You may be experienced, and well-recognized in a traditional market, but then you audition online, and find out it is a new market to be explored all over again, and the one-sixth of the world's population using the Internet, who never heard of you, may need some re-introducing. Keep in mind, that with all I say here, there will always be exceptions. This is the case with creative environments; no absolutes.
Disadvantages: (some bad news)
1. Voice talent working online from a major market face a higher cost of living. Take this example:
- If you make $40,000 in New York City as a voice talent, those living in Cleveland, Ohio, may only need $19,353 to have the same cost of living expenses (food, rent, apartment, home).
- Housing is 87% cheaper in Cleveland, Ohio.
- If you make $40,000 in Los Angeles, CA., you would need only $26,842 to live in Fresno, California.
- Housing is 67% cheaper in Fresno.
- Check your city and state.
2. Booking voice jobs online is more successful through repeat work, and building relationships with clients through proper online etiquette. It is very difficult to find 'that one big job' to cover all expenses for a month, and when you see such a job, you will go up against a more experienced group of talent similar to you (you can check this on your profile), from a global market. You may want more than one way to get work, if your cost of living is high.
3. Websites are ‘do it yourself’. If you are used to traditional methods of casting, this will take getting used to, in the beginning. It may seem cold and insensitive at first, until one sees how to do business, and separates that from being creative behind the mic.
Advantages: Good news!
1. Competition: Sound production houses in major markets have explained to me that they view the ‘do it yourself’ voice talent, as competition because they supply both voice talent, and sound engineering. It is good to have competition because it means something is working well enough to compete against. Hiring and paying you, saves the client money and time, which makes you more attractive as a business option. This is great because sound production houses do post jobs and hire from the website. If you are local to these studios, you will like my next point.
2. Home-field Advantage: Major market voice talent have Voice123, but also the local traditional casting environment with intermediaries. SmartCast, in this case, can work in their favor because they can wait for bigger jobs with other opportunities keeping them busy. Also, the majority of SmartCast jobs posted with geographical requirements, usually come out of New York, and Los Angeles; a good sign they are starting to see Voice123 as the best choice for finding voice talent.
A voice talent from Los Angeles, who does a great deal of union looping work for films, recently explained to me that this work has enabled him to pay for a home set up. Although he is not a sound engineer, he states he has the ability to audition 'when the phone stops ringing', and if he needs help recording something professional, he knows of many studios he can rent out when in a bind. This does require raising his price a bit, but he leaves his efforts out of online communications, and just promises results. His ability to deliver has led him to getting work offline and online consistently, while building a network of industry contacts.
He also acknowledges to me that this did NOT take place over night, and that working online involved meeting a new group of people he had never heard of before, but the marketing costs were incredibly cheaper, if it cost anything at all; saving him thousands of dollars.
3. Observation: Major market voice talent appear to have a thicker skin from understanding what it means to audition, face-to-face, everyday, in an industry with people who unfortunately at times feel obligated to tear someone else down. They may have had the chance to make dealing with rejection, and those who reject, into a reflex habit. Creativity comes from the heart, and it is not easy to handle. The ultimate challenge of working online is understanding that you are working globally, and on a world stage, you will see opportunities you had never thought of the day before you set up a profile.
Yet, still, one thing has never changed: Quality voice talent are always in demand.