Creating A Voice-Over Demo: The Basics

Creating A Voice-Over Demo: The Basics

The voice-over demo is a crucial element in any voice actor’s toolkit. Creating one can seem like an overwhelming task, but with the right preparation and planning it will be easy to get your message across to potential clients. This blog post will explain the process of creating a professional voice-over demo that showcases your skills, experience, and personality so that you can achieve success in this competitive industry! What is a voice over demo? A voice-over demo is a recording of your voice that you use to promote yourself as a professional voice actor. It is one of the key elements in your voice-over marketing strategy. It is usually 60 – 90 seconds long (although sometimes audiobook demos may bit a touch longer). It is a quick snapshot of your voice talent. How else will a potential client know what you sound like? Here are some examples of my different voice-over demos. What are the steps to creating a voice over demo? The four main steps to creating your professional voice-over demo are pre-production, production, post-production, distribution. Creating a voice-over demo is an involved process but it doesn’t have to be difficult! Pre-production: Creating a professional voice-over demo is all about preparing for the production process. It includes everything from deciding on your script to planning out the types of reads you’ll excel at. Remember, no matter what genre of voice-over you work in, it is all about acting in one way or another. (Check out this list of books on acting from Amazon). At Radio Lounge we use a magic (ok, not really magic) process to match your voice style to specific brands. From there we write custom scripts tailored to your strengths. NO RIPPING OFF SCRIPTS FROM THE INTERNET HERE! Preparing in advance will make producing much…
10 Tips For Naming Your New Podcast

10 Tips For Naming Your New Podcast

How to name your podcast. We understand that this new endeavor is your baby. Your pride and joy. When choosing a name, think about who your listener will be. What do they like? What are their hobbies and interests? Your podcast name should be catchy enough to attract the type of audience you want! Here are 10 tips we believe are key to finding that perfect podcast name. What is your podcast about and what do you want to communicate with the title? The first thing to decide before naming your podcast should be what it’s about, and what message you want listeners to take away from listening. Is it informative? Entertaining? A discussion between friends? This will help guide how best to find a name for your podcast! Consider your podcast’s target audience. When choosing a name, think about who your listener will be. What do they like? What are their hobbies and interests? Your podcast name should be catchy enough to attract (and connect!) the type of audience you want! Should I use a show title or my own name for the podcast’s title? The decision is entirely up to you, but it will depend on what your goal is with the podcast. If this is something that would make sense as an ongoing broadcast series (e.g., NPR), then using a show title might work best. For example: “This American Life” by Ira Glass.  On the other hand, if you’re using social media platforms such as Periscope or Blab, naming your podcasts after yourself may be more appropriate so people can find them easily in searches. Consider the tone of your audience when naming your podcast. You may want to have a name that reflects the tone of your podcast. For example, if you’re planning on doing a…
Email Marketing For Voice Actors

Email Marketing For Voice Actors

Email marketing is a powerful tool for voice actors building their voiceover business. Here are a few benefits and tips for success.
Making Your Voiceover Vision a Reality

Making Your Voiceover Vision a Reality

Failure to take action is the number one reason voice actors don't reach their goals. Why?
Voiceover Rates

Voiceover Rates

How much should I charge for a voiceover? The majority of voiceover questions we get here at Radio Lounge, surround the topic of rates. For many, this is new territory. How much do I charge for this eLearning project? How much should I charge for this corporate Vo gig? There are many voiceover forums out there, and these questions fill the forums everyday. Here is your answer. There are two extremely helpful websites when it comes to rates. GVAA posts an active rate guide at GVAA Rate Guide | Global Voice Acting Academy | Voice Over Coaching & Classes (globalvoiceacademy.com) GVAA’s rate guide is broken out into the most popular voiceover project categories and gives you a nice range to help build your project quote. Gravy For The Brain is another popular voice over site, and has a nice page devoted to rates at Rate Guide – Gravy For The Brain – Rates The GFTB’s website also has a feature where you can narrow down the country you are quoting for, as many international projects vary in rates from here in the states. If you don’t find exactly what you are looking for, reach to us here at Radio Lounge, or to your favorite voice over forum on social media. There are many pros out there to help you. Hopefully this helps you formulate a solid quote for your potential project. If you need to take your voiceover career to the next level, contact us about virtual voiceover coaching, or our in-person Houston voiceover coaching services, and results-driven voice over demo production.
It's Not About The Gear

