21 Jan What’s Next as a Voiceover Talent?
I am a voiceover Talent, I am on all the voiceover websites like VOICEOVERS.com and I have a network of Buyers and a handful of Clients I have worked for and continue to market to regularly, but what is my next step? I feel like I am getting a certain level of projects, but feel like there is a pool of bigger-ticket jobs out there (national commercial campaigns) that I just cannot get to; where are they? Is there a gatekeeper to these?
The answers are all affirmative in the key of voiceover agencies. Naturally, just as there are sites like VvOICEOVERS.com that are collecting pools of Talent for Producers to hearsee, there are also business to business brokers that curate lists of voiceover Talent and actively represent these performers to Buyers/Producers. These Brokers, or Agents are the voiceover agencies.
What do voiceover agencies do? An Agent is someone who selects specific Talent to represent, they curate a Client list. They help their Clients, Talent, organize their promotional materials (demo, website) and develop their brand. Voiceover agencies strategically focus a Talent’s career on their areas of greatest strength and then actively promote and advocate for the Talent in these areas. They are the defacto sales team of your voiceover career.
The Agents have relationships, a network, of Buyers (typically Producers). This network contacts the voiceover agencies when they are looking for a voice for a project. The voiceover agencies then pitch their clients to the Producer or conduct auditions (either in an in-house studio or via their Clients’ home studios) and return a series of selections to the Producer for them to choose from. Then if a Client is chosen, the Agent negotiates the deal for the Client. The voiceover agencies coordinate the contract, logistics and then the tracking and payment of the fees. Voiceover agencies are a first party advocate for voiceover Talent to the employers. In a marketplace full of tough competition and economic pressures, the voiceover agencies are the champions of voiceover Talent.
Where are these voiceover agencies? They are across the country, with their heaviest concentrations in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. How do I find them? You can search for voiceover agencies online or check out a publication called the Voiceover Resource Guide that lists the voiceover agencies across the country.
Who do they represent? Voiceover agencies represent professional voiceover talent, both developmental and seasoned. Some agencies represent primarily union Talent (members of SAG-/AFTRA) and others represent primarily non-union Talent. And most represent a blend of both.
How do I get represented by one of these voiceover agencies? Each agency typically has a new Talent submission policy that can be found on their websites. You will submit your demo to the agency via the appropriate channel, typically emailed. The agency reviews your demo and determines if you have commercial viability for their network and focuses and if you are a good fit for their list. Voiceover agencies try to cultivate balanced and focuseds lists of Clients. If one of these voiceover agencies responds to your demo, they will reach out to set-up a meeting or call and potentially sign you to the agency for representation. And then you can say, “call my Agent!”