Voiceover demos are a critical tool for voice talents on a variety of levels. Why are they important, how important are they, and how can your demos be used effectively?
Full Disclosure: I am a demo coach/producer so I advocate extensive demo training, laying it down at a professional recording studio, and utilizing a professional audio engineer to assist in production. Even if I wasn’t a demo coach I would feel the same way. If you don’t think you need training or professionally-produced demos to be an effective voice talent, well, good luck to you...
Just for fun here is a pic of my first demo, proudly produced in 1995.
It was a commercial demo and for many years my only demo/marketing tool. I would make dozens of cold calls every week and snail mail the demo to voice seekers who agreed to keep it on file. This was how I marketed myself for many years because back then that was pretty much the only option.
Eventually you could turn your demos into mp3 files and either send them as an attachment (before the proliferation of spam, malware, viruses, etc. made that a bad idea) or you could put them on your website and send a link.
Now you can send and host your demos in a myriad of ways so it has gotten exponentially easier to market them.
TIP OF THE WEEK
In my humble opinion, I think that voiceover demos are both overrated and underrated at the same time.
Your demo coaching and production process is an invaluable tool to start your voiceover career, but the demo itself is a snapshot in time. It represents your current competency level. You will be better than your demo the second you walk out of the booth! Eventually you will need to produce another one because you will get better at what you do and you’ll need to DEMOnstrate how much better you’ve gotten. See what I did there?
Do not obsess over your demo! Nobody will be analyzing it the way you are.
Your demo is not a monolithic piece so don’t obsess over the order of the spots, either. Your demo should be both modular and downloadable on your website. Make sure you ask for the separate tracks so you can post and market the individual spots.
How do you market your voiceover demos effectively?
Online Casting Sites: upload your demos and keyword them properly
Representation: submit them as per the Call Sheet submission guidelines
Direct Marketing: after you have determined that they will accept your demo and keep it on file, either send it to them as an mp3 (if that’s how they want it) or send them a link to your demos which should be on your website. I always recommend Voice Zam to host your demos on your website.
NEWS AND NOTES
Thursday, November 7th @8PM EST: my next Edge Studio “Business and Money 201” webinar topic will be ‘Managing Your Money’. We’ll talk about how to spend, earn, and save your money like a boss! Click here to sign up.
Thursday, November 14th @8PM EST: Edge Studio Marketing 201 webinar, ‘The Sales Funnel’. In this one-hour webinar, I’ll talk about what the Sales Funnel is and how to push voice seekers through it. Click here to sign up!
Saturday, November 16th @1PM EST: The Vancouver Island Voiceovers Workshop! The topic: “VO in Smaller Markets: Getting the Work and Knowing What Works!”. This event is for Vancouver Island residents only but if you have a local voiceover group that you’d like me to speak at, let me know!
Wednesday, November 20th @9PM EST: “Late Night Secrets for VO Success” with Rhonda Phillips. In this LIVE webinar, I will be discussing the basics of marketing and will answer your questions. More details coming very soon…
Saturday, February 1st, 2020 @2PM PST: I will be speaking LIVE at the Voice Actors Studio in sunny Las Vegas! The topic is “THE VOICEOVER BUSINESS AND HOW TO ACT LIKE IT”. Here’s a description:
Congratulations! You’ve done your voiceover training and have your freshly produced demo in hand. Now what? In this three-hour workshop, veteran voice talent and “VO Strategist” Tom Dheere will help you rub the stars out of your eyes and learn how to think & execute like an effective voiceover business. We will discuss how to build your voiceover business from the ground up, craft a Mission Statement, set goals, craft an Action Plan, and learn how to stick to it.
Registration is now open! Click here to sign up.
March 26-29, 2020: I am proud to announce that I am the VO Atlanta