It's Not About The Gear

When it comes to voiceover, it’s not about the gear. What do I mean when I say that? If you search voiceover forums online or social media groups, there are endless questions about equipment. This microphone vs.that microphone. Should I spend the money on a 416 or U87, or can I find something just as good for much cheaper? And the same thing is true for interfaces, DAW’s, mic preamps, and so on. We won’t get into the details of individual pieces of gear in this article, but just know that there are many great mid-priced options for mics, interfaces, etc. that sound great and won’t cost an arm and a leg. If you are getting started in voiceover, this is the way you should go. Once you have established yourself, and are pulling in good amounts of revenue from your voice over business, then you can look at upgrading – and you may not need to. Just don’t get caught up in the gear to get started. If you need recommendations for specific pieces of equipment, give us a shout. As a marketing partner for Sweetwater, we can help you get set up with everything you need for a solid mid-price voiceover rig to start making money. We can help with studio consultation as well as virtual voiceover coaching, Houston voice over coaching for those who live in the area, and we have a proven track record of high-quality voiceover demos that book gigs! Give us a call. GET WEEKLY QUICK VOICEOVER TIPS DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOUR EMAIL! We never sell your email address. Ever. * indicates required Email Address * First Name Last Name It’s Not About the Gear #voiceover #vo
Self-Promotion Is Necessary For A Voice Actor

Self-Promotion Is Necessary For A Voice Actor

It’s true whether you like it or not, self-promotion IS necessary for a voice actor to have success in this business. One of our favorite sayings around Radio Lounge is “speaking in front of the mic is the easy part”. You’ve got to hustle to get the work. That means you need to get used to the idea of talking about yourself – and SELLING yourself. It makes many people uncomfortable, but that is just part of the VO game. ” I hate bragging about myself”. We’re not saying you should go overboard and become conceited, but clients are busy and they don’t really have the time to brag about you and promote you on their projects. That leaves you to handle your own promotion. I don’t think we have to explain why this is so important. “You can’t get hired if you don’t get found, y’all” as we might say here in Texas. You have to have an online presence – your website, social media, networking groups, whatever gets you in front of people. Share your work. Showcase projects you have done. Offer spec samples to clients you meet. You are your best (and really ONLY salesperson). You must embrace this and become comfortable with it. No one will do the hustle for you. Sure, you might outsource certain promotional tasks, but ultimately to have to find comfort in the uncomfortable. If you need to take your voiceover career to the next level, contact us about virtual voiceover coaching, or our in-person Houston voiceover coaching services, and results-driven voice over demo production. GET WEEKLY QUICK VOICEOVER TIPS DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOUR EMAIL! We never sell your email address. Ever. * indicates required Email Address * First Name Last Name Self-Promotion Is Necessary For A Voice Actor #voiceover #vo
Connect To The Script

Connect To The Script

“You need to better connect to the script”. I heard those words SO many times in my early days in voiceover. You see, I came from radio. And back then radio was about a) your personality, b) the sound of your voice, c) the sound of your voice, d) the sound of your voice, e) can you make it through a script without stumbling. …and did we mention it was about the sound of your voice. Lung cancer be damned if you smoked and had a deep voice. Welcome to modern voice acting, where things are different. You see, in radio, it was all about just getting it done. Grab the copy, maybe read it once or twice, hit record, and go. The result was technically a finished voiceover. But there was no connection to the script. They were words read aloud, but they weren’t believable. You still hear that read on local radio, especially in automotive, but listen to the national spots. Authentic. Conversational. Believable. Acting vs. just reading. This is connection – and it takes practice. Start by really digging deep into the copy. And yes, it can be hard sometimes to dig deep into Chevy Trucks only 23,998 this week. But for spots that have an emotional connection, dig deeper. Know what the ultimate thing is you are trying to convey. These aren’t just words, they are a message. What is the message you are communicating? Who are you in this scenario? No, you are not the narrator/announcer/vo talent, etc written at the top of the copy. You are the CEO telling people about your product with a sense of pride, a mom who trusts that this product/service is a blessing to her household. Who are you in the story? Who are you talking to? Are you…
Know The Voiceover Industry

