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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Playing To Your Strengths

We've been talking about how to land your first voice-over job. As I said in an earlier post, it often takes some time to accomplish this, but the key is to not give up.

I love to talk to people about what they do. The truth is, everyone has an interesting story to tell, and we all like to talk about ourselves don't we? When I talk to other part time voice actors, one of my first questions is "what do you do when you're not voice acting?" The answer to this question may be the key to your voice-over niche. You know what's next.

Words of Wisdom #4: Play to your strength. What do I mean by this? Well, I'll use myself as an example, because as I just wrote, we all like to talk about ourselves ,right? I am a pharmacist in my other life. Being in the medical field, I deal with drug names and medical terminology all day long. When you start to think about it, there are many applications for this type of background in the voice-over world.

In order to distinguish myself, I always include this information in all of my correspondence with producers, and it has led to a number of jobs. For example, I was hired by a publishing company to voice 300 generic and brand name drugs for an audio glossary in a nursing handbook that they were producing. Most recently I voiced the part of a Doctor doing dictation for the CD insert in a textbook on Medical Transcription.

In both cases, I was hired specifically because I have knowledge of medical terminology. These jobs have led to even more work with this company because once I did the first job, and did it very professionally (because I was trained), they knew I was reliable.

So take a little time and think about what it is that you do in your current job, and what applications there may be for your skills in the voice-over world. A voice actor I know is a former State Trooper. He used his experience in the law enforcement field to pitch a training module concept to his State organization. They thought it was a great idea and funded the project. He is in charge of the project and does all the voice-over work on the modules.

Whatever your particular knowledge base is, use it to set yourself apart from the competition, and create a marketing niche for yourself. This is a great way to land that first job.

In my next post we'll talk about how important that first job is and what you need to do to leave a great impression...and get more work in the process.

Keep talking.


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