Since the year is winding down, let’s review the state of the voiceover industry. How was 2017 and what major events affected it?
I have spoken to many successful voice talents lately and almost all of them (including myself) had a down year. I think it’s for a few reasons:
The Talent Pool: While I truly believe there is no competition in the voiceover industry (I talked about that in this blog entry), I do believe that there are way too many untrained aspiring voice talents in the pool who are screwing it up for the rest of us. They’re screwing it up by lowering expectations of quality and rates. If a voice seeker thinks they can save a few bucks by hiring one of them or, even worse, doing it themselves or getting the nearest intern or employee to do it, then working voice talents like us lose out.
VDC/Voicebank: The Voices Dot Com acquisition of Voicebank itself wasn’t a big deal in itself, but the long-term effects could be. For example, the members of the VO Agent Alliance have raised their standards but as a result I have gotten far less auditions than I used to. Less auditions mean less gigs. Less gigs mean less revenue.
Marketing: it’s getting harder and harder to market effectively. I think it’s because the aforementioned glut of talent spew waves of crappy marketing materials and needy messages to voice seekers. This results in Voice Seeker inbox overload. They get bombarded on all sides by text messages, email messages, Facebook messages, LinkedIn messages, Twitter direct messages, and that’s just the digital stuff.
Taxes: this is just a theory, but I think many companies held off on some projects this year because they wanted to see if the new tax bill passes. If it passes (and unless something really interesting happens this week it will) many companies may have more money to allocate towards projects. More projects could mean more revenue for us voice talents next year, so that could be good news.
TIP OF THE WEEK
If all this is true, what do we do?
Adapt: look at the changes in the voiceover industry and makes adjustments in every area of your voiceover business as needed.
Innovate: look at what everyone else is doing and try to do it differently. Think of ways you can distinguish yourself and make your marketing & branding distinct. Be sure to showcase your Value-Add.
Create a plan and write it down: After you’ve come up with ways to adapt and innovate, remember that you’re a business. A business comes up with a plan, writes it down, and executes it.
NEWS AND NOTES
NOW!: my next audio book is here! It’s called Stand Up! How to get Involved, Speak Out, and Win in a World on Fire.
Wednesday, January 3rd @7PM EST: My first-ever class at Abacus Entertainment! It’s called “Setting Your 2018 Voiceover Goals”. This class will be both in-person at their New York City studio and streamed live. Click here to sign up.