Blog Archives

Live Session THIS SUNDAY on Adding Music and Sound Effects to Your VOs

Join us THIS SUNDAY, January 27th 8:00 – 9:00 PM Eastern Time with Voice-Over Talent/Coach Ben Marney as he discusses Adding Music and Sound Effects to Your VOs music

Ben will cover:

1. Is it something you will need to master to be a successful VO talent?

2. How to add music (in Audacity) *and the general process using other programs

3. Where to find the music and sound effects

4. The costs involved

5. The royalties and fees (ASCAP & BMI)

6. Questions?

 

If you are not currently enrolled in our Bi-Weekly Live Training Series but would like to join us for this event for $25, please click here to sign up! 

*Once you have signed up, please check your email just prior to Sunday’s session to receive the link to attend.

 
To Your Success!

~The Such A Voice Team

Time for a Career Change?

Perhaps we all at least think about it now and then, in those moments when we realize that we aren’t completely happy in our current job. Some take a moment to make themselves appreciate what they have, but then some of us actually decide to take the plunge. Making a career change can be a daunting task…  thoughts about the risks and the unknown can be overwhelming. As we talk to so many of our students who have actually made the move, we would like to share their insights for those who are making the same considerations. We find that it is much easier to handle mentally (and financially!) if you look at it as the process it should be, rather than a sudden and risky move. This means that you don’t have to put off pursuing your dreams, but you should take your time and make sure you are ready before cutting off all ties with your current stream of income.

Step One: Make your decision. Even though it may be a year or more before you have made your complete transition, you can’t actually begin the process until you decide that you are ready to commit!

Step Two: Preparation. Complete your training for your new career, at whatever pace you need to maintain your current work schedule. Figure out how much time each week you can realistically devote to training for your new career, and fit it into your schedule. This will vary for each person, depending upon the current work load and personal responsibilities you have. Make the most of your situation, but also respect the time you personally need in order to be fully prepared and find success in your new career.

Step Three: Continue to work as you perfect your abilities and set up your own voice-over business. Most importantly, continue to work in your job even as you start to book voice-over jobs. It may take you a year or more before you are booking solid work and earning enough of an income to let go of your old steady income.

Step Four: Complete your transition. The time will come when you will need to weigh out your options. Do you feel that you now just need more time to fully succeed in your new career? Then you may decide it is now time to dive in and let go of your old job- so you can focus on your new one! Or perhaps you are financially dependent on your income and need to continue to take it slowly until you have solidly replaced your old income. Some may find that an adjustment to their old commitments allows them to do both part time and have the best of both worlds.

When it comes down to it, you will want to take both your personal and financial needs into consideration to decide when (or if you should at all) cut off all ties with your old career. The beauty of making this transition into a voice-over career is that you are your own boss. You can help to dictate the length of the process to match your needs. It may take you longer to get there if you have other commitments, but taking your time through the process also allows you to start as soon as possible, rather than waiting for that “all or nothing” moment to arrive!

The Importance of Time Management & Organization as a Voice-Over Artist

Being a voice-over talent is being an entrepreneur, which in turn requires dedication and self-direction in order to succeed. We all know how hard it can be to get yourself to do the important things in life, such as eating properly or turning off the TV to get some exercise… So what is the secret to always making the right choice each day for your professional success? The answer lies in both managing your time and organizing yourself! Here is some advice you will find helpful in creating your own path to success:

Set a time commitment within your weekly schedule – why?

1. Hold yourself accountable for the goals that you’re setting!

2. Keep yourself organized to make the most of your time. More organization = more productivity.

3. Keep yourself from getting frustrated – already having the time set aside will make it easier to fit it into your life than trying to “fit in VO work whenever you can…”

What specific time commitment should you make?

1. VOs can be done any day of week, any time of day!

2. If you’re worried about meeting your time commitment, plan for less time and then if you surpass it, great! Otherwise if you do not, you won’t feel that you have let yourself down.

3. Try to set aside time that you know you won’t be interrupted or have other obligations to deal with.
How to fit it all in:

1. Figure out an amount of time per week that you want to spend on VOs (in general.)

2. Then look at that week’s schedule Monday-Sunday and figure out how to fit in those hours.

3. Break down the time into 4 categories: research, auditioning, initial contacts, and follow-ups.

4. Then the 5th category that you would not necessarily allot time for – actually recording VO jobs! That trumps all of the other categories!

5. Keep track of your success rate at the end of each week.

6. Feel free to switch up each week the time that you’re spending on each category.

7. At the end of the month look back at your success rate per week to see if you can draw conclusions of which break down of time (per category) is the most effective for you.

8. Certain things have to be done in a specific time frame. For example, phone calls usually have to be done during business hours, or auditions and jobs with a deadline would require you to fit your schedule around that, but other than those things, you can do it 24/7 – and fit it around your life!
What If…

1. If you’re not meeting the allotted time per week, reduce the time so you’re not overextending yourself – keeping realistic expectations and goals will help your overall confidence and productivity.

2. If you’re finding you have more time to spend, extend your time frame!

3. If you’re not seeing success, switch up your formula. Take a step back and figure out how you can better utilize your time for categories that you may have been neglecting.
Creating more organization gives you something to hold yourself accountable for. After all, you are your own boss, and you only get paid if you show up to work!

