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  • Writer's pictureElliot Hardman

Where Do Big Brands Shop For Voiceover?

Introduction

Everyone wants to be successful in this industry. It's our job! Of course we do. But how do you measure succcess? Amount of projects? Most income? Biggest projects?


Everyone measures it differently - for me, the most exciting thing about voiceover work, certainly, is working with big brands. Brands with names that I know and have grown up with. It feels like this strange sensation of almost working with 'celebrity' brands.


But how on Earth do people find the work for these brands? Is it just down to their agents? Let's talk about it.


So, what are my credentials to talk about this?

If you don't know me, I'm a professional VO artist - mainly in the commercial VO sphere. But what gives me the right to talk about this?


I'm struggling to not feel like an egotist whilst writing this section, so please bare with me;


I've been in the VO industry for around 4 years now, slowly working my way up. In this (fairly) short time in the industry, I've worked with the following brands:


  • NATO

  • ESPN

  • Sky Sports

  • Ubisoft

  • Crocs

  • Volvo

  • BMW M

  • Maserati

  • Sonos

  • Vodafone

  • and a fair few more


Despite that, I'm in a position where I'm not represented. I don't have an agent and I don't have anybody above me - I do all my scouting and auditioning myself. All recorded from my home studio. So, how did I bag these jobs? Where did these clients post these jobs?




Get yourself out there!

Straight away, you need to market yourself. Would you believe me if I said maybe 80% of my big brand jobs scouted me out, rather than me auditioning? You'd be amazed - I see far fewer auditions for brands that I recognise.


Having a strong online presence is incredibly important when it comes to any scouting, never mind just the big brands. Make yourself discoverable, have strong profiles, strong demos and strong SEO!


I'll be completely honest - some of the big projects I've received have originated from the big controversial gig platform: Fiverr. Say what you like about the paltform, but it serves as a hub (like many other sites, thought Fiverr is generally the go-to for clients less 'in-the-know' with voiceover) on which voiceover talent is presented to a client in a pool.


I was very fortunate to be pushed to a Top Seller status very quickly on the platform, which boosted me to the top of many desirable clients' feeds. However, this isn't me saying 'sign up to Fiverr! It's the way to go!', because really, it isn't. I have a lot of issues with the platform (which I won't go into here). The point is, having that strong presence on the site where the clients were looking was a huge strength for me.


So, what, I just have to get lucky?

No.


To answer the original question, 'where do big brands shop for voiceover?', my answer to that is a simple: everywhere.


Let's talk about other presence online.


Having this website has been HUGE for me. I've been scouted by a few incredibly exciting projects because of various reasons: this website appeared in Google searches, or I had the website attached to a portfolio on a random VO website, or a client shared it with another production company etc etc etc.



The truth is, having a website is fairly essential for voiceover in today's day and age. Use it as a place to host your demos and really show off your chops on the front page. Show clients what you're made of. Also, and maybe this is a personal thing to me, having a website that looks coherent and professional does wonders for how clients perceive you and their initial impression of how much detail you put into your image (and thus your work).


So - get yourself a website. A free website builder one is fine, even with watermarks if you can't afford a pro plan. Host your demos on the front page. Make it look professional. Include your contact details. It will do a lot for you!


And where else?

The rest is all the fairly obvious that any other 'where do I find voiceover work' article would explain to you. Openings will come up on any of the following sites:


  • Voices

  • Voice123

  • VoicesUK/US

  • Bodalgo

  • Mandy

  • Starnow

  • Backstage

  • Pretty much any other P2p/F2p site you can think of.


It's not enough to just be a VO anymore

I always liken it to being a musician. It's not enough to just be a musician anymore - you have to be a social media influencer in some sort of way to get your music out there. No matter how good you are.


And it's similar with voiceover! These jobs are out there and someone has to voice it. But as it goes in my experience, many of these clients reach out to you directly, rather than posting an audition. Of course, this isn't a guarantee, but worth thinking about.


And of course, there's nothing stopping you from focusing on both! Get your presence nailed. Press photos, website, short bio, contact info - make sure it's all as easy as possible to find. Become knowledgable on how to make your presence look good. Make it eye catching. Think about it - before a client even hears your demo, they'll see your profile/website in whatever situation they're searching for a voiceover. If they see a profile with no contact details and a terrible iPhone selfie picture, they might be turned away.


And finally, demos, demos, demos.

Here I am to drill it home one more time.


Get good demos! If your client gets past the presentation of your work and listens to your demos, they will absolutely be turned away by something that sounds like s**t. Fix it.


Check my other blog posts for some information on how to improve your audio setups, but I would strongly recommend that you get your voiceover directed, edited, mixed and mastered with sound effects by a professional! Sure, it's another cost, which I fully appreciate - but it's an investment into your career. If you're serious about it, it's a worthwhile investment.


Conclusion

So, what's the main takeaway?


Big brand and high importance jobs don't come round every day. I see household name opportunities fairly infrequently, but that's absolutely fine.


What's important is that your image and the immediate impression that your client takes from you is professional, clear and intriguing. People will always tell you that this job is mostly about auditioning, which is true - but that is not to say that clients will never reach out to you personally without an audition. If your presence shows what you can do, is varied and ticks most client boxes/covers all bases, then it will, in time, happen.


Have patience. Don't compare yourself to the timeline of other VOs. Clients are always looking for a specific thing and you might just not fit that niche. Until one day, you do!


funnily enough, as I was typing this blog post, a posting for Samsung came up on Voices for American VOs. Get out there, US talent!


Best of luck.


Peace out. Be safe.


Elliot









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