By Stephanie Ciccarelli
July 26, 2010
Finding the right person to work with comes down to more than just a demo and a quote... sometimes what matters most is how you present yourself.
Even though you work in an audio medium, part of how you promote yourself and communicate includes the words you use to earn someone's business.
Find out how you can make your proposals more appealing in today's VOX Daily.
Your voice and interpretations are spot on. You are consistently auditioning and reply within a couple hours of receiving a job notification. The majority of your quotes fall within the client's budget range. Sometimes you include multiple takes in one audition to go the extra mile.
If a great read, a quote within the client's budget range and auditioning for the client early on aren't doing it, perhaps it's the proposal that needs some work. After all, it's one more factor involved in the process that does count for something!
Here are some ideas that you might be able to put to use.
You'd never guess how far some simple personalization can take your audition. Addressing the client by name in the greeting is one of the easiest and most critical steps you can take to personalize a proposal. Also, be sure that if you are using audition templates for your proposal that you personalize other areas and clearly state such things that might in theory appear obvious, such as "I recorded a sample from your script." One of the drawbacks of the audio medium is that you can't really "preview" it before you listen and unless you spell it out for a client, they may assume you have sent a stock demo, especially if the proposal included with your audition appears to be generic and unrelated to their specific project and needs.
Say something specific to the client about why you want to work for them and record their voice over (remember, this is their baby so they may want to feel an emotional connection with your reasons for wanting to record). Mentioning something of particular note that relates to them is a great way to connect and become memorable, however if the client is not addressed by their name (as was recommended above), this strategy becomes less effective than it could be. You don't have to write them a sonnet, just a sentence or so that sets you apart while connecting with the heart of the project. People make decisions with more than just their pocketbooks and their ears.
Affirm that you are able to meet their needs as outlined in their job posting. If they say something like, "I need this done by phone patch," include the fact that you can do so in your proposal. It may seem redundant but it is affirming on the client end knowing that you are on the same page. Similarly, if the client wants a particular sound, let them know that your audio sample bears the sound they asked for. The client has revealed their most pressing needs in the posting. Be sure to identify and acknowledge those needs by briefly reassuring the client of your ability to meet their needs as requested.
When you're auditioning and have the convenience of using a template, it can be easy to go on autopilot. Be careful to customize templates or edit parts out of a template on the fly that don't directly relate to the client you are auditioning for at the moment. For instance, let's say you were auditioning for a movie trailer voice over but the template you chose to use was recording telephone voice prompts. If you're not careful and don't edit the template, the client may get the impression that not only is your reply a stock response but that you may not even know what you auditioned for in the first place.
Coming from someone who has had the privilege of receiving and reviewing hundreds of auditions during the past 6 years, something I consistently observed was the need for greater personalization in proposals with a more obvious affirmation that the voice talent could meet specific requirements.
While auditioning in itself may seem like the only affirmation necessary for someone who is as gifted as they are professional, a little extra goes a long way in building that trust with a person you don't know from Adam.
When you choose to make a personal connection, what you're really doing is showing interest in their work and answering a knock at the door... and in doing so, are planting the seeds for a successful business relationship.
Have any insight to add? I'm always interested to hear about what works for you when auditioning. Also, if you've found that some of the tips above made a difference for you, I'd love to hear about it!
Looking forward to your reply.
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