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Such A Voice Coach/Producer Steven Wahlberg books a narration job for this years golf course for the US Open!

By: Steven Wahlberg

 

 

 

 

 

 

I received an audition request from Voice123.com for a project that required a narrator to voice copy that would be running underneath a video of aerial shots of a golf course where the US Open is being played this year. After receiving some positive feedback on my audition, I was informed that the client had selected someone else for the job but that they liked my voice enough to consider me for future projects. I’ve only heard that about a gazillion times before so I really didn’t think any more about it. Well, about a month later I received an e-mail from the agency that produced the previous golf video asking if I would be interested in reading a few scripts that outlined the rules of golf for a DVD. I agreed and was fortunate to be hired on the spot. This was the outcome!

My First Voice Over Job: It Pays To Read

Alecia Batson for Such A Voice

I am a classical singer by training. It is common for bulletin boards in the hallways and corridors of conservatories and schools of music to be papered with recital posters, concert listings, and calls for auditions. So, it’s not unusual to find instrument and score-laden students poring over them interestedly. One day, as I was doing just that, I noticed a rather boring-looking flyer on pink paper calling generically for “3 men and 3 women.” A telephone number was listed at the bottom of the sheet. Perhaps someone is trying to assemble an a cappella or early music ensemble, I thought. I called to discover, in fact, it was a company holding auditions for a radio commercial. Having never done voice over jobs before, I thought, What the heck!, and decided to audition.

The copy was sent in advance so I had time to prepare, and I showed up to the studio at the time and date requested. I landed the job after that lone audition and it turned out to be more than the typical, first-time voice over gig. I was selected to be the first and only National Female Voice for what was then dot-com-phenom CollegeStudent.com. (CollegeStudent.com has since merged with Student Advantage.) Such serendipity led to the recording of multiple national spots over a two-year period for this “local, online campus community,” which was not only wonderful in-studio experience, but also contributed to the beginnings of a high-quality demo reel. (As an aside: the first spot we recorded was deemed so risqué that 50% of the markets in the nation wouldn’t play it!)

Alecia in the recording studioWith this experience under my belt, I used my demo reel to market myself to voice over agents, acquiring my first representation with db Talent. I also contacted recording studios to find out if they maintain their own talent libraries and requested to be placed on file with those that do. Given the types of jobs I began working early on, it became clear to me that my industry niche was quirky, college-cool, but my singing background enabled me to expand that to include foreign languages and accents. Since that initial, unexpected audition, I’ve had the good fortune to record for a variety of corporations, including Time Warner Cable, Reebok, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Gozaic and Adobe, working on varied projects like telephony systems, industrial videos, television commercial demos and, of course, radio spots.

I look back on my entrée into a voice over career in astonishment. Voice over work had certainly never been part of my grand life plan and, truthfully, I had not heard of it when I made that fateful telephone call. However, I cannot deny I am pleased to have been one of those bulletin board-reading students because being so truly changed my life.

Alecia Batson is a professional actress, singer and voice over talent working in Boston, Austin and New York. Visit her web site at www.AleciaBatson.com.


Such A Voice on FacebookHow did YOU land your first voice over gig? Share your story and any advice with us…

VO Training by Such A Voice - Voice Over Education

Marketing Your Company With Voice Overs

Targeting your market with the right voice-over talentConnecting with your target market is the primary purpose of your advertising campaign, but discovering which channels will work is often a bit of a crap shoot. Now that webinars, online advertising, and podcasts are opening new channels of communication, more companies are working on slogans and messages to increase the presence of their brand. Television and radio advertising still offers a lot of benefits, and each and every one of these sales and marketing channels are made better with the use of a voice over.

Adding voice overs to your marketing strategy helps to differentiate your brand and create a unique message. Whether you’re trying to persuade your customers to purchase something, present new information, or just entertain an audience, voice overs can deliver your presentation in a unique way. Effectively delivering your message assists in creating a powerful presence for your business; consider how often a jingle, slogan, or just a single sentence can become a part of pop culture. Having the right voice behind your message can definitely "pump or dump" your marketing campaign.

The first item to consider with voice overs is what your target market looks like. Consider demographics like age, ethnicity, and location. If you’re selling to clients in the South, for example, you might want to choose voice talent and marketing themes with key elements of Southern culture and a Southern accent. When your clientele can connect with the voice and the message, they’re much more likely to remember the slogan, message, and more importantly, your enterprise.

The second thing to consider is how to hire the right voice over talent. Voice over artists can be represented by an agent or they might have developed their own web pages and online profile. Some voice artist directories can assist you in your quest; artists can be searched by keyword, age, type, and background so you can locate a strong match with less legwork involved.

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The third item to consider is how long you’ll need the voice over talent. If you’re developing a selling strategy that includes various marketing messages and promotions for extended periods of time, you’ll need to develop a contract with your talent. If you don’t want to keep switching voice artists and destroy the true "voice" of your image, consider how you can negotiate payment for the long-term, and plan on hiring the talent for more than just one campaign at a time. In many cases fees are negotiable.

Voice overs are an excellent way to boost your image and extend a more professional image with your marketing campaign. From radio-advertising to podcasts to web pages, the voice over plays an essential role in conveying the right communication to your buyers.