Taking Initiative at Voices.com with the Products Feature

April 17, 2009  |  Articles, Audio Technology

Hello all,

First I’d like to welcome the full score of new members that came out of no where (it seems) welcome to the social brotherhood… There will be hazing… we will paint you purple… and quite possibly joke at your expense (so keep those credit cards ready!).  I kid I kid!

Now back to my blog post… if you have ever read my posts it wouldn’t come as a surprise to you that I am not a big fan of voices.com and their strange policies. Nor am I very pleased with their PR department. As a Canadian I am proud that they are making waves in the industry but I find that they listen more to their producer clients and ignore their voice over clients… and that… like Indian food… doesn’t sit well with me! ( I took the wife to an Indian restaurant today… could you guess what happened!)

But to their credit they do have a new feature in their revamped system that I approve of (and they are so few!) and that feature is the Voice Store that each one of its paying members gets so they can sell their voice over products to the masses. Think of it as your own personal voice emporium (trademark pending)  at the comfort of your account.

Here is a post by Stephanie explaining the service Link

Now to be honest when I first heard of this feature… I couldn’t figure out what I could do with it… the voices.com team did a terrible job explaining it to the masses of voice over artists that are their subscribers. But 4 months on they started to notice that very few are using this feature and started to give people suggestions… here is one of them… recording Public Domain books in your voice and selling it in your store

THAT made sense to me… yeah… take initiative… sure wake up in the morning check out all the jobs you want to audition for but do something on the side to fill up your free time that might give you a return on investment. Find what you love… and I read this somewhere recently… hold on let me dig it out of my inbox…

HERE IT IS!!! … This is a feature I got by mail from Voice Over Today (their newsletter) and it made a whole lot of sense to me:

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FEATURE: YOU WILL BE MORE SUCCESSFUL IF

Imagine: Your friend wants to open a store selling “whatever.”
Confused, you ask how they’ll advertise. “To anyone I guess”
they say. More confused?

I’m CONFUSED everyday by new voice talent who are “Jacks of all
trades” and market “wherever” to “anyone”. Silly, really- they
send out so many demos, they never have time to market correctly.

Back to the above example: What would you tell your friend? Write a
business plan? Don’t be a Jack of all trades? Don’t put a tiny
advertisement in every magazine but rather put a nice advertisement
in a relevant magazine?

YOU WILL GET MORE WORK IF
YOU FOCUS ON ONE OR TWO GENRES THAT MAKE SENSE FOR YOU.

Three examples:

(1) An articulate man came to us because everyone complemented
his voice. We asked what his passion was. “Art history.”
So we suggested narrating self-guided tours of art museums. WHY?
Museums are full of international visitors who need the voice of the
tour to be articulate and who can also pronounce the name of 17th
century artists. He called 3 museums. Now he narrates numerous
museum exhibits.

(2) The narrator we recorded for a 6th grade math textbook was
terrific! Her story is inspiring: She enjoyed math so much that
during “after schools hours”, she went to the library to read
more math books. Upon retiring, she figured she’d spend all day
at the library. But as a suggestion, she called ONE company that
publishes educational videos and audiobooks. NOW she is a regular
narrator for them. In her words, “I’m doing exactly what I’d be
doing anyway, but now I’m getting paid for it.”

(3) A guy with a cool voice wanted us to help him become a
voice talent. “What do you like?” we asked. “Guitar amps.”
“What’s your favorite guitar amp company?” The company he mentioned
puts out about 50 videos a year (tradeshow videos, product online
tutorials, and so on). Now he’s THE VOICE of this company. How?
We transcribed one of the company’s videos, had him record it on his
demo, and put it first on his demo. Then he called the company and
said, “Hi. Not for nothing, but I’m a voice talent, a guitar amp
fanatic, and I love your amps. I’d like to discuss working with
you. The first segment on my demo is relevant.” Of course, after
listening, they hired him right away as the voice of the company.

_________________________________________________

Honestly that is exactly what I am talking about… as a human being … not just as a voice over artist… we have passions and things we are interested in… lets focus on that as well as hone our skills at the same time… lets find something we are passionate about… whether its poems or sonnets whether its books or the specs of your favorite car… find something that you are passionate about… record it … and sell it at your store.

Also I wish there was a more developed version of this at other voice websites. Why doesn’t Voice123.com or voplanet or bodalgo.com have this? Yeah voices.com started it… but I am sure that others can take that idea and develop it.

I like the idea of taking initiative… I like us as an industry to get off our collective butts and make our own products instead of just voicing other people’s stuff… Let us create the product… let us use itunes to sell it … let us market ourselves and let us stop whining that there isn’t enough work out there…. create your own product…. and sell it!


2 Comments


  1. And what a way to sell it is. Thank you for this greatly insipring post Taji.

  2. I love this blog.
    Guess what? I just logged out of my voices.com account and there were 50 people who had already auditioned for a 3,000 word project. The pay? $100. When voices.com takes out its escrow fee, the VO will make about $90….for 3,000 words. And yet, people are scrambling for the job. It’s a sign of the times.

    “Make our own products instead of just voicing other people’s stuff.” And not only that, Taji, but when you go with your passion, you are creating for yourself consistent, ongoing employment – not hit-or-miss projects behind 2,000 other people.
    And you’re doing what you love!