In my last post I talked about the reality of landing radio stations as Image Voice clients and the difficulties involved.  I have friends who have just been downsized or who are feeling a cold wind blowing at them and they have asked me how to get a VO career going because they need to make money quickly.  They have spent years behind a mic and want to transition or supplement their radio career with VO work.  The best advice I can give is to aim your sights on commercial and narration work.  Since it takes a long, long time to gain Imaging clients, this is the best bet in my opinion.  No one will care if you are a known commodity or a big name – you are either right for the VO gig or you’re not.

So, where do you find commercial and narration work?  There are a couple quick ways to make this happen. Scour the local video production companies in your area – you’d be surprised how much work is out there.   Then there are the voiceover marketplace pay sites such as Voice123.com, Voices.com, Bodalgo.com and others.  You will pay a fee to become a premium member and receive auditions basically every day.  Then it’s up to you to audition for the gigs that fit you well and hope you are chosen out of anywhere from about 50 to 200 other talents who have auditioned.  It’s a bit like playing the lottery – but with persistence, luck and of course your VO skills, you will start booking gigs.  You can get started with one of these sites in about an hour – it’s that quick.  Now, you’ll also need a demo to post on the website – you can post multiple demos from Commercials, Narration, Audiobooks, Imaging, Promos, Trailers, Animation and so forth depending on what you have in your arsenal.

Now, another word of warning, your typical radio station commercial demo will usually not serve you well when competing with VO actors and their demos.  Here’s why, in radio, let’s be honest, it can be a sweatshop situation where before or after your airshift you run into the prod studio and whip out a motherload of spots and tags.  This is not to say that you aren’t giving it your all – but really – reading that script that says your station will be at the local mall or car dealer giving away prize packs is just not going to show you off very well versus the talent who has on their demo a real agency read for Lexus, Target, Macy’s and so on…  The quality of the agency level reads are generally much better than what gets thrown together on a daily basis in your station production studio.  So, what to do?

Get professional VO coaching and have a professional coach direct your new commercial demo.  If you’re asking why you need a coach – I’ll get to that next!

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