Get out of the Booth!
So, you’re on all the Voice Over P2P sites and have a hit ratio of about 1 in 100 auditions. How the hell is that going to work as a business model?! The average job pays around $300. If you can churn out 100 auditions per day you can earn $300 a day! Even if you got your audition turnaround time down to 10 minutes per audition then you would be recording for nearly 17 hours per day! That is if there were that many auditions available. Pretty much impossible!
How do you break this vicious cycle and start working on a Voice Over business model that can work and let you make enough money to seriously consider this as a career? There are only 2 answers to this:
Reduce your audition to job ratio to around 1 in 10 if possible.
Go out and find your own clients.
I am not going to discuss number 1 in this blog. There is a plethora of info on the internet to help you with that. I would advise you to try and wean yourself off the P2P sites if possible by following number 2. Put yourself out there and get some customers!
“I don’t know anyone in the Voice Over industry and can’t get an agent” I hear you say. Please remember that everyone in this industry started somewhere without any contacts. Realize that it is going to take some time to build a business. And yes, voice over is a business first and you must treat it that way. Use Google and research how to create a marketing plan. There is an abundance of great info out there (and a lot of useless info!). Work out who your real target audience is. This is critical. You can’t just say that you want to please everyone. Deep down you must know which genre you are more comfortable with. If it is corporate narration, then plan your marketing strategy around this. Find production companies that specialize in making corporate and E-Learning videos. There are many great lists online - www.productionhub.com is one of them. Go straight to some of the companies themselves and ask to speak to the marketing or production department. The key is that you need to target a specific area to get better results. My analogy is like fishing. You can fish randomly in a big ocean and never catch anything. If you fish in a small well known “hole” where fish like to hang out, then your chances are improved. You need to go out there and find that fishing hole!
Also, if you agreed with the statement that you don’t know anyone in this industry then do something about it! Join a local Voice Over meet-up group, nearly every city has one. Go to some of the Voice Over conferences that are available and remember to take professional business cards. You can meet many prospective customers at conferences. Join the local chamber of commerce and start schmoozing with other business owners. Try and find local gatherings of video producers and attend them and network. The bottom line is that you will rarely create a thriving business from your Voice Over booth - unless you are hosting lots of cocktail parties in there! Get out in the business world, meet people, party, enjoy yourself, listen to what people have to say, make connections and you will eventually make life long clients. It is just a matter of time.
Craig is a professional British Voice Over Actor based in Houston, TX.