Young woman taking a surveyDo you have any questions that you’ve always wanted to ask people who buy voice over services that you haven’t been able to ask?

Each client who posts a job at Voices.com is surveyed about their experience. Our team releases a quarterly report sharing results from these surveys, and this time, we’re looking for your input!
Comment with your questions…
this is an invitation and your opportunity to impact what is included in our newly revised client satisfaction survey!

Have a Question for Voices.com Clients?

This is the perfect opportunity to share your burning questions, and possibly through our surveys, get some answers!
I would appreciate your help designing some of the new questions. The floor is now yours!
Looking forward to hearing your suggestions and questions,
Stephanie
©iStockphoto.com/Katie Little

30 COMMENTS

  1. How important is the content of the proposal letter?
    I am not referring to the actual bid but more how it is worded – such as is it important to address the letter “Dear Ms. Young” or is “Dear Maureen” acceptable, and providing your experience and past clients etc. Should it be short and sweet or do they want a few paragraphs?
    thanks!

  2. Is there anyway to meet some of the casting directors in person?
    Do they do generals?
    Most of our auditions now are done at home on our own sound system and even though some of us are very experienced actors, we are sometimes acting in a vacuum.
    Is there any seminars? or intense weekend classes with casting directors of cd roms? etc?

  3. What can a voice talent do to make the job of selecting a voice easier? Is there specific information (other than the bid) that a client is looking for and doesn’t usually get from talent?

  4. Burning questions:
    -What’s your main source for hiring voice-over talent?
    -How many demos do you generally listen to, before selecting a voice?
    -When evaluating a demo, what’s the biggest turn-off for you?
    -How many seconds does it usually take you to know that this is the voice you want?
    -How important is someone’s ranking on the list of popular voices?
    -Do you usually gravitate to the tried-and-true voices, or are you deliberately looking outside of the familiar sound-box?
    -Does membership of SaVoa (Society of Accredited Voice Over Artists) play a role in your decision?
    -In light of the current economic situation, how much does budget factor into your decision? Are you still willing and able to pay more to get the voice you want, or are your choices increasingly determined by cost factors?

  5. Here’s a couple of questions from a Voice Talent seeking to sell any of his services to the voice-over market.
    1. Why do we not have more personal contact with the voice-seeker?
    In other words, why leave us hanging? No phone number, no snail mail address, etc.
    At least a form letter announcing to all of the perhaps hundreds of VO’s who audition, informing them that the position has been filled.
    A basic question to be sure. Some VO’s put a lot of time and effort into their audition, only to receive zero contact.
    There is nothing quite frustrating as submitting what one believes to be great work only to be left out of the loop.
    2. Why not a jumping off point for new voice over talent?
    An area dedicated for the newbies, just to get their feet wet. A place where they can secure that first audition.
    A place where folks can get top of the line quality talent without necessarily competing against national spokespersons.
    Is this unreasonable?
    Thank you,
    Allen Michael
    Voice Over Talent

  6. What do clients prefer from VO talent? Cold calls, emails, snail mail are all the above? Or other?? Details please on how to best approach.
    Thanks

  7. Hi Allen,
    Thank you for commenting and for your questions! Allow me to answer questions as they are directed to Voices.com and not to our clients.
    1. Why do we not have more personal contact with the voice-seeker? In other words, why leave us hanging? No phone number, no snail mail address, etc…
    Answer: The details presented by Voices.com are sufficient to establish credibility and provide you with information about the company and what they stand for. As clients are posting the job online, specifically at Voices.com, they expect to gather their responses online and do not anticipate being called, emailed or otherwise outside of the Voices.com service by those applying for their job posting.
    If you want to research the company further on your own, you can search online for more details that will help you tailor your proposal or better understand how you can serve them.
    As for mass notifying talent that a position has been filled, that could become rather distracting for professionals considering that their day is spent auditioning for work and recording projects they have already secured among other responsibilities within their business. For instance, do you see this information being disseminated through email notifications? That potential feature itself could become spam and an annoyance in short order.
    If a job has been completed through SurePay, we can confirm that a voice talent was hired for that specific job, however if a talent and their client decide to conduct business and do the transaction off the site, we are unable to track and acknowledge that work through our feedback system. That being said, what we do know is that the vast majority of jobs posted at Voices.com are completed through the hiring of our talent, whether it be through SurePay records or through personal follow ups once a job has been closed. Perhaps that is of some comfort to you, although I understand you are looking for more information on a per project basis as it relates to jobs you’ve auditioned for.
    2. Why not a jumping off point for new voice over talent? An area dedicated for the newbies, just to get their feet wet…
    Answer: I can see where you’re coming from with this Allen and understand what you’re asking, however, taking that kind of action, effectively to segregate talent into groups of pros and amateurs, is not a road we are prepared to travel. There has been a significant amount of feedback received, from established professionals and beginners alike, that the effects of this could be quite negative and most certainly pigeonhole talent unfairly. Where would the lines be drawn? Would it be based upon how long someone has been doing voice over or by their skill level, ability, or talent?
    I hope I’ve answered your questions and if you would like me to expand upon anything, please let me know.
    Best wishes,
    Stephanie

  8. > How deep do you go through the auditions that are posted for you to review? First 20, 50, 75? Where do you stop?
    > Do you want multiple reads or styles in one audition file?
    > What specifically do you want to hear in your audition request? Any insight for the talent?

