Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. It’s an expression with which we are all familiar. Did you know that the reverse is also true? As a voice over artist, you have to make sure your eggs (so to speak) are EVERYWHERE! Recently, I’ve started to have the fruits of my labor, pay off in surprising ways for my voiceover career.
You see, when I first started. Everybody I talked to (at least the ones I respected) told me voice-over is a long game. I get that; even wrote a previous blog about it, The Long Game
As a veteran of several different business ventures, I know it takes a long time to prospect, build up a client base, garner enough trust to get referrals from clients, and ultimately have repeat clients. Being a voice actor is no different. It’s a business, at its heart.
So, those early years in my business, I put my name out and sent demos to anyone and anybody that would listen (and often times to people who wouldn’t). Online casting sites, production houses, videogame producers, radio stations, agents to name a few. I worked with several freelance sites, audiobook publishers, elearning companies. I even searched for and placed ads on craigslist.
I had some success right away. Some clients I still work with today. Not everything worked out. I have parted ways with several companies, and casting sites, and added new ones.
Then this month, it finally happened. I was contacted for work from three places I couldn’t even remember submitting my demos to. One was from a production house to whom I sent my demo 2 years ago. I went back through my email and realized they never even answered me! Apparently, however, they kept me in their database, and when this project came up, they sent it to me! The other contact came from a smaller online casting site (no not THAT one). They sent me to jobs that I was already booked on based on my demos. Finally, a friend from Church, and Youth baseball contacted me and asked me to do the voicemail for his company’s integrated voice response system or IVR. I asked this friend, how he even knew I did voice over. His answer, “I think we are connected on Linked In”. Another place I have not only my profile, but clear statements that I’m a professional voice actor, and my website.
For those of you just starting out, this is the holy grail of voice over. Clients reaching out to you for work, not the other way around. Now, these jobs are not going to pay my mortgage this month, or even my latest microphone purchase, but the point is, its a start. I don’t expect this to be the norm from here on out. Any freelancer from any walk of life will tell you that business is a constant roller coaster. There will be highs, and lows, and at times you’ll scream you want to get off.
The point is, you have to constantly be looking for new opportunities for people to hire you for voice work. Whether that be a local phone message, a national commercial, or anything in between. As the saying goes, ABC, always be closing. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, put them in EVERY basket.