As a voice talent, you are most likely in charge of all aspects of your business, including quality control. Your name is on everything that leaves your studio, so make sure your first impression is a great one. Here are some pointers from an audio producer’s point of view that will help you grow your client list and keep them coming back for more.
Everyone makes mistakes. Even the most seasoned voice talent will misread a line or word every once in a while. The best way to prevent mistakes from leaving your studio is to simply check your work before hitting the send button. Sounds like a no-brainer, but when things get busy, and you’re pressed for time, you may be tempted to ship out your VO right after you finish editing it, without reviewing it first. Take the extra few minutes to go back and listen to your audio file one final time to double check that you read everything correctly. Or, even better, if you’re fortunate enough to have an assistant or someone you work with, get them to listen in while you record to make sure you are reading the copy correctly. An extra set of eyes and ears can go a long way.
Consistency is Key
Think of your voice-over file as a cup of coffee from Starbucks. No matter where you pick up a Starbucks coffee, you know how it’s going to taste. The same should be said about your voice-overs. When a client turns into a repeat client, make sure you are consistent with your sound quality and settings. Avoid continuous tweaking and over-tweaking of your sound. Now, that doesn’t mean you should never change your settings or mic, or try something new that you just learned, just don’t do it every other day. Be aware that if a past client has to revise a project you voiced a few years ago, they are going to need it to sound identical to the original so that it can fit seamlessly into the new project.
Always Be Professional
Several years ago I did a phone session where I sat in on the line with a voice-talent and a client. The session went on a little longer than it probably needed to be, but the client was happy with the outcome, so no worries. Before I ended the session, I told the talent not to hang up because I needed to give him my email address. I made sure everything was all set with the client, and we said our goodbyes. As I returned to the talent with my email address, the talent shoots back, “Man, that was a pain in the neck, wasn’t it!? They should have figured out what they wanted before scheduling the session!” I didn’t comment on that and finished our conversation and hung up. Later that day, I received an email from the client saying they had remained on the line and heard the talent’s comment, and they were not very happy about what he had to say! It didn’t cost us the session, but the client never wanted to hire that talent again. This can happen with emails as well. Your comment that was only supposed to be seen by the producer could accidentally be forwarded directly to the client. So ALWAYS be professional, you never know who is listening or reading.
Producers Are Your Friends
Just like you, producers want the best possible product to be sent out to their clients. They’re a pair of fresh ears to listen to your work and may hear something you don’t. So if a producer ever asks for a re-cut of a specific line or even a re-cut of the whole script, know they aren’t doing it to be difficult. I’ve had some voice talents come back to me and argue why their read was fine and tell me they don’t believe they need to re-do it. Or insert a snarky comment in the VO file right before their new read. I would advise against doing either of those things. Producers are on deadlines too and would like a one and done first take just as much as you. Moreover, producers are usually your link to the clients, so if you’re difficult to work with, the next time a client asks for a talent recommendation, your name probably won’t come ups.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]