Updated: Jul 31
Well, hello there, fellow creative entrepreneur! Thanks for stopping by today. One thing that everyone who knows me actually knows about me, is that I have a crazy work ethic and a gritty, undying sense of hustle. And that hustle is what gets me the opportunities I get. Period. So today, let's get talk about hustling, shall we?
What have I learnt?
Hustling gets a bad rep in business with many thinking it's about using sneaky tactics to get ahead, like a ninja in the shadows. Lying to customers, cutting corners on quality, taking advantage of unsuspecting and vulnerable parties - none of those are cool. It's like trying to win a race by tripping your opponents. When I talk about hustling, I'm referring to the ethical way of working smart, creatively, and proactively to achieve your goals and be successful in your venture. It's about doing it the right way - with integrity, grit, and a funny hat (optional).
Now that we're on the same page about being good samaritans in business, you may be thinking, "Ugh, but I hate the hustle. Why can't success just fall into my lap like a delicious pizza delivery?" But let me tell you, my friend, hustling is like the crust of that pizza. It may not be the most glamorous part, but without it, you've got nothing.
As a pro voice over artist specialising in the competitive space of commercials and corporate narrations for major brands both locally and globally, I know better than anyone that the game is fierce. It's like a game of musical chairs, except there are way more people than chairs, and the chairs are actually high-paying gigs. If you're not hustling, you're going to be left standing, staring at an empty plate of pizza crusts (#shame) 🙃
Sure, hustling can be exhausting. But think about it this way - it's like exercise for your career. You may not love doing squats, but you love having a strong butt, right? (I mean, who doesn't? 🍑) The same goes for hustling. It means networking, pitching yourself to clients, and constantly improving your skills. You may not love the process, but you love the outcome - a thriving career doing what you love.
What can you do about it?
So here are 5 of my tips for more effective hustling as you chase new gigs or opportunities in your venture:
1. Don't be afraid to be a little extra. You know how in dance competitions, the person who does the most flips and splits usually wins? Same goes for hustling. Go ahead, do a (metaphorical) backflip while pitching your services. It may not land you the gig, but it'll definitely get you noticed.
2. Never underestimate the power of bribery. Okay, I'm not saying you should bribe your potential clients with cash or even cupcakes (although, that last one could work) 🧁 but a little something extra, can go a long way in making you stand out from the crowd. And everyone loves free stuff right? So why not send them a goodie bag, or a personalised note about how much you loved their latest work and would kill to work with them! (Figuratively, of course). In a world of moving fast with cold, tech driven comms, reinjecting that human touch can make all the difference in your first impression. In essence, consider what value you can offer at every touchpoint with clients and potential leads. Will you share interesting resources with a client over email for their related field? Will you submit personalised videos to introduce yourself, or even a personlised poem? Figure out what will differentiate you and make you memorable so you're the one they're thinking of when they next need what you offer. We're all about the long game, baby!
3. Don't be a one-hit-wonder. Remember that song 'Who Let the Dogs Out'? Yeah, that was a banger, but where are they now? You don't want to be a one-hit-wonder in the hustle game. The cliche still holds - consistency is key. Keep showing up, keep pitching, and keep improving. I can't tell you how many times I got that next big gig just because I was bothered to send that one extra email or DM on social media. Don't be discouraged by the doors always closing on you because the very next one might just be the one that swings wide open to just where you need to be. Remember, hustling is a marathon, not a sprint.
4. Stalk like a pro. Don't just wait for opportunities to come your way - go out and find them! Use your (ethical) ninja skills to track down potential leads, and don't be afraid to slide into those DMs with a funny GIF or a clever pun. Remember, people do business with people they like, so show off your personality and build that rapport. Just make sure you don't take it too far and get a restraining order.
5. Fake it until you make it. Confidence is key when it comes to hustling. Even if you're feeling nervous or unsure, just go with what you DO know, and pretend you're a smooth-talking sales guru who could sell ice to an Eskimo. Dress for your brand, be bold and proud about what you're offering and talk in a deep smooth voice (if need help with that, contact Voice Artist Kav). Who knows, maybe you'll even convince yourself you're the next Wolf of Wall Street!
So keep pushing yourself to be better, my friend. To do more, to get those gigs or opportunities in whatever craft you're pursuing. Because the alternative is sitting on the sidelines, watching other people eat all the pizza. It's not lekker. 🥺🍕