Managing a Successful Voice Over Career 4
Voice Over Marketing
For some working in voice over, even the word ‘marketing’ is scary.
But don’t worry.
You don’t need a marketing degree to think up, learn about and use some really canny marketing tricks to make sure your talents are known about by the right people.
I know this for a fact.
Many voice over artists have the ability to do the work.
But no matter how talented you are as a voice over artist, unless you’re really across all the ways to make sure the industry knows you’re there, you’ll be missing opportunities right, left and centre.
So let’s get started!
You’ll probably know that it’s not essential to have an agent to work as a voice over artist.
Whether you have an agent or not, it’s important to realise just how important it is to make marketing a priority in your voice over business.
If you do have an agent, they’ll probably want to make contacts on your behalf.
And hopefully they have a solid relationship with all the players in your landscape and will do a fabulous job of ‘talking-up’ your talents to the right people.
But don’t just leave everything up to them!
The more you work together to build your profile in the business, supported by your own great voice work, the more successful you’ll be.
I always use this as an adage, ‘My career will never be as important to someone else as it is to me.’
Over the years I’ve both been represented and worked freelance – taking care of all my bookings and administration.
Both work well, but I love having an agent now.
I’m with EMVoices and love the way their simple-to-use website positions me to be found and heard the way I want to be heard.
But when you’re just getting started and establishing yourself, there are some things you need to be doing.
1 Create A Personal Website
If you don’t already have one – put it on your priority list.
These days having a website to send prospective clients to, is essential.
You need to make sure the website represents you clearly and that the samples you feature gives them a solid idea of who you are and what your talents are.
Make sure it’s built on WordPress – it’s my favourite as it’s easy to upload the clips, videos and copy.
Make sure its SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is up to scratch.
Book a session with a reputable SEO person, to make sure all this is in place.
Believe me, it’s worth spending the money for a consultation!
2 Get A Contact List
Got an agent? Ask them to send you a list of studio or radio station contacts.
If you can’t get a list, are working freelance or just starting out, create one yourself from researching studios or producers online.
Get the information from an industry handbook or ask those you know who are working in the industry for information.
Then, when you’ve got a great list, begin making calls.
Tell them you’re a voice actor and want to send a demo.
- what kind of work they do, and
- what kind of voices they use.
You also want to:
- find out if the email contact details are correct, and
- get the name of the best person or persons to send a demo to.
From these notes you can start building a detailed list.
This may be the point where you decide that this studio or producer is looking for talents that you have – or don’t have!
You may even decide that you need to create a demo for them specifically, that answers this question, “who is the right voice for our client?”
Calling key people in the industry to get information is invaluable research.
Don’t forget, many studios are looking for new and interesting voices – so never feel as though they won’t want you to make contact with them.
But of course, there’s always a fine line between reminding them you’re there, and being a nuisance. Judging this yourself will be all about how you ‘read’ people.
3 Send the demo
As you already know, your demo is you most important tool to getting work.
The only thing I need to say about it is that it has to contain samples of what you do really well.
And, that it’s the kind of work currently being produced and broadcast, that you would be cast for.
For more on demos have a look at this blog.
To send the demo, you simply attach it as an audio file (WAV or MP3) to a short email about you.
Include links to any other work you think might impress…or your website.
Make the email informal and friendly, because that’s what the industry is like!
Don’t send a CV that lists all kinds of other work experience, although if you’re a performer, it’s good to give a short précis of recent jobs.
It’s good to mention what kind of voice you think you are.
Never put anything in an email that isn’t supported on your demo or just isn’t correct.
Try things such as:
- “I’m a 50+ female with a real warmth and just a twist of wry humour. I’m an excellent sight reader and have narrated….”
- “I’m a middle aged guy next door, with a friendly, natural style, good for hardware, beer, and truck ads…”
Then let the work speak for itself.
4 Tips on Building Relationships with Clients
You need to be actively creating a presence with studios, radio stations, producers or companies who use voice actors.
There is work out there but if you’re not actively marketing yourself, then the work will go to someone else who is.
When you’re first building contacts and relationships (or even if you’re already working in voice over) having or creating a reason to call or make contact with a studio is a good marketing ploy.
Okay so you’ve sent you demo out – and you’ve got some fabulous feedback from some people.
Make a note of those and keep them in your ‘these people like me list’.
You wait…………………….! You get a call. Yayyyyyy!
You do a job. Double yay!
Don’t panic – here’s something you can do.
Remember those people who liked you.
Well, if they just happen to be a studio, then how about this:
- get yourself a couple of scripts – good one’s that you’d be likely to be cast for. It may be that you want to add this style to your demo, or replace a track that you think isn’t quite strong enough.
- call them up to book a session to record those scripts – you may even want to add that job you booked (if it’s good enough!)
- when you call, say you want to book a short session (an hour should do it) to add a couple of track to your demo and have them mixed into your existing demo, and want a senior engineer to work with – because you need the direction.
The session will usually be after hours and for the couple of hundred bucks you shell out, it’s well worth it, in the relationship creating stakes.
You’re now a paying customer:
- you’re now in the foyer of the studio with a purpose,
- you’re now working with an engineer on your demo.
Don’t forget, engineers love sound.
They love editing and they’re always looking for new and interesting voices they can suggest for jobs.
You’re now no longer just another disembodied voice on a demo.
You’re a voice actor in a studio with an engineer – hopefully having a great time and building a relationship.
Another thing you can do is this.
Remember those studios that liked you? Well, if you do a job at another studio, make sure you get a copy of the track you did and send this sample out to those studios, just to remind them that you’re still there and want to work with them.
Of course, it goes without saying, that you need to get copies of all the work you do that you think is potentially worthy of inclusion on a demo.
Marketing means you need to invest in you and your business.
Make sure you spend those dollars wisely and that at the end of the spend, you really have something of value to show for it.
Go for it!