Know The Voiceover Industry

It’s an old saying, but it’s true – knowledge is power: Know the voiceover industry is what we add to that statement. Recently I read I social media post where a new voice talent was asking about different pay-to-play (P2P) sites. There is nothing new in that question, as these sites have been discussed ad nauseum. There was plenty of dialogue back and forth – some talent had good luck, some had bad luck – and of course, there were discussions about some of the more…..um….unscrupulous sites. Now, I could make this P2P discussion an example alone of how to know your industry, as this topic is very much a buyer beware situation. But there was another comment that struck me even more. The voice talent, when discussing the P2P options, mentioned that he had already shelled out $3500 for a voiceover demo. $3500!!!! Audio only (not even a video demo)! That is THREE TIMES WHAT A VOICEOVER DEMO SHOULD HAVE COST! The best demo producers in the country – and we would include Radio Lounge in that group of great voiceover demo providers – do not charge anywhere near $3500 for a vo demo. Usually, high-quality demos will come in between $1000 and $2500 (never have I seen a demo higher than $2500). We charge $1200, which is a really good deal for our expertise, custom content, direction, and audio quality. The question was asked if this included coaching leading up to the demo. The overall consensus was no. This $3500 was just for the demo. There are a lot of people trying to make money off of voice actors right now. Know who the quality players are in the industry. Join social media groups. Read the forums. Listen to the various podcasts. Get an idea of what things…
Good Enough Is Perfect When Auditioning

Good Enough Is Perfect When Auditioning

It goes against our perfectionist nature. But really…good enough is perfect when auditioning. “But Bruce you don’t understand. There are lots of talent competing for this gig. I have to get it just right” And so it goes. Take 12 Take 19. Take…whatever. “I think I can redo the intro.” “I don’t like how I read that word.” Before you know it you have spun yourself around and around the preverbal voiceover carousel. The key here is to understand that good enough IS perfect. Yes, you should submit your best work. Yes, it may take you a couple of reads to get it just right. But just a couple at most. Prepare ahead of time. Know your read. Trust your preparation. Then. Just. Read. It. Don’t overanalyze it. I understand. I used to do it too. And I drove myself crazy. The more to work on your craft, the more you will trust yourself. Practice is a good thing. But driving yourself crazy over an audition is something completely different. If you need help perfecting your voiceover craft, check out Radio Lounge’s virtual voiceover coaching services, and in-person Houston voiceover coaching services for those nearby. GET WEEKLY QUICK VOICEOVER TIPS DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOUR EMAIL! We never sell your email address. Ever. * indicates required Email Address * First Name Last Name Good Enough Is Perfect When Auditioning #voiceover #VO
Be Careful on Social Media

Be Careful on Social Media

It’s a given. You must be careful on social media if you are an active poster and promote your voiceover services on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, and others. Certain topics are definitely charged topics. For example, this week’s Presidential debate was…well…less than presidential. There is no denying that either side is charged up and in rare form. And you may have your strong opinions from one party or another. Do remember, that your voiceover business is just that – A BUSINESS. And if we have learned one thing about social media, is that businesses can shoot themselves in the foot with opinionated or not-so-well-thought-out posts. Our quick tip today is to be careful on social media keeping personal channels and business channels separate. Keep politics off of your voiceover business page because you will ABSOLUTELY anger 50% of your potential or current clients. GUARANTEED! And if you have a burning desire to exert your right to free speech, just make sure your personal page is private (double and triple check this), and make sure no clients or potential clients have friended you personally. We are in divisive times. Don’t make the mistake of losing work from it. If you need more guidance with your voiceover career, contact Radio Lounge for virtual voiceover coaching, voiceover demo creation, and in-person voiceover coaching in Houston, if you live in the area. GET WEEKLY QUICK VOICEOVER TIPS DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOUR EMAIL! We never sell your email address. Ever. * indicates required Email Address * First Name Last Name Be Careful on Social Media #socialmedia #voiceover #VO
Be Optimistically Cautious With Voiceover Clients

