Have you ever heard the term “scarcity of knowledge”?
Within the industry, the pace of change is quick. When people talk about the industry, they talk about madness and uncertainty. Weird things are happening. The future is uncertain. The establishment doesn’t control the industry like it once did. The establishment’s decline is giving rise to a new breed of internet-natives, who are following a new playbook that the establishment cannot compete against.
Sounds like an accurate description of the current state of the voice industry, ay? Actually, he’s referring to the current state of commerce, education, and politics. Even as I write this, I’m realizing that within the voiceover industry our understanding of commerce, education, and politics have been turned upside down. Look at what I wrote just last week:
In 1996…there were only a handful of voice talent in the US at that time (would it be safe to say a few hundred?). Demos were on a cassette tape. There was no social media or casting sites. You could only book work through agents, analog marketing, or word-of-mouth. There were very few voiceover coaches, much less online training. From 1996 to 2005…demos were on CD. Pay-to-Play sites were in their infancy and MySpace was all the rage. Voice talents started discovering each other online and a community was slowly building. From 2005 to 2011…Voiceover Universe and VOICE 2007 brought voice talents together. Facebook started percolating and new kids on the block like Twitter and LinkedIn showed up. From 2012 to 2018…there are tens of thousands of untrained or poorly trained aspiring voice talents out there flooding the industry along with low-balling voice seekers, shady demo producers, and unethical Pay-to-Play sites. There are also a lot of great talent, producers, agents, and coaches out there who continually strive to uplift the voice industry.
What changed? Scarcity of knowledge changed. Knowledge is scarce no more. The establishment in the voiceover industry is (or was) agents and the union. They have lost their monopoly on knowledge and as a result, a lot of power and control. Now there is an abundance of knowledge available to almost everyone in the world thanks to that cheeky little series of tubes known as The Internet. That’s why the vast majority of aspirants are aware that a voiceover industry even exists and are trying to make a living doing it.
TIP OF THE WEEK
There is way too much content in the article to address in this lil’ ole’ blog entry, but here’s another quote:
Micro brands are on the rise. They’re attacking mascara, mattresses, and everything in between. They have low overhead costs, elegant design, and hyper-efficient customer acquisition strategies.
Sound familiar? That’s because it’s YOU. As a one-person voiceover business, you are a micro brand. As a micro brand, how are you adapting to the 21st Century? You’re using 21st Century technology but are you thinking like a 21st Century voice talent? How does a 21st Century voice talent think?
A 21st Century voice talent uses the now-massive glut of knowledge at our fingertips to educate yourself about current technology, keep up with industry trends, and reconcile 20th Century analog marketing (word-of-mouth, cold calling, etc.) with 21st Century digital marketing, social media, and best practices. A 21st Century voice talent thinks and executes like a business, not a starving artist.
NEWS AND NOTES
Thursday, May 30th 9am-3pm EST: “The VO Tech Deep Dive and eLearning Extravaganza!” 338 West 23rd Street, New York, NY, 10031. There are still a few seats left. Tickets are on sale now!
September 13th-15: VOcation NYC! This is a shiny new conference which is all about the business and marketing side of the voiceover industry. Click here to register!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Tom Dheere is a 20+year veteran of the voice over industry who has narrated thousands of projects for hundreds of clients in over a dozen countries. He is also a voiceover business & marketing consultant known as the VO Strategist and produces the comic book “Agent 1.22”.