By Stephanie Ciccarelli
April 1, 2008
When you are auditioning online there's something very important that will either make or break your chances of getting the gig.
Find out how one simple realization will save you hours of frustration and hundreds of unsuccessful auditions.
One of the greatest aspects of the Internet is that people are presented with more opportunities to pursue and complete professional activities in the global marketplace online.
Similarly, through the voice over marketplace at Voices.com, voice actors receive access to jobs that they would not otherwise encounter, whether via direct contact from their profiles or through the auditioning process.
I'd like to talk a bit about the job application process and one red-hot realization that all freelancers should know about regardless of the industry they work in.
The Medium is the Message
In 1964, there was a book published by author Marshall McLuhan, "Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man". In that book, he coined the phrase "the medium is the message". According to Wikipedia.org, with regard to the concept of "the medium is the message" McLuhan proposes that media themselves, not the content they carry, should be the focus of study; he said that a medium affects the society in which it plays a role not only by the content delivered over the medium, but by the characteristics of the medium itself.
What's the Medium for Online Auditioning?
Simply put, you are auditioning or applying for a job online using the Internet, a medium that is available to you 24/7.
The Internet is generally a one-way medium wherein the person using it is able to move along at their own pace and fulfill a task with the help of their personal computer or hand-held device using an Internet connection.
Since the medium is the message, and you are applying for work online, it is of vital importance that you conduct yourself in such a way that anything you say or do in your job application is also kept online, at least in the primary stages.
What Does that Mean?
As a freelancer applying for a job online, be sure that the person on the receiving end of your bid for the work is provided with all of the information necessary to make a hiring decision while they are reviewing your submission ONLINE.
Your Proposal Should Include 5 Critical Components:
1. Your name
2. Sample of your voice (or work)
3. Proposal detailing why you want the job
4. How long it will take you to complete
At Voices.com we've included a way for our customers to communicate these qualifiers to each other using a proven process that fills in the blanks for companies who are hiring online.
Notice that I said "Hiring Online"...
What Clients Expect Who Post Jobs Online
When a client posts a job to hire a voice actor online, they expect that the entire experience will take place online.
They create their account online, their job is created and posted online, they review samples online, and they decide who they want to work with online.
For voice actors who follow the formula and keep their auditions online, this works out very well and are often rewarded for respecting the client's wishes to communicate primarily online or using email.
Not very long ago I heard from someone who was quite upset that they were not getting any work through auditioning online. After reviewing their website, voice samples and audition submissions, it was clear that the breakdown was in their proposals.
What was going on?
They were trying to persuade the client to switch from their medium of choice (the Internet) to a different medium (the telephone) in order to give them the critical information (remember the five points above you need in your application?) over the phone before working together.
Why it didn't work
As you may have guessed, they were missing the mark, over and over again by asking the client to change the medium they were comfortable with. Not only were they changing the medium but as a result they created a pause in the selling cycle and presented the client with the chance to eliminate them right at the point of sale.
I made the following suggestions:
1. Address the client by their name
2. Personalize all proposals
3. Identify what it is that you can do for them and put it in writing in your proposal
Predictable Client Behavior
Clients who use online services, regardless of what the service is, are not wanting to communicate by phone unless absolutely necessary and do not plan on jumping through any more hoops than they have to when the point of using the service is to capitalize on simplicity, speed and ease of use.
A Few Takeaways:
1. Communicate using the medium your prospective client prefers
2. Personalize your communications
3. Include all necessary information in one place -- your proposal
Looking forward to hearing from you!
StephanieRelated Topics: auditions, freelance work, freelancers, industry, voice actors, voice overs, voices.com