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Finding Your Niches in Voice-Overs!

Did you know that approximately 80% of the VO work out there is narration? Knowing that commercials are actually the least of what voice-over talents do opens up a whole array of possibilities for you and your voice! Every successful voice-over artist knows their voice, and knows precisely where they fit into the world of voice-overs. As a new talent, this is one of the first things you should begin to understand about your voice. Narration is the largest market for voice-overs, but it includes much more than just "narratives," perhaps you can also imagine using your voice for:

  • Finding Your Niches in Voice-Overs!Telephone messages
  • Voices of toys & products
  • Video games
  • Websites
  • Audiobooks
  • IVR (interactive voice response)
  • Barker channels in hotel rooms
  • Documentaries
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Sales presentations
  • E-learning training for corporations
  • …and more!

Start by getting to know the qualities and versatility of your voice. When you listen to commercials or other recordings, ask yourself which ones you feel you could voice easily. Record them, play them back and emulate them. Ask other VO professionals or a vocal coach what they perceive to be the strengths of your voice. You may find that your natural vocal tones are convicting enough to be a voice that prompts or offers instructions. Or you may find that you have a youthful sound that would pair well with children’s products. If you discover that you would be very popular with a particular type of business, you can do a spot on your demo that showcases that. Once you’ve discovered a true niche for yourself, you can even record a specialty demo. Examples of specialty demos may include medical, law, finance, real estate, animation, children’s books, movie trailers, imaging work, IVR, podcasting and more!

Remember, you’re not just imitating someone else’s voice! Being a voice-over talent, you’re also an actor. You should analyze the emotions involved in the read to help connect yourself with the product. We all naturally have several qualities in our voices that help to get the point across when we are angry, sad, excited or even perhaps trying to get a small child to listen. Take the time to really listen and analyze where your own voice have-your-voice-heard[1]naturally goes in these scenarios and use your acting skills to apply your sound to each spot you read.

Knowing where your voice fits in the industry will help you to create a versatile demo. You can then market yourself to all of the possible clients for your voice with confidence that you aren’t missing out on an area where you would excel. Maximize your potential! Start learning the nuances of your own voice and you may surprise yourself with all of the possibilities that exist for you.

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.