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Why YOU NEED ME as Your Voice

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

February 11, 2008

Comments (9)

Have you ever thought about why people should be hiring you to record their voice overs?

Caryn Clark attended a local business networking event recently and found that upon introducing herself as a professional voice actor, she had some explaining to do.

Learn more about how Caryn justifies her professional voice over services to people outside of the industry in this feature article.

Caryn Clark Hip Chick Voice

I attended a local business networking event this evening. My first one ever. It was much different than I expected.

In introducing myself to local business owners and telling them my profession, many of them responded with, "Oh, I've always wanted to do that... how can I?" or "Oh, I do the narration for my company's videos... why would I need your services?"

I can understand these responses. It APPEARS that what I do is as easy as reading a story to a child, or reading a local newspaper article aloud to your spouse.

It's not though.

Not at all.

So, why do these folks need a professional voice over for their commercial or corporate narration? Why can't they just do it themselves?

These are questions to which voice over artists need to have answers, and these answers are the basis of your marketing.

Here are some of the answers:

1. Specialized Training

I've had years of training - voice over classes, acting classes, workshops, private coaching with some of the best voice coaches in the country. Truly. And, I've had lots of "on the job" training, performing hundreds of commercials and narrations.

I've invested in my education so that I can produce a top notch product for my clients, take their direction and make it happen, and ultimately, deliver not only the sound they want, but the sound they NEED in order for their commercial or narration to sound BELIEVABLE... and not like someone's reading off the page.

And why is this important?

2. Believability = Credibility = Comprehension of what you're selling

Whether you realize it or not, using yourself (business owner) for your business's commercial is likely not the best idea. We've all heard those folks on TV and the radio... and they sound like they're reading. Do you really comprehend something when someone's reading to you? No.

People comprehend real life. Voice over talents are trained to bring your commercial or narration to life... real life.

3. Consistent Performance

While you just might sound fabulous reading a commercial for, let's say, high end furniture, you might NOT make a commercial about the benefits of a community college, or one about why folks should visit Walt Disney World, sound believable. But I have and I do. Yet, I wouldn't necessarily be the right voice choice for a high end furniture commercial.

Point is, everyone's voice is different, and one voice is NOT suited for all types of commercials or narration.

4. Higher Quality Audio

I've invested thousands of dollars in my studio and equipment in order to provide the best sound possible for your audio.


So, if you're a talent reading this, step back and think of some more reasons people should hire you... I'd love to hear them.

And, if you're a business owner considering my services, the points made above should convince you that YOU NEED ME for your voice over project.

~~

What do you think of that?

Any comments?

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Caryn and Stephanie

Related Topics: and Voices.com, Audio, Business, Caryn Clark, child, Disney, Hip Chick Voice, industry, Networking, Professional Voice Overs, radio, TV, Voice Acting, Voice Actors, Voice Overs, Voice Talent, Voice Talents


Comments


    Great points, all. Kudos to Caryn for embodying "professional" when it counted.

    One answer I've adopted for the "why you?" question: yes, you know how a wrench works, and you could probably fix your own plumbing. Why, then, do people still call plumbers...?

    Posted by:

      Thanks Caryn... great take on turning questions into marketing.

      I think of our job as a box of cereal.

      The contents are what the customer is buying, but we (as the box) represent the contents. Sure, you could put a plain wrapper on the box that says "Cereal", or even just a picture of it. But we as Voice Actors add the Color, Layout, and "8 Essential Vitamins and Minerals" that pull the customer in to buy THIS product (instead of all the others on the shelf)

      Guess I'm just a Cerial Seller ;-)

      Posted by:

        Very well said Caryn!

        It's an interesting phenomenon that the same person who may say "Why should I hire you?" - in the next breath may very well say "I always wanted to do VO!" ;-)

        Peace!

        Liz

        Posted by:

          Every time I hear, "I've always wanted to do voice-over work", "Everyone says I have a great voice", or "Mind if I pick your brain about doing voice-over" that little voice inside my head sighs.

          My response is, "An acting background is fundamental as is continuing training from credible voice coach(es)."

          There are many facets to a successful voice acting career, which must be learned when committing to the journey.

          Thank you for listening.

          Posted by:

            Great points, Caryn. But how do you make someone CARE about who they hire? I don't do many local v.o.s because the pay is substandard, but more than that, most local business owners think that whatever voice they get "thrown in" is just fine. They just need a voice--any voice--and it doesn't matter if that person has any particular training, they are just cheap. When I have been one of the voices who "audition" for a local job, they want my voice until they hear I charge the highest rate (which is cheap by my standards); suddenly they are okay with the lowest quality-lowest-rate voice. It is a real problem and I'm sure it is prevalent all over the country. It seems there will always be somebody out there who is an okay voice talent who charges next to nothing. Most likely they also have a day job.

            Posted by:
            • Robin Rowan
            • February 12, 2008 6:03 PM

              Good comments all... Thank You!

              Robin, I hear what you are saying. I don't do any local work... and this networking event was my first time at even meeting local business owners. However, I think we can encounter these objections at a regional level as well.

              I think it goes back to point #2 in my blog.

              Believability = Credibility = Comprehension of what you're selling

              They have something they're selling, but advertising their goods or service is going to be money wasted on the ad unless their commercial is believable, credible, and people can comprehend the idea being portrayed.

              Thanks!!!! Caryn

              Posted by:

                Caryn is absolutely right. When you live in a small market and are used to small market mentality you get those kinds of responses. That is why I believe that everyone who is a professional and is reading this now needs to step up and refuse to do the $50, $100 and $150 dollar spots for local and regional commercials for small businesses (and sometime big advertisers chumming the waters).

                A professional should aspire to work at AFTRA or SAG minimums. Yes, even if you are not yet in the Guild. If you believe in the "Law of Attraction" you will be setting minimums you feel you deserve and hopefully you get to join the union upon booking a union gig. Look at the local rate for the particular market and price yourself accordingly.

                I know when you are living from job to job you see an easy read for $50 or $100, and you say to yourself that you know it's easy cash for you because you will knock it out of the park for this little job. The simple answer is just don't do it.

                We saw the writers battle for their little piece of future media. Those of you who find regular work on this site and other online voice-over marketplaces should create a paradigm shift by refusing the low-paying jobs. Eventually the buyers will see that they can't get a first-class voice for third-class wages. I believe that in turn, this will get those same buyers to up the minimum pay for these jobs.

                Posted by:

                  Randy:

                  I think conceptually, working towards non-union talent being paid at least union minimums is a terrific goal.

                  But until the unions make their rate sheets much simpler to understand, it probably won't even come close to happening. Seriously.

                  Without a paymaster as translator, I've no real clue what the rates are for most of the categories they post. And certainly individual businesses trying to manage 13 week cycles is problematic.

                  I'm no doubt bringing up an old argument and I know this problem is way above me and you to decide ;) but I would think your great objective would be more easily established (and readily accepted) if the union rates could be more easily understood.

                  Also, in reading another one of Caryn's posts, congratulations on securing the VO for the Oscars again.

                  I was fortunate enough to meet with Caryn last year and she couldn't have been more effusive in her regard for not only your great voice talent but also as her mentor. You had a great impact on her that you can be proud of.

                  Best always,
                  - Peter

                  Posted by:

                    Nice going, Caryn

                    and while I would be careful to whom I say it, my other counter to the clients who "know" they could do just as well is, "just because you can read words out loud doesn't necessarily mean you can communicate a message".

                    Thanks for the extra ammunition!

                    Posted by:

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