Be Optimistically Cautious With Voiceover Clients

Regarding payment, it pays to be optimistically cautious with voiceover clients. And keep a cool head. What do I mean by this? Assume that everything will go smoothly when it comes to being paid for your voiceover work. Most of the time, that is the case. However, sometimes the path to receiving payment is a little bumpier. This is where patience and a cool head prevails. Don’t immediately assume the worst and believe a client is out to take advantage of you. A talent of ours recently completed several voiceover projects for a client. Project one posted. Voiceover completed and uploaded. The client was happy. The project closed out. Payment is scheduled. Repeat for project two. Repeat for project three. You gotta love repeat work from clients! Project four appears in the inbox. The rate is for ONE non-broadcast social media video for the same end client. Great! However, the single Word document sent has FIVE video scripts…all of them commercials. Whoa there! Now, this is where the cool head prevails. Don’t jump to assumptions that the client is trying to pull a fast one. Yes, that does happen sometimes. I still remember when a random slide in the middle of an eLearning narration project made no sense to me, and I asked about it…and received very odd answers. I pressed on about it – only to find out that the client tried to sneak in a :15 video script for a DIFFERENT CLIENT into the eLearning script. So, yes it does happen. But don’t go there first. In this situation, the voice talent reached out to the client but received no answer. The talent tried over and over to address the situation. No response. The talent then held on to the audio past the project deadline. When money terms…
Emphasizing THE Wrong Words

Emphasizing THE Wrong Words

Have you ever seen copy that has words capitalized or bolded? You are supposed to hammer those words with gusto because the client/agency decided they are important. So, look at this line of copy: “How would YOU like BIG savings; PLUS save over a thousand bucks AND get a car that will make you look GREAT!” Now, wait a minute. Why are those words emphasized? Good question. We are not selling “you”, “big” “plus” or “and” or “great”. I am not sure why clients do this; it makes no sense. Here is a tip when you see this in the copy. Ignore the bolds and tie the concepts together, like you would tell a friend because you would never speak to a friend like this. The keys here are “save over a thousand” and a “car that makes you look great”, words that are all equally weighted. Again, if you were telling a friend, do it in that style. You are an interpreter of copy and the voice of that copy. You know what the client is trying to do. They want the listener to understand that the offer has multiple pieces. That’s fine. Normally we want to throw away words like “you” “and”, and “but”. But what do we do when the client insists on hitting those words? Instead, try to tie these unimportant words to important phrases. The alternative to reading “How would YOU like BIG savings; PLUS save over a thousand bucks AND get a car that will make you look GREAT!” Try this… “How would YOU LIKE BIG SAVINGS; PLUS SAVE OVER A THOUSAND BUCKS AND GET A CAR THAT MAKES YOU LOOK GREAT!” Yes, we know that read keeps everything at a strong dynamic, but those phrases are really what’s important. There is a caveat…
The Half-Voice

The Half-Voice

If you have never heard of the voiceover term “the half-voice”, it goes by other names – active hush, quiet-voice, chest-voice, and others. In the VO world, half voice is a hushed or chest-voice that is softer but retains intent.  It is not a whisper, but it is a unique place in our voice dynamics that gives a much more personal message.  The half-voice is more of an intentional flair; an important component in certain conversational reads. You may have heard the phrase, talking TO someone, vs. talking AT them. This is where the half-voice comes into play. This of it as speaking right next to your listener. I have also heard it described as being right in the listener’s ear. The half-voice is extremely important to those coming from a broadcasting background where performances tend to be one volume – LOUD! This half-voice also takes a lot of the throat out of the delivery (again, where a lot of former broadcasters tend to squeeze and give that affected “radio read”. Half-voice is a secret weapon we use to calm the announcer or radio voices that have been trained to bark the message.  Learn how to do it and find a rich element in your delivery.  It works. For more voiceover coaching and voice over demo production services, reach out to Radio Lounge. We are here to help boost your voiceover career. GET WEEKLY QUICK VOICEOVER TIPS DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOUR EMAIL! We never sell your email address. Ever. * indicates required Email Address * First Name Last Name The Half-Voice #voiceover #vo #votips
Handling Rejection

