VO’s Top 8 Clichés (and why we could be wrong about them)

by | Sep 25, 2014 | VO Business

microphoneDo you know what “jaded” means?

It means:  “worn out or weary”…as in: we’re too close to VO, and so immersed in the culture that we’re over-exposed to it.  We view as — tired — the very things that identify us to our non-professional audience.  Those identifiers become trite or cliché to us.

But are they cliché to the people we need in our work?…the clients, the prospects, the listeners?  Probably not.

Are they cliché to producers, agents, studios?  Maybe.

(Using my best Rod Serling imitation)
Submitted for your approval:

VO’s Top 8 Clichés (and why we could be wrong about them)

1) NEVER use a microphone in your branding logo or on your website.  Really?  What is the first thing someone visualizes when you tell them you’re in voiceover?  Yup.  A microphone (or headphones…the 2nd most cliché image)  CourVO comes clean:  I don’t use one in my marketing materials.

2) EVERYONE TELLS ME I HAVE A GREAT VOICE…can I make it in voice overs?  The knee jerk answer is:  “It takes more than a good voice to make it in voice-overs.”   It’s a good answer…but let’s face it…Everyone’s FIRST reaction to Ted Williams was “he should be in voiceovers.”  A great voice WILL get you in the door…but without anything to back it up…you’ll not succeed.

3) Male VO’s have predominantly blues, browns, and blacks on their websites, and Female VO’s use predominantly pinks, purples, and pastels.  9 out of 10 times.  Seriously.  Go look around.  We all revert back to the colors of our infancy when we design VO websites.

4) More/Better equipment will not make you sound better.  Ahem…yes it will.  But…to be honest…only to a point.  So spend no more than $300 on a mic, and use the rest to build a better booth.  Your ROI is much higher.

5) You’ll never go anywhere in VO without being Union or have an Agent.  That’s only true if you have the singular focus of national radio/TV/promo/film work.  In which case you should add:  You have to live in L-A or NYC…and even that’s becoming more of a myth.  There comes a threshold where unions and agents become a serious consideration.  Until then it’s a wash…or not:  SAG/AFTRA talks could result in the most compelling argument yet for joining a union.

6) You must constantly stay COACHED. Well, the coaches would surely like you to believe this, and their is an undercurrent of this wisdom in almost every known profession.  But the bottom line is:  Are you getting work?  Are you staying busy?  Are you making enough money?  If so, then you’re probably OK….until the bookings stop.

7) No need to post a photo of yourself on your voice over website.  (see #8)

8) You must post a photo of yourself on your website.  (see #7)

Honorable mention:  Having ISDN will not bring you more jobs.  Yes it will… if you’ve lined up a bunch of ISDN jobs…your agent sends you ISDN work, you can afford it, and you’re in demand.  Accept all those caveats, and yes, ISDN will bring you more work.

Did I miss something?


[reprinted from the book:  “More Than Just A Voice: The REAL Secret to Voiceover Success”…available in paperback or Kindle by searching “Courvoisier” on Amazon]



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