Friday, October 01, 2010

Trends: Harmful Beliefs To Reject As Online Voice Talent

In the quest to figure out how the voice over business has changed, and share this with a voice over community, we share info on a trend that has been around since 2004, that over the past three years we have seen do more harm than good. For those jumping into online voice overs now, after 7 years into it, it is important to know what beliefs are no longer a part of the online voice over industry! We thought to write this because of some recent heart-felt emails sent to customer service, that expressed beliefs we know are damaging for a voice talent who is just starting online.

“I lost my job. I should work online in voiceovers in the meantime.”
As much as I wish voice overs could be a regular job, where you are hired and everyday is like waking up and going to the office, you have to consider recent surveys in August 2010:
Out of the 70%:
  • 6% - Booked 5 jobs or more
  • 30% - Booked 1 job
  • 20% - Booked twice
  • 14% - Booked 3 or 4 times
Key facts to remember:
  • 40% of the jobs mentioned were booked because of old clients.This does mean there is a period of time that one should expect to not make money while they gain traction, and network online. Those in the 6% range have been doing the online voice over thing for a while, so they have that head start.
This leads to another belief that must be rejected, if one wishes to succeed.
“Getting work is easier online...It is like paying to play.”
  • The business tools may have changed, but the professional level of talent has not changed. At Voice123, we have the opportunity to hear thousands of people auditioning, and they book serious work, too. Do not be fooled. No is one playing. Sure, sitting at a computer instead of a sound production house removes an excited sense of urgency, but to the people hiring, and getting hired; they take their business online seriously. To approach another business any other way is a mistake. Perhaps a mistake I made as a voice talent on Voice123 was viewing things this way. I figured, ‘Cool. Turn on the computer, send in some auditions, and then go to work or other auditions offline.’ A year later, I realized I had much to learn about ‘being my own business’.

“TBD Budgets Indicate Bad Job Poster”
This is the furthest thing from the truth because there are variables that come into play when you see a TBD budget:
  • “Is the voice seeker not showing their budget to avoid receiving spam, which may happen if someone tries to audition just because the money is nice, but the job is completely wrong?”
  • “Is the voice seeker professional, but just not clear as to ‘what buyers should quote’?”
Best way to decide:
  • Read the script and description. How a person writes says a great deal about their level of experience. Look for industry lingo and signs it may be fine. Most importantly, it is a chance for a voice talent to teach an industry what the standard should be, and that opportunity should never be passed up. Under-quoting does not work in the online world, by the way. Many learned long ago that with a extremely low price, you get what you paid for in the end.
Have a great weekend!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace

Steven Lowell
Community Development Manager
Voice123 Facebook
Voice123 Youtube Channel
Twitter: @voice123
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1 comment:

Lance Blair said...

Great perspective: nobody said this would be easy, and nothing worth while is! My experiences with TBD bookings have been all positive. It usually reflects a flexibility and honesty on the part of the client. In the few rare times when agreement could not be met on the budget, discussions were open and professional.