Voice Over Coaching Training
13 things that are hurting your new voice over business
By Stew Crossen
There's a lot a stake. Avoid these blunders in your new voice over business.
1. You didn't warm up.
You're expected to be ready to audition
or perform when you arrive. Do your vocal warms up in the
car or on the walk to the location.
2. You seem distracted or preoccupied.
Got a lot on your mind? An overdue
electric bill, an ailing parent or a new puppy at home alone
can certainly be cause for distraction. VO is about being
in the moment. You've got to be fully involved. Get your head,
your body and your soul involved in the part.
3. You dress like your headed to summer
camp, or like it's "laundry day".
Leave the flip flops, cargo shorts
and baggy Hawaiian shirt at home. Dress professionally, business
casual, clean, pressed and neat. And tone down the jewelry
4. You're wearing heavy perfume, after
shave or you smell of cigarettes.
Shower and wear clean clothes, but
leave the fragrances home. Avoid smoking too. Voice over is
often done in small, crowded or cramped spaces. Many people
are sensitive to perfume and cigarette smoke and can have
5. You wolfed down a meatball sub
10 minutes before the gig.
Why would you want to fill your stomach
just before a gig? A full stomach can have a negative impact
on your breathing. Plus, there's belching, gas and possible
heartburn. If you're that hungry, be sure to eat a few hours
before the gig. Or quelch your hunger by drinking water.
6. You talk too much.
VO is about reading, not about talking.
Don't overdo by engaging the producer or client with witty
banter. Beginners get nervous and tend to talk too much. Honestly,
the director or client doesn't care about your new puppy,
or the microphone you just purchased. You won't impress them
by being chatty. Exchange greetings and be pleasant. Otherwise
don't speak unless spoken too or unless you're talking about
the job. Stay focused, do your job and leave quietly.
7. You didn't do a proper read through
before the audition or recording take.
If the director or client seems inexperienced or preoccupied
and doesn't offer you an opportunity to do a read through,
ask for one. Ask for a second or third if it's necessary.
8. Your web site.
Okay. You spent $1300 on your web
site. It took 9 months to design and build. It has a front
end, back end, a database, 17 pages, java, high res logo,
fast loading graphics, widgets and awesome flash. It's SEO'd
and W3c compliant. You have Google analytics and two Google
Adword campaigns running. Uh... okaaaay. All you really need
is 4 simple pages. Home, About, Demos and Contact, for well
under $500. Potential clients don't care about flash, logos,
color palettes or widgets. All they care about is great demos
and an easy way to contact you.
9. A list of your studio equipment.
The only people who might care what
equipment you have are a few of your fellow voice actors.
99% of your potential clients wouldn't know a dynamic mic
from a condensor mic or a preamp from a compressor. And frankly,
they don't care. All they really care about is the finished
cost, timely delivery and a professional job.
10. Where and who you studied with.
The owner of the restaurant chain,
president of the insurance company or the independent film
producer doesn't care who, where or even if you studied voice
over. All they care about is getting a professional job, done
on time, at a reasonable cost.
11. Tell everyone you "do it all" or that you're "full Service".
Beginners want to do it all. Problem
is they can't. Veterans can do it all. However, they've learned
that they don't have to do it all. What does "full service"
mean anyway? You probably don't do ADR, Foley or Mastering.
So be specific about what you do. Tell your potential customers
exactly what you do and have samples to prove it. Keep it
12. Being too social.
Between FaceBook, Twitter, and all
the Voice Over Forums you belong to, you're spending 3 or
more hours a day online socializing. Sure they're touted to
be the new revolution in marketing and promotion. Here's a
news flash. There's a world of difference between socializing
online and actually marketing yourself online with social
media. Do some research or hire someone to figure it out for
you. Here's my idea of being social. Spend those 3 hours a
day actually getting out and visiting local businesses. Introduce
yourself and show the owners how you can help them attract
new customers and make more sales. How? Talk to them about
their after hours phone message, audio for their web site,
overhead sound system and point-of-sale just for starters.
13. El Presidente.
Your business cards, web site, CD
labels and the mouse pads you hand out all state that you're
the "President" of your voice over company. You're
answering machine says, "Hi, I'm Jack Overshoe, president
of the Jack Overshoe Voice Over Company." C'mon. Are
you serious? Unless your voice over business is incorporated
and you are legally "The President", forget the
uppity stuff. Just be yourself.
This article is not intended to be all inclusive of everything
that could hurt your chance of success in your voice over
business. Using common sense, having a pleasant dispostion
and a helpful attitude will earn you a good reputation. And
that alone can get you more voice over business than you can
Stew Crossen Voice Over Workshop
stew @ voiceoverworkshop.com
Daily 10am to 8pm - NYC time zone
Connecticut Broadcasters Association