By Stephanie Ciccarelli
March 17, 2010
What are the realities facing today's voice over talent?
As a voice over professional, you have three main ways of getting work:
à¹ Using a voice over marketplace
à¹ Being represented by an agent
While that may seem obvious, at times the lines are blurred between how some talent may perceive these separate and unique roles.
Put your business hat on and take a spin with me here as we discuss what having representation or access to auditions really means in today's VOX Daily.
Is Work Ever Guaranteed?
Whether you are promoting yourself to businesses, are represented by an agent, subscribing to a voice over marketplace, or all of the above, you are most likely of the mindset that these channels are specific to generating opportunities with the potential of booking work.
That's right. Guaranteed opportunity, not guaranteed work!
Drumming Up Your Own Business
Trying to get work on your on accounts most likely for the bulk of your marketing efforts. Making your own contacts is integral to a successful business, and although it takes time, research and a significant amount of effort focused on establishing relationships, you will certainly find that it is necessary and fulfilling. You work for yourself and you choose who you contact for work opportunities. That's pretty clear, so let's move on.
From The Agents' POV
When an agent chooses to represent a voice over talent, the agent decides which opportunities they feel you would be best suited for. When and if you book a job, they get paid... but not until then. Being on an agent's roster, although free of charge, does not guarantee that you will be booked or even presented for opportunities if the jobs the agent has access to don't match your voice type, schedule or capabilities.
On the occasions that you do book a job through your agent, they receive a commission fee for getting you the opportunity, booking you and managing the business end of the transaction.
From The Marketplace POV
Paying to promote yourself on a voice over marketplace translates to guaranteed opportunity as you are acting as your own agent and have access to a steady stream of job opportunities that match your profile. To do this well, you'll need to think like an agent.
How selective an agent you are for yourself is up to you, however in order to seize opportunities and get your voice in front of prospective clients, more often than not you will need to pay a modest membership fee to enjoy the full suite of services available to you and your business, of which auditions is just one part of a larger whole.
This is a form of advertising and marketing and should be considered a business expense.
Talent who perceive their membership fee as simply a means to pay for access to individual auditions do not see the big picture. What they are paying for is promotion on the website, higher rankings and a means to present themselves for opportunities to get work. All of our customers also have access to top of the line customer service by phone, live chat, email and may connect with us via our social media channels.
Coming To Terms With Reality
Regardless of how you come to audition or be considered for an opportunity, it is ultimately the client's decision who they decide to hire, and happily, sometimes that person is you! Something else to consider is that the client may not be in direct contact with you until they are ready to move ahead. You can appreciate how having patience comes in handy here. Also, just because they didn't hire you doesn't mean that they aren't considering you for future jobs. There is always hope!
The Ball is in the Client's Court
The client is the only person who determines whether they will develop a positive impression of what was received. The client is also the only person who can act upon their impression.
Ultimately, the client decides who they will be working with. Your job is to give them the best impression possible of who you are and what you can do for them via your audition.
The most important thing that you do is recognize where your job ends and the client's begins! You can't do their job for them. The best advice that I, or any of your peers can give you, is to send it and forget it with the knowledge that this is a process of selection not rejection.
What Can You Do?
There are ways that you can take control of your career. One way is to learn how to prospect and thereby focus on the right people and the opportunities you are best suited for. Trust me, you will get the jobs you are meant to get but you have to show up!
Whenever I hear from people who are dissatisfied with the amount of work they are booking online, it usually comes down to them making a few minor changes that yield dramatically different, and nearly always favorable, results.
Is Your Profile Captivating or Boring? It Matters!
There are a number of common threads that we find when evaluating the profiles of talent who are not booking as much as they could be. The same advice could be given for individual voice talent websites. Here are five pieces of advice that are frequently given to help:
à¹ Complete all fields within your profile
à¹ Add testimonials and a client list to help build trust
à¹ Upload more than one sample of your work (more voice over demos)
à¹ Write a description of your voice that better accentuates your gifts and vocal qualities
à¹ Personalize all encounters with clients and submit custom demos when necessary
You may have noticed a number of blue words in this article that link to different resources on VOX Daily that are relevant to what you are presently reading. Here they are in a more obvious setting for your convenience:
à¹ Defining ROI (Return on Investment)
à¹ Customer Acquisition
à¹ How To Think Like an Agent
à¹ How to Make People Crave Your Voice
à¹ Voice talent Philip Banks Teaches You How to Prospect
à¹ For Such A Time As This
à¹ Joan Baker and Rudy Gaskins podcast "The Myth of Rejection"
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Â©iStockphoto.com/knapeRelated Topics: Accent, agents, auditions, clients, how to, jobs, rejection, selection, voice acting, voice overs