While we’d all like an agent to book us regularly, the reality is that we need to take charge of our own careers and book work ourselves. There’s no shortage of VO work, but the question of how to book great on a regular basis to sustain a business is a real one.
The answer is three-fold and requires some strategizing. First, you need access to higher-paying jobs. Then, you have to brand yourself as a top-quality talent. And finally, you must win great auditions more frequently. Easier said than done, yes, but not impossible. Here’s how.
Gain access to higher-paying jobs by...
...having ongoing, regular clients. Establishing yourself as a freelance voice talent means doing the work to cultivate business. With research and an excellent portfolio, finding your own clients is viable and necessary. Plus, maintaining relationships with ongoing clients and great leads is what will keep your business sustainable. Voice actor Peter K. O’Connell says, “No other person will (or should) work as hard to drum up voiceover business as the voice talents themselves should.
...being productive on rosters. There are production companies and creative agencies that maintain talent rosters. With your professional VO demos ready, research those agencies, initiate conversation, and foster a business relationship with them.
...having an excellent agent (or a few). Agents have access to the best voice acting jobs. Though clients can hire talent directly, having a few regional agents is beneficial to accessing work across the country. It’s true that agency rosters can be full and competitive, but demand continues to grow and work is abundant, meaning agents will likely be seeking more and more clients. Voice actor Maria Pendolino says, “When you’re ready and have a killer demo, seek out solid representation and be on the rosters of great production studios. When those auditions hit your inbox, be yourself. Read and follow the specs but remember the only thing that’s unique about you is you.”
READ: Voiceover Training 101
Brand yourself as top-quality talent with...
...an excellent portfolio. Have quality demos created in the appropriate genres, particularly a commercial demo. When you’re ready, add other demos that showcase your strengths, including corporate, promo, animation, gaming, explainer videos, etc.
...a great, up-to-date website. The elements of your portfolio need to be relevant, remain current, and scream professionalism so that when your site is referenced by potential clients, they feel 100 percent comfortable hiring you.
...social media profiles that are in great shape. Make certain your profile(s) are relevant to your brand and target market. An abandoned account looks like you may not be in business anymore. Voice actor, LinkedIn expert, and Backstage Expert Tracy Lindley says, “It’s important that your website and LinkedIn profile showcase your best work. Update your portfolio in both places often to reflect what you can offer. Marketing should be an ongoing, daily activity.”
Win quality auditions more frequently as a result of...
...being well-trained. Consistently train with coaches who bring out the best in you. Continue to provide the best reads possible, knowing your strengths and what is expected of you from clients.
...focusing on receiving the best auditions. Consistently engage with national and regional agencies and production houses to be on their rosters for VO auditions; maintain communication with past clients for future opportunities; seek only reputable online auditions with professional rates.
...executing auditions skillfully, consistently. Audition daily if possible. If you’re not booking, continue to train with reputable coaches and teachers who will be honest with your potential for success. Dani States, voice actor, says that in order to book great gigs, “you must have great, reputable training and ongoing coaching so the quality of your auditions from a performance and technical perspective stands out from the crowd.”
Training and marketing with a big dose of professionalism. Simple, but not easy.
Check out Backstage’s voiceover audition listings!
The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.