The Race Is On… And the Winner Is…?
If you’re signed up with the online voice over marketplace VOICES.COM, I’m sure you get quite a few auditions each day. I typically get 15 or so a day in the beginning of the week, and a few less later in the week. I also have my preferences set so I get an email announcing each new audition as it’s posted.
But what if I don’t respond immediately to that audition when it comes in?–let’s say I wait an hour (I mean I do have a life!)… Then, OMG, there may be ninety or so responses to the audition. I honestly feel you can be James Earl Jones and if you’re number ninety-one you have little chance of being considered. So what’s a voice talent to do? Here are some of my strategies.
Pick a time during the day that you know you’ll be available to audition. I live on the West coast (and I’m not a “morning person”) so by the time I get up, there are already a batch of auditions that have come in and have been responded to. So I may look these over but most are already saturated. So I let those pass. But if you watch a day’s activity you’ll notice that the auditions are released in batches every few hours. So if you miss the 6AM batch, get in line for the 9AM batch. Have more time in the afternoon?
Then respond to the auditions that come later in the day. Voices.com is based in the Eastern time zone so there is an advantage for the East coasters. But auditions come as late as 7PM (or later) Pacific time, when the early-riser Easterners are going to bed. All in all, it averages out.
Once you’ve picked your time slot, make a commitment to respond to those auditions as they come in. Have your mic set up and your recording software open and ready to go. I have my email program set to bounce an icon whenever a voices.com email comes in.
OK, it’s annoying, but it nags me to check out that audition and respond right then if appropriate. If I move fast I can be in the top five or so. Even if I drag my heels a bit, I can still be in the top twenty or thirty which seems to be fine.
I have found from experience that responding earlier is better. Often a client listens down the list until they find the voice they like and then they stop listening. Even if the client listens to all the responses, I think the first few acceptable auditions “set the bar” and you have to be exceptional if you’re farther down on the list to knock out these earlier choices. “Be there first with the most” (a quote from Nathan Beford Forrest of Forrest Gump fame) is as true in voice over as it is in military tactics.
Does this mean don’t respond to the stale auditions that have 103 responses? I usually don’t unless it’s something that I feel I would be really good at–or it has a high budget. If you have the time, go ahead. But work toward a quick response to the leads as they come in. You’ll improve your booking ratio. Let me know your thoughts and experiences!