Why You Might Not Be Booking Work at Voices (and what you can do about it)
Are you on the brink of success but just don’t know it?
It wasn’t until the 10,001st attempt that Thomas Edison successfully invented the light bulb. While you may not have auditioned 10,000 times on Voices, not booking a job after dozens – or even hundreds – of audition submissions can be discouraging.
Want to change things up? Here are three reasons why you might not be booking work and four tried and true tips on how to get your first job.
Why am I not booking any work on Voices?
Here are three common areas where human nature can be perilous. The big three are time, desire, and ego.
Do you have the time to just stop everything and record a custom demo? For those of you who work at home, equipped with industry standard studio gear, recording on demand can be as easy as creating a new session, positioning yourself in front of your trusty microphone, and getting down to business, script in hand or, in browser window or even on an iPad, whichever works for you.
That’s wonderful for talents with pro studios, however, what about talents that do not professionally record from home?
This is where the custom demo may go out the window.
“But, what about recording it through an online system?” you might ask? I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but online recording software that allows you to simply use your computers internal microphone often comes across as tinny, poor quality, and incredibly difficult to enjoy from a clients point of view.
By nature of the technology available (I’m referring directly to online recording tools), recording in this manner jeopardizes your chances of landing a job.
Right away, you’re facing:
- Reduced quality
- Low fidelity (yes, this is bad)
- Limited amount of time to record
- Not being able to edit the recording
- No record of the recording on your personal computer
- Relying on a particular service to submit lower quality audio
- Clients not being able to or not wanting to share your demo with colleagues
- A poor first impression of what you can do for the client
If you have the choice to record a really solid custom demo with proper equipment, don’t settle for providing a potential customer with inadequate audio and a poor first impression of your work. In most cases, if you are not prepared to record a sample of the script (and have the time and resources to do so), you may not be as interested in the job as you may have thought.
This leads us to our next category:
When the chips are down, do you really want this job? Client feedback has revealed that if a talent does not submit a custom demo and a script has been included for that purpose, the client believes that submissions without custom demos are not worth reviewing. Why? They interpret a stock demo as obvious disinterest in their project. Can you identify with them?
If you truly want the job, prove it to the client and give them a taste of what you can do for them.
This goes for jobs both large and small. Even if the budget is only $100, the client still deserves to know how you intend to represent their company. Remember, you have the opportunity to be the voice of another corporation or organization, so take that to heart.
First impressions are lasting on both ends of the spectrum. They’ve given you a good impression of their company, and now it’s up to you to follow through putting your best foot forward with a custom demo and a customized response / quote for their project.
Lastly, we’ll move ahead to one of the biggest hurdles some talent face when it comes to recording a custom demo.
The mindset here is usually “I’ve been the voice of superstar bluechip clients, and I don’t need to prove myself to you”.
This is a dangerous place to be for a voice talent who is trying to find themselves work.
Yes, it may be true that there are numerous credits which indicate your extraordinary voice acting roles, clients, etc., but, odds are that the majority of clients will have no concept of the breadth of your voice acting history – and in most instances, won’t make the decision to hire simply because of past credits and one’s clout as a voice-over phenom.
It all comes down to how you can serve the client and how you can serve the people in their charge, not about the latest voice acting project you’ve starred in or the most recent national commercial you’ve recorded.
At InteractiveVoices, we want you to get work. That’s why we provide you with high caliber jobs, resources, marketing tools, and peer support group to equip you with everything necessary to succeed as a pro voice talent.
We also have a strongly vested interest in making sure that clients are served with the same objectives, providing them with world-class talent and demos to match.
With the best interests of both our voice talents and clients in mind, we can keep moving forward, innovating, improving, and integrating the two worlds of voice talents and the businesses relying upon their services.
How Do I Book More Work at Voices?
What does it take to achieve your goals?
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
-Thomas A. Edison
Voice Acting is Harder Than It Sounds
Perhaps due to reality television programs like American Idol, everyone thinks that they can be a voice actor. Let’s call it the “me too” phenomenon of the performing arts.
To better understand why this is the case, I invite you to examine the psychology behind this with me.
Voice acting, to be sure, looks like a great deal of fun, especially from the Hollywood perspective.
Everybody is smiling, lounging around in their street clothes (pajamas in some cases), and happily strolling into the recording studio at the crack of noon to record for an hour or two, completing an entire days’ work in the course of a lunch hour.
People are able to stand there, animated and let loose, and are completely uninhibited by their surroundings. Characters seem to come out of nowhere and everywhere at the same time, various pitch levels resonate, personalities are out in full force, and conversations take place in the ethereal atmosphere that is a ‘voice acting session’.
