Join Voice Over Expert Julie Williams in her interview with Voices.com co-founder Stephanie Ciccarelli, “Getting the Most Out of Voice Over Marketplaces.” Learn about how you can leverage your membership to the fullest. Find out what works, what’s expected of you and also how you can strategically approach online casting sites as a tool to obtain work acting as your own agent.
Julie Williams, Voice-overs.com, Stephanie Ciccarelli, Voices.com, Online Auditioning, Marketplace, Auditions, Blogs, Comments, Links, Community
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Voice Over Expert Julie Williams
Julie Williams is celebrating her 30th year in voice-overs. She has voiced thousands of commercials, narrations, video games, infomercials, documentaries, and other types of voice-over. Julie has been heard all over the world, and nationally on HGVT, WE, and other media outlets.
Julie Williams boasts such clients as Coca-Cola, Pampers, Pizza Hut, Billy Graham, The US Army, US steel, Imperial Sugar, Sunny Delight, Dominos Pizza, Adobe, and thousands of others. Currently, Julie is heard on national Eyeglass World commercials, The New Body Shaper infomercial, and Skincerity Skin Care Product ads, as well as hundreds of regional and local spots, and non broadcast flash productions. In addition, she’s the voice of the video game “Stevie Learns Pool Safety.” Samples of Julie’s work can be heard at www.voice-overs.com.
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Julie-Ann Dean: Welcome to Voice Over Experts brought to you by Voices.com, the number one voiceover marketplace. Voice Over Experts brings you tips, pearls of wisdom and techniques from top instructors, authors and performers in the field of voiceover. Join us each week to discover tricks of the trade that will help you to develop your craft and prosper as a career voiceover talent. It has never been easier to learn, perform, and succeed from the privacy of your own home and your own pace. This is truly an education you won’t find anywhere else.
This week, Voices.com is pleased to present Julie Williams.
Julie Williams: Tell me about how a talent can get the most out of a voiceover marketplace like Voices.com.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Oh, you would be surprised at how simple the answer is. The secret to making the most out of a subscription to sites such as Voices.com is to first acknowledge that joining the site to access the job leads is a marketing expense. You know, it’s a cost to doing business in today’s world. So, if you go in with the mindset that you’re here to do business at Voices.com and you’re going to use it to the fullest, there’s no way you can go wrong and especially if you have a good head on your shoulders for business, then things should go really well for someone who signed up like that.
Julie Williams: First, everyone creates a profile and then they sign up as a Premium member if they want to get all those leads. Now, what?
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Once the lead comes in, obviously, if the job applies to you at something you’re interested in, then you would audition for that. You log in to your account and then submit a proposal, the price quote and a demo. Now, if you have enough time, then clients really do appreciate hearing a sample like a custom recording of their script. Now, that generally helps us set people apart because A, it shows that you’re very interested in the work. But B, it also gives the client an idea of what you would sound like recording their piece.
Julie Williams: What percentage of talent would you say actually submit a custom demo as opposed to a generic demo for a certain job?
Stephanie Ciccarelli: I guess it really depends on, you know, the budget of that job. You know, obviously, the higher the budget, the more likely you’re going to get a custom demo done. But, for – let’s say in the range of 100 to 250, any job in that department, I would think that maybe about half of the people, maybe a little over half might send a custom demo but it really depends on the individual talent and, you know, what they think their time is worth. So, you know, you could always shoot up a generic demo. You know, say the client has a budget in that range and you say, “Oh, well, I don’t have enough time. I’ve got other things to do today so I’m just going to send a generic demo.” Well, that’s fine. If it’s a higher budget, then there will be more custom demos for sure.
Julie Williams: Is there anything documenting that it does increase your chances of getting it if you do a custom demo and if so, by how much?
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Well, what I can tell you from experience and talking to people is that generally, the custom demo wows a client and they’re more likely to go with someone who they know sounds great or they can envision that person branding them because they can then hear exactly how it’s going to sound. So, I would say someone who’s doing a custom demo is much more likely to get the job.
Julie Williams: You have something on Voices.com that I love and that’s the ability to create custom templates, saving us time for what kind of jobs. So, I’ve got an audition template up there of commercials. It has got the rates and everything. All I have to do is put somebody’s name in there and everything is all laid out. But mine is pretty long. I mean it details everything. It details my guarantee. It details the type of studio I have in case they’re interested in that. Do you have any recommendations on the length of the proposal and what needs to be in it?