  9. Hi there,
    I’m confident you can find sessions and workshops to attend where casting directors are concerned. Depending on where you live, of course, you’ll have different resources available to you.
    My advice is to check out the Voice Over Experts podcast and see if any of the episodes thus far can help you with what casting directors expect. In particular, I recommend checking out podcasts by Doriane Elliott and Marc Graue.
    http://podcasts.voices.com/voiceoverexperts
    Best wishes,
    Stephanie

  10. This might be pertaining to voices.com but maybe it will. I am wondering where would be a good place to look for a voice over coach? I really need someone to evaluate me and see what a I can do well in voice overs and possibly help me get a demo started to get work. I appreciate any help I can get.

  11. Hi Kimberly,
    I encourage you to explore drama programs, really anything in the arts that stretches your talent and helps you to grow. I have a degree in music (voice), and although I am not a voice over talent, my education in that realm has certainly helped me with regard to working with voice actors and recording voice overs for our Voices.com videos.
    Another common route is radio and television. Some people in voice over come from broadcast, however, there can be a great deal of adjustment that needs to take place as announcing is different from voice over in that voice over is truly acting. Randy Thomas was interviewed a couple of weeks ago discussing this particular topic on Backstage re: the difference between narrating and announcing.
    There aren’t any degree programs specific to voice over, but there are courses out there, such as the one that Johnna Gottlieb teaches at NYU (and now offered online through UCLA) that can get you on the right track business wise. As for creative development, check out some of the teachers featured on the Voice Over Experts faculty to see if they might be a good fit for you:
    http://podcasts.voices.com/voiceoverexperts
    Best wishes,
    Stephanie

  12. Hi Adam,
    Thank you for commenting and for your question.
    Before you go looking for a coach, I suggest listening to a variety of different teachers on the Voice Over Experts podcast. I’ve mentioned this podcast a couple of times in my replies and for good reason 🙂 There are now 85 episodes that you can download and enjoy. A new episode is published each week.
    The people on the show have either been personally invited by me to participate or they have applied and were accepted into our voice over coaches program and or the Voice Over Experts faculty.
    Having said all this, first consider self-evaluation (listen to Connie Terwilliger’s podcast) and then decide if you’d like to take the next step to have a professional evaluation.
    Also, think about whether or not you’d like to:
    A) Study with someone in person
    B) Study by phone
    C) Audit a weekend workshop introducing you to VO
    D) Take a teleseminar or class
    Harlan Hogan has an interesting series coming up that you might find useful about starting your own voice over business. Here’s a link:
    http://www.TheVoiceoverClass.com
    Take care,
    Stephanie

  13. Questions for voice seekers:
    – If you are a client and not a production studio or ad agency, do you stop at the first competent voice, or do you listen to every audition?
    – Does it help or hinder the process for the voice talent to slate the audition (“This is ……”)?
    – Have you ever hired a talent whose rate is higher than what you have stated as your budget? Why or why not?

  14. Hi Patrick,
    Thank you for your questions and comment.
    The best way to get into voice acting? Read everything you can get your hands on, listen to everything you can find, connect with the community and study with a teacher.
    The best place to audition? Before you start thinking about the voice over marketplace, I suggest educating yourself about the business, your voice, and seriously thinking about how dedicated you are to pursuing a career, not just a hobby, in voice over.
    If you don’t have the basics and a business in place before registering on a website such as Voices.com, you will be ill-prepared and discouraged.
    I hope that helps,
    Stephanie

  15. Hello Stephanie,
    Is it true a voice seeker only listen to the first ten auditions?
    To better help understand the audition process;
    Can we get feedback on reason(s) the voice talent got hired?

  16. Hello Noel,
    Thank you for your comment and questions. Clients will often listen to more than just the first ten auditions. In previous surveys, we documented this information and the question will be asked again in our next survey as it is important to know.
    To review the latest survey up until now, click on this link:
    http://blogs.voices.com/voxdaily/2008/07/voices-com_client_experience_report_q2_2008.html
    We’re adding a number of questions that will give us even more information than we had before about what clients are looking for when hiring voice talent. Every client is different (as are their projects) but they do share some things in common and it will be exciting to learn more.
    Best,
    Stephanie

  17. When it comes to demos, is commercial and narration good enough or do industries like medical prefer a demo created just for them and not too general?

  18. Hi Stephanie:
    Thanks for taking the time to respond to these questions. Your level of personal involvement and expertise is one of the main reasons why I am considering to upgrade my membership.
    I used the link to get to your last survey, and it would only take me to the summary. When I tried to open the survey itself, a message told me that I wasn’t authorized to access the info.

  19. Hi Paul,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and also for letting me know about the issue. I’ve just dropped a fresh copy on the server and you should be able to download the PDF now.
    Best,
    Stephanie

  20. If someone bids the job lower than your posted budget, do you automatically hire that person, or do you wait and hire the talent with the best audition, even though his/her rate is higher, but still within your posted budget?

  21. Voice over professionals say it’s easy to get “the” job, but hard to stay in the business.
    What are the best and most consistent ways of doing so?

  22. @ Steve Crozier
    As the staff member responsible for reviewing and approving jobs and who has the most contact with our client subscribers I’d like to address your question. The simple fact is that most qualified talent will respond in the first 24 hours. Most clients are aware of this and don’t need to keep their posting open longer. As a talent, if you have time constraints it is suggested you submit a generic demo that has already been uploaded to your profile. You can do this from any location in the event that you work full time during the day and cannot record a custom demo when the job is approved and posted to the site.
    I often recommend that client’s do not keep their job open for more than 3 days since the majority of our members will respond within the first 48 hours of the job being posted to the site.
    Please keep in mind that many clients using our service are seeking talent who can provide a quick turn around time. If talent need a week to submit an audition, they may not be ideal for the client.

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