Are you new to voice over or thinking or getting back into the business after a long hiatus? Many people are like this subscriber who recently wrote me with her concerns:
“I just got a new demo done and it sounds great. I will be doing a mass mailing to agents and casting directors and I’m wondering if you could offer any advice as to what to say in the letter that will be enclosed with my demo. I’m not sure how to re-introduce myself into the industry after so many years and with not much of a resume. Would you be so kind as to help me out and maybe give me a little push with some advice?
First of all, congratulations for getting back onto the horse, re-doing your demo and getting back out there. But I have to be perfectly frank and tell you that you’re asking the wrong question. Hopefully I can save you some time, money and disappointment.
Take a breath and listen carefully to what I have to say.
No matter how wonderful the demo or beautifully written the cover letter, most of those demos that you mass mail to agents and casting directors will never get listened to and many will never get opened, the package will be tossed in the trash and they will end up moldering in some dumpster.
Please don’t think I’m being cold or hard, but this is the reality of the business today.People are overwhelmed and nobody is sitting around waiting for a mass mailing of a demo CD from yet another voice over talent.
Now, this doesn’t mean all is lost. It’s not. The business has changed and you just have to know how to unlock the key. I have identified 5 key ways to grow a voice-over business. Sending a mailing is one of them and it can work but only if you follow the following rules:
- THE RIGHT LISTAre these industry professionals who are currently hiring voice talent? If your list isn’t good, you might as well be tossing your mailing in the trash.
- THE RIGHT MEDIUMA big change in voice over today is that more and more people prefer to get a digital copy of your demo rather than a CD. This means you’ll email your demo or direct them to your website where they can listen.
- THE RIGHT COVER LETTEREven if you’re emailing your demo, it still needs a cover letter of sorts in the body of the email. Your email should be personalized and stress a strong BENEFIT to the recipient. It’s helpful if you familiarize yourself with their business so you can be specific in your email.
- THE RIGHT FOLLOW UPCall before you email a demo and then immediately after you send it to make sure they received it. Make polite weekly follow up calls to introduce yourself and encourage them to listen.
- THE RIGHT CAMPAIGNThink in terms of marketing campaigns instead of just a single contact. It can l take at least 8 “touches” before you show up on someone’s radar. Plan an orchestrated series of letters, postcards, phone calls, even faxes.
“Mass mailings” can work, but never if you just stuff a bunch of demos into mailers with a generic cover letter, dump them into a mailbox and forget about them. It’s a shame how much time and money is wasted by the talent who sends unsolicited demos and has no idea that their demos are unfortunately going right into the trash.
Your Inside Voice Over Assignment:
Take time to compile a list of likely prospects before you send your demo. Never do a mass mailing
Always call before emailing or mailing a demo. Ask if the company is accepting demos from voice talent and get the proper contact name and information.
Keep good records of who you send your demo to. Consistent professional follow up is key. Use a contact management software to help you stay organized.
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Susan Berkley is a top voice over artist and founder of The Great Voice Company, a company devoted to teaching great voices around the world how to become successful voice over actors. The Great Voice Company is an international leader in voice over training and in providing top quality voice over recordings in all languages to discerning businesses and marketers. For additional information visit www.greatvoice.com
Copyright 2012, The Great Voice Company. All Rights Reserved. Voice Over Demos and the Mass Mailing Myth.