Updated: Dec 8, 2020
Last time, I talked about the conflicting natures of button-down business people and open-shirted creatives, and suggested some ways the latter can avoid donning a straight jacket trying to emulate the former. This time, let's tackle a somewhat=related subject.
Creatively Great, or Technically Great?
I saw an interesting question posed in a Facebook group the other day, asking, essentially, "If you had your choice of delivering a killer voiceover, or one that needed editing, which would you prefer?" My brain short-circuited when I read that, and I felt like the robot on Lost in Space, waving my arms and saying, "Illogical, does not compute...does not compute!" Even my perplexity perplexed me. I had to step away and think about it for awhile, and when I finally posted my answer, it was to this effect: "I don't view this as an either/or situation. If you want to have repeat customers, you'd better deliver both (a voiceover that's both (esthetically great AND technically solid).
Are There Times When it Doesn't Matter?
It's true that, at the low end of the totem pole, budget voiceovers can be less demanding. If you're rapping out $5 gigs on Fiverr, it's easy to get lax. After all, we're talking fry cook-level compensation. And it's not like you have nothing else to do in your life. Odds are you have other work, perhaps a family, and other obligations. But staying with our sanity theme for a moment, let's consider which, over the long haul, is going to increase your peace of mind more: Underdelivering, or overdelivering.
Underdelivering is a fast way to take the pressure off. It gets the job done fast and lets you get on to other things. By rapidly assessing the minimum likely expectations of the buyer, and making that the center of your bullseye, you can get the job done and out of the way in a hurry, and move on to other things. It's a short term emotional gain because it puts less stress on both your time and your brain.
Overdelivering takes more time and effort, and is more emotionally taxing. Rather than doing the minimum possible with the order, you're looking for ways to improve what you'll deliver to your buyer.. In this case, no only does esthetic quality matter to you, but technical quality does as well. It needs to be right, and it needs to be tight. In addition, if it's not a big project, you may find yourself giving them a couple versions of the product. And delivering ahead of time. And communicating with them while working on it, so they know how it's coming. And sending a gracious thank you afterwards. What are the rewards? Aside from the obvious benefit of growing your business by reputation, it has many emotional benefits:
Being able to step away and look at your project, and have that glow of satisfaction that it really was well-done.
Feeling good about having done a kindness by going above and beyond.
In having challenged/stretched yourself to do better, you sense that your skills are expanding, which is a terrific feeling.
A five-star rating and a glowing review are always an emotional boost, and they encourage others who see them to use you.
When your customer comes back to order again, as is often the case, there's great gratification and satisfaction in that.
Watching your business (and your income) grow as you're taking on more and more new clients, and are subsequently able to increase your pricing, gives you a feeling of having been rewarded for yo