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Thinking about voice overWe write a lot about how to book voice over work on Voice123┬ábut I think the most helpful info comes straight from our voice seekers. In my opinion, the most important thing you can do as a voice actor is to understand the entire process from the client’s point of view — from writing a script, to searching for talent, to hiring, getting revisions, making payments, all the way to completion of the project. This is an email from a voice seeker that posts A LOT of projects on Voice123:

Dear Voice123,

We use your site quite a lot and last week alone we hired 6 people off your site for radio commercials. But it is getting more and more frustrating to go through your database. Our job is to match voices with characters. And if I choose young adult male and 90 percent of the results are man and women over the age of 50 it is bad. Somebody has to tell your voice talent that it is not OK to have your voice listed under Spanish language if you know someone who speaks Spanish.

And there is another issue. I listen to large amounts of samples to find a perfect match. Please let your voice talent know, that most producers or ad agencies give a talent 3-5 seconds. If i hear music, a heavy processed commercial or a different voice slating the name of a voice talent, i’m already clicking on the next sample. If the first take is not their normal speaking voice, they are out because I need to hear a talents real voice and if i like that, i want to hear more.

Let’s break down all the advice given in this email into things you can do right now to ensure voice seekers aren’t passing you up.

Don’t list voices that you can’t do or categories your voice doesn’t fit

One of the biggest challenges a voice actor faces is knowing their own voice. Like this voice seeker points out, if a client searches for “Young Adult” voices, they are looking for voices that sound young! In my experience, many clients say that “Young Adult” is under age 35. If you’re unsure of where your voice falls in the age range, just ask! Find a trusted colleague, or better yet, a voice over coach, to help you figure out where you fit. You can even post a demo in our Feedback Forum to ask the Voice123 community what they think! If your audio samples don’t match the info the voice seeker entered, they are just going to get frustrated with you and move on to the next talent.

Don’t list languages you don’t speak fluently

This voice seeker mentions a person who listed Spanish as a language they speak, but then says that they only know someone who does! From the client’s point of view you have just wasted their time and they are not going to hire you for this, or any other project. If you list multiple languages on your profile, please upload a demo representing them so the client can easily hear your ability.

Your demo has to make a good impression in the first 3 seconds

This client says he gives a demo 3 to 5 seconds to impress him. If you have lots of music, sound effects, heavy compression, or a long slate, he’s moving on. As someone who has cast many voice over projects, I can definitely tell you this is true for most voice seekers. Let clients hear your true voice right away. If it’s listed as a commercial demo, make sure that’s what you present! If you list it as a character demo, I suggest starting with your real, natural voice first, very quickly announcing that this is a character demo, then starting with the characters.

Put yourself in a potential client’s shoes

You can have the greatest voice in the world, but if you are not showcasing it in an easy and truthful way to potential clients, you will not book voice over work, period.

Imagine you are a video producer with a last minute client breathing down your neck. They have a tight deadline for you and are very picky about the voice they want for their new video. You do a search on Voice123.com and begin listening to demos. Now, imagine it is your profile they click on.

  • Does your demo showcase your natural voice?
  • Is your demo free of music, sound effects, and compression?
  • Does your demo have a very short, simple slate?
  • Is your profile complete and accurate?
  • Does your voice fit the age range you have selected?

The power of the internet means that potential clients have lots of choices when it comes to choosing a voice actor. You should ensure you are doing everything you can to make yourself hirable!

Honestly, based on your current profile and demos, would you hire you?