But do I really Need it…
As a voice over coach, I get a lot of questions like “Do I really need…” Or, “Oh, you think I should get…” and I am surprised by how surprised my voice over actor students are when I give them the simple answers. Yes, you do in fact need all of these things to successfully launch your voice over business. So, here is a quick check list of sorts to make it easy to know what is essential for you as a voice over actor and small business owner. Without all of these things, your business simple will not go:
Your voiceover website is your virtual storefront. You need to be found. Last week we had Karin Barth from Voice Actor Websites on talking about all that is essential, but you want to bring potential clients and repeat clients to a place where they can hear you and only you. You want them to hear your demos, your booked work if you have it, and be able to contact you easily. Everything else on your website is gravy. If your website does not exist you as a voice actor do not exist. It’s that simple.
If you are a professional voice over actor in 2021, you need to have Source Connect for your home studio. Many agents send auditions that stipulate that the talents must have Source Connect. Moreover, those same agents will not even sign you without the paid version of Source Connect. Telling them you will get it when work comes in is not sufficient because the folks from Source Connect need to map your ports and you cannot do this yourself. Before you pitch yourself to agents, order Source Connect and get your ports mapped!
Pay to Play Memberships
You need a source of auditions. When you are starting out and have no clients, Pay to Play sites like Voice123, Bodalgo, and Cast Voices are a great way to find and book work. These sites are wonderful because they allow you to turn bookings into clients. There are other platforms that prevent interaction between the end user and the voice actor but still charge a premium for voice over actors to use. I prefer these sites as they allow you to build a rapport with the clients and do not interfere with direct interaction between you and the client. While some in the industry may scoff at paying money to build your business, the truth of the matter is that many in casting still want to present their clients with options, so they still prefer to use these platforms. These platforms have been around for a while and you can find some great clients on them. While I advise being selective with which platforms you go on, I also advise using Pay to Plays to get your business going.
Social Media Presence
At this moment in time, if something happened to you in your voice over career, and you didn’t post about it on social media, then basically it never happened. As professional voice over actors, we are only as strong as our last booking. If people don’t know what is going on and that we are working, then we have no “street credit.” There is no one other than you who can create a buzz around you. It’s your business, and you can either shine amongst the stars when you have something to celebrate or keep it quiet and wilt in the dark of your studio. Between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can find the platform where you feel most comfortable and most relevant, but you need to put yourself out there. Much like your website, if no one knows you exist, you don’t.
Voice over is an unusual business. Anyone we meet could be a potential client. We are not just cast be casting directors and video producers. Often and accountant or a lawyer that we meet at a dinner party is just as likely to need us for their phone system as a talent agent it. Essentially anyone we meet who has a business can become a client. Believe it or not, other voice actors should be treated as potential clients as the more entrenched you are in the industry, the more we all refer other work to each other. So, make things simple. Have a business card on hand at all times. You never know when someone will be thrilled to meet you and will want to get in touch later. Your business card should include: your name, your best phone number, your email, your website, perhaps your Source Connect info, and perhaps the genres of voice over that you work in.