You Have 16 Agents? Say What!
How many agents do you have? Some believe that having more agents mean more opportunities for work. But is that the case? Bill DeWees is a Chicago area business and media veteran. His diverse background includes radio, television, business/marketing consulting, corporate education, and college professor.
We caught up with DeWees and asked him about his predictions for the voice over industry and about having so many agents.
I have to ask the most obvious question. Does having more agents bring in more work?
Sure, that’s what I have so many! 🙂 However, it’s important to know those 16 agents account for only about 5% of my total income. Rule #1 of being a successful voice talent: YOU must be your own best agent! My background is in marketing so I understand the concept of the “sales funnel.” You’ve got to put a lot in the top of the funnel, to get a little out of the bottom. I take that same approach in all of my marketing efforts.
How do you handle the situation when the same audition comes in from two (or more) agents?
It certainly does happen. It’s customary to submit the audition to the agency that sent the audition first. I’m upfront and let the other agents know what has happened.
Has anyone from the Guinness Book of World Records contacted you?
No! I haven’t even thought about that…lol! I wonder if it IS a world record?!?!?!?
Is each agent aware of all the other agents?
Kind of. My agency relationships are all “non-exclusive” so they assume that you may have other agents. I don’t advertise the fact though.
You’re a respected voice over coach and known for your many YouTube videos. What’s the most common question you get asked about the industry?
Where’s all the work at?!?!? That is the million dollar question. The answer is (drum roll please) . . . EVERYWHERE! We are inundated with media that uses voice over. If you stop to think about it, you would come up with a long list right now. The better question is: How can I create a marketing plan that will allow me to talk to the right person with the right message?
Do you ever deter a voice from spending a ton of money on equipment and further training if you don’t feel they have the basic skills required for voice overs?
I’m upfront and honest with people and let them know where I believe they stand. However, I learned long ago to never tell someone that “can’t” do something. It’s very unempowering. I know a guy that trained in radio broadcasting many years ago, that was told by someone that he could never make it in radio. He not only made it as a morning guy in a large market, he’s also a successful program director.
What are you predications for the industry in the next 5 years?
Technology will continue to dictate what happens in our industry (and every industry for that matter):
* More people will will attempt to work from home as a talent
* “Gatekeepers” (unions and agents) will continue to lose power as clients work directly with talent
* More voice over jobs will become available as media continues to proliferate.
Those that understand the necessary skills and marketing strategies will rise to the top and create careers and livings from this business.
Bill DeWees is in high demand as a voice over coach and teacher as well as author of the book, “How to Start and Build a 6-Figure Voice Over Business.”