Banks wisdom for 2014

My friend Philip Banks posted some cogent thoughts on the VO-BB earlier this week. I’ve quoted him here because not everyone will click through on the link and you really do need to see this:

1 -Stop comparing the Neumann U87 with any $150 mic from China and then asking for opinions.
2 – Stop comparing the MKH416 with the Neumann U87
3 – Stop debating whether or not P2P sites work
4 – Stop finding alternatives to ISDN
5 – Stop working on your brand, you don’t know what that means
6 – Stop linking to your blog, post your ill-informed opinions here
7 – Stop looking for yet another agent
8 – Stop trying to sound like the VO you admire
9 – Stop trying to find YET another VO Coach
10 – Stop asking other out of work VOs how to get more work
11- Stop giving advice to other out of work VOs on how to get work
12- Stop arguing with VOs who are at the top of the game
13- Stop believing other VOs who claim to be at the top of their game
14- Stop attending VO mixers until you’ve replaced the batteries in your Bullsh*t detectors
15- Stop telling potential clients how you sound and what you can do and let them decide
16- Stop following and start to lead
17- Stop apologising for your rate
18- Stop competing with others and start selling you; you’ll own the market
19- Stop aiming low
20- Stop giving yourself such a hard time, you’re doing fine.

Now you’ve cleared the decks that leaves you free in 2014 to do all the things you’ve been avoiding which lead to jobs and pay days. You will be amazed how much progress you’ll make in a relatively short period of time.

I wish you all prosperity in heart, body and bank account for 2014.

As Philip would say … “Think on.”


  1. This is a great list. However, it is most applicable to struggling new talent. There are a couple of items to which I take exception:

    #2 (Stop comparing the MKH416 with the Neumann U87.) I have both, and I use both. The comparative differences between the two relate to the jobs on which I use them, and I believe that comparison helps me deliver a better product. For example, the buttery warmth of the U87 is better suited to non-broadcast scripts such as e-learning and training videos. The crisp, edgy sound of the Sennheiser shotgun is much more appropriate to commercial production and promo work. I believe that comparison is valid.

    #4 (Stop finding alternatives to ISDN.) A large percentage of my income over the past 10 or 15 years has come from ISDN work. But I, like an increasing number of VO performers, have recently fallen victim to the policies of service providers who are slowly shutting down that venue. However, my clients still demand that instant turn-around they’ve come to enjoy with ISDN. So if I don’t find viable alternatives to ISDN they will find other talent who haven’t yet lost their ISDN circuits. This point in our industry’s history will be marked by the scramble to fill the approaching ISDN void, and anyone who is a serious player had best stay abreast of the game or wind up on the sidelines.

    But that’s just my personal opinion, and I could be wrong.

    Comment by Joe Van Riper — January 11, 2014 @ 11:12 am

  2. […] My friend Philip Banks posted some cogent thoughts on the VO-BB earlier this week. I've quoted him here because not everyone will click through on the link and you really do need to see this: 1 -St…  […]

    Pingback by Banks wisdom for 2014 | Voiceover BlogTalk | Sc... — January 11, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

  3. Hi Joe,

    Thank you for your very thoughtful comments, especially about the ISDN issue. I hear you. Two of my very best friends are both being forced out of the ISDN game because their monthly charges are now over $400. I hear you.

    I can’t speak for Philip’s intent, but I think the main thing he’s trying to encourage is to stop focusing on issues that are ultimately side matters.

    Again, thanks for adding to the conversation!

    Be well,

    Comment by Bob — January 11, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

  4. […] Banks Wisdom for 2014!  Bob Souer […]

    Pingback by 15 Top Voiceover Blog Posts This Week - January 11, 2014 | Derek Chappell's Voiceover Blog — January 11, 2014 @ 12:52 pm

  5. Hey Bob: I just bookmarked this page. I’m going to read it once a week in 2014 until it all sinks in. Thanks to you and Phillip for the wisdom.

    Comment by Dustin Ebaugh — January 11, 2014 @ 5:16 pm

  6. Dustin,

    Thank you. Good plan!

    Be well,

    Comment by Bob — January 11, 2014 @ 5:20 pm

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