This past weekend I had the privilege of attending and speaking at the VO North conference in Toronto. Hundreds of VO talent gathered for three days of networking, learning and growth.
Over the weekend, a few major themes emerged that defined the conference. From the value of mentorship, to the disruptive nature of online casting and the struggle to stand out, here are my top takeaways from VO North 2022.
One thing that’s clear is the VO community is unique for its generous, supportive nature. Everybody at VO North, from the industry veterans, to sponsors, to those just starting out, were there to build each other up and grow the industry rather than just themselves.
We also heard why this is a double-edged sword. Sometimes peers aren’t forthcoming with the feedback you need. And worse, there are a few bad actors out there who try to take advantage of this industry’s good nature.
The solution? Seek out mentorship from a true professional who can help you grow in your career. Trustworthy advice and honest (even if difficult) feedback are indispensable. Fortunately, there are a lot of pros out there who are happy to give back to the community and help you stay on the right path.
A discussion that came up in multiple panels at VO North was how casting websites are changing the industry.
The primary challenge comes from a glut of amateur and international talent who are willing to compromise on rates. We even heard about one casting platform that has dropped its minimum rate for casting to just $5.
A secondary concern is how these websites favour some talent over others - be it for the size of the fee they pay, or their ratings and reviews from clients.
The frustration was palpable, and the experts responded with a few common threads:
Use casting websites in a way that works for you. Especially while you’re building up your brand and reputation, there’s no harm in using casting websites - as long as they’re doing what you need them to do and they’re not your only source of work.
Know your worth (and demand it). Rates will be a deciding factor for some jobs, but not for others. Rather than trying to compete on price alone, put your best foot forward and accept that some jobs are just not worth doing.
Connect individually with your clients. Use a variety of voice over marketing tools and make sure your clients know they don’t have to use a casting website to hire you.
Everyone at VO North was there to grow their career in one way or another. Whether challenged by getting jobs, finding representation, or growing their client base, everyone was curious about how to market themselves.
The takeaway? Marketing is hard, and the key to getting results is persistence. The experts had a few suggestions:
Make time in your day for marketing. The more you do something, the easier it becomes. If you dedicate a portion of every day to marketing, you’ll build good habits and start to see results.
Every response is a positive response. You never know when results will come - we even heard stories of clients reaching out after years of radio silence. Worry less about how many bookings you’re getting, and more about how many connections you’re making.
You have to make the most of every opportunity. There is no shortage of voice actors in this world, so you have to stand out against your competition. Little things like following audition directions flawlessly and making sure your voice over website provides an excellent user experience could be the difference that gets you ahead.
Growing your voice over business is a challenge, and the experts have spoken on how to get ahead: seek mentorship, be strategic in your use of online casting platforms and invest in marketing yourself.
There’s an easier way to get a better website than you can make yourself without spending hundreds of dollars up front.
With Voice on Screen, you can get your very own home on the web for as little as $50 per month. No coding, no building.Learn more
From the value of mentorship, to the disruptive nature of online casting and the struggle to stand out, here are our top takeaways from VO North 2022.
Learn the ins and outs of search engine optimization (SEO) for voice over pros.
Is Wix the right tool to make a website for your voice over business? Find out whether this popular website builder is right for you.
What content does your voice actor website need to include? Find out more in this guide.
The ultimate resource for voice artists to create a website that looks good, works well, and helps you grow your voice business.
Squarespace can be a good choice for your voice over website – if you’re prepared to make some concessions. Learn about the pros and cons of using Squarespace to build your voice acting website.
What are the most common problems with voice actor websites, and what can you do to fix yours? Find out where you should focus your attention for a website that stands out from the crowd.
Copyright © 2022 Voice on Screen
Your message was sent successfully.
We will be in touch with you soon.
How can we help? Enter your information below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.