Boy howdy did the voiceover landscape change since I got started! Voicebank was swallowed whole by Voices.com, curated audio became all the rage, more and more (and more and more) P2P sites cropped up, and it seems like everyone and their brother wants to get in on the action. I recently started cutting proto demos with a couple of friends getting into the field, when the question on my mind all day every day popped up: “Where do you find work?”
It’s a complicated question, and frankly there are more qualified people out there you should be asking. But since you’re here, I’ll give you a few quick tips on things I did to establish myself. In fact, I shall give you three of them.
Internet Presence is Key
To get in the game, you need a website. And I don’t mean a profile on Voices.com masquerading as your “website”. Get a Squarespace account and build a real site. Then maybe get a professional to build you a real real site, once you know you’re in this to win it. Along with that, find every P2P that will let you have a free profile and make one. Google VO casting sites and have a ball. You’ll learn a lot about what’s expected of you across a broad spectrum of places, which range from….I’m not gonna lie to you, most casting sites out there look kinda crummy. Some don’t; I actually really like a couple systems out there, but they’re pretty few and far between. Not to say they’re not effective; I mean, the jury’s gonna be out on that regardless. But! Every site helps to grow your name, your demos’ presence, and your overall online searchability. So get your name there everywhere you can stick it.
Same goes for making content and posting it. Blogs, videos, podcasts, anything you can create within the purview of your brand, help boost your visibility. Also, social media yadda yadda yadda. You probably don’t need me to tell you how Twitter works. Hell, I don’t even have a Twitter account anymore. Maybe I’m a curmudgeonly old man, but operating pretty much any social media account as a business felt really forced for me. Maybe I’ll get back into it one day.
I suppose this falls more into letting work find you than you finding work, but to that effect, lemme tell ya…getting work to find you is far more preferable.
VO is a Hustle – Hit the Pavement
Beyond the P2P’s and the casting databases are the folks you’ll be working for. And the folks they work for. And sometimes, the folks they work for. There’s a pretty layered infrastructure out there, and a lot of your time will be spent navigating the various production houses, b2b marketing companies, advertising and marketing firms, and all the other various levels you can try to penetrate. Direct-to-client is the best, but a lot of work ends up coming my way via third party studios as well. Google around, poke through the internet, get numbers and email addresses, and suss out the truffles of leads that may or may not be there.
Word of Mouth Will Grow Your Business
The internet is great and all, but your community is the best place to build your business. Find friends, friends of friends, associates of friends of friends, anyone who has a position that may be need voiceover work, and hook up with them. Once your reputation grows and people know you for what you do, you’ll be off to the races.
Hope this helps!