The SOUND ADVICE October 2012 Newsletter
by Kate McClanaghan

October 2012

“Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” – Greg Anderson, trainer


How to Create Your Career

Unless you’ve been sleeping, you must know it’s imperative to drive traffic to your voice-over demo Web site.  This is your most vital tool in making your demos available to those most likely to professionally hire or represent you.

Promotion is at least 90 percent of your job as a talent, and regardless of how successful you become this never goes away. 

When it comes to voice-over, promotion is successfully done two ways: through repeated direct mailing postcards that forward your name and Web address especially to ad-agency creatives (people most likely to hire you), as well as continuous promotion to talent agents until you secure representation with at least three nationwide.  

Promoting yourself is as much your job as a professional talent as maintaining your performance skills.  This continues to be the case even after you have achieved a certain status as a known and established actor.  The objective is to establish you as a known and trusted brand in voice-over.  That takes time, commitment, and momentum.

It’s important to point out that ad-agency creatives neither need nor accept headshots, and they aren’t receptive to unsolicited promotional e-mails.  In fact, they repel them.  Like you, they consider them spam. All the more reason to forward your brand with repeated promotion of your postcards. This is a unique promo opportunity afforded solely to voice-over talent—and therefore a terrific opportunity for you!  

Your postcards promote your Web site; your Web site promotes your demos. The more you promote, the more accessible you’ll be to the work, the more you’ll make your name known, the more likely you’ll see a return on your initial investment by securing steady work in this business.  

According to statistics, it will take you 150 or more auditions to land a job, so you can’t rely solely on auditions to secure bookings. You will be more than doubling your opportunities if you continually direct mail your promotional postcards to the various producers and contacts your demos are designed to service. Your goal is to make it easy for them to hire you.

GOOD Question 

Hi Kate! I recently updated my demos…with all work I actually landed! I’ve been striving for this day for a couple years now.  My question is: Do you think it sounds as good as the initial demo I produced with SOUND ADVICE? And how crucial is it that all the spots on my demo are from projects that have actually aired?  —JD

Kate: First of all, very well done on landing lots of national gigs you’re proud to include on your demo!  However, it should be understood the goal of your demo is to display what you do best, not consist only of work you’ve actually booked.

Your demo, by definition, displays what you do best and what you want MORE of, NOT necessarily real spots, although they should certainly sound like they are authentic. The objective of a voice-over demo is to present your very best and help define who you are with style. An effective demo displays what you’re capable of contributing professionally to the production.  

The standard for what a demo should consist of comes from the ad-agency creatives themselves.   It’s not uncommon for creatives, various producers, and directors to create spots for their own demo reels with the intention to secure work.

It’s wonderful to collect the spots you’ve booked.  You’ll discover what sort of work you’re actually securing from your demo promotions and your auditions.  That said, you may discover many of the spots you land in the first couple years are decent-paying nonunion jobs.  However, they may not depict your best efforts as a voice-over, nor your ultimate promotional goals, which are national (union) campaigns that require repeated plays and even repeated employment. Your demo should consist of national material that suits your skill set best.  It should define both your brand and creative style.

Your Promotional Postcards

There’s really no excuse not to promote anymore. We just rediscovered in the past month.   They offer a quality product (4.25” x 6” postcard), 5,000 postcards for approximately $160! Nice card stock and quick turnaround, too!  

Two reminders: First, be sure to include your return address. You want to keep track of your returns.  Returns are to be expected with every mass mailing, but this is a very direct way to determine who’s in business, who isn’t, and will help avoid wasted future efforts, especially when you’re doing repeat mailings like we do as voice-overs to make our names known and offer the best access to our demo Web sites.

Second, don’t use FULL rate postage on postcards.  Postcard postage runs nearly 14 cents less than standard postage. However, there is no FOREVER postage for postcard rate that I know of, but you can save yourself a good deal if you follow our SOUND ADVICE marketing strategy, which is included with each mailing list purchase!  

This Month’s SOUND ADVICE Special

Need a performance pick me up?  Need coaching but time and money are tight? Fear not, we have the solution!  For the next month, all three SOUND ADVICE online tutorials, our Bundles, are marked down from their already remarkably low price.

For a short time only, save 20 percent on the SOUND ADVICE Bundles.  These three amazing online tutorials will help you:

Each Bundle is the equivalent to receiving a one-on-one coaching with the most successful voice-over producers in the industry and all from the comfort of your home computer. Designed to benefit every skill level of talent, each Bundle includes 35 to 55 minutes of audio that delivers unparalleled voice-over training. Listen to sample audio for each Bundle here.

Regularly $50 each, for the next month purchase each Bundle for just $40. Add The SOUND ADVICE Encyclopedia of Voice-over & the Business of Being a Working Talent and get $10 off the book, too! 


Kate McClanaghan, Inc. © 2012. All Rights Reserved.