He Said: For our household (and maybe yours too) September means the return of cooler weather, the return home from a vacation, and most importantly, the return of football! Which not only means the return of NFL Red Zone on Sundays, but also the return of Fantasy Football. What does this have to do with your voice over career? For that, I'm going to hand the ball off to our league's 2013 Champion, Susan...
She Said : Yep, I am very happy to say that after several years of disappointment and frustration, I finally put together a winner last year! And the secret to that winning season, much like with our voice over business, was consistency.
Consistency is Key
She Said : I had guys that put up good numbers week after week, as opposed to some guys who had big numbers only in the first half of the season. I could rely on my guys throughout the season. The same should be your goal for your voice over career.
He Said: The most important aspect of your voice over business that needs to be consistent is your sound quality. You need top quality sound every time! The number one way to frustrate a production company that you're trying to get steady work from is to not sound the same each time. It's like going to a restaurant that one week is excellent, and the next is just so-so. After a while of getting inconsistent meals and service, you're going to stop going to that establishment. The same will happen to you if you churn out inconsistent quality. This is especially true if the project you land require updates down the road, like a car dealership ad. You may record a spot this month, and 2 months from now they want to run the same ad but change out the car prices. The production house that is editing the TV spot is going to want you to reproduce the exact same read and quality for the new price line(s) that you need to read. If they don't match the old read and make the new version of the spot sound bad, you're not going to get much business from that production house in the future.
"...you'll look like a champ when you deliver your VO earlier than expected, rather than a chump who delivers it late."
She Said : It's a good idea to keep all of your finished VO files just in case you need to reference them for a revision that you're asked to do. Don't just go into your booth and guess how you read it the last time. If you can't find it, just ask the client for a copy of the old spot for reference. But I would recommend keeping a copy of everything you do so you don't have to go back to them asking them to send a copy. The easier and less maintenance you have to be for a client, the better. This consistency goes for your settings as well. You could have the right tone and read as last time, but if you keep changing your settings, you new audio is going to stick out like a sore thumb. Don't assume the audio engineer on the other end will or can fix it themselves so it matches up. Remember, the easier you make things for the people on the other end, the better chance they are going to use you on a consistent basis.
He Said: Be consistently on time (or early) with delivering your VO as well. I always like to under promise and over deliver. That way you'll look like a champ when you deliver your VO earlier than expected, rather than a chump who delivers it late. Your VO is usually the first part of a project, whether it's a TV spot, a radio spot or internet video. The person on the other end can only work on the project up to a certain point without your VO. If you're consistently holding up projects, you're not going to receive many more in the future.
She Said : So to sum things up, be as professional as possible on a consistent basis, and you have a much better chance of getting consistent work, which is the name of the game. Good luck to everyone in their voice over adventures and we hope you all have a championship season!
Scott & Susan Spaulding of Decorated Air Studios provide voice overs and audio production for various media projects including explainer videos, TV & radio spots, eLearning and more! Contact them today to see what they can do for you at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll free at 888-450-9119.