Voice Guy Doing Voice-over Auditions
When you are auditioning online there’s something very important that will either make or break your chances of getting the gig.
Find out how one simple realization will save you hours of frustration and hundreds of unsuccessful auditions.

Online Marketplaces

One of the greatest aspects of the Internet is that people are presented with more opportunities to pursue and complete professional activities in the global marketplace online.
Similarly, through the voice over marketplace at Voices.com, voice actors receive access to jobs that they would not otherwise encounter, whether via direct contact from their profiles or through the auditioning process.
I’d like to talk a bit about the job application process and one red-hot realization that all freelancers should know about regardless of the industry they work in.

The Medium is the Message

In 1964, there was a book published by author Marshall McLuhan, “Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man”. In that book, he coined the phrase “the medium is the message”. According to Wikipedia.org, with regard to the concept of “the medium is the message” McLuhan proposes that media themselves, not the content they carry, should be the focus of study; he said that a medium affects the society in which it plays a role not only by the content delivered over the medium, but by the characteristics of the medium itself.

What’s the Medium for Online Auditioning?

Simply put, you are auditioning or applying for a job online using the Internet, a medium that is available to you 24/7. The Internet is generally a one-way medium wherein the person using it is able to move along at their own pace and fulfill a task with the help of their personal computer or hand-held device using an Internet connection.

Important Realization

Since the medium is the message, and you are applying for work online, it is of vital importance that you conduct yourself in such a way that anything you say or do in your job application is also kept online, at least in the primary stages.

What Does that Mean?

As a freelancer applying for a job online, be sure that the person on the receiving end of your bid for the work is provided with all of the information necessary to make a hiring decision while they are reviewing your submission ONLINE.

Your Proposal Should Include 5 Critical Components:

1. Your name
2. Sample of your voice (or work)
3. Proposal detailing why you want the job
4. How long it will take you to complete
5. Quote
At Voices.com we’ve included a way for our customers to communicate these qualifiers to each other using a proven process that fills in the blanks for companies who are hiring online.
Notice that I said “Hiring Online”…

What Clients Expect Who Post Jobs Online

When a client posts a job to hire a voice actor online, they expect that the entire experience will take place online.
They create their account online, their job is created and posted online, they review samples online, and they decide who they want to work with online.
For voice actors who follow the formula and keep their auditions online, this works out very well and are often rewarded for respecting the client’s wishes to communicate primarily online or using email.

True Story

Not very long ago I heard from someone who was quite upset that they were not getting any work through auditioning online. After reviewing their website, voice samples and audition submissions, it was clear that the breakdown was in their proposals.

What was going on?
They were trying to persuade the client to switch from their medium of choice (the Internet) to a different medium (the telephone) in order to give them the critical information (remember the five points above you need in your application?) over the phone before working together.

Why it didn’t work
As you may have guessed, they were missing the mark, over and over again by asking the client to change the medium they were comfortable with. Not only were they changing the medium but as a result they created a pause in the selling cycle and presented the client with the chance to eliminate them right at the point of sale.

I made the following suggestions:

1. Address the client by their name
2. Personalize all proposals
3. Identify what it is that you can do for them and put it in writing in your proposal

Predictable Client Behavior

Clients who use online services, regardless of what the service is, are not wanting to communicate by phone unless absolutely necessary and do not plan on jumping through any more hoops than they have to when the point of using the service is to capitalize on simplicity, speed and ease of use.

A Few Takeaways:

1. Communicate using the medium your prospective client prefers
2. Personalize your communications
3. Include all necessary information in one place — your proposal

Any comments?

Looking forward to hearing from you!
Best wishes,

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Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Voices.com. Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.


  1. Great post! I remember for the longest time I would write a tome to perspective clients with my audition files, urging them to contact me further for yet more info. And I was really stumped as to why they weren’t always biting!
    Then I did the best thing I could have to learn what a client wants in an application–I became one!
    The first time I posted a job for voice artists, I was stunned by how turned off I became by applications that were, for the most part, a lot like the ones I was sending people.
    The ones that were the most succinct (but still had all of the info I really needed) were the most appealing and helped me to better remember that artist when it was time to go back to the audition page.
    So since then, I’ve always tried to get into the mindset of the hirer, and think “What would I want to see?”, “What would save me time?” and “What is the most complete information I can give?”. It really helps, and communication has improved from the outset of projects for my clients and me.

  2. Hi Dana,
    I just love you to bits!
    Thank you for sharing your perspective as a person who has experienced both sides of the process. It’s surprising how much can be discovered when you walk a mile in another pair of shoes.

  3. Stephanie:
    An excellent “Vox Daily” column today. When I was in college, I actually took a course on Marshall McLuhan, called “Understanding Media”. I have always kept “The Medium is the Message” in the back of my mind since. It was an awesome concept, much like “The Tipping Point” is now. Though I am an accomplished voice talent though my studios, I have yet to land a job on Voices.com, but I’m out there swinging almost every day.
    What I have learned over the past few months that I have been on your site is how to better audition. I am listening closer to what I am presenting and working harder to give the best audition I can. Then, when I’m making my proposals, I always listen back to my audition on the internet before I submit it. Sometimes hearing it back on the internet, the way the client would, makes me stop and ask myself if I’m really right for the job, and if I’ve given it my best. Sometimes the medium does effect the
    way you present your message.
    Jeff Goldberg

  4. Hi Jeff,
    Thank you for commenting and I’m pleased that this struck a particular chord with you 🙂
    I am also a fan of Malcolm Gladwell and thoroughly enjoyed reading The Tipping Point. I’ve also read Blink and think he is a genius.
    Thank you also for sharing some of your procedures regarding the auditioning process. Very interesting!
    Best wishes,

  5. As usual this is great advice, I although being in the business for a while, and haven’t really devoted my full attention to my genius (joke), find it very refreshing to have professionals take their time to share valuable knowledge to others to benefit from.
    Thank you, and look out for MrVoice, I be coming out the closet very soon.

  6. Hi,
    Sorry to be a little pedantic on this point, the book is actually called:
    The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects
    and was the co-creation of media analyst Marshall McLuhan and graphic designer Quentin Fiore (1967)……it is a fabulous piece of work….to be absorbed not read.
    I actually think the use of the word “massage” is a very clever double entendre, often misread as “message” and adds a certain, more tactile je ne sais quoi.

  7. Hi Martyn,
    Thank you for pointing that out. This goes to show that Wikipedia.org isn’t the final authority on all things 🙂
    I did read about the message vs massage but thought I would stick to the verbiage most used today.

  8. Hi Stephanie,
    We who, a few years back, couldn’t do a voice-over unless we could physically get to the studio really appreciate the Internet. And you’re absolutely right about the phone…in the ‘proposal’ stage. When you get the job, the phone can be very useful in establishing a relationship… even as a kind of substitute for ISDN.
    Be well… keep up the good work.


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