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Getting Voice Over Gigs In Today's Economy

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

October 24, 2008

Comments (5)

Laptop computer with money coming out of it

One of the benefits of using Twitter (you can find me here) is that you know about something quickly even before other major outlets pick up the news.

Today was no exception as I read a tweet posted by my friend Alison Pitman this morning, a voice over professional in the UK, directing me to a timely blog post she wrote raising a number of very interesting questions that warrant further debate.

Also, a couple of weeks ago I happened to be reading another friend's blog, David Bourgeois from Voice Coaches, and he wrote some commentary that I think you'll find uplifting regarding how you can make strides to push through times of difficulty as an entrepreneur.

How is the economy affecting your voice over business?

Click here to read more on what Alison and David are thinking as well as some commentary from yours truly.

Once finished, I invite you to comment with your thoughts :)

Voiceover Work in the Downturn

By Alison Pitman
The Phone Voice, British Voice Over Artist
Bristol S. Glos. UK

How is the looming recession affecting your voiceover business?

Some voice talents have reported a downturn of 30%, others not so high but some voice talents have been hit even harder. Experienced voiceover artists hope to weather the storm, but where does this leave the novice voice artist, and those just dipping their toe in the voiceover market.

Over the past 6 weeks, I've noticed a slow down in direct voiceover enquiries and online and offline audition opportunities. It may just be a blip or could indicate a more general trend for the coming months and years.

So what does this all mean?

1. Will new wanabee voice talents move quickly out of the VO business as VO jobs become harder and harder to come by? Will this leave more work for the established artists?

2. Will new VO talents who offer their services at lower prices than established talent pick up more and more work as clients cut their voiceover budget?

3. Will clients start using "John from accounts with the nice voice" to record their voicemail messages, telephone greetings rather than a pro voice artist?

4. Will established talent have to drop their rates to secure work?

5. Will potential clients be more alive to the benefits of using a professional Voice to create a professional brand and image for their company?

6. Will voice talents have to re-double their marketing efforts? Will we have to find new markets for our services as traditional voiceover markets retract?

7. Is amateur hour almost over?. Voiceover artists are now going to have to take their business seriously - invest in their marketing, their websites, SEO, analyze whether all or any of the online casting sites are worth the investment, work on promotion and discover their versatility and adaptability.

8. When will it all end - and how many of us will be left standing?

Alison Pitman
Alison Pitman on Voice Over Experts

We Predict Election Winner!

By David Bourgeois
Voice Coaches, President
Creative Voice Development Group
Schenectady, NY USA

I am an American and a small business owner. I don't know about any of you, but I am always impressed with the men and woman who are willing to run for president. Regardless of Obam-inality, or McCain-ism, it is impressive to see individuals who are committed to leading, particularly in these complicated times.

Regardless of how either candidate does, if you are pursuing voice over work professionally... YOU are the winner!

Why?!!

Because instead of sitting back and complaining or worrying about the economy, you are taking an active role in your financial future. Instead of relying solely on your current employer or former employer's pension to afford you a comfortable lifestyle, you are working to control that on your terms.

Far too many people are content to sit on the sidelines when it comes to the things that they want to do in life. This willingness to always be reliant on others is part of the reason that many of us run into financial and lack-of-fulfillment issues to begin with. From the time you make a decision to achieve something, you are putting yourself in a winning position. Regardless of election polls and news reports, you ultimately control a great deal of your life's outcome.

Remember, regardless of whether you think you CAN do something, or think you CAN'T do something... you will probably be right!

Best Regards!

David Bourgeois
David Bourgeois on Voice Over Experts


A Bright Reality and Even Brighter Future for Voice Overs

By Stephanie Ciccarelli
Voices.com, Co-founder
London, ON Canada


Some great news for voice over talents!

Last month, and the month prior, we posted a record number of voice over jobs at Voices.com. Now, the majority of these opportunities are Private Jobs (direct contacts), however, since they are direct job offers, they aren't visible on the main jobs board for all to view.

We anticipate that there will be even more job opportunities posted at Voices.com in the coming weeks and months ahead through partnerships we have developed and the relaunch of the all-new Voices.com.

I think Alison hit a lot of nails on the head for a variety of cases and scenarios. What we must remember though is that every person is unique and their responses will be too.

Many aspiring pros may find that it's time to move on and that will make it easier on the pros to get the work that may otherwise go to someone less qualified.

These are all questions that need to be asked, but I think if a positive mindset is kept during these economic times of hardship, the outcomes will be positive and perhaps even more exciting.

In accordance with David, I also believe that as entrepreneurs you are masters of your own destiny and prospective work. No one can fire you, lay you off or lose confidence in your work except yourself.

Remember that!

