4 Reasons Why Voice Actors Lose Clients

The fact is, the voice over industry is continually evolving. So if you don't evolve along with it, YOU'LL LOSE CLIENTS.

Voice actors continually ask for our help. They say, "I'm getting less work than I used to." We ask why. Either they're not sure, or they guess it's because they've been battling allergies, their clients must have wanted a new voice, there must be more competition, their demo may be getting old, a new agent opened up in town, and so on.

There are four reasons why voice actors start losing work. Read the sections that pertain to you.

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Vocal Delivery: ARE YOU NO LONGER TRAINING?

Story: A while ago, one of our clients hired a student we had just trained to narrate a large series of videos. They loved his voice.

Recently we hired him back to narrate another large project. This time, he no longer sounded good. He lost a good client. I asked if he'd been practicing. He said no.

There are 3 reasons why CONTINUED TRAINING IS SO IMPORTANT:

  • You can fall into bad habits. (No one tells you why you lose auditions!)
  • Other voice actor will get better than you. (Watch out!)
  • Clients always need new styles (new styles for podcasts, self-guided tours, etc.)

Solution:At minimum, work with a coach every other month to ensure you maintain your skills. It’s money well spent, especially when you work with the coach every month to become better and offer more clients more styles! Remember: your vocal delivery is your livelihood!

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Home Studio Quality: ARE YOU RESISTANT TO TECHNOLOGY CHANGE?

Story: A voice actor sent me an audition recording. Her voice was PERFECT. But her home studio quality wasn't. The client did not like her work. Some clients CANNOT DIFFERENTIATE between poor home studio recording and poor vocal performance. After telling the actor this, she replied, "But this used to be fine." Yes, five years ago, her quality was considered good for a home studio. Today, however, clients are used to better quality.

Here are a few other examples of not keeping up with technology: Actors ask if they can FedEx a CD to me. "Huh?" Why can't they FTP it to me? Or often we hear slight noises in recordings. Why? This guarantees the actor will lose some work. Fall behind in technology, and your clients may leave you behind.

Here are technology items to stay current with:

  • Equipment (Editing on old software is slower, so you charge more, and bid too high)
  • Editing software / file type knowledge (Unfamiliar with the new file extensions for flash? this scares clients)
  • Delivery methods (Still have "FedEx" on your rate card? You look outdated.)

Solution: Hire someone to visit your studio once every 6 months for a tune-up. Have them update your software, show you new editing features, check sound quality, and set you up for new file types.

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Marketing: ARE YOU COMPLACENT?

Story:At a recent voice over event, we were reacquainted with a lot of old-timers who said, "I'm not getting the amount of work I used to get!" Funny -- they hadn't marketed to us in years, so we had forgotten about them and how good they are.

Trust this: There is a reason why major retailers (Honda, Sears, McDonalds, etc.) continue to promote themselves. If they don't, competitors will eventually take over. IT'S THE SAME THING IN VOICE OVER.

Many old-times got all their work from a few clients and/or agents. But things change. Sometimes suddenly. Are you prepared? Or do you still rely on a few select clients who could suddenly go out of business or change their strategies -- and meanwhile you're not prepared to market?

Here are marketing to stay current with:

  • Frequency (do you think single marketing efforts are still enough?)
  • Types (do you think business cards are still all you need?)
  • Messages (still trying to be a jack of all trades?)
  • Quality (perforated edged, matrix printed business cards don't work today)

Solution: Hire someone who knows voice over marketing to review your business plan. (Do you even have one? If you want to grow, you should have one). Take a workshop at edge or even at a local college.

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Professionalism: ARE YOU BUSINESSLIKE?

Story: One of our clients got VERY upset with a voice actor who we hired recently. So upset, they chose to replace him with another actor! Obviously we won't hire that talent anymore. But the weird thing is that the voice actor didn't even realize what he did wrong!

Face it: our little industry has grown up. It's now a big, professional industry complete with a set of do's and don'ts. And as with anything, there are more and more changes as time goes by. So for those of you who are beginning your voice over career, you MUST LOOK PROFESSIONAL from the start. And for those of you already immersed in the industry, you MUST CONTINUE looking professional. If you don't, you chance losing clients.

You MUST always stay on top of:

  • Appearing professional (the jargon, the sequence of events,etc)
  • Dealing with corporate types: knowing when to ask which questions
  • The general in's and out's of the industry
  • The ever-changing politics and relationships within the industry (unions, agents, etc.)

Solution: Study the industry. Speak with folks who are in it. Read books. DO WHAT YOU CAN to come across business-like. This makes a BIG difference in the amount of work you get.

Date: 
September 30, 2009
Meta Description: 
There Are 4 Reasons Why Voice Talent Start Losing Work. Read the sections that pertain to you.
Meta Keywords: 
Edge Studio, voice over, training, marketing, home studio, professionalism, professional practice, vocal delivery,

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