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6 Reasons It's Hard To Contact
Voice Talent We Want To Hire!
 
By David Goldberg
Producer & Owner, Edge Studio
 
An outsider would think it's easy:
 
1) One of our more than 1,000 production clients calls.
 
2) They send us their script and we suggest an appropriate voice talent.
 
3) We have our client approve that voice talent. And then,
 
4) We hire that voice talent.
 
Simple, you think? Wrong ...
 
1. WHERE'S BOB?
 
Let's suppose we suggest Bob the Talent. But . . . We call, email, or visit Bob's website, but don't get through.
 
PROBLEM: Bob forgot to update us when he moved or got a new cell phone.
 
We're often in a hurry when we cast - so rather than spend more time searching for talent #1, we just jump to talent #2.
 
FIX: Email everyone with changes to your contact information! Request a confirmation or read-receipt.
 
Didn't receive the confirmation? Email again. And please don't send the unfortunately all too common,
"Hi, I've updated my email. Please change it to the address that I'm emailing from now. Thanks."
Don't make potential clients work. In your message, include your name and both your old email address and your new one for easy reference!
 
2. WHERE'S BOB'S DEMO?
 
Next, suppose we send our client to Bob's website to approve his demo, but they can't hear it.
 
PROBLEM: It's not clear that the user needs to click from Bob's HOME page to his ABOUT ME page to his AUDIO SAMPLE page to hear his demo.
 
To boot, calling them "audio samples" or "recorded excerpts" or anything other than "demos" makes it even more challenging for Bob's potential customers to find them.
 
FIX: Since clients usually go to your site only to hear your demos, make them the first thing they find.
 
In other words, put your demos at the top of your HOME page. Not possible? Then put them just one click away from your HOME page. And call that link DEMOS.
 
3. BOB'S CONFUSING DEMO LABEL
 
We can't find Bob's demo among our computer files.
 
PROBLEM: Bob, along with about 99% of other voice talent's demos that we receive, names his demo with a generic name, such as "demo," "com demo," "final demo mix," or "Robert's demo."
 
FIX: Think about it: if you wanted to find Bob's demo, what would you look under?
  • "Robert"? No.
  • "Demo"? No.
  • "Final mix demo"? No.
  • "Bob"? Yes.
Name your demo file with your first and last name, then the genre of demo it is, and then "voice over" (rather than engineering, directing, editing, copywritin ,...).
 
For example, Bob_Smith_Commercial_Voice_Over_Demo.mp3.
 
4. BOB BLOCKS EMAILS
 
We email Bob but never reach him.
 
PROBLEM: Bob uses an email blocker, which requires someone sending Bob an email for the first-time to reply to a confirmation email (to verify that they're not spamming Bob).
 
But because many people don't like completing auto-replies, it also prevents Bob from getting hired.
 
FIX: Accept all emails, and if you use a spam filter, regularly review your blocked emails to check for possible clients.
 
Then, going forward, add good email addresses to your "approved senders" list.
 
5. BOB BLOCKS CALLS
 
We call Bob but cannot get through.
 
PROBLEM: Bob uses a phone blocker, which requires first-time callers to confirm who they are. Many people find this annoying and hang up.
 
You've probably heard them:
"The person you are dialing requests that you speak your name and reason for calling. After we contact this individual, they will chose to answer your call or not."
A close second is a blocked-caller-ID blocker.
 
If the caller's phone service does not transmit their phone number, they have to hang up, press *82 (if they know that) and redial. How many prospects will do that?
 
FIX: Make it as simple as possible for potential clients to reach you. Don't use phone blockers.
 
6. BOB'S UNPROFESSIONAL PHONE ANSWER
 
We call Bob but choose not to leave a message.
 
PROBLEM: Someone else answers Bob's phone - someone unprofessional and/or someone who does not take a professional message.
 
Or Bob has an unprofessional/goofy voice mail, which is a turn-off.
 
Or Bob uses the generic voice mail that came with his phone and it's therefore impossible to know if you are reaching Bob's voice mail.
 
FIX: This industry is about your voice. The first thing your client hears should be your professional voice, saying your name:
 "Hi, this is Bob the Talent. Please ... etc."
If someone else must answer your call, make sure they are professional, and that they take a clear, complete message, read it back to the caller, and deliver it to you promptly.
 
A producer's day is hectic enough without having to work just hire you. Be smart. Make it a no-brainer for them.
 
ABOUT DAVID ...
 
David Goldberg is a voice-over producer, coach, and the owner of Edge Studio, a major voice-over recording studio and voice-over education company based in New York City, with additional studios in Fairfield, CT and Bethesda, MD. Edge Studio offers a large variety of in-person and teleclass workshops and seminars for voice actors, and also produces audio for major clients including Disney, VW, Microsoft, National Geographic. The studio frequently casts voice talent who have trained and produced demos there.
 
 
 
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Comments (10)
Roy Wells
3/24/2011 at 8:08 AM
This is about the best article I've read regarding how to establish contact with potential customers. I'm changing some of my info immediately.
Jack Bair
6/21/2010 at 12:05 PM
David,

Clear, concise, and helpful. Thank you.

Jack
AL B Conahan
6/15/2010 at 2:34 PM
Good tutorial on how professional communicators need to communicate their desire to be a partner with the producing communicators needing to communicate their media message to the consuming customer listening to the communication. Please remain on hold , a professional communicator will be with you shortly.
Regards, albc A Perfect Stranger
J. Christopher Dunn
6/14/2010 at 4:06 PM
Excellent advice! These are truly KISS jewels.

J. Christopher Dunn
jcd@JChristopherDunn.com
www.JChristopherDunn.com
DC Goode
6/13/2010 at 12:14 PM
Excellent reminders, David!
DC Goode
dc@dcgoode.com
www.dcgoode.com
;-)
Alan Sklar
6/13/2010 at 7:38 AM
Excellent article, John. I'm immediately changing my SAMPLES button on my Home Page to DEMOS.
One of the best articles I've ever read on your site.
Alan
Rebecca Michaels
6/13/2010 at 6:16 AM
All true - the last thing I want is to be "hired" but "Missing in action"!!! I agree with all points and practice all. Thanks for the good article.
www.LoveThatRebecca.com
Paul Payton
6/13/2010 at 2:54 AM
Well done and thought through. "Keep it simple."

Another idea: I had an agent say, "Never thank me for listening, especially out front; it keeps me from what I want to hear - your work, not your appreciation." Even if it takes 10 seconds, multiply that by a dozen or two tapes, and that's a lot of minutes away from lining up more clients to hear you. The agent resented the loss of that time. Just a thought.
Dave Johnston
6/13/2010 at 1:19 AM
Greetings. Great article on keeping it simple, and for we as the talent to be easy to contact. Great reminder!!!
Jack Hamlett
6/13/2010 at 1:15 AM
Very good article - clear ,concise and to the point ,just like we the talent should and must be out here.
Thanks.
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