Recently, I have been quite busy with castings, voice over jobs and creating new video demo reels for my voice over website.
However, I decided that I also needed to take some much needed ‘time out’ from voice over work and pursue other interests. I have over 18 years experience of working in the charity sector and 3 years ago, I had finished my previous role as a Business Development Manager for a drug and alcohol charity. My job involved project managing staff, on local and national funded projects, as well as writing local, regional and national funding applications.
I really felt it was time to explore what potential Freelance opportunities existed, to write bids for local charities. So, an artist friend of mine, invited me to a networking event, that was full of creative and business entrepreneurs. Whilst I was there I met some very interesting people, including a business consultant, who actually knew one of my previous bosses, very well. So we got chatting, exchanged business cards and he called me a week or so later. He told me about an organisation who were recently on the lookout for a Freelance Bid Writing Consultant, who could help a local organisation write a bid. So armed with the details of the organisation, I contacted the Director on numerous occasions to try an organise an initial meeting, but each time I tried, the meeting got cancelled. Despite this initial setback, I eventually managed to get an appointment with the Director.
Fortunately, I was also able to spend some quality time, getting to meet the team, volunteers and details of the idea that the Director wished to develop. We agreed on one potential funder, who I felt based on the description of the project would be a good fit.
Over a period of 5 weeks, I closely worked with the Director to develop the bid. During the course of this process, I was also asked by his Business Development Manager/DJ, if I was interested in using my voice over skills for a music project they were looking to put together, which I gladly accepted. This unique experience taught me such an invaluable lesson.
Firstly, the importance of networking and meeting people on a face to face basis, this cannot be overlooked. Secondly, persistence is key and in my case it paid off, despite having to wait nearly 4 weeks to get an initial meeting. Thirdly, building relationships is crucial in any business and gaining the trust of a potential client is at the heart of it.
So, never under-estimate the importance of trying out new approaches, this is what I did and now it has led to a client who will be utilising my expertise for both bid writing and future voice over work.