If everyone who is in this business as true professionals can step up to the challenges and aim for success and "business as usual", the present economic struggle won't affect their business nearly as much as it could if they allowed themselves to fall into the dangerous conversations and negative reports being disseminated by the media, some politicians and financial institutions.


What Do You Think? Any Comments?

Best wishes,

Stephanie


©iStockphoto.com/Andrew Dernie

Related Topics: Alison Pitman, David Bourgeois, economic downturn, economy, entrepreneurs, recession, voice acting, voice over work, voicemail


Comments


    Good question and timely indeed.

    I don't suppose anyone has concrete answers as to how it "will" affect us, but I'm deeply thankful to say that last month was my 3rd highest grossing month this year...MUCH to my surprise. This month as been very good as well...mainly due to the political campaigns going on and private auditions through Voices.com. Auditions seem to have slowed a bit, but that just may be a normal ebb and not as much a result of the economy.

    I would say that those who have been doing this a good while and have clients who come back as needed will fare a good bit better than those who are not as fortunate as of yet...don't worry, the more you do this the more you will have repeat customers (hopefully). It's like a car salesman I once knew during the time when Leasing was a big thing. He really took care of his customers and then in 2 years when the lease was up, guess who they came to see! After about 5 years the guy was working by appointment all the time!!

    There will be plenty of places that need to tell their customers about a "sale" or "special offer" and that very well may require a voice talent... so, perhaps we are a little better off than some industries... maybe. As far as reducing prices... it always depends on the client. I "listen" for indicators from them to see what I need to do to obtain their business and act accordingly (within reason).

    One thing I need to be more assertive on is letting clients know I can provide a fully produced radio spot... this opens more avenues for business and is a value added asset which can help me secure a project that otherwise might have gone to you... eh, em, I mean, that might have gone to someone else.

    For example, just last night I had a political campaign contact me to let me know how the spot I did was received. Then, the gentleman asked if there was any way I could do another spot for them... but this time... "can you fully produce the spot for us"... "If not, I'll have to find someone else and hopefully we can work together again next time." Absolutely!! I said (production is one of my most favorite things to do, by the way). "Great", he replied, "We need it in the next couple of hours."

    Once I had the script in hand and was given a shadow of an idea as to direction... off I went. The client had 4 versions of the spot sitting in his Inbox in less than two hours. Word came back about 45 minutes later with a resounding "Love it."

    Thus, this is a fine example of how an additional skill set can secure what would have been lost revenue. So, if you are able to provide other services besides voiceover, make sure you stir that pot up and offer it to your clients... it just might land you more work.


    Posted by:

      Thank you for posting this discussion. We are affected by what is known as "media fragmentation" like anyone else. The entire business landscape is changing in many work areas by virtue of two things:
      1) Greater access to broadband connections, and
      2) the changing price points for the equipment necessary to create and transmit quality work.

      Of course this increased access creates two major negatives at the same time:
      1) More people increasing the labor pool causes "supply and demand" principles to kick in, and
      2) A "race to the bottom" for voice seekers finding lower pricing, much in the same way that pay scales in many endeavors are getting forced down by outsourcing and low-wage non-union localities.

      There is no way that we can't be impacted by what is going on. My response is to seek continuing education with a voice coach and get better at what I do and how I present it. This situation will sort itself out over time. A long time.

      Again, many thanks for presenting this issue for pondering and discussion.

      One day at a time...

      Posted by:

        Thank you for your continual wisdom and faith in your voice over team. Yes times are hard, but together, through commitment, inspiration and the encouragement you share ... we will persevere.

        Thank you again for all you do. I am so grateful and appreciative of the pros a voices.com.

        Happy Halloween!

        Maria Berry
        Voices.com
        Talent

        Posted by:

          There are always people who will do well, even in a bad economy. While it is true that a bad economy does have a tendency to put a crimp into things, it also opens up opportunities that weren't there before. Much does depend on one's beliefs and attitudes and if you believe that you will succeed, you will.

          My auditioning has slowed down considerably in the last few weeks mostly because I've been busy recording gigs for my beloved repeat clients - though I've managed to sneak in a few auditions some of which are now pending script or client approval.

          Keep the faith and remember that everything in life is cyclical. If you're going through a rough time, remember "This too shall pass"! Focus on what you enjoy doing and keep your energy positive - it's the single best thing you can do for yourself! Eventually, the sun does peek through the clouds! :-)

          All the best,
          Maggie

          Posted by:

            I'm a master impressionist and I'm thinking how could I market my ablility? The problem for me is that I have no experience in voice work and don't know how to begin or who to ask for help in pursuing this
            Any thoughts?

            Posted by:
            • Joe OShea
            • February 28, 2014 12:41 PM

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