So sad that it has come to this.
But…I’m gonna say it:
We’ve all gotten lazy.
In the absence of good old-fashioned creative and smart prospecting for clients, we’ve gotten too dependent on pay-to-play subscription sites.
An email from a fellow voice-actor said it all:
“…there are 3 ways we know of to get voiceover jobs:
1) Through an agent
2) Direct marketing – email to production companies
Of course, not all of us are lazy about it. Many remember the days before Voices.com, V123, The VoiceRealm, Bodalgo, and others. There was plenty wrong with the way things were handled “back then” too. But what changed it all, and made us dependent on these membership sites was the internet.
We thought that like everything else on the web, if you paid enough money, found the right clearinghouse, did enough research, and dutifully monitored the returns, the jobs would just come. Trouble is unscrupulous players stepped in and made sites that promised to do all that for you. EASY!… and way too many people bought into it.
When everybody who was looking for the easy way, all got together on the same site — and got used to the process — the people who ran those sites started feeling well-nigh all-powerful. When the subscribers, not the jobs, became the commodity, the owners of those subscription sites realized they had their own money tree, and could pretty much do with their new commodity what they wanted.
Now we can all see where that’s gotten us. CATTLE CALL MARKETPLACE.
WoVO Pro Member, friend, fellow-blogger, and self-described pot-stirrer Paul Strikwerda recently wrote about a practice going on at Voices.com that amounts to highway robbery, further supporting my contention that when “…the owners of those subscription sites realized they had their own money tree, and could pretty much do with their new commodity what they wanted…” Only…WE are the commodity, and we’ve gotten complacent.
To answer my friend who posed the above question about what they’re missing in the process of finding work, I trotted out a truism that people don’t want to hear: the key to finding work is only limited by your imagination. A flood of answers also immediately came to mind beyond their three points: creativity, marketing, social media, word-of-mouth, follow-up, relationships.
Certainly all those things are important to bringing you work. Another VO friend and WoVO member — Rob Marley — recently posted an exhaustive list of marketing tips for voice actors.
Let’s be clear, the clients/producers have gotten lazy too. People on both sides of the glass have come to rely on the P2P system too much. The internet is a wonderful tool. The processed internet is a sinkhole.
The jobs you can create on your own…seeing a need, and fulfilling it… are always going to be preferable to the jobs that everyone else is also chasing after at the same time (P2P’s).
I’m not about to list all the ways you can get creative with finding new clients. As I’ve mentioned, it’s only limited by your imagination, and as giving as this community is, successful prospecting methods constitute the holy grail of info-sharing, and not all that many people are willing to just give away their hard-won secrets.
- it’s a marathon, not a sprint
- no substitute for hard work
- it’s all about relationship
- be in the right place at the right time with the right preparation
- do your research
- practice, practice, practice
There’s a reason those sayings are trite…they’re time tested and true.
Maybe time to get off the couch?