Three Different Projects – Three Different Feels!

By Such A Voice Coach/Producer Jillian Nielsen

Three projects I have completed recently each have a very different emotional feel to them – I was so glad that my demos show my vocal range, as I was contacted directly from the client after they heard my demos on Voice123.com.

The first is for a company called Run My Process. It is a tour of the workflow apps and integration in the cloud that they provide… something I know nothing about. The director was great to work with and I finally had the “quirky” read that they wanted after 8 takes – whew!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRVSmPr4Vbg 

The second is DP Slider an inventor who had a product that he needed a VO to match his video. He wanted a “sexy” read. I would not characterize my voice as “sexy” – but apparently he did and when you see it in conjunction with his video – it is definitely sexy!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mK0oba3tGFk

As he continues to invent new “sliders” he has asked me to voice those videos as well!

The final project is for Right Dental Group – they are a company that uses Groupon to market their dental products and services. The tutorial leads people in how to redeem their vouchers. When contacting me, they said they liked my voice, but wanted it to be “more friendly”… my first thought was, “My voice is nothing if not friendly!” but then I stepped back and realized that what they really wanted was for my pace to speed up, and my smile to be bigger. So here’s the result – click on the play button by the “See How Right Dental Group Works!” title: http://rightdentalgroup.com/index.php 

They liked my work so much that they hired me to do all of their voicemail work as well! They have 18 dental services and products, so that translated into quite a lot of work!!!

Talent Spotlight: Natalie Donegan

Natalie DoneganDespite studying theater and drama in college (and always having an interest in the arts), Natalie never had any desire to be in front of a camera or on stage. At 20 years old, she discovered that voiceovers existed, but didn’t have any space in her busy schedule (she was single, had a mortgage and a very demanding job as a sales manager of a daily newspaper) to pursue a possible career shift into voiceovers. 12 years later, Natalie was married and a stay-at-home mom and she was looking for an outlet that would challenge her creatively. That was when she searched out Such A Voice.

Natalie’s training program focused on technique, visualization, pitch, inflection and lateral reading. "My training combined with the resources that Such A Voice offers in the Members Only Area has all aspects of the industry. It helped me work on developing my voice style, setting up my marketing, a business plan and more! I felt like I had an entire spectrum of knowledge from Such A Voice, I had a plan and knew what I needed to do to get started. I also joined in on the live bi-weekly training sessions, which I found extremely useful in helping guide me as a new voiceover talent".

When Natalie was ready to step into the voiceover booth, she was happy to have a trained producer from Such A Voice by her side "In an area that I knew nothing about I was happy to have someone so well-versed in recording demos. You need to make sure you get the best demo you can, that is what you’ll be selling at the beginning!" From there, Natalie often referred back to the resources provided by the Such A Voice program to set up her website and market herself on various social media and pay-to-play sites. She takes full advantage of web marketing between Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, Voices.com and Voice123.com!

Being a stay-at-home mom in the voiceover industry, Natalie probably appreciates the flexibility in her schedule most. However, she does say that lack of time is probably her biggest downfall. She loves having the ability to fit her work in around her very busy schedule instead of having a set of strict office hours. "Sometimes I get a big job that my day schedule doesn’t work with, so I stay up late to get the tracks recorded instead. My family will always come first, but with voiceovers I don’t have to choose between the two, there can be a happy balance".

Home studio toolsNatalie did a great job marketing herself, she attributes this to the fact that she was in advertising sales for 9 years when she entered the voiceover industry. "I am determined and I know how to sell, I’m just selling my voice now instead of a product. When I first started in the business I created lists of local potential clients: advertising agencies, marketing agencies, TV stations, radio stations, producers, telephone on-hold companies and more! I had no problem picking up the phone and calling them to sell myself and get my demo’s out to as many people as I could."

Voiceovers have kept Natalie VERY busy since she completed her training with Such A Voice! "Last week I completed my 65th voice over project, the latest that I’m working on is a 70 minute (80 page) educational video for a German university." Her first job came from Voice123.com, it was a two-minute telephone on-hold recording. "I felt like I had won the lottery when I booked that job!"

You may recognize Natalie’s beautiful British accent being used as the voice of such companies as: 45 Degrees Latitude Film and Production, 371 Digital Films, Bandwidth.com, Beam Audio, Cherry Creek Radio, Digital Media Communications, Go On Hold, Griffin Wink Advertising, Legwork Creative, Motion Foundry Inc. and many more!

When we asked Natalie what her advice was for aspiring voiceover artists, we couldn’t help but nod emphatically as we listened to her answer: "If you are getting into the industry, get a professional demo cut! Use every avenue you have to promote your name. Don’t be afraid to offer free work at the beginning, as long as you then have their permission to reference that work on your voiceover resume (and use a recording of it on your website). I found that it was hard to have NO experience and a demo, so I offered a few freebies. I then took those freebies and used them as examples of my work. I requested testimonials from every client I worked with and asked permission to quote their company name. Within a short period of time I had an impressive resume for voiceovers!"

We’re so proud of your many successes, Natalie! We can’t wait to see (or hear) what you do next!