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Find Voiceover work without the online casting sites.


Finding VO work isn't a mystery. And you don't have to use the online casting sites that pay horrible rates. Let's talk about how you can build your portfolio of clients and make great money doing it.


Find Voiceover work without the online casting sites - 11:09

Today's episode of The Gift of Gab is very specifically from my Generation Z and my Alpha babies. I'm talking directly to you, and we're going to talk about the old days a little bit, but we're also going to talk about today. Stick around.


Alright, my darlings. So, back in the late 1900s... kind of cracks me up that that's the terminology being used, but hey, all good, right? I was part of a generation of voice actors that had to do things very old school. When we were starting our businesses and we were looking for clients, we had to use this Old School horrific thing called a phone book. You don't want to know. You don't. You just ask... well, I don't know, ask your grandparents, ask your parents maybe, but you really... you don't want to know. We also had to use a lot of word of mouth and, to be very frank, finding people in places that hired voice actors was a monumental feat, as was a lot of sales back in the day. Fast forward, man, you guys have all the tools and all the tech, and we love it, right? It's amazing. But, what are we looking for? How are we doing this?


Okay, I get this question all the damn time. "How do I find voiceover work, Gabby? Where are the clients? How do I find them?" There's loads of people on the web telling you all about all of these different pay-to-play and gig economy type sites as ways to find voiceover work. I don't like any of those. It's not that I think that there's anything inherently wrong with them, it's that in my experience the rates are terrible. Many, many fledgling voice actors who are experimenting with those websites are getting paid really, really lousy rates to do something that others in the industry are doing for a lot more money. So, I would rather teach you how to skip all that garbage and skip all of those entry-level ways in and fast forward right to, "How do I make some real money?"


The number one thing that I want you to do if you are looking for voiceover work right now is go to Google and do searches for advertising agencies. Okay, ad agencies are what I like to consider to be the OGs of content creation, right? Back in the day, they were it. Okay, now everybody's a content creator, but way back when, ad agencies were the originals. They were the ones who were responsible for marketing, for branding, for getting messages out there, for creating campaigns for companies. And guess what? They still are. They have evolved with the times, and agencies, I mean, first of all, ad agencies, right, have always been very hip. They've always been very cutting edge. It's kind of why people hire them in the first place. They're innovators.


Ad agencies make up one of the largest buying groups for voiceover actors. They always have, and quite frankly, as long as there's advertising, they always will. You can do a couple of things. You can start geographically. You can start with your city, town, state. You can start with a region. You can start with an area outside of where you live. It really doesn't matter, but try to come up with something that's kind of organized, right, so that you feel like you're able to keep track of what cities or what places you've looked at. And basically, in searching for advertising agencies, you're looking to do a couple of things.

One, research who do they service and what kinds of advertising do they specialize in. Obviously, for voiceover, they have to have a component of what they do that specializes in audio and video. If they do not, like let's say they're an ad agency that's strictly for print media or strictly for outdoor advertising, i.e., billboards, that's not going to do you any good. So, make certain they cover the kinds of clientele that have value to you. Next up, you're going to, in their inevitable directory of employees, because many of them have them, you're going to look for a number of people.


You're going to look for anyone with a producer title. You're going to look for anyone with a creative director title. You are going to look for copywriters, and you are going to look for anyone who has a position, again, directly related to audio and video. And you can either email these folks directly, or you can fill out their company website "meet us" kind of thing, whatever form they have set up on their contact page. What you are looking to do is find out if they hire voice actors, right? Inquire as to who you would submit your demo and your materials to for consideration and what other sources they might use for casting.


Now, Gabby, what the hell do you mean by that? Well, it's pretty simple. Some ad agencies do not have an internal department for audio and video, so they farm it out. And they farm it out to either an audio studio, a video studio, or a combination of both, which is often just called a creative services company, content creators, again, same thing. And by asking that question, you're prolonging or really avoiding a no, because if you just ask, "Hey, do you guys cast for voice actors?" and they say no, the conversation stops, right? It's like, "Okay, now what? Okay, thank you," and you move on. And instead, if you ask the follow-up question, "Who do you use for those kinds of jobs?" you're going to get your next lead. And that, my friends, that is sales gold. That is what we're all about, right? The next lead. What you're hoping for is that they're going to give you contact information or at least the basics to go find that company. "Oh, we use so-and-so in town," or "We use this studio," or "We use these people." Fantastic, thank you so much. And then you go contact them and you say, "Hey, I just spoke to so and so over at such and such agency. They mentioned that you guys work together and that you do all of their voiceover casting. I'd like to know how I can work with you guys," and the conversation continues from there.


This is, in my opinion, the best way to start building up a portfolio, to start making real relationships in the industry, right? The gig sites, that's one of the biggest problems. You don't really always have access to the end user. You don't really always have an opportunity to speak to an actual person directly. It's all through whatever platform it's on. So, this puts you in control and allows you to be able to start talking to those people very, very directly and learning what works, learning what doesn't work, making tweaks to your language, to your presentation, to your emails, to the way you approach them, until you find a rhythm that works for you and that works for your business.

Ad agencies, they are the key, and I will always stand by this. Now, when you're a little bit more experienced in that realm, one of the things you can start to do is also contact corporations directly, companies that are large enough that they may have their own internal marketing and branding department and subsequently their own sort of mini internal ad agency. Those are also exceptional sources of work, but they're singular, right? You'd only be getting an opportunity with that one company when and if it comes around. By approaching ad agencies and getting into their roster of talent or getting on their radar, you open yourself up to lots of campaigns and lots of possibilities and lots of different clientele that they're working with. And that's why they're so, so valuable to what we do. It is how so many voice actors got their start, and I do believe it is a model that not only still works but that has the ability to take you from wherever you are now to the next logical step and plateau in your voiceover career, especially monetarily.

Get ye to Google. Right? We use it for everything else anyway. And start researching. Start doing your homework on ad agencies and then start reaching out. All you need is a demo. Now, that's the key. You've got to have a stellar demo to present to them. If you don't have a great demo, well, check out Gabrielmso.org and planning, at the very least, you can learn through some of my other materials, some of the best practices for demos and the things to avoid. This video here will definitely help. Thanks so much, guys. See you next time.


Gabrielle Nistico, Gabby Nistico, The Voiceover Vixen, The Business First VO Coach, #VoiceoverVixen #VoiceOnFire #BusinessFirstVOCoach Voiceover, Charlotte, North Carolina, Voiceover Demo, Voiceover Coaching Advice, Working Actors, Los Angeles, New York, advertising agency, building relationships, make money in voiceover

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