Dangerous ways to think as a Voice123 talent

Posted on November 19, 2012 by

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We catch lots of tweets, posts, and other website content from those just starting out in voice overs. Voice123 realizes there may be the assumption that “being paid to talk” is all that takes place, and for as long as the voice over industry has existed, it has been easy to think this way. Perhaps, the simplicity of mouse clicking and audio technology upgrades made that easier. BUT…

If you ever find yourself thinking the way described below…

“I figure if I go online, I can maybe get some small voice over work to get some practice in”

  • Dangerous thinking reason: Do not expect clients to be your ‘crash test dummies’. Voice over work is a skill that has to be learned, before application of the skill. Think about it…Did your last car mechanic tell you, “I never fixed a car before, but I figure I could practice on yours, and if you like it you can pay me.”?  The people who post jobs have jobs, too, so they wont touch you if you look like you will be high maintenance. I hate saying things like this, but rookie mistakes are obnoxious. They are not cute. I have always seen people be cute enough to get away with things, but that is a personality trait to the individual, not something you should rely on. Get past these mistakes as best you can, before the job interview ie. audition.

“I create a Voice123 profile. If I tweet this enough, I will get work.”

  • Dangerous thinking reason: Working online means working smarter, not harder. If tweeting your profile a million times would turn into work, more people would do it. Right now, most who tweet their profiles and ask to be hired…never get hired. There is no simple answer to online marketing. It is complex, takes work, and there is no 100% free way to start a career.

“My stats look impressive. I should be booking more work.”

  • Dangerous thinking reason: Stats have nothing to do with you getting work, in the moment. If I gave you my golf clubs and told you to go play 18-holes of golf, you would keep score and find out, “Hmmm…Maybe I need lessons. I am not good.”…and that’s not happening with score keeping on Voice123. There is a human element at play. If I gave you the best audio equipment and you auditioned 1000 times, and never booked work, but people seemed to rank you or prefer you…All you found out was that you are not sealing the deal for some unknown reason aka. the subjective nature of the voice over industry. It would be fun to think you can take a voice over industry, and make it 100% data-driven like a good 21st-century business should, but you have forgotten the key elements that numbers are the results of actions and thoughts behind human beings. They only take you so far. Yet, do you fully understand what your customer wants, beyond what you think they want?
  • If work is not happening, the people from the other side of the website are not digging your voice, the way you communicate on Voice123, or what choices you choose to make. There is NO ONE who can help you discover how to be a better voice talent, other than you, through exhaustive trial and error. Stats are results of what happened; not what “will be”. They indicate you did something a certain amount of times. If you know the entertainment industry well enough, you know there are no absolutes. If there was, more people would be voice talent.
  • The only impressive stat you should be concerned with is, “Am I making money from my efforts?”. You can use stats you see on the site to figure out a booking ratio, and time spent, because you see your audition history. There is no stat on Voice123 that indicates you will book work. It’s impossible to predict.

Why have stats you wonder? Because that is what websites do, and they do “tell a story”. I can look at a profile and make connections between stats, only to confirm things I already knew, just by listening and looking to see how a person works online. This is an age where most believe everything is data-driven. With any limited amount of data, you can prove anything to be true or false. Some ask us, “How much work do people book on average?”… I do not like that question because “consistency” does not belong in the entertainment industry, and “averages” have nothing to do with how much work an individual will book on their own. This is a business where people create lots of things that no one really needs. You are in the business of “inventing want” through your voice.

Why is it dangerous to think these ways? Technology aside, you are still working with human beings.