That’s what an audience sees when the cameras are rolling for special ‘behind the scenes’ cuts on TV and limited edition DVD excerpts.
What they don’t see is years of training, talent, and fortitude. They don’t acknowledge the physicality of it, don’t understand how each sentence starts with a deep breath and proper placement.
Viewers don’t think about diction, accents, interpretation, control, posture, phrasing, memorization, the recording process, or the labour of love that goes into developing a character people can relate to.
They don’t think about the strict health regiment that keeps a voice in good form, the warming up of a voice, or the way that each voice actors instrument complements the rest of the cast.
They aren’t there for the takes that didn’t work out, the glottal attacks, or the fits of coughing when the air gets too dry. Viewers don’t see how taxing a role can be. They don’t know that your voice can get tired and certainly have never heard of ‘vocal rest’ periods.
How many things do you need to avoid to make sure your voice is healthy and can maintain a consistent tone and support throughout the session?
No one knows the sacrifices you make for your career better than other voice actors and professionals who make a living by using their voice.
Many voice actors tell us that practicing helps them to book more work. If you’re taking care of your voice and exercising your range, you’ll soon see the benefit of a regular vocal workout. Read copy wherever you see it.
There’s a lot of great material out there and you would be surprised how easy it is to find. A trip to your food cupboard or fridge will provide you with all kinds of copy, including advertising and technical copy. Walking verbally through an ingredients list will take you on a journey in itself.
Voicing lists and tackling words you usually don’t say in general conversation (like sucralose!) will stretch your capacity to voice. Reading books aloud or narrating synopses on the back of DVD covers is also a good way to introduce new copy into your life and daily reading regime. Reading through audition copy (even if you don’t submit it) is also a good way to practice and get closer to booking your first job.
2. Completing Your Profile
One of the main reasons why talent struggle to book work is because they have not completed their profile. Auditions are sent to you based upon the information that you have provided about your voice, skills and capabilities in your profile.
Think of your profile as a resume. Filling in the blanks matters, as does uploading and properly tagging your demos. If you are wondering about profile completeness, you can quickly find out what percentage of your profile is complete within your account and edit your profile to improve your profile’s completeness.
Remember that your VoiceMatch score (the score that tells you how closely matched you are to a given job) is based upon the contents of your profile. The more complete your profile is, the higher your VoiceMatch score may be on a given job.
High Impact Profile Tips:
- Be careful how you order your languages. Rank languages in order of fluency putting your native language first. More points are assigned to your primary language than any other when it comes to VoiceMatch score.
- Put demos in all the categories you can voice for. Try and have a wide variety of demos in as many categories as possible to improve your VoiceMatch score.
- Tag your demos appropriately to boost your VoiceMatch score. Clients routinely select a couple tags on their job postings artistic direction wise and if your demo has one of the tags they’ve picked, you’ll have a higher VoiceMatch score on their particular job.
3. Flipping Your Perspective on Auditioning
Looking back on your first auditions, you’ve probably come a long way and have a greater understanding of what you are best suited to audition for.
Everybody starts somewhere and the earliest auditions you’ve submitted are just the beginning. Persistence is key to your success. If you can outlast those who throw in the towel and audition for jobs that bring out the best in your voice, it is only a matter of time before you see progress and success.
Each audition you receive presents you with an opportunity to be the solution to a client’s need. Prioritize the auditions you do by auditioning for jobs where you have the highest VoiceMatch scores first.
When clients review their auditions, their default view shows them auditions listed from highest VoiceMatch score to lowest VoiceMatch score. If you have a high VoiceMatch score, your audition will be closer to the top of their list of responses.
Another tip: While the VoiceMatch score helps, it is still good to reply to jobs quickly. Every time a new job is posted, it is given a higher Job Number (Job #). You can see the newest jobs by sorting the jobs list in descending order. To do this, click on “Job #” until the arrow points down.
4. Getting Your First Star Rating
Work begets work. When you receive your first feedback rating and review on Voices, your credibility immediately increases to prospective clients and to those in a position to hire you. Star ratings can be viewed from the Voices search engine, directory, and when clients are reviewing auditions.
Seeing a star rating beside your name gives clients the confidence and comfort they need to award a job to you. Bearing this in mind, keep working on auditions, your profile, and business communications in an effort to land your first job on the site.
Applying These Tips
Remember, Voices is a tool and an extension of your business. The ideas and action items above are here to help you get the most out of your experience working in the online marketplace.
Apply the tips and let us know how you’re doing! We’re here to help.