Voice Over Work Is Out There
... You Just Gotta Go After It
September 20, 2012
By Tim Davisson
Voice Actor & Co-Founder, Web Concepts of America
After reading the recent VoiceOverXtra article How To Fail In Sales, I feel compelled to add to the discussion. Here's my story ...
Earlier this year, my 40+ year career in radio ended. My first 15 years was as a disc jockey, production director, occasional program or music director in Akron, Cleveland, and Tampa.
In 1983 I moved into radio ad sales. That shocked many of my on-air co-workers who said: "Why are you going to sales? You're too good on the air to do THAT!"
Nice compliments, but it was something I had to try, and I'm sure glad I did.
RADIO BIZ CHANGING
But in recent years, seeing the way the radio ad business was changing, I started looking for a "side business" in some area of media that I could transition to full time as my own business - as a way to supplement retirement from radio.
At the same time, few years ago - at the insistence of one of my advertisers, and over my strong objections - I started voicing their spots on radio.
Our creative director, Chuck Matthews (who's also a VO guy who does a lot of station imaging and car spots all over the U.S.) encouraged me, saying I'd be a great fit in VO work.
But I quickly became very much in awe of the hundreds, if not thousands of truly great, talented VO people.
Hey, I have VO skills, but I'm not anywhere as polished as many current VO people are.
WORK THE STREETS
Long story short: I discovered that my best fit in VO was out "in the streets" promoting and selling VO projects to businesses.
Oh, I still voice some of my client's radio/TV spots and their website videos' audio tracks. But selling is my main thing.
And, you know what? As I've gotten more and more into the VO industry I've found there's practically nobody doing what I do: mainly, VO project selling.
I've found that many VO people - who are very, very talented, and perhaps have done a lot of regional, even national VO work in 2012 - complain they don't have enough VO business now.
And they complain that all the "good VO work" is being done "on the two coasts."
WORK IS WHERE YOU FIND IT
However, I've discovered there is VO work out there. You've just gotta go out and find the business for yourself.
And while going into the booth is fun, nothing happens until a client buys a VO project.
Most businesses, especially local businesses, don't even know VO exists, and what it can do for their businesses.
WHERE'S THE FIRE?
Most VO people I've met would rather set themselves on fire than try selling their VO services.
That's a shame. There's literally millions and millions of dollars out there for VO work in every size market, if we just go after it. Talk about missed opportunities!
While selling is a skill - and not everybody buys, and rejection can be discouraging - if the reluctant VO people would just get out there and promote themselves, they'd be surprised that it can and is being done successfully.
THE NUMBERS ADD UP
Heck, sales is similar to hitting in baseball: if you get 3 hits in 10 at bats, you're a .300 hitter. And if you do that long enough, you'll likely go to the Hall of Fame.
A 30% close rate is very doable in VO. If you just try.
Hope I've shed a positive light on selling VO projects. It's out there ... if we just go after it.
Based in Ohio, voice actor and former radio broadcaster / sales manager Tim Davisson is co-founder of Web Concepts of America, a business that writes, creates and voices video announcements and content for business websites.
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