It is always good for your career to learn a new skill, whether you have found yourself at a standstill or you just want to challenge yourself this New Year.
And learning a new skill doesn’t necessarily have to be improving just your voice skills but also improving your business. If you are used to leaving some aspects of your career to the “experts”, it is high time then to learn more and take better control of your voice over business.
Being a voice over actor, you are already experienced and trained to have a “good ear”, but knowing what buttons to press to record and knowing how to balance your levels are not enough to get the level of perfection that can make you land those jobs all the time. Learn to use your tools to make a perfect marriage of your voice and effects, music or background. Train yourself to be at the same professional standard of a sound engineer. Train to master the controls of your equipment and software and have a “better” ear for the subtleties of sound. Be at a level that you would know the difference of a quality recording to one that is overproduced. As auditioning is part of the job, your output should always be a recording fit for release.
Whether you are a new comer to the industry or have circled the block once over, there are always new or alternative ways to up the ante when it comes to marketing. Your voice over career is a business and should be treated as such, and like in any business, marketing strategies should always be fresh and appealing to your target audience, clients and producers. You may have heard of terms SEM, SEO, SMM, SERM, press optimization, CMS and more, and all have gone over your head. Keeping your leads fresh means keeping up with the times. Undoubtedly, marketing is gearing towards to a more internet based strategies. Even if they say that the best advertising is your demo reel, creating a variety on how you market your material (and yourself) can create client conversions in areas you have not explored and can have real-time results that you can easily monitor.
Writing (and Copywriting) Skills
In an industry where communication is key, you cannot just sound good, you should also be good in paper. Some would say that as voice over actor your job is to read the script that is handed to you. However, when you improve your writing skills and even learn what copywriters do (though technically two different things) you get to have a better understanding of words and how you can convey the material.
Good writing skills allow you to communicate better, and yes read better. Improving your writing skills will help you pick up problems with the flow of your script. And taking time to polish your writing skills is likely to pay off in the longer term – writing industry articles or blogs can also be one form of marketing yourself or getting your name out as a voice over industry influencer.
A copywriter writes with an agenda and that is the client’s agenda. This can either be to promote a product or educating an audience. It is not all about the writing, and the research that is involved in the process, it is about articulating the voice of the client. Training yourself to be a copywriter will help you understand who you are speaking for and who are speaking to. And this of course will translate to comprehending the script better and a better read.
Voice acting is a craft that in itself takes time to master, and you may think spending time and energy to learn new skills can be counter-productive to your progress. However, choosing the right skill to improve or gain will not just add a string to your bow, but also an investment that can bring in more voice over projects and income.
What new skills will you learn this year to help your voice over career/business?