Become a Voice Over Professional
How to get return voiceover jobs.
So we’ve been providing voice over services now for coming up to 5 years here at The Voice Market. In that time, we’ve noticed all the things voices do that are great and not so great. Based on these observations and client feedback over the years, we thought we’d compile a little list of the little things you can do that seem to get voices re-hired and preferred by our clients.
In essence, I suppose it all comes down to one key thought, Be Professional!
What does that mean in the online voice world? If you’re in the position of going into directed sessions – some or all of the below probably means even more, as you can’t hide a lot of the issues when you’re there in person.
Of course “Professional” is made up of many variables. There are many elements that the “in-demand” voices seem to do as a matter of course. They seem to get it. They know what a client would value and provide it on a consistent basis.
So what are these Key Ingredients?
And how will they help you GET MORE VOICE WORK?
We’ve put a few below for your consideration….
HOW TO BE A VOICE PROFESSIONAL.
- Follow directions closely. Ensure you read any directions given for each read … and do them. Read to TIME. Read the words in the manner requested. Check pronunciation (don’t guess), provide alternative options if necessary to cover base. As in any service industry – we need to provide what the client has requested to the best of our abilities.
- Provide a superior product. Make sure you can provide a Broadcast Quality product. Make sure the words are ALL correct. Check your recording levels. Cut out all the burps and grumbles, errors and stuff ups. Tidy your voice over. Get things voiced and returned to the client promptly… !
- Be nice to work with. That’s pretty much self-explanatory. Don’t be a pain in the proverbial. If you’re asked for help to fix a misread, do it with a smile… no need to convey your frustrations. Be someone people enjoy working with and are happy to return to. I know of some brilliant voice talent who just get no work at all – all because they aren’t pleasant to have in a studio. Their negative vibes aren’t in demand.
- Provide multiple takes. Don’t just “go through the motions” and provide the minimum required. Super-serve your client. Do a few reads through and vary them. There’s no point in doing 3 identical takes. You’re a professional voice – so provide options on “appropriate” inflections and delivery styles. Keeping the direction provided in mind.
- Cover options. Check pronunciations when unsure. Do they need you to say “dollars” or not? Is that website to be SPELT out or said as a complete WORD? If it’s not clear or you’re not completely confident… offer alternative versions. Adding them as pick-ups at the end of a read would be of great value and save you time and effort in redoing things.
- Don’t make comments or value judgements mid recording. Let’s face it, most scripts aren’t classic pieces of literature and we don’t always find them the easiest things to read through. I’ve received voice projects in the past with snide comments, rude rumblings and the odd cursing comment on the writer’s intellectual capacity through the file. Just DON’T! Think it if you must… but cut it out of the finished product if you have to mutter your frustrations to yourself. Also – make sure you don’t bring this negativity to your read. Be a professional.
- Do your best. Realise when you can’t provide the right product. Be upfront. Be honest and let the client know you may not be suitable. Can you suggest an alternative option… a fellow voice talent you can vouch for? Paying things forward seems to pay off nicely for all concerned.
- Care! About your product, your reputation and your future prospects. Enough said… !
So there you have it. Just a few rambling ideas we see as defining a professional voice over talent in the online world. Following such suggestions should provide you the best opportunity to get consistent voice work in the current climate. We hope it gives you some food for thought and helps you to progress further along the voice over journey towards your voicing goals.