaxation; narration that focusses on your breathing, on visualisation, to illicit a feeling of tranquillity, peace and calm.
Anyway, back to the client….. The opening line of their response was positive “we really love your voice”. Well, as I had previously sent an audition which they had approved and enjoyed, this was a further affirmation I was a good fit for the job. However, their next couple of statements completely threw me and frankly, left me speechless (not a great state to be in when you talk for a living!)
I won’t prolong the agony any further. Here’s what the client (who is a wellness company) said: “Could you try and sound “a little bit funny?” and “Maybe you could read it like Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter like a bedtime story?” Need to read that again? I get that. I had to read it several times for the message to sink in. My previous hours of meditation and hypnosis narration, which I know plenty of people listen to, is obviously lacking a comedic element and needs that headmistress-type tonality intended to send children off to the land of the zzzzzz’s.
You’re probably thinking my next step was to spend hours watching a Harry Potter box set to nail that dour tonality and learn to replicate the much-loved Minerva? Also, maybe it could be a good idea to babysit some little people to get my bedtime stories skills up to speed? I didn’t do either. I contacted the company and said “no, thank you”.
Allow me to elaborate. Firstly, as I have a great deal of experience with this type of narration I know what I need to do to create an ideal meditation recording. It doesn’t contain funny one-liners, the tonality isn’t that of a frosty headmistress and it sounds completely different to the children’s stories I love to narrate. I could give it my best shot at sounding like a Harry Potter character but then that wouldn’t be being true to the genre of narration, and, given I had already sent an audition they supposedly loved, how would I know the next “critique” from them wouldn’t be “can you make it all rhyme and narrate it in the style of Minnie Mouse?”
If the initial brief had been “narrate meditation guides in a funny, Professor McGonagall, bedtime story like way”, I would never have auditioned. It’s not the way I narrate meditation and frankly if I was asked which Harry Potter character voice I could take a stab at, it would be Professor Trelawney. When someone keeps shifting the goalposts you have to know when it is time to walk away. I put my heart and soul into all my recordings… they are so much more than my voice… and clients that don’t know what they want and ask for constant style revisions are so hard to please.
Here at Lovely Voice our tag line is “we deliver YOUR message the way YOU want it heard”. What that means is we will always discuss with you what you need and offer a demo so you can be sure we deliver the right voice and tonality for your project. However, there are some styles of narration where we would recommend the client stay true to the correct format and the originally agreed style and tonality rather than changing the goalposts to something that is a total mismatch, after the recording has commenced.
Rant over…. Time to chill out and meditate (the old school way!)
You have a thriving business and your phones are ringing off the hook? Fabulous! You want to streamline your calls so you create on-hold messages to give clients the option to reach the department or person they want to speak with? Good idea! But what about when your client or potential client has to hold that bit longer? What do they hear while they are waiting to connect with someone? “Greensleeves” on repeat? “Sorry to keep you” every 10 seconds? Or worse….. absolutely nothing!!
How many clients or potential clients do you lose each day, month or year because you haven’t taken the opportunity to utilize a brilliant sales platform that will cost you the price of an engaging voiceover?
Here at Lovely Voice I’ve narrated IVR and on-hold messages for hundreds of clients around the world and it never ceases to surprise me how many people don’t think to maximise the opportunity to use their on-hold message system to deliver company information or promotional messages that callers will find beneficial. Thankfully, once I’ve worked my magic on their script, they have a series of messages that engage the listener and more importantly give the caller valuable information they can use. Add some music that aligns with your brand or company and you have the perfect IVR system.
A recent survey revealed over three quarters of callers would stay on-hold longer if they had the opportunity to learn more about the company and their products. What could you include in your on-hold message? Aside from the usual extension numbers, how about opening times? Special offers? If you have a caller holding who wants to buy a product or service from you, directing customers to your website address may salvage the sale.
And finally, what about that on-hold “muzak”? How many times have you sat in a queue miserably la-la-laaing to a synthesised “Für Elise” or wishing winter would arrive having been stuck listening to “autumn” from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”? With a catalogue of easy on the ear Royalty Free music Lovely Voice has something suitable for those “musical interlude” moments.
If all this sounds great but you don’t know how to start, get in touch and let Lovely Voice create something especially for you!
At Lovely Voice we’ve mentioned before what a joy it is to work with clients on an ongoing basis and it’s great to build up relationships and support and promote their businesses too.
We recently came into contact with Kenneth from The VA Team who asked me to record an IVR for him. From start to finish he was a great client to work with and I hoped for another opportunity to work together on another project.
