“How do I start marketing myself as a voiceover talent?”
That’s the most common question many of us in voiceover have had over the past few years. Things are changing – changes that were once only a trend are now becoming a normal reality. Yet, partially because of home studios and Covid-19 restrictions, we have less and less face-to-face meetings and community. There are voiceover actors who are mainly working with online resources in today’s marketplace. But most actors I talk to in L.A. and other major markets get the best jobs, best rates and opportunities through an agent. However, there are things you can and should do on your own – with or without an agent.
As I began putting this article together I realized anything I say just scratches the surface, and sometimes we need to hear things more than once, so this will cover both a review and taking pure marketing to a deeper level.
Here are a few ideas that will help you find a few places where you can market yourself as a voiceover actor.
Now, with those basics said…
Voiceover Production Companies:
Other tips to get “in the door”:
Email newsletters: While emails can often be burdensome to read, you may want to send an email once a month – or quarterly – mentioning some of your latest work. This can be something to do to keep you “top of mind” with current and prospective VO clients.
Postcards: I’m a big believer in this one! The personal touch is nice for producers to connect the name and voice with your face, and it’s a channel of communication that often goes under-utilized in today’s digital age. In short, chances of your postcard getting noticed are better now than they were when more people were sending direct mail. What’s old is new again, and really never went away, but can seem more personal. I cannot tell you how often in my career I’ve sent a genuine “Hi, how are you” and/or a postcard telling them about something I’m in – or even a simple holiday greeting – and the recipient follows up with a request for an audition. Now, these are from clients with whom I have relationships, and it is a genuine reaching out on my part, which I believe is important when using this form of communication.
Emails: When it comes to specific emails from voice talent, most producers and creative directors are more open to this if you don’t over-bug them. Yet, as actors we often are so concerned about over-bugging because we’ve heard about “those kind of actors.” You don’t want to be a pest, yet I know I’ve have erred on the side of not contacting them at all. I was thrilled a couple of years ago when a casting director said, “Keep in touch with me once a month. Just shoot me an email so I keep you in the front of my mind.” Wow! He was granting me permission. It made me think of the many times if I’d just emailed now and then instead of not at all, it would have been just the right time to keep me “top of mind.” Kind of like the postcard idea.
Send your VO demo as an MP3 attachment: Send it to new producers when you first contact them. And put a link to your website in the body of the email or in the signature in case they want to see more.
Several producers have told me that they don’t receive very many direct contacts from voiceover talents wanting to make an introduction. However, many are open to that.
Get your demos listed on as many voice talent sites on the internet as possible. And not just pay-to-play sites like Voices123 and Voices.com.
Work fast: When clients need a fast turnaround for a VO job, you have to be able to deliver that consistently to be hired by the people who are looking for that level of service. Being ready and willing to turn things around quickly has gotten me several jobs in the past. It’s part of being a pro.
One last thought… the need for voice talent will keep going up since video production gets cheaper and easier to produce. That means they will need more and more voice talent. The trick is being able to be one of the talents who can capture a piece of the pie. This is where skills in marketing, good customer service and follow up can mean the difference between being a pro or a hobbyist.
Kathy Grable is an L.A. voice-over prototype with a warmth and sincerity that reminds listeners of a close friend. You’ve heard her in animated shows like Tom & Jerry, Rocket Power, and Futurama and commercials for Pepsi, Disney, Dunkin’ Donuts, Burger King, and as the Baskin-Robbins “Talking Spoon.” Kathy was also the voice double for Nicole Kidman in the hit film Batman Forever. On-camera, she’s been seen in Mike & Molly, Harry’s Law, Last Man Standing, and The Wedding Band on TBS. She’s a sought-after V/O coach, director, and demo producer. When not performing, Kathy co-owns and operates a company that distributes e-books, comics, audio dramas, and her own podcast, In My Voice, with guests from all aspects of the voiceover world. Find it on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify, or go to https://anchor.fm/kathy-grable0 for all the episodes.