Here are some Important Details To Know About Voice Over Work
A career doing voice-overs can be very rewarding because you get to use that most versatile of organs, your voice. In effect, it is like being paid just for talking, or more accurately reading out loud for a living. So just how do you begin searching for companies that might be looking to use your velvety tones?
It is best to think of the voice over jobs arena as a multi-faceted market or indeed as many different markets. To begin with you need to make a basic distinction between two broad areas of interest to voice-over artists: broadcasting (for example radio and TV adverts) and the corporate sector, which encompasses such diverse areas as on-hold phone messages (or interactive voice recording as it is known in the business), training videos, podcasts and website audio content.
Myth: Work in the broadcast media is more common than the corporate sector.
Fact: You are probably far more likely to gain work from a company looking for a fresh new voice for its voice messaging service, than a commercial for hairspray on network TV.
So where do you begin the hunt? First, it is important to be as proactive as you can. Try calling a few local companies and explain that you are a voiceover artist living around the corner and can come along and record a new greeting for them. Explain you will give them a more professional sound which will enhance their image and could help increase sales.
If you are a member of a social networking website, use that to let people know what you do; you will be surprised how a friend of a friend could turn out to be a future client. Be careful not to turn on the hard sell, though, as people do not like being sold to on such sites.
You should also upload your demo to as many different voice-over marketing sites as possible. There are plenty of free ones where you can add various show-reels, a photo, and details about your interests and experience. Spreading your voice around the internet increases the chances of you being found and also these sites usually provide you with your own web address, so you can include a link in emails for prospects to access.
One of the best ways to get clients interested is to offer something for nothing. I do not mean always providing your services for free, but enticing companies in with a promotional freebie. If there is a DJ or presenter on a local radio station who you enjoy listening to, make them a liner or sweeper. These are short sentences or phrases that are frequently played between music tracks or out of ad breaks. An example would be “Joe Smith on 102.8 FM; the perfect mid-morning coffee break”. It does not need to be Shakespeare, but the point is you have shown an understanding of the structure of that particular radio’s output and added value to a specific show. You could then say there will be a small charge for future recordings. You will be amazed how that can generate interest.
Then there is the tricky issue of voice-over agents. Should you get one? Yes, if you can, but it is not essential. Many agencies want to know that you are bankable, so try and get as much experience as you can through your own endeavours. Never pay an agent upfront as most work is on a commission only basis. It is advisable to ask someone you trust to double check the wording of any contract you may be required to sign too. Representation is useful, and can pay dividends, but should only be seen as part of your overall strategy.
When you are sending out your CD demo, keep the covering letter crisp and clear. It is essential to headline with your gender and voice description; you may know that you are a husky-voiced female, but the client does not. They need a reason to listen, so always keep your description positive, enticing and accurate.
Above all, the industry favours those who are tenacious, so keep plugging away and never give up.
Great Video on How to Voice Over