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nycrockprincess
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:34 am    Post subject: NYC Reply with quote

Smile

Hey all,
I am a newbie to voiceovers. I've been coached well in the trade and I am looking to start my career Ninja look out!

I've got a good home studio that I can use. Voice 123 is not bad. It has its up ad downs... I have been to some seminars at Actors Connection for Abrahms and such. I have sent a massive mailing of my awesome demo to agencies. Some took a bite and called me in. Now I am freelancing with Stuart Talent. I keep in touch with them but not really getting a reponse.

I am starting to work on my own material that I have done in my stand-up routine and I hope to make a book narration to sell. I also am making a commercial. I will be attending the gathering at Butterfield 8. Looking forward to that. HOWEVER, anyone know of any managers, sound engineers that are looking to build their library, animation companies and gaming companies that may want a voice for free to begin with? Then building a good relationship to start charging for my work. Ya know, just a good place to start marketing and rooting one's self in the field. Legit people to work with and nobody with empty promises within NYC.

Best,
Kerry
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Deirdre
Czarina Emeritus


Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 12876
Location: East Jesus, Maine

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, Dear.

I don't think you're going to get many recommendations for "free work" here.

Keep your eye on Craig's List.
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CarynClark
MMD


Joined: 28 Feb 2007
Posts: 2692
Location: Fort Myers, FL

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kerry,

Welcome! You'll find loads of great info and conversations in the archives about this particular topic.

Giving away your services is not the way to go. All of us who are freelance in this industry work very hard to maintain decent and fair rates, and so when someone gives away their services, it doesn't set a good precedent.

Please don't do it.

Caryn
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"A positive mental attitude and having faith in your ability is quite different from being irresponsible and downright stupid." - Dave
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nycrockprincess
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, sorry. Like I said I am new. I am trying to break into the business. I Do want to become a working voice actress. I do want to charge for my services or just charge. I eventually want full career. I am really lost as to where to start... I've read some books saying that it was good to do for free is the way to go for a newbie. I am good. Being a skilled and talented voice actress, what does anyone suggest that I do in NYC? Done the mailings and Actors Connection. mentioned before i am writing my own work so I can put something out there. My classmates do not suggest much. What is the best legitimate way to market yourself in NYC?

Like, I said I am green and puppy dog that is wet behind the ears.
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CarynClark
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Joined: 28 Feb 2007
Posts: 2692
Location: Fort Myers, FL

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you give away the milk for free, they won't buy the cow.

It's one thing to do something for free if it's for a cause or charity so that you get practice... it's another altogether to market yourself that way. If you start with free rates, first of all, it's not likely you'll be taken seriously, and secondly, you're never going to be able to "raise the rate later."

Let's see if we can give you a little guidance.

I don't want to assume anything here. First things first. Do you have well-produced one minute commercial demo?

Places like V123 and voices.com are good places to start (so long as you don't give away the milk for free and you quote rates that are decent) to build your resume. You really need to have some work under your belt before you approach agents.
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"A positive mental attitude and having faith in your ability is quite different from being irresponsible and downright stupid." - Dave
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nycrockprincess
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Caryn,
Yes. Guidance. I do have a great 1 minute demo. Well produced.
Voice 123 (I will update shortly) and guru.com.

I am bit short on cash at the moment for joining the services at the moment. So I am looking for other ways to make my business flourish.

I thought about an agent or even a manager here in nyc. Many other actors in the field have expressed that I am talented and should be working.

I am going to put a myspace as well.

Totally understand not knowing anything about my work at all or not judging anything of mine.

Thank you for your response and guidance.

Kerry
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Mandy Nelson
MMD


Joined: 07 Aug 2008
Posts: 2752
Location: Wicked Mainah

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Networking, networking, networking. It doesn't cost much (biz cards and a website) and can have great returns. There are lots of VO areas out there so you should decide where you want to spread your wings first. If it's narration then look to network in that genre, if it's audio books, same thing.

The majority of my vo is telephony work. I take advantage of women's events in the area and corporate mixers and whatnot. I hand out tons of cards wherever I am, even at basketball games. This method has netted me large and small jobs and some repeat jobs.

Good luck! I know how hard it is to take the plunge and go for it. Keep your head up and be sure to read everything you can around here!

Cheers,
~mandy
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Manfillappsoc: The Mandy and Philip mutual appreciation Society. Who's in your network?

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Frank F
Fat, Old, and Sassy


Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 4144
Location: Park City, Utah

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New York City (said with a Texas drawl)? You are in one of the premier markets for talent of any kind, so finding work should not be a consideration. What should be within your eyesight right now is the focus on how you "market" yourself and allow those who hire VO know you are available.