Handling Rejection

Handling rejection is one of the toughest parts of being a voice actor. You can get over an old girlfriend, but can you recover when you are rejected for a commercial, especially when in your mind, the audition was award-winning?  Rejection is part of the game You are going to audition for a ton of work, and from time to time, you are going to land a few gigs.  Keep one thing in mind. You are going to land FAR FEWER gigs than you will ever audition for. Even the biggest movie actors on the planet compete for key roles. Guess what. Many times another actor was a better fit for the role. Does that make the actor a bad actor? Nope. It just wasn’t the right fit. Don’t take rejection personally Rejection kills momentum, kills spirit, and kills intent to keep trying.  If you let it. After a while you will either allow yourself the benefit that landing gigs takes a lot of work and you will keep going, keep trying, or you will give up in frustration.  Rejection sucks, but it is part of how this voice acting thing works.  If the rejection side of the equation is larger than the job side, get some coaching, make an appointment with your shrink, and find a way to change that.  This is voiceover, nobody ever said it was going to be a cake walk.  Can you handle it? Embrace rejection Here is a tip. Try to get as many rejections as possible. In other words, keep going after those projects. Keep auditioning. Keep working with a voiceover coach. Keep updating your voice over demos and keep persisting. There is plenty of work out there. Just don’t let rejection get the best of you. GET WEEKLY QUICK VOICEOVER TIPS DELIVERED…
Voiceover Performance: Taste The Words

Voiceover Performance: Taste The Words

In voiceover performance, taste the words. How does the word hot sound to you? Is it HOT! Or, is it just…meh, hot? You’ve got a script and you gloss over the copy to put punctuation in, create natural breaks, set the tone and energy of each phrase, but have you taken the time to focus on the words that need a natural response to their meaning? The magic happens when you equally weight the message with the proper values of the words. That is called tasting. One of the big voiceover performance challenges we work with is inserting emotion into a read. The ability to make words sound like they feel. Of course, you can overdo it and make a read phony and not authentic. Before your next audition, find a few scripts and look for those words that have a taste as well as a sound. Too many voice actors forget to do that and as a result, the intent of the message is completely lost. Learn how to “taste” words in your voiceover performance. A master at tasting words, is Morgan Freeman. He could read the phone book and you would hang on every word! If you want to step up your voiceover game, check out Radio Lounge’s voiceover coaching and voice over demo services. GET WEEKLY QUICK VOICEOVER TIPS DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOUR EMAIL! We never sell your email address. Ever. * indicates required Email Address * First Name Last Name Voiceover Performance: Taste The Words #voiceover #vo #performance
Studio Etiquette - Don't Touch The Mic!

Studio Etiquette - Don't Touch The Mic!

You most likely will not do everything from your home studio. You will be called to work with a professional recording crew at a professional recording studio. So, are there some rules? You bet. Pro studios do not like talent touching anything in the booth or the control room. Reaching out a grabbing a mic that costs thousands of dollars makes pro studio people cringe. It is kind of like grabbing your favorite rock star’s guitar and playing your version of Stairway to Heaven…not cool. A pro studio will adjust the mic for you, provide headphones, and adjust volumes. Keep your hands to yourself and IF something needs adjusting, just ask. Before you go into the booth, ASK if it is okay to bring your bottle of water, or whatever your drinking. Do that and you will set the stage for a great session and a good relationship. Most studios are fine with water in the booth, and many studios will provide water. Just double-check if unsure. Learn more about Radio Lounge’s voiceover coaching, voiceover demo production, and podcasting services. GET WEEKLY QUICK VOICEOVER TIPS DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOUR EMAIL! We never sell your email address. Ever. * indicates required Email Address * First Name Last Name Studio Etiquette – Don’t Touch The Mic! #vo #voiceover #podcasting
The Lower The Rate, The Higher The Hassle

