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Even though voice acting can feel like a solitary pursuit, in truth the business is all about relationships.

From personal branding, to networking – to the diversity of services that voice actors offer their clients, there is a plethora of areas of business development that are being taken advantage of.

In order to understand how both beginning and established professional voice actors are positioning their business and making the most of their client relations, Voices.com surveyed actors from around the world.

About the Voice Actor Survey Respondents

The respondents of the survey are reflective the global voice talent community. In response to the survey, individuals in Australia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Israel, Canada, and the United States all pitched in to share their perspectives, ensuring the survey results reflect cultural diversity as well.

Professional vs. Beginning Voice Actor Respondents

Of those who lent their voice, 48% identify as a Beginner and 51% identified as a Professional voice actor. This nearly equal split between the respondents in each stage of their career means that the opinions and behaviors of both professional levels are represented.

Other Services Voice Actors Offer

While providing vocal performances was the mainstay of their business, both professional and beginning voice actors diversified their business offerings to add value for their clients.

However, how voice actors took advantage of certain strategies definitely differed.

Translation Services

Translation services appears to be a ‘green field’ area for voice actors – whether beginning or professional.

Only about 25 per cent of all of the respondents said they made translation services available to their clients.

It’s worthwhile to note that just because a voice actor offers the service, it doesn’t mean that they are providing it directly. Of those who said that they offer translation, 13 per cent use a third party supplier to perform the translations.

So, if a voice actor is looking to differentiate themselves from their competition, adding translation to the docket of services they provide might be a worthwhile way to do so – even if it’s through a third party translation supplier.

Post-Production Services

In contrast with translation services, respondents said that post-production services were a common value-add to their business. Approximately 60 per cent offer post-production skills.

Of those who offer the service, 48 per cent perform it themselves.

Knowing that voice actors from around the globe are able to provide post-production services might motivate the other 40 per cent of voice actors who don’t offer this service to learn how they can also jump on board.

With post-production being the most common service offering amongst voice actors, there is a good chance that clients are likely to expect such a service to be an option.

Best Practices for Voice Actors Working with Clients

Of course, forming a good relationship with clients goes far beyond the services that voice actors offer.

It is also worthwhile to ask: How far can voice actors stretch the relationship with their clients? How often do voice actors feel comfortable enough to ask their clients to use the finished product as a demo, for instance? And is there an etiquette, per se?

Defining Appropriate Interactions

From the results of the survey, it is clear that regardless of professional level or geographic location, voice actors agree on what is always appropriate and what is never appropriate:

For instance:

  • 70 per cent of respondents agree that is never appropriate to compare yourself to a celebrity.
  • 60 per cent of respondents never make cold calls to potential clients in an attempt to sell them on voice acting services.
  • 50 per cent of respondents say that when they’re not quite right for the job, they sometimes recommend another voice actor.

Asking to Use Previous Work as a Demo

When it comes to the delicate situation of asking clients to use a finished product as a demo, the respondents painted a picture that suggests it depends on the relationship that they have with client.

Fifty per cent of the respondents said that they sometimes ask their clients to use the finished voice over product as a demo, while the remaining 50 per cent were equally split between ‘always’ and ‘never’ asking clients to use finished products as demos.

In Summary

Whether they defined themselves as professional – or just starting out – voice actors seemed to agree, across the board that:

  • Post-production services are a valuable service to add
  • Whether or not you ask to use previous work as a demo depends on the relationship with your client
  • Cold calls to drum-up business are generally avoided
  • And overwhelmingly, it’s never ‘ok’ to compare yourself to a celebrity

For those who want to become even more competitive, offering translation services – and brushing up on post-production, are two areas of opportunity.

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