We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelley Buttrick and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelley, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Look before you leap. Yep, it’s a cliche, but a good one. I’ve taken many risks in my voiceover business, some soared and others flopped. Cheesy as it may be to say, I’ve learned from each of those risks. Lesson 1-Explore: Write down all of the possible outcomes from taking this risk–good and bad, realistic and farfetched. Dig deep and get them all down. Take a couple of days, then go back and read the list. Do the goods outweigh the bads? How likely is each outcome? Finally, make the go or no-go decision. Lesson 2-Plan: Evaluate all of the goods and bads. How can you prepare for the worst and prep for the best? Come up with strategies for each. Lesson 3-Execute: You’ve looked, now leap. Lesson 4-Learn: Well, did you make it successfully to the other side? Are you hanging by your fingernails on the edge or did you plummet into the abyss of failure? Go back to that Exploration List. Did any of those scenarios happen? Why or Why not? Lesson 5-Repeat: Obviously, you like risk since you’re reading this article about it. Feed that adrenaline monster. Take what you’ve learned, look, then leap again. One of the biggest business risks I took was to break traditional VO marketing rules and pitch my voice directly to a brand I loved, Jeep. I invested thousands of dollars, a ton of time and all my heart into the KB4Jeep campaign. It both soared and flopped. While Jeep hasn’t given me shot at voicing for them…yet, my bottom line increased by almost 40%; earned my business both a StudioDaily Industry Innovator of the Year award and a Bulldog100 award for being one of the fastest growing business owned by a UGA alumnus; and KB4Jeep video content I produced won 4 Telly Awards. Yet, what humbled and shocked me was a totally unexpected outcome that never crossed my mind in the exploration process. My off-road marketing adventure inspired others to not only think outside of their industries’ marketing boxes, but crush those boxes under their creative tires to pursue dream clients. I received hundreds of messages from friends, colleagues, clients and strangers detailing the leaps they were about to take, and each one inspired me. To wrap up this rambling on risk taking, look before you leap and learn from it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I deliver creative clients an anti-diva, easily-directable VO talent who genuinely cares about their projects and them. Getting a script through pitch, approvals and legal can be a real challenge for my clients, and my job is to make their jobs easier by bringing out the voice in their heads when they wrote it. Clients often comment on my directability, versatility and positive attitude. Matt Chastain of Lime Soda Films even said, “Working with Kelley is like using a Ginsu knife to cut butter…it’s that easy!” (which totally cracked me up). You can hear my voice on commercials, documentaries, corporate projects, TV Promos, video games, eLearning, social media ads, a train and even some talking lockers. I absolutely love what I do, and am told all the time that it comes through in my reads. Ignoring the cautions of business advisors when I started KB Voiceovers, I have embraced my clients as friends rather than keeping them at a professional distance. How could I not care about these dynamic, brilliant, creative people? Many of my clients become dear friends.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite spot is just outside the city in Athens, GA. Much more than a college town, Athens a community of musicians, artists, chefs and academics. I love meeting friends and clients over locally-roasted coffee at Jittery Joes (now being sold in several Atlanta-area locations) and grabbing breakfast at The Grit, which is the town’s iconic vegetarian eatery. Of course tailgating on game day before cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs is a must. Enjoying a local beer, like Creature Comfort’s Tropicalia or a Bloody Mary garnished with a Phickles Pickle, at the top of the Georgia Theater with a wide mix of locals and visitors and a soundtrack of live music while watching the sunset is a great experience. In June, there’s nothing like three days celebrating local arts, music and culture at AthFest, which raises funds to put art and music in area schools. Restaurants in Athens will blow your mind! Donna Chang’s is a fun fusion that will delightfully confuse anyone’s tastebuds, and Athens own 5&10 is recognized as one of Atlanta’s top restaurants. Sweet tooths, like me, love Condor Chocolates, Leccare Lollipops, Alumni Cookie Dough and Classic City Bee Company. Shopping in Athens will pack your truck full of goodies from Avid Books, Wuxtry Records, Ann Peden, Native America Gallery, Love Hawk and a wide variety of vintage and thrifting opportunities. Getting your hair done by the innovative folks at Washington Square Studio is unlike any salon you’ve every experienced, and I love some self-care time at Spa Collective. On the weekends, it’s fun to join a kayak tour with Oconee Joe who shares history and local stories while paddling local waterways.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to shout out my “Gnomies.” During this isolating time of sheltering in place a group of nine collagues (seven based in Atlanta) get together via Zoom each Friday morning for coffee and connecting about whatever happens to be on our hearts and minds. Each person is unique and brings his or her unique gifts to the group making for an uplifting, comforting, inspiring group chat. With all of us being professional voiceover talents, of course we talk a little shop, but more often than not, the discussions aren’t about work all. The name came from the garden gnome who joins Van Gunter each Friday. The others are Nicole Britton, Rachael Laya Hoffman, Trevor Johns, Tiffany Morgan, Jill Perry, Jason Shablik, and Caroline Slaughter. Thanks for the opportunity to shout out this group of amazing voice actors with creative souls and huge hearts.
Linkedin: Kelley Buttrick
Facebook: Kelley Buttrick Voiceover Talent KB Voiceovers
Youtube: KB Voiceovers
Other: TikTok @kbvoiceovers1
Bulldog100 Credit: Jason Thrasher Telly Photo: Pitter Goughnour Headshot: Pitter Goughnour Jeeps Shot: Pitter Goughnour