December 2016
“A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.”
Garrison Keillor

Procrastinate Tomorrow

Promoting yourself to producers and various Creatives does NOT require you first have the representation of a talent agent. So never let that stop you!

The whole point of promotion is to make yourself known, drive traffic to your Web site (and therefore to your demos), establish yourself as a brand, and to associate your name with being a reliable professional voice-over.

Through proper promotion, you’re creating a presence and establishing yourself as a brand. Keep it clean, smart and professional. And KEEP promoting. According to numerous marketing sources, it takes between seven and twelve repeated “impressions” (in other words, promotions including auditions) to simply make yourself known. Otherwise, you’re out of sight, and out of mind.

So, once you have all your promotional materials printed, hosted, posted, and prepped… get them OUT there! NEVER wait to promote, including December! Until you’re financially established and/or well-known enough to require a manager and publicist, this remains your job. So, procrastinate tomorrow, but be sure to promote today. ›

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“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” – Calvin Coolidge

December is One of the Best Months to Get an Agent

We’ve long recommended you pursue representation especially during July and August, as well as between Thanksgiving and New Year’s for the simple reason talent agents often reassess their talent pool during these times and might be more receptive to scheduling meetings with you.

Great!

And while we don’t offer lists of national voiceover talent agents (except to talent we produce demos for), we do recommend you create your own, drawing from a number of talent agents listed on Voicebank.net. Not that all agents are equal, or worth working with simply because they’re listed on Voicebank, but some of the more reputable agents are listed there. Voicebank remains the industry standard.

Beyond your local region, be sure to include agents from a variety of markets across the country as well. Study these talent agencies to determine which ones best suit your skill set. Do they have a number of talent that match your type on their Web site or among their talent roster? Determine if they specialize in young adults and kids, or Spanish, for instance. If these categories apply to you, great! Go for it! If not, there would be no sense promoting yourself to that agency, so it would be best to move on.

Narrow your list to 20 to 30 agencies in key markets, such as Boston, Atlanta, Columbus, Denver, Minneapolis, Austin, Dallas, Huston, Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, Tampa, and Miami, for instance.

Only about one-fifth of all talent agencies will mention whether they have a submission policy. If they do, be sure to follow their initial instructions, rather than ignoring it. You can always contact the agency directly to confirm their preferred submission protocol. Be brief.

If no submission policy is listed on their site, determine which agents (and assistants) specifically handle voiceover and verify the email and physical address supplied. (Again, reference the agency website PRIOR to calling.) Talent agencies tend to inadvertently overlook updating their sites, and, in many cases, don’t have the in-house technical assistance to do so. The same applies to their Voicebank page. There’s often discrepancies between them.

All in all, you should continue promoting yourself to your list of talent agents following the 8-consecutive-week process defined in The SOUND ADVICE Encyclopedia of Voice-over & The Business of Being a Working Talent until you have representation you’re truly happy with in two to four regions across the country. This is the single most successful process to secure representation, provided you keep your skills sharp and your promotional materials meet or exceed industry standards.

Knock ‘em dead, and Merry Christmas!

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“On a busy day twenty-two thousand people come to visit Santa, and I was told that it is an elf’s lot to remain merry in the face of torment and adversity. I promised to keep that in mind.” – David Sedaris

Did You Know…

I’ve consulted with and employed quite a few intellectual property and copyright attorneys over the years to protect my original work, our exclusive training, our SOUND ADVICE Encyclopedia of Voice-over, and even the material we include on your voiceover demos is copyright compliant and secured. What you might assume with regard to copyright and what the truth is may surprise you! For example, a well-known song used on a 12 second Petco spot for your voiceover demo is likely in accordance with the “FAIR USE” provisions of Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. This also applies to the written copy used on your demos as well. This is the same option that applies to documentaries, and the like. So, if anyone ever tries to push your buttons on “writing your own copy”, reassure those folks that we’re well in compliance on a number of fronts, not just these two. I’ve spent a great deal of money with experts to ensure that’s the case. (Simply assuming what’s legal and what’s not is never good policy. Neither is following a source who hasn’t spent a penny with legal counsel that honestly deal with such matters on a daily basis.)

We work very hard with each talent, and just as hard on the demos we hope will last them a good longtime.

Ironically, booking that Band-Aid commercial, or a spot for Dodge that runs on network TV for 8 weeks… that’s the stuff you, as the voice talent, are, by law, expected to pay for. You don’t have carte blanche on the final production simply because you were hired as the voice talent. And it doesn’t come cheap. If you are in fact in compliance, you might spend between $2800 – $3500 or more to acquire and use a copy of it for your demo tracks. This is one of the reasons producers and various Creatives create original content for their own demo reels.

I’m extremely proud of our SOUND ADVICE clients, and of the work we do together. I’ve done my level best for years now to ensure we are the high-water mark. Precious few know the lengths we continue to go in order to make sure this is the case. œ

Gifts of Great Joy

Since there really is no point in having a voiceover demo if no one knows you have one, our gift to you this Christmas is the greatest savings possible on our exclusive promotional mailing lists for this month! Save an unprecedented 50 percent on every mailing list in our online SHOP during our holiday promotion from December 22nd, 2016 through January 1st, 2017.

We’ve managed to increase each one of our seven promotional mailing lists by as much as double in the past year, and have consistently updated them every 4 weeks to ensure freshness. (Especially considering these contacts move around more than an anthill! These contacts are people, after all. Extremely kinetic people at that.)

Each of our promotional mailing lists offer you the single-most direct access to literally thousands of producers: your voiceover demos’ primary target audience. That’s key, considering these contacts do NOT accept cold calling, or mass emails (which only translates to SPAM anyway).

There isn’t a single source that offers this level of promotional impact anywhere, except SOUND ADVICE.

CLICK HERE to start planning your (HALF OFF) promotional blitzkrieg for 2017! * ›

* Each of our promotional mailing lists comes with a strategic promotional marketing plan.

mistletoe

“Nothing says holidays, like a cheese log.” – Ellen DeGeneres

“Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it ‘white’.” – Bing Crosby

“Moving between the legs of tables and of chairs, rising or falling, grasping at kisses and toys, advancing boldly, sudden to take alarm, retreating to the corner of arm and knee, eager to be reassured, taking pleasure in the fragrant brilliance of the Christmas tree.” – T. S. Eliot

“If you haven’t got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.” – Bob Hope

“Don’t let the past steal your present. This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone.” – Taylor Caldwell

Our Warmest Wish For You…

From all of us at SOUND ADVICE, we wish you dreams fulfilled and hearts brimming with good cheer! We look forward to assisting you propel your career forward in the coming year. In the meantime, enjoy the very best of the season! Here’s to even better days ahead in the coming year! ›

Copyright © 2016 by Kate McClanaghan, Inc. All Rights Reserved.