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Confused talent

This is one of those blog posts that’s just not that fun to write and I wish I didn’t have to. We talk a lot about how to market yourself as a voice actor using Voice123 as one of your best tools. Today, I must talk about how NOT to market your voice acting business due to some people in our industry resorting to unscrupulous tactics. I thought these were isolated incidents, but they seem to be on the rise.

Recently, we’ve had several very angry clients contact us about voice actors who have sent them auditions outside of the Voice123 platform using information they were able to gather from the job posting. Why are they angry? Many of the people who post projects on Voice123 are not actually the end client. They are casting directors, production studios, agencies, etc. working on behalf of THEIR client. So, when an end client is contacted directly by a voice actor about a project, it not only diminishes the trust level between us, our website and our clients, but now, our client has an angry client on their hands as well! This is the text of an email I was sent from a voice seeker (with contact info removed of course):

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: “VOICE SEEKER” <>
To: “VOICE123″ <>
Subject: Fw: Please FORWARD to XXX Agency

Thought you’d like to know that this happened.

Assume this guy got a copy of script as you guys were prepping for yesterday.
Pretty ballsy to come after us this way.

I will not respond to him

XXX
VP Marketing

 

—– Forwarded by —–

From:        “VOICE ACTOR” <>
To:        <GENERIC CORPORATE EMAIL ADDRESS FOUND VIA GOOGLE> 
Date:        07/17/2013 01:39 PM
Subject:        Please FORWARD to XXX Agency


Hi, I’m a big fan of your products.
I am also a Nationally known Voice Actor and I would love to be the Voice for the new XXX “XXX” commercial.
 
Please FORWARD this AUDITION (in attachment) to your Advertising Agency putting together the new XXX commercial.
 
I will also be glad to do any needed revisions or retakes at no extra charge for timing or just to get it perfect and make it SELL. I can also offer quick turn a round.
 
Thanks,
CONTACT INFO

This voice actor actually contacted the corporate office of this company and asked them to forward it to their advertising agency. Obviously, this voice actor is not a premium member of Voice123 or he could have just sent them an audition through the website and possibly booked this job. Instead, he has cost himself any chance he had of working with this company or this advertising agency ever. This client was very understanding compared to some others we’ve been in touch with.

To be clear, we actually encourage direct contact with your voice over clients, BUT only if they contact you first! You should always put all of your contact information in the “remarks” section when submitting an audition so if the client does want to get in touch with you, it’s very easy for you them to do so. In order to understand why we take this issue seriously, it’s important to understand the client’s perspective.

Why do clients use Voice123?

Voice123 allows voice seekers to get auditions from the world’s top talents all in one place. Our audition inbox allows them to stay organized and easily share auditions with collaborators. They trust us (and our voice actors) to keep their information confidential. Voice123 is a powerful casting tool for clients around the world and, along with the help of our amazing team of voice actors like you, we’ve worked hard to make it the best it can be.

Why do voice actors need to pay for a premium membership?

The annual subscription fee we charge to voice actors to be listed in our search feature and be invited to audition for projects is the only way we make money. We do not charge fees or commissions of any kind (to do so is illegal) and we do not sell advertising. Your subscription fee goes to cover costs of keeping the website up and running, providing customer support, legal fees, operational costs, marketing,etc. We must constantly keep bringing in more and more clients in order to get our members more work.

I understand that voice over is a competitive field but there are many ways to market yourself. Past posts on this blog include tips for running a successful voice over business with plenty of marketing advice on things like search engine optimization (SEO) for your personal website, buying ads on Google and other sites, social media marketing and more. Don’t result to tactics that not only damage your own reputation, but the reputation of voice actors as a whole.

photo credit: kurichan+ via photopin cc