Thursday, January 21, 2021

"Where can I find voice over work?"

 If you're not in the booth recording, you should be marketing or looking for work. You say, "Easier said than done, John."  Well, it sure is a lot easier to search for voice over jobs today than it was years ago for one simple reason. The Internet.

I tend to get hired to do corporate video narrations or e Learning projects. So, going to a search engine such as Google and inputting "Corporate video production" should bring up many production companies who may have need for voice over. On the home page you will often see an "About" heading which may well contain the name of the founder,production director, or man/woman in charge. I use email marketing a lot. I know social media can be great for marketing efforts and getting the word out that you exist, but I have found emailing directly to still be effective. You want to get a first name of someone at the company so you can include that in your greeting. I just sent out some emails to corporate video companies and one man got back to me and said he read my email because, unlike spammers, I actually referred to him by his first name. He said those without his name get deleted. Always try to personalize the email with his/her first name! And make your email very brief. There may be a temptation to go on and on about what a wonderful voice over talent you are, but opt for brevity. The people you'll be contacting are more than likely busy and have very limited time (as in seconds) to read your email. 

I have actually had folks email me back the same day I sent out my marketing email and say "Good timing. We're working on a job that's going to need voice over." You can then offer to record a short audio sample using a bit of their copy. A sort of audition. Sometimes you'll send out marketing emails and you won't hear a thing right away. I always say email marketing is like planting seeds. It may take a while for them to sprout. And the subject line of the email is very important. Experiment with different ones. I have a variety I use. I built my voice over business around good voice over and fast turnaround. I often use "Same day voice overs" in the subject line. Your subject line matters- a lot. Your goal is to get the email opened and read.

As creatives, our joy comes from hopping in the booth and recording voice overs and then getting paid to do something we love. But you must learn to wear a lot of hats in this business. If you hate marketing, consider hiring someone competent to help you. Without consistent marketing, your voice over business may well die on the vine no matter how talented you are. There are many other ways to market your voice over business beyond emailing. But it's still an effective way to get new business. And inexpensive.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

"How much for that Wienerschnitzel kraut hot dog?!!! "

Working from my home voice over studio and not being a cook (I gladly ditched the cooking utensils a few years ago), I often use the Uber Eats phone app to bring me food when I get busy. I'm generally pleased with the on time delivery and it is lighter fare-hamburgers/hot dogs, pizza, Chinese soups, chicken and so forth. Most of it fast food, and no doubt, not particularly healthy. But it is very convenient.

Recently, I got a bit of a shock when I opened up the Uber Eats app on my phone to order one of my favorite and very simple foods- a kraut hot dog. I was working on a large e Learning narration project with a quick turnaround, and did not have the time to go to Wienerschnitzel to get it. Much to my surprise, for this very simple order, Uber Eats would be charging me over $11.  If you use Uber Eats, you're being hit with fee after fee . Service fee, small order fee (If your order is under $15 total, that's another $3 tacked on.) Tax, delivery fee, and here in California, they've recently added a California  Drivers Benefits fee ("This helps cover benefits like health insurance and guaranteed earnings for delivery people in your area.") Or so Uber says. And because I like the drivers who are getting their side hustle on to make some extra money, I would be tipping the driver who brings me the food. Anyway, that simple kraut dog with a very regular bun will cost you over $12 (including tip) through Uber Eats.  I get that you're going to pay for the convenience of delivery, but somehow paying $12 or more for a kraut dog with no extras other than the kraut on it is a "no go" for me. 

Just out of curiosity, I went to an online forum and many are talking about the very large price increases  the home food delivery companies are charging. Uber Eats leads the pack. Undoubtedly, prices have risen substantially due to many folks staying inside at home as a result of the pandemic and ordering food in. I guess it all boils down to whether or not you're going to pay for all those extra add on fees to satisfy your appetite.

Another industry that absolutely kills with fees is banking. But you already knew that. Just look at your monthly statement. They charge you to sneeze.