So add to the "Networking, Networking, Networking" concept as mentioned by Mandy these fine words: Marketing, Marketing, Marketing.

There is a plethora of advertising agencies, radio and television producers, multimedia companies, etc. within your reach. Your job is to find ways to reach-out and touch someone with your sound for their project.

As Caryn mentioned: "If you give away the milk for free, they won't buy the cow." Here in the world of VO, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Be fair to your client and yourself, don't give away your skills and talents for nothing.

I have heard the comments regarding "giving away your skills at first to get a start". I do not know who or why someone fostered such an inane perception, but whoever placed this hooey in the minds of talent should be hung by their vocal chords. Ask yourself this question: Would a Dr. give away his/her advice and skills because he MIGHT get some work? Now apply your training and time invested to those of the Dr. in question, I believe you may have a different viewpoint on the concept of giving away your talents.

Toodles

F2
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Bailey
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Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 4336
Location: Lake San Marcos... north of Connie, northwest of the Best.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the VO-BB.
Kerry... I echo the comments from above. Free usually works out fine before someone says, "Hey, you sound great!". That is the point when you should clam-up and put a price tag on your voice.
Did you say that you are on V123? Feel free to share your demo in the Critique column of the VO-BB.
Smile
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"Bailey"
a.k.a. Jim Sutton
Retired... Every day is Saturday, except Sunday.
VO-BB Member #00044 W00T
AOVA Graduate 02/2004 ;
"Be a Voice, not an Echo."Ninja
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 10226
Location: UK Portgordon, Scotland

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a general rule of thumb "real people" don't hire voice over artists and don't know anyone who hire them either. Even the bosses of large organisations don't hire, don't know and probably don't care about pro voices.

The next time a great voice over says you have a great voice and your demo is great and you have a great career ahead of you, say thank you and then ask for the name and number of one person who they know who may hire you at some point in the future. When a pro voice is in front of the mic, talk is expensive but as is true of most people in every other situation, talk is cheap. You need to get your name, your voice and your contact details in front of at least 100 decision makers before anything starts to move in your career.

What you need is prospects. Below is a cut n paste of some thoughts I posted elsewhere.

What is a prospect? It's a potential buyer of your services. So is that any business person? No, not really. You have to spend a little time qualifying your prospects before you approach them and that means before you ask the person who runs the business if he uses freelance Voice Over people you must be as sure as possible the answer is going to be yes.

A few weeks ago I conducted an experiment. Sunday morning I surfed the internet looking for a particular kind of business and sent an email suggesting that if they ever needed a voice like mine feel free to get in touch. I added that my email was a one-off and assured recipients they would not be added to a mailing list and would not contact them again unless they requested that I do so.

1 - Clearly identifed prospects.
2 - No sell, just a clear, polite suggestion
3 - END

It took me about an hour to conduct this experiment and it resulted in me being booked as the voice for an awards ceremony for a 4 figure fee. I know people who send newsletters and emails by the thousand and get very little back. I sent out 21 emails and got a booking and a few expressions of interest, my guess is that the end result will be 7 jobs.

I approach prospects most people approach suspects and suspects are no use to you at all.

Some may say to this that their agent does all this kind of stuff. Here's a question for you agent the next time you speak to him or her in person or on the phone.

"Who have you told about me since we last talked?" Most of you will get the answer - NOBODY! If that's the case then your agent doesn't take care of talking to prospects about you so that means I'll have to do it or you will ..............Guess it's up to you.

Philip, how did you get started?" asked Jim. I told him and assumed that what I believed to be obvious would be obvious to him. Oh how wrong was I.

Get list of people and telephone them to ask if they use the services of freelance Voice Overs. Sound ok? I thought so except Jim simply got a list of local businesses and called them. WRONG. Before you make the call you need to be 90% certain that the person you are calling is going to answer yes to the question.

The trick, if there is a trick, is to spend more time digging for prospects than calling people. Right, let's start project 100. You need 100 names and telephone numbers. What do you want to do? For whom would you like to work. You are able to do long form audio like elearning? Ok, type elearning production into a search engine. Visit the websites and look aorund, it will take time. Is there any evidence to support your theory that this company uses voices? Prove to yourself that they may find a use for you -PROVE do not guess. In the contacts or "about us" section is there a name - Joe Smith Head of production or Audio Producer - DIG DIG DIG. The more you do this the more your investigative instincts improve. From every search you need a company, tel No and contact name.

