Why custom demos are more attractive – for different reasons than you may think!
In an audition situation, talent who submit custom demos are usually rewarded with extra attention and regard from the client receiving the auditions. While this may seem obvious, the psychology behind the submission and reception of custom demos is highly overlooked.
On the voice talent side of the equation, the goal is to present the client with something that best reflects the project requirements while demonstrating his or her vocal abilities in a practical manner. Recording the custom demo also gives a talent the option to include that significant tidbit of information in their written proposal, catching the eye of the client and raising interest levels in their submission.
That being said, when clients receive custom demos, they usually give them more weight than a stock demo submission, especially if they are presenting the demos to their own clientele.
From the clients point of view, a talent who submits a custom demo is more keen to work for their company. Considering their interest level and the time they invested to record a custom demo, the client may also perceive the talent as more qualified to work for them. Though custom demos are regarded as more relevant, did you know that sometimes clients truly NEED custom demos?
Trying to conceptualize what a final product will sound or look like without a custom sample to reference from is extremely difficult. I can relate to that. For example, recently I helped pick out paint colors for our home. Being better with words than visuals, my ability to select a complementary color palette without seeing the paint on the wall was next to impossible. Abstract thinking is not my specialty.
This method could also be called the “I’ll know it when I see it / hear it” method. Many of us are like that. You need to see the real thing, not merely a projection or thumbnail of the real thing. The same goes for those among us who cannot ‘picture’ what their voice-over will sound like from a generic demo. While people have an understanding of the kind of music they like to listen to, they may not be as sensitive to the nuances of a spoken word demo that is not familiar to them or does not relate to their identity as an organization.
Have any of you experienced that?
Custom demos take time, but if recorded with the right motivations and precautions, they more than serve their purpose. You are giving the client something greater than just a sample of your voice reading copy… you are giving them a taste of precisely what their voice-over will be like, and with that very important ingredient comes peace of mind.