The Lower The Rate, The Higher The Hassle

Yes, I said it. The lower the rate, the higher the hassle when it comes to voiceover clients. This statement comes from years of painful experience. In my voice over journey, here are a few things I have learned about dealing with cheap clients. You don’t have their respect. There is something about pricing yourself as a commodity that turns you into…well…a commodity. When you don’t respect yourself enough to price your voiceover services accordingly, clients may not respect you either. They are not grateful for the bargain. One would think that any client that is getting such a great deal for a quality voice actor would be grateful for that actor. Think again. This really ties into the respect discussed earlier. Many voice talents have experienced clients that take advantage of bargain-basement rates, pushing the boundaries further and further. You will never get the promised volume of future work. Santa Claus. The Tooth Fairy. The Easter Bunny. The large volume of future work because of your low rate. Point made! It rarely happens. Don’t fall for it. NEVER, EVER work for free for ‘exposure’ See point above. Exposure doesn’t pay the bills. Again, don’t fall for it. The main takeaway here is to know your value, and stick to your guns when it comes to a fair rate. These types of clients are never worth it in the long run, even when just getting started in voiceover. Sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and others are notorious for clients looking for cheap talent, but many independent producers are just as bad. Skip the gutter, and put your efforts into finding quality clients For help growing your voiceover career, including voiceover coaching, business consulting, and voice over demos, contact us at Radio Lounge. We are here to help! GET WEEKLY QUICK VOICEOVER…
Voiceover Booth Soundproofing

Voiceover Booth Soundproofing

Myth DEBUNKED! Today we want to debunk a popular voiceover booth soundproofing myth. You know the challenges. Just looking at the lawnmower picture takes you back to that session. In the room…ready to record…or maybe even in the middle of recording….RRRRRRR..BUZZZZZZZZ….SOMEONE IS CUTTING THE LAWN OUTSIDE!!! Maybe it’s the plane flying over. The loud car driving by. What is the first thing that voice actors end up putting on the walls? Sound foam. Let’s clear a few things up. Without getting too technical, there is a difference between sound TREATMENT and sound PROOFING. Treatment is the act of minimizing or controlling reflections. Essentially getting rid of reverberant sounds and odd echoes. It makes your recording area sound tighter. But it won’t block out that lawnmower. For that purpose – soundPROOFING – you need mass. Mass is the only way to reduce those outside sounds from bleeding onto your recording. That is why prebuilt or custom-built voiceover booths from companies like VocalBooth.com and WhisperRoom are so popular (and their not cheap!!). Thick walls of sheetrock, MDF, or other heavy material is what you need to block out plains, trains, and automobiles. So before you go out and spend several hundred dollars covering your room in foam, ask yourself what the goal is. Reduce room echo? The foam will be OK. Block out the lawnmower? Mass will be your friend. To learn more about the voiceover business, studio setup, voice over coaching or vo demo production, contact us here at Radio Lounge. We can help you grow your voiceover business GET WEEKLY QUICK VOICEOVER TIPS DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOUR EMAIL! We never sell your email address. Ever. * indicates required Email Address * First Name Last Name Voiceover Booth Soundproofing Myth – Debunked #vo #voiceover #soundproofing #studio
Landing More Voiceover Work

Landing More Voiceover Work

Landing more voiceover work. This is probably the number one most asked question here at Radio Lounge. Voice actors everywhere are always looking for more effective ways of landing more voiceover work. This is with good reason. We have a philosophy here at Radio Lounge. The work behind the mic is the EASY PART! We once heard that voice over is 5% voicing projects and 95% of the time landing those projects. That’s closer to the truth than you might think. Hustle is the name of the game! While the past popularity of certain pay-to-play sites (P2P) allowed voice actors to simply check their inbox, and submit auditions all day, those days are gone. P2P’s aren’t a fair game anymore. Even well-qualified voice actors have come up dry using these sites. So what is the best way to land more voiceover work, now? You gotta do the hustle! It’s all about creating relationships Creating relationships means reaching out. Yes… good ol’ networking. Meeting people in person at networking events. Reaching out via the phone to prospects. Sending emails introducing yourself. The work doesn’t just come to you. You have to go out and grab it. Laning more voiceover work means…Hustle! But I hate cold calling, cold emailing, etc. This is an area that you will have to conquer your fears. Voiceover is a very competitive industry. Only a certain percentage of voice actors will take the initiative and perform cold outreach. Like anything else, it just takes practice and a mindset change. Instead of worrying about getting a ‘NO’, think about how there are YES’s are buried within those ‘NO’s. Now go out and grab as many NO’s as you can today. Make it a goal. Tell yourself, “I will get twenty people to tell me NO today”, then GO…