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Well, I would suggest that everyone has a proposal that’s maybe a couple of paragraphs long because people who are reviewing auditions don’t necessarily have the time to read. Although, what you’re saying might be very good and help you get the job, it’s better to keep it concise. “Hello so and so,” and use their name because that’s treating them with respect, “And I would really love to do your project because of X, Y, Z reasons.” You know, make sure that they actually understand that you want to do their project, not say, “I’ve worked for this company and that company and I can be your voice because I’ve worked for these people.” Well, they don’t care. You know, it’s great to say I’ve worked for this really big company but at the end of the day, you’re applying to work for their company and if what you’re saying doesn’t reach them or touch them in some emotional way, you know, you’re not talking about their company, something that would interest them, then at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. What they want to do is what can you do for them, how can you do it and how much will it cost.
Julie Williams: And when it comes down to payment, now, you guys have a service that is unlike any other in the industry right now which is your SurePay service. Tell us a little bit about that and it has been out for about a year now, almost a year. Tell us how it’s working.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Oh, it’s wonderful. We’ve seen such exponential growth. It’s really incredible. I know the clients love it because they’re not going in blind anymore because just like anything else, people are cautious especially when they’re spending their money online. And they want to be sure that if they’re hiring somebody, that that person can actually deliver on what it is that they promise they could do, which is why SurePay is so important. It was actually requested by our clients. They said, “Is there any way to pay the voice actors after we’re satisfied with the work because we don’t want to be spending money,” you know, on a freelance talent who may or may not sound like their demo. You know, that’s a big concern. Will they be able to follow through with what they propose they can do?
Julie Williams: And at the same time, it protects the talent.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Oh, of course. And it’s really good for voice talent because it’s an escrow service. So it does protect both parties and it’s a great comfort to both the voice talent and the client to know that someone is there who is a neutral, unbiased party and they will help to sort the issues out should they arise.
Julie Williams: Stephanie, is there a common denominator that you see among the most successful talent at Voices.com?
Stephanie Ciccarelli: They’re treating the people on the other end of the audition with respect. Those people are also quoting within the provided budget range and they’re following directions. I’ve had people say, “Should I highball or lowball this so I can just get their attention?” Don’t do that because you’re going to shoot your self in the foot. Also, being friendly. Like I know that people are doing auditions all day but this person is only posting one job. They’re going to get all these responses from people who are doing it all day long but for them, it’s a unique experience. They don’t do this everyday. So, if you can keep in mind that this may be the first time that someone has ever posted a job for a voice actor, maybe they have never outsourced this work before then you have to kind of be sensitive to that.
Julie Williams: You know, I can mention having cast on Voices.com. Because they took the time, I wanted to listen to every single submission and it was two and a half hours of just listening and, you know, you get really, really tired doing that so as friendly as you can be to the person who is exhausted but taking the time to listen to you because you took the time to do it. You know, they deserve that respect.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Oh, yes, yes. And it’s just how you would treat anyone else. It’s how you would want them to treat you if you’re in that situation. Of course, maybe if this is their first time, you might need to educate them a little bit but really, it’s just putting them at ease. Letting them know that you’re the right person, why you’re the right person and, you know, how you can make it work for them. In order to optimize your experience, you’ll want to complete your profile. Voices.com, we have – upload your demos. You can tag them so that means you can add keywords and those are searchable through our search engines so make sure that you tag your demos.
Julie Williams: Of course, there are many ways to drive traffic to your personal website and master of online marketing Stephanie talks about a lot of those in How to Make Money in Voice-Overs Even if You Don’t Live in New York or L.A. which you can get at Voice-Overs.com/VOStore. Thanks for joining us today. On behalf of Voices.com and Voice-Overs.com, I’m Julie Williams wishing you a prosperous voiceover career.
Julie-Ann Dean: Thank you for joining us. To learn more about the special guest featured in this Voices.com podcast, visit the Voiceover Experts show notes at Podcasts.Voices.com/VoiceoverExperts. Remember to stay subscribed.
If you’re a first time listener, you can subscribe for free to this podcast in the Apple iTunes Podcast Directory or by visiting Podcasts.Voices.com. To start your voiceover career online, go to Voices.com and register for a voice talent membership today.
Julie-Ann Dean: This has been a Voices.com production.