We’ve been hearing the rhetoric for years that there are a bunch of predatory voiceover coaches and demo producers out there (which is true), but more recently that there are too many voiceover coaches in general. This became glaringly clear just a few days ago…
Over the weekend, a fellow voice talent on Facebook asked people to mention if they provide services to aspiring voice talents. I was shocked at the number of responses. While a few established entities chimed in, there were MANY people I have never heard of as a voice talent, much less a coach. There were also a number of folks who I’ve known as a voice talent only that are now offering their services as a coach. Apparently everyone who has done one :15 cable spot is hanging out their shingle. To make things worse, I have seen some of these “coaches” bottom-feed on freelance sties. Not inspiring.
That’s when the insecure little boy in me said, “Am I one of the ‘too many’ voiceover coaches? Did people look at my name and think the same thing of me that I thought of them?” (FYI that feeling is known as Imposter Syndrome) I gave the kid a lollipop and sent him on his way, but it made we wonder; why do so many people with limited experience think they can be a voiceover coach?
I’m sure there are a number of factors, money being one of them in that they’re trying to open a new revenue stream and that’s fine IF you know what you’re doing. I think the other reason is the classic “sophomoric” state of mind. In other words; now that they know a little about voiceovers, they think they can teach it. I, for one, was very hesitant to actively promote myself as the VO Strategist until I felt I had a real grip on properly guiding voice talents to building an effective business model.
TIP OF THE WEEK
Understand the difference between a mentor, a coach, an instructor, and a demo producer. For voiceover purposes, this is how I define them:
Mentor: an experienced voice talent who can give you friendly advice from time to time. WoVO has a great Mentor Program so that’s a smart way to find one in a professional, controlled environment.
A coach: a veteran voiceover professional who has extensive experience in a given genre (performing and/or coaching) that can improve your performance in said genre (e.g. Bruce Kronenberg, Jay Snyder). Notable exceptions include folks like casting directors who may not necessarily have a background in performance but can get the right performance out of you (e.g. David Goldberg, Mary Lynn Wissner)
An instructor: a professional who has extensive experience in a non-performance area of the voiceover industry (business, marketing, branding, etc.) who can improve that area of your business.
A demo producer: a professional with their own high-quality recording studio or operates in conjunction with one who, for a reasonable price, can produce a studio-quality demo that highlights your prowess in a given genre with original copy and music that is reflective of current trends in the voiceover industry.
It is your responsibility to not only know the difference but vet them effectively before you give them your money. How do you do that? Ask your fellow voice talents!
NEWS AND NOTES
Thursday, April 12nd @8PM EST: my next Edge Studio “Business and Money 201” webinar topic will be ‘Workflow’. We’re going to talk about how to improve your business physically, digitally, and mentally. Click here to sign up.
Tuesday, April 24th @7PM EST: Having trouble getting everything done? Don’t know how to organize your day? At Abacus Entertainment I will teach the seminar ‘Time Management for your VO Business’ about how to prioritize your, um, priorities! Click here to sign up.
Thursday, April 26th @8PM EST: my next Edge Studio “Marketing 201” webinar topic will be ‘Keeping Clients Coming Back’. We’ll talk about the most important (and simple) marketing technique of all! Click here to sign up.