Trust me…this advice will be of a big help to all voice talent seeing all auditions and websites as one industry. Quite often I receive emails from voice talent letting me know of things other websites do, and comparing Voice123 to others. When I listen to their reasons for comparing, I get concerned. They need to stop comparing P2P casting sites for very human reasons in order to better their chances of finding more work.
Why should talent stop comparing P2P sites? For the following reasons…
Yes, the 1980’s TRON…not the remake. Anyway…If you look at ALL the casting websites out there, the one thing they have in common (that you do not see) is they were created and run by people with a vision as to “how they feel things ought to be”. It reflects in the software customers use. The people behind each business have their own mission as the foundation of everything they do, and quite often they differ so greatly from website to website, that voice talent treating everything as an “auditioning in one industry”, creates the problem of ignoring the very reasons clients are attracted to the website. This “attraction” was set in motion by the beliefs of the people behind the website. The client and voice talent may love the creator’s vision, which makes it more likely for a person to succeed due to the limbic connection. (ie. It is psychological…NOT technological) “The limbic system is associated with a number of functions including the sense of behavior, learning, long-term memory, emotions, and drives.” If you like Voice123, believe it or not, we may have more in common than you realize. I have been here long enough to find out.
Regardless, the term “industry standard” is now just a marketing slogan. The only industry standard is that voice talent must learn what TRON-like program is doing in every casting website. You have to know how to audition on that website, in order to show clients you are ready to work on that website.If you know why Voice123 does what it does…it will make more sense.
Fast food and social media are all the same right? WRONG!
Everyone is always trying to re-invent the wheel. It is part of being an entrepreneur…Do what no one else does. What voice talent must remember is that not all fast food is the same, and neither is social media…and neither are casting websites. You will be happy with one brand over the other for reasons you may never realize. Maybe you hate certain colors, or a brand’s marketing ploy just bothers the heck out of you. You just do not vibe with a website, and what happens. Does that make one comparable, wrong, bad, better, or worse? Not at all.
You have to learn how to communicate using the lingo of the brand. You don’t use hashtags on Facebook if you social market, and you don’t go to McDonalds for onion rings. Voice123 works a certain way that if you tried to audition like you do on other sites or offline in casting offices, using the same tactics, you will find clients reacting differently on each website. You have to change up your style to fit the neighborhood…which by the way…was very true for auditioning offline as well. Auditions at different offices always took on new meaning, depending on who worked there, and the location of the office. Myself, there are certain websites that I just do not understand, so I do not focus on it. If “I don’t get it”, I do not pay attention to it.
For voice talent, defining your own brand is equally important. You want people to say, “There is no one else out there like you.” Trying to be like everyone else is a waste of time. Businesses know this, but that does not mean you cannot learn from something done by another business.
Perceptions and expectations can hurt you. If I walk into a gourmet restaurant and ask for a value mean #2, they will laugh at me or depending on the overly sensitive chef…throw me out. Perceiving and expecting that all sites will offer what the other does, and should change to be like others simply because “you paid to audition”, means you will audition while NOT thinking about:
- What does the voice seeker see?
- Who are these clients anyway?
- Who do I audition against?
- Is my method of working a good fit?
- What kind of tools do they work with when hiring me?
- Is your online profile for the site showing you off, or saying something else?
- Why does this website operate this way?
This is why you should play with websites to get the full knowledge of how they work from A to Z. The answers to the above questions change from website to website. The voice talent experience changes, too. Each website has its own demons. If you are comparing one to the other, you may be making the conscious decision to lose work through your perceptions of what clients want. Myself, I have hired from Voice123 and other sites for this very reason, even if only to pay a little amount of money to find out what happens. It is worth it.
The strongest tree…
Your experience with a website is yours. P2P websites compete to find more jobs for their “ideal website”, but they do not compare to each other because they all offer different ways of getting voice over work. If one works for you, stick to it. You may have a great understanding of the website that helps you, BUT do not let that make you lose work on other websites. There are some websites that have been around forever, and some just starting up. For whatever reason they started…Stay flexible until you know whether or not you want to use it. If you don’t, let the chips fall into place because they will. When it comes to your career…
“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.” – Bruce Lee
The deal is…when you place judgement on a website through a comparison, you limit what you can learn from it.