Unless you have no alternative DO NOT EMAIL - YOU MUST TELEPHONE.

"Hello my name's Philip Banks and I'm calling to ask if you ever use freelance voice overs"

If you've done your homework you will get a yes. If not offered a name, ask for one, the one you already know and ask if you can speak to them for a moment.

"Hello my name's Philip Banks and I'm calling to ask if you ever use freelance voice overs"

Assuming the answer is yes.

"Would it be ok for me to send you a demo? (before they say anything) You're allowed to say no by the way"

In 18 years I have had one person say no to me.

"That's great I'll send you one today. Thanks very much"

If you are asked for a link to demos on a web site do that instead of a demo CD.

Here's is the BIGGIE - NEVER EVER EVER ASK FOR FEEDBACK

If you are tempted to ask for feedback

NEVER EVER EVER ASK FOR FEEDBACK

To be certain you have fully understood - NEVER EVER EVER ASK FOR FEEDBACK

You are looking for work not a critique.

Prospecting is the key. No selling required. If you have been thorough in your search for names and numbers and your demos are good enough you will get work.

As a way of finishing this piece here's the story of a job I managed to secure over ten years ago.

I read in a newspaper that Pilots and crew of a new helicopter were going to be trained using CBT, Computer based training. On noting the name of the company I saw they were about 5 miles from me. I visited the office armed with an audio cassette.

"If you have any projects that require a professional voice please get in touch". Note that I didn't tell them what I knew.

As it turned out the CBT was going to be 45 hours with 38 hours of speech content. Over an 18 month period that one job earned me around $25,000.

Any specific questions about prospecting, feel free to ask.

Want a demo evaluation? Pay Nancy Wolfson to give you one as it'll be money well spent.
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"He mobilised the English language and sent it into battle"
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ConnieTerwilliger
Triple G


Joined: 07 Dec 2004
Posts: 3240
Location: San Diego - serving the world

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahhhh - take a deep breath - and then read it again...
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Frank F
Fat, Old, and Sassy


Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 4144
Location: Park City, Utah

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, well said Banksey.

Summing it up in simpler terms Pro's and beginners alike need:

A) Prospects - defined as potential buyers of your services.

B) If you MUST send email; make the text "short and sweet" by following this script:

1 - Clearly define the Prospects before emailing.
2 - Use the "No Sell" approach, just offer a clear, polite suggestion to use your services.
3 - END

Next, use Project 100.

a) You need 100 names and telephone numbers of PROVEN prospects. Define your niche' and define the prospect first.

b) Make friends with the telephone; DO NOT USE EMAIL.

c) This is MOST important to remember and accept in your marketing plan (courtesy of Banksey):

"Here's is the BIGGIE -
NEVER EVER EVER ASK FOR FEEDBACK

If you are tempted to ask for feedback

NEVER EVER EVER ASK FOR FEEDBACK


To be certain you have fully understood - NEVER EVER EVER ASK FOR FEEDBACK

You are looking for work not a critique."

That about sums up the use of Prospecting for VO leads.

I might add only one little item: Use my patented LoveNotes 30 Day Marketing Plan when prospecting. Prospect by making FIVE phone calls each day for 30 days. When you have completed the 30 day plan, start over for 11 more months.

The reason for just FIVE phone calls each day - no one should be required to take more rejection than five cold call comments each day. Also, it should require less than 30 minutes of your day to complete the task.

Bye the end of just one year of five cold calls each day you will have contacted more than 1,000 prospects. What are your odds of getting a gig out of that many calls?

Toodles

F2
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ChrisMezzolesta
Club 300


Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 367
Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely amazing and a testament to these folks that so much VALUABLE insight and advice is being given FOR FREE. So much to be taken away from these posts. You guys rock yea verily.
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Lee Gordon
A Zillion


Joined: 25 Jul 2008
Posts: 6463
Location: West Hartford, CT

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've tried calling prospective clients and saying. "Hello my name's Philip Banks and I'm calling to ask if you ever use freelance voice overs" but they just say, "No, you're not," and hang up. Gasp
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LindZ
Contributor


Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 35
Location: New York

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lee Gordon wrote:
I've tried calling prospective clients and saying. "Hello my name's Philip Banks and I'm calling to ask if you ever use freelance voice overs" but they just say, "No, you're not," and hang up. Gasp


BWAAHH!!!!! I think I would probably get the same reaction.


There is definitely some great advice here. I'm going to be saving a lot of this for future reference.
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I have a sketchbook, and I know how to use it!
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