Well, Kenneth and I have just completed a second project together and I wanted to show you The VA Team’s newest video (with a little bit of voice from me). The service he offers is like having an extra pair of hands (or two). After all….how often do you feel swamped by work and wish you could outsource some of your tasks maybe permanently or on an ad hoc basis? Are you falling behind with urgent tasks but there’s just not enough hours in the day to do everything. If this sounds all too familiar then Kenneth and the VA Team are standing by to lend a hand.
Have a look at their great new video to discover more and I know you’ll find them as much as pleasure to deal with as I have!
Great testimonies are a joy to receive at Lovely Voice. We love what we do and sign off every project in the knowledge our clients are happy with the work we have done. That happens for each and every project we undertake and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
We recently undertook a literacy project for a client; 800 Open words/phrases, each one in a separate file as desired. Dave, the client, left us this feedback:
Jennie was an absolute joy to work with. Super knowledgeable, super hard worker, great turnaround time, great communication throughout and finally an absolutely top notch finished product (very strong on correct enunciation and diction but also a high quality friendly voice). If I could give 6 stars I would but unfortunately they restricted me to just the 5. Highly, highly recommend.
Naturally we are thrilled to receive such positive feedback and look forward to working further with Dave but we want to ensure future clients to know that the work we carried out for Dave is our standard Lovely Voice service! Let’s break down his kind words:
- An absolute joy to work with – we treat others as we would wish to be treated. We think we’re naturally warm and friendly and that extends past our friends and family to the clients we work with.
- Super knowledgeable – we never promise something we can’t deliver and more and more clients have differing requirements. It’s up to us to keep a step ahead so when you come to us with your project and special requests, we can say “yes” straightaway.
- Super hard work, great turnaround time – When we take on your project we want to know your time frame including any potential revisions you may need. So naturally we work hard to ensure we meet your deadline.
- Great communication throughout – Open lines of communication are really important to us. We’ll always get back to you in a timely manner with any query you might have. Also, sometimes we may have a query we need an answer to, so would appreciate being able to reach you as quickly as possible so that we can continue working on your project.
- Top notch finished product (strong on correct enunciation and diction) – That’s our commitment for every project we complete and attention to correct pronunciation and diction is always uppermost on our minds.
- If I could give 6 stars I would….. We always endeavour to go above and beyond and with many repeat clients using our services on a regular basis, confident we will deliver a first class service.
Now you have an idea of the service we offer, how can we help you with your next voice-over project? Additional client feedback can be found our “Testimonials” page.
As 2015 draws to a close we at Lovely Voice wanted to take the opportunity to thank all our clients for the great projects we have worked on in 2015. We’ve spent countless hours in the recording studio over the year, narrating many genres of voice-over work. The feedback we have received has been amazing and we love knowing our work is appreciated.
The “cutting room floor” in 2015 hasn’t been too deep, but our attention to detail and commitment to getting it right for our client is always uppermost on our minds. So, if we don’t like how something sounds we’ll repeat it until we are happy and send it to you. Naturally a percentage of outtakes is made up of goofy sounds we hope never see the light of day. These range from dropping a huge script on the floor and the kerfuffle of picking it all up, right through to those sentences that just don’t trip off the tongue at the first attempt. This is where you’ll hear me give Homer Simpson a run for his money with my “doh’s” but on reflection I think there have been times I’ve sounded more like Chewbacca from Star Wars if I have made a “boo boo”. My Lovely Little Voice a.k.a. Pia is a much cooler customer than me when it comes to “bloopers”. We pride ourselves in having a great microphone but even that can’t pick up an eye roll if Pia makes a mistake!
As we roll into 2016 we are looking forward to working with our existing clients (I am in fact recording on New Year’s Day) and also look forward to meeting new clients and forging new relationships with them.
We hope 2016 is a fantastic year for you and hope you’ll choose Lovely Voice for your next narration project!
At Lovely Voice we’re thrilled we have regular clients and repeat business that keeps us busy every week, but it’s all too easy to keep beavering away and not get “out there” from time to time to draw inspiration from others… and not necessarily voice-over talent.
This week Pia and I were invited to a seminar with a full itinerary of speakers covering a wide range of topics (and none of them voice over). We met some great people and of course it’s always great to network with other businesses.
I was enjoying listening to several of the speakers then on came one that really caught my attention. His enthusiasm, dynamism and huge stage presence had me listening intently and whilst I acknowledge we can all get caught up in the moment I realised this was someone I would really like to work with to expand my business horizons and build my brand.
So whilst plenty of people find out about us via our website, social media and other sources, working together with JT Foxx is going to elevate our business to a whole new level… and frankly, we’re very excited!
There are still only 24 hours in a day, and we’re already busy bees but I’m looking forward to the challenges and changes ahead as we expand our business and reach more clients than ever before.
