Marketing Yourself as a Voiceover Artist
By Targeting the Right People
If the thought of ‘marketing’ your voice over talents causes you to break into a sweat, relax. Help is at hand! But the truth is, voice over marketing is not really that hard and you don’t need a degree to do it. You just need a good demo, an email list of local studios, radio stations and producers, a really good understanding of what you do best and a plan of where to send your demo.
There’s no getting past it. If you want to get work as a voiceover artist, you need to let those who are casting the jobs know that you’re there. Not only that, they need to know what you do best. So, you need to really understand what you’re good at, what script styles you’re most comfortable reading, what kind of work someone with your skills would be likely to get and what you love doing most. And of course, the voice demo you send out needs to reflect this.
Now to the marketing aspect! I know many excellent voice over artists all with great voiceover ability and skills who seriously let themselves down by ignoring the power of marketing. They’ve spent time learning their craft with great coaching. They’ve made a great voice demo and sent it out but beyond that, when it comes to consistently letting the world of voiceover know that they exist, they seem stumped.
Many voiceover artists, when they make a demo, make the mistake of including samples of as many different styles as they can think of. This can really work against you, because unless you’re extremely talented and very versatile, your demo is going to sound like you don’t really know what you’d be good at. This can equate to a waste of time and money. It’s akin to throwing in a fishing line with no bait on it. You might catch a fish but the probability is that you won’t catch anything. But if the hook’s got the right bait on it for the fish you’re trying to catch, then the likelihood is you will catch a fish. Are you with me?
Here are some really simple things to remember when you’re putting together a marketing plan that will make sure studios keep you mind. The thing is, you need to target the right people. Every studio, every radio station, advertising agency and advertiser is looking for something different. Of course, sometimes they are looking for ‘tried and true’, the experienced voice over artist. Some are looking for new and fresh, quirky or unusual; someone who has something completely different to offer and sometimes they look for particular voice styles. You need to make sure that you find out who’s looking for what.
How do you find out what they are looking for? Well, you call them. You just ring and say that you’re a voiceover artist and you’d like to send them a voice demo. Ask them what kind of work they do there. Ask them what they want in a demo, what length of demo and what length of reads. Perhaps they do a lot of naturalistic ads and are looking for voices with acting or comedic experience, or something a little quirky. Perhaps they have some big retail clients or they do a lot of corporate narrations. If you feel you’d be good at that kind of work, then make a demo just for that studio or studios like them.
Of course, some studios will say they want to hear a variety of reads. In that case, you really need to have had some voiceover coaching (with me of course) to find out what your natural voiceover style is. When you understand that and know what kind of work various studios do, you can then ask yourself. “Am I the right voice for that kind of work or do I have something that I could send them that they might be able to use?”
Radio stations produce a lot of commercials, some over 100 commercials per week. You need to listen to radio for the stations you hear yourself working at. They cater for very different listener tastes and age demographics and their advertising is geared towards their audience. Listen to find out where you’d fit in and ask yourself whether the material you have on your demo satisfies their needs. The more information you have about what studios and radio stations do and who they cater for, the more specific you can be when you make contact with them and suggest they might like to book you.
Over time you can make a series of short demos that will present your talents to the people who are looking for them. You can even call studios and book some time with an engineer to record a couple of tracks. This may only cost you about $150 and is a great way to build a relationship with that studio. If you want a great program on marketing your voice over talents have listen to this.
Remember, voiceover can take time to break into but you need to be persistent with your marketing and making a study of what goes on in the industry. Don’t forget, studios are always looking for someone new and fresh. Creating a demo or demos with the right bait will save you time and money and the likelyhood is that your persistence and knowledge of the conditions just might catch you that fish. Let’s hope it’s a big one!