January Newsletter 2014

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”  – T.S. Eliot 


The Great Digital Divide
If you were born prior to 1975, chances are technology eludes you to some extent, if not completely—unless you’ve worked in a field where computers and technology played a dominant role. Or unless you’ve made a concerted effort to expose yourself to today’s continually advancing technology, you may have fallen behind on what you need to know to advance your career as a talent.

It wasn’t that long ago that MP3s became a standard production element, or the Internet became a common utility. When they did, it left scores of very skillful talent out in the cold. Suffice it to say, the industry hasn’t been the same since. Prior to that, embracing technology was never really required of talent. Your agent would call your service and you’d show up the next day at the studio and that’d be the extent of it.

The upside of this former audition process was it afforded talent face time with casting directors, and fewer talent were called in to audition per project.

However, times change. And while technology today may offer far more talent the opportunity to audition for the same project, the benefit is there’s at least 10 times more work to audition for than in years past.

And, as always, you’ll only manage to survive to the extent you’re willing to learn how to make yourself known and available to the work. Whether you work relies on if you can be reached—via text, voice mail, and e-mail. You can make yourself known, via your Web site, online casting services, Facebook, LinkedIn, and electronic submissions. We now have commonplace advances designed to make your life easier. And they will, if you embrace them.

Exhale. You may find you enjoy this. Enter: The Jetsons.

Schedule a custom-tailored one-on-one Orientation, or re-Orientation as the case may be, with SOUND ADVICE to learn more and get up to date on establishing and running your small business as a working talent!  ›


Promote or Perish
There’s really is no point in having a demo if no one knows you have one.

And it stands to reason industry professionals are more likely to book you based on familiarity. This only comes about through repeated promotions. What marketing and PR professionals know that you might not is the simple fact that your target audience doesn’t even realize you’re attempting to communicate with them until you’ve promoted yourself at least THREE times within a reasonable period of time. Therefore your promotional postcards (yes, POSTCARDS! Creatives loath unsolicited emails even more than you do!) absolutely must be sent again and again and again just to allow you the opportunity to break out of oblivion.  Out of sight, out of mind.

You wouldn’t walk through a grocery store and purchase anything that was completely foreign to you.  We generally go with what we know.  

Coca-Cola and McDonald’s are both time-tested household names for one reason:  they never stop promoting. This should be your mission, too, considering any successful businessperson will tell you promotion is better than 90% of their business. You might even say promotion makes their business. The remaining 10% of the equation is your product: your performance and a demonstration of your abilities on your voice-over demo.  Assuming your product is prepared well, the remainder of your job consists of ongoing promotion. This remains the case whether you’re an established star like George Clooney or whether you just starting out.  Both sides of this equation require continued care.

Committing to a promotional plan is critical to the success of your small business as a voice-over.  In fact, as a small business owner, you should expect to dedicate no less than three-to-five-years to establishing and furthering your brand through consistent promotion.  

Yet the average talent shirks their responsibility of maintain their business through promotion resting their livelihood on the excuse they “don’t want to be a bother” or “isn’t this the talent agent’s job”.  Either notion will insure anonymity if not flat out oblivion. If you’re trained and your demo is exceptional (and it most certainly is if we had anything to do with it)—then, wonderful!  You have a Maserati for a demo, but it won’t get you anywhere if you leave it parked in the garage.  You have to drive your demo to drive your career.  It’s promote or perish. Certainly talent agents want to help, but this is honestly not their area of expertise nor is it their responsibility.  This is YOUR career and this is how you run it!

It’s worth mentioning that promoting yourself to the talent agents (in order to secure representation) also takes continued promotion, but is an entirely different effort and outcome than making yourself known to those most likely to hire you as a voice talent. While you in no way need to have representation prior to promoting yourself, it certainly helps a great deal once you’ve landed work. A seasoned talent agent will have experience with what the job is worth based on its intended usage and legitimize the value of your work.  But, pursuing representation from the talent agents is a wholly separate endeavor from your ongoing promotion, which will remain your job well after you have secured representation from a handful of talent agents in multiple regions to offer you the greatest exposure to the work.

At SOUND ADVICE we encourage you to pursue opportunities from every region of the country. Beyond our exceptional production, you could say our exclusive marketing plan and mailing lists is our secret sauce and precisely why our clients succeed as well as they do.  Only SOUND ADVICE offers such direct access to those most likely to hire you as a voice-over.

Discover the step-by-step process of how to propel your career forward defined in our book, The SOUND ADVICE Encyclopedia of Voice-over & the Business of Being a Working Talent by founder, Kate McClanaghan.  ›

“Good creatives are open-minded wanderers with the curiosity and naivety of a child. To craft the idea, you have to be an obsessed maniac. It’s all about the combination of heart and hard work.”Katrien Bottez of DGM on the Art of Provocation ›


Building and Maintaining Your Performance Skills
Every talent, regardless of experience level, requires coaching.  In fact, the more advanced the career, the greater the expectations of your performance; every established professional works with a coach in order to maintain their skills and better themselves if they hope their careers to thrive.  You don’t simply coach when you’re a complete novice and leave it at that.

This is why at SOUND ADVICE every coaching session we deliver is private and custom-tailored to your specific career goals and needs, and recorded for your future reference.

Regardless of how long it’s been, no matter how much or how little experience you may have, and no matter where you live or how bad the weather may be, we can coach you from the comfort of your home computer with SKYPE.  In fact, in most cases, all of our services can be delivered over SKYPE provided you have reliable Internet service.

Certainly, if you don’t work your performance muscle it will atrophy.  And if you attack every project with the same delivery, you will not make yourself as valuable a talent as you could and honestly should be.  Raise your game!

Learn more about these unique services and the variety of assistance we offer here at SOUND ADVICE. ›

Kate McClanaghan, Inc. © 2014. All Rights Reserved.