INTERNATIONAL VOICEOVERS ROCK!
Published October 10, 2009
This voiceover business is getting smaller and smaller.
Oh, I don’t mean that there is less and less work. Quite the opposite. I mean it used to be that one’s circle of influence was very limited. Chances were that if you lived in Kansas City, as do I, that you would probably not have the opportunity to voice for anyone on the Coasts, and even less of a chance to do something international. But all that has changed.
Our world is getting smaller. Or rather our circle of influence is getting bigger. New communication methods are making it possible to do business clear around the world as if it were next door.
I was looking at my workload over the past 3 months and was surprised to find so many international clients. There was the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Jordan, India, Argentina, Luxembourg, Brazil, and Canada (yeah, they’re still international – anybody who drinks something called a moose head ain’t from here). I mean, I know they’re international, but I don’t think about it. The interaction process is so smooth and simple that their location is just not an issue. Wow, things have changed, huh?
So, how does one find those international clients?
First of all, it is important to realize that international producers are the same as local producers in that they are looking for the right talent for their project. And because their business is crossing borders everyday and is growing more and more international in scope, they need access to more voice talents.
There is a trend right now for foreign industries to voice projects in North American English. Well, where do you find natural, fluent, unaccented North American voice talent? Right here in Kansas City, of course…and a few other places that I’ve heard of.
What I’m saying is, international producers are coming to us. We just have to be visible and available to them. That means you have to be easy to find on the web, easy to communicate with, and ready to work some weird hours.
Secondly, get ready to learn a new lingo and how to pronounce local names…and learn fast.
I’m currently the image voice for Spin Jordan – an English radio network in the Kingdom of Jordan. My first job with them was a little stressful because I had to learn how they say the local places and personal names, not to mention the difference in word usage. For example, the promo was for a drawing that was to be held for a grand prize. Except that there it’s called a draw, not a drawing. And sometimes they drop an article that we would normally put in here in the States. It’s those little things that you have to pay attention to.
I tell you that because if you do it right, it won’t take long to start picking up a few referrals. Your international clients will appreciate your attention to those details.
Thirdly, network, network, network. I was amazed how many creative directors, videographers, writers, producers, etc I found on the various social networks! Jillions of ‘em. I just started connecting with a few of them, and slowly made some contacts, and before too long started landing a job here and there. And best of all, I really enjoy their company! Many of them have become my friends!
Now, I’m not one that thinks you have to be active on every social site out there. I’m not a Facebooker. I have no space on My Space. Frankly, I just don’t want to take the time. But I do Twitter (DanHurstVO), and I am on Linkedin. I am listed on a few sites like Voices.com and CommercialVoices.com (both of them have been very good for me). And I drop in on a few forums now and then, and I do work at getting my website out there. That’s pretty much it. But it works for me.
I’d love to hear your comments about what works for you. Maybe I could steal an idea or two.