How To Make Yourself Known and Available To The Work As A Voice-over

There’s really is no point in having a demo if no one knows you have one.

Therefore it stands to reason industry professionals are more likely to book you based on familiarity. Familiarity only comes about through repeated promotions.

What marketing and PR professionals know that you might not is the simple fact that your target audience (producers and various Creatives) don’t even realize you’re attempting to communicate with them until you’ve promoted yourself at least SEVEN times within a reasonable period of time. Therefore your promotional postcards (Yes, POSTCARDS!) must be sent again and again and again just to allow you the opportunity to successfully break out of oblivion. Out of sight, out of mind. Creatives loath unsolicited emails even more than you do! (Besides, blindly emailing your promotional materials is considered spam and, like you, is typically met with a quick and final ‘DELETE’.)

Nevertheless, the name of the game is ‘promote or perish’.  This is true for any business, but most especially the voice over business. Promotion is a constant.

You wouldn’t walk through a grocery store and purchase anything that was completely foreign to you.  We generally go with what we know.

Coca-Cola and McDonald’s are both time-tested household names for one reason:  they never stop promoting. This should be your mission, too, considering any successful businessperson will tell you promotion is better than 90% of their business. You might even say promotion makes their business. The remaining 10% of the equation is your product: your performance and a demonstration of your abilities on your voice-over demo.  Assuming your product is prepared well the remainder of your job consists of ongoing promotion. This remains the case whether you’re an established star like George Clooney or whether you just starting out.  Both sides of this equation require continued care and attention.

Committing to a promotional plan is critical to the success of your small business as a voice over.  In fact, as a small business owner, you should expect to dedicate as much time to establishing and furthering your brand as you do developing your product: your performance and skills. Instead, the average talent shirks this responsibility of maintaining their business through promotion resting on the excuse they “don’t want to be a bother”, or “isn’t this the talent agent’s job” to promote you.  Either notion will insure anonymity if not flat out oblivion.

If you’re trained and your demo is exceptional—then, wonderful!  You have a Maserati for a demo, but it won’t get you anywhere if you leave it parked in the garage.  You have to drive your demo in order to drive your career. Certainly talent agents want to help, but this is honestly not their area of expertise nor is it their responsibility.

This is YOUR career and on-going promotion to your target audience is how you run it!


Article by Kate McClanaghan,

Kate McClanaghan

Kate McClanaghan is a casting director, producer, and founder of both BIG HOUSE CASTING & AUDIO (Chicago and Los Angeles) and ACTORS’ SOUND ADVICE. Kate is a seasoned industry veteran and actress who has trained and produced demos for more than 5,000 talent over the years. Kate has developed a unique, custom-tailored approach to establishing, expanding and maintaining a professional career as a working actor and voice-over. Her approach is detailed in The SOUND ADVICE Encyclopedia of Voice-over & the Business of Being a Working Talent.