What do clients want?
In the case of Voices.com’s Full Service jobs, Account Managers are often the ones creating a shortlist of custom auditions for a client to listen to. They’ve heard their fair share of auditions, and worked with a lot of talent. As such, they can provide you with some great tips.
Grant Thomas, Chris Diavolitsis, and Laura Beausaert are all Account Managers; when it comes to what they look for from voice actors, a few things became clear.
Recording a Great Audition Means Considering Artistic Direction
To provide a great audition, our account managers recommend that you pay attention to the artistic direction as closely as possible, that you don’t slate and instead begin your audio file by getting right into your custom audition.
If you’re going to do more than one version of a read, it’s good if the first one relies on the direction given, and the second one can be your own interpretation.
Laura adds, “You’d be surprised how many clients and Account Managers end up loving the version the talent did on the second take. It shows creativity!”
Becoming a Go-To Voice Actor
There are lots of things a voice actor can do to make themselves desirable to work with, including being responsive, flexible, and positive.
Chris notes, “A lot of projects include last minute changes to scripts, rushed deadlines and updated direction.”
Plus, clients may make changes after they hear their script to get the optimal recording.
He adds, “If [a voice actor] takes the time to read the specific direction and do their best to capture it, that scores big points with my team and the client.”
Account Managers also appreciate it when voice actors are able to deliver a consistent read, they know their signature voice, and are able to set realistic expectations.
Avoid Audio Watermarks, Mispronunciations, and Slating
When it comes to your auditions, there are some things to definitely avoid, as they could make an Account Manager or client stop listening. For example, uploading demos instead of a custom audition. Chris notes, “Demos are great for showcasing past work, but they don’t suffice for auditions.”
Other things that will make for a poor audition include mispronunciations, technical issues, and audio watermarks, like whispering or beeping. Also to be avoided is using the first few seconds of your script to talk about your background or the project, as the client wants you to get right to your read.
Simple Tips to Ensure You Get Repeat Business from Your Voice Over Clients
Once you’ve got the job, how do you get repeat business?
Here are some things to avoid:
- late file delivery (without reason)
- missing a session
- Not setting expectations for pickups
Grant also adds, “Keep session calls professional. Creatives are passionate people and direction can sometimes seem critical or de-motivating. Just remember that the session’s success is always in your hands.”
On the other hand, here are some things to put into practice:
- Keep your fees the same (or close) for similar projects
- Be consistent and dependable
- Don’t audition if you’re not a good fit. It makes clients feel like they were ignored
If you’re recording yourself it can be great to do more than one take, provided you’re not sure about pronunciations, or you’d like to try a different interpretation. Laura adds, “Make sure to leave enough space between your takes so that the client can easily edit their preferred sections in post [production].”
What a Voice Can Do to Stand Out
Voice actors who make our clients and Account Managers delighted are generally capable of:
- Interpreting direction well/correctly
- Knowing what they are best suited for, and using their sound to grab an audience
- Voices that can connect on a human level
- Sounding natural. Laura says: “Inflections, inflections, inflections.” She adds that using your natural inflections to grasp your listener will make you stand out.
Some Key Takeaways for Great Auditions and Repeat Business
According to our Account Managers, good voice talent:
- Are capable of delivering consistent reads with their signature voice
- Are up-front about what they can do, and how long it will take
- Adapt to changes while keeping a good attitude
Voice actors would be wise to also have technology (and a space) capable of producing quality audio, behaving professionally, avoiding the use of watermarks on their audio and ensuring files are delivered in a timely manner.
In general, know your strengths, be honest about your capabilities, and follow through on what you say you can do.
One final tip is to stick with it! Starting can be hard, but once you get going it usually gets easier! Chris notes: “My best advice is stick with it, give each audition your best and stay positive.”