So… what did the Foxx say? He said “let’s work together on expanding your horizons!” Here’s the two of us together after having our first of many chats. I’m looking forward to the future and I’ll certainly keep you posted!
Over the last few months we’ve received some lovely invitations to quote for projects. At face value they’ve seemed really exciting; narrating audio books, meditation guides, eLearning courses and more. Great! We’re good to go apart from finalising the budget for the project.
Here at Lovely Voice you can expect what we call an “old school” style service which basically means we do a proper job from the “get go”.
Firstly, we like to see the script to familiarise ourselves with it. It gives us the opportunity to check any words or names we are unfamiliar with and seek guidance from the client. We’re not going to narrate your audiobook page by page as we go. We’ll know the story and the characters before we step into the studio.
With a long recording like an audiobook or an eLearning programme we also send a short segment to our client prior to narrating the whole project, to be absolutely sure they are happy with our interpretation.
We like to check the pace and tonality of the narration you desire and if there are any special requirements or any necessary emphasis placed on certain words. There’s no point in our reading your script at an even measured pace if you want a pacey, hard-hitting read.
We also offer an “open door” policy which means we like to keep strong lines of communication with our clients. We’re happy for you to contact us for any updates or queries you may have.
When we send our final recording to a client it has been checked and double checked to ensure we have done the best job possible for you. If we’ve got it wrong in any way we of course expect you to tell us so that we can rectify any issue as efficiently as possible!!
We work with clients all over the world and offer what we believe are competitive and realistic prices for our work. So why, despite all the elements mentioned above do some potential clients try to barter with us or try to knock the price down? There’s deal to be had if you are buying a car or a washing machine as salesmen have enough profit margin to work with to offer a reduced price. But we don’t sell cars…
So to anyone who wants a “cheap price” like a potential client today who wanted a short 8,800 word novel narrated for $70 (yes you read right), thank you for thinking of Lovely Voice but our old school values and integrity are priceless and we wish you well in finding someone that can work with your budget.
If you want a professional voice-over from someone who does a “proper job” – make Lovely Voice your next choice!
I’m very fortunate to being doing something I love and for me the added bonus is doing it with one of the people I love the most…. my daughter Pia. We’re a great team as we share the same work ethic and values and, well…. we both love to talk!! It’s our mission at Lovely Voice to write great scripts and send recordings that clients will love, and as we have work from both new and existing clients each week we must be doing something right.
Recently I have decided to join some online networking groups to get to know more business professionals and I have to say it has been a pleasure. Not only have I received a warm welcome from the groups but it’s great to be part of a supportive environment and meet other companies who also strive to provide a first class service to their clients.
The great thing is there are members who genuinely want to assist others with their business needs – anything from how to promote a business, marketing, social media and more.
There’s even help and advice for when members need support, whether it’s an issue with a tricky client, ideas on how to turn an idea into a business or a chance to vent because things are not going as planned.
Groups are kind enough to allow you to promote your business and your blog and it’s great to learn what other people do and read more about them. I look forward to sending our Lovely Voice blog post each week and hope people enjoy reading them.
In this environment the key is to contribute wherever possible, even if it’s just a tip or a useful comment. Not only does it build rapport with other member it’s great to think that an idea or suggestion you come up with can make a difference to someone’s business. Who knows… one day it might be our turn to seek out some advice from members!
As with any networking group you’re bound to meet people who work in the same profession, although so far I have only met one lady who is just breaking into voice-over. I truly feel it’s better to work with someone than against them so we can help one another to be successful in our businesses.
I look forward to getting to know people better – we’re already delighted to be collaborating with Naomi Johnson of Purrfectly Animated to offer doodle animation with voice-over and I hope we have the opportunity to work with even more members in time.
At Lovely Voice we love meeting new people to work with and this week has been my lucky week! I’ve recently joined a fabulous networking group where I met the lovely Naomi Johnson of Purrfectly Animated who creates doodle animation (and does it very well indeed!!)
I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve been asked if we produce doodle animation as well as provide the voice-over and up to this point we’ve had to regretfully decline invitations to work with clients.
Doodle animation is a great way to convey your message – whatever it may be. At Lovely Voice we have narrated doodle animations for all kinds of projects. They’re especially great for Explainer Videos – a 1 minute 30 opportunity to create a visual message about your company, product or service. As it is so visually stimulating and not overly long it’s a fantastic to grab people’s attention.
Remember at Lovely Voice we offer a script writing service so all you need to do is give us your ideas and we can produce the script, the voice and the animation!!
I’m thrilled that Lovely Voice has the opportunity to offer this new service to you and look forward to working with Naomi at Purrfectly Animated!
Contact us TODAY to see how we can help you attract more visitors to your website!!