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Voice Coaches Radio #469 – Getting Back in the Saddle

Voice Coach's Radio. Everything voiceover. And welcome to this week's edition of Voice Coach's Radio. I am Josh Heller, delighted to have you joining me as I am each and every week here from the mothership at White Light Music and Post Studios here in Colony New York. Hopefully everyone is doing well here as we are moving our way through March, right?

In like a lion, out like a lamb, that type of deal. Uh, so hopefully the, the lamb part's coming up soon, uh, because uh, it has been, uh, it's been a little bit lion y over here. Little lion y. Um, my way into work today, it was 15 degrees, and uh, the windshield made it feel like negative one, which it could have done without.

It's been super windy, super windy here. Anyway, enough of the weather forecast. Hopefully everyone is doing Well, stayin healthy. Uh, so I had an email that I wanted to discuss today. I received an email, JoshAtVoiceCoaches. com, by the way, is my email address. If you do want to get in touch with me, have any questions, comments, concerns, this, that, and the other.

Uh, but I got an email from Mario this past week that I wanted to discuss, and uh, it said, Hello Josh, I'm Mario. A few years ago, I had some demos made, but I never did anything with them. They are CDs. What can I do with them? Uh, and I think that's a great question. Um, and we're going to look at it in kind of two, uh, kind of two avenues.

We're going to go down kind of two avenues here. Um, the first is going to deal with the demo. The second is going to deal with getting yourself out there. So, uh, let's, uh, let's first start at the beginning here. Uh, what are CDs again? C C C CDs? I've never, never, never heard of those before? No. Um, so what can you do with the CDs?

Well, you can throw them away. Um, no, uh, you Ultimately, you're not gonna want the, uh, the hard copy CD, but you can still get the digital file from it. So the first thing we need to do Is we need to think about those demos and we need to make sure that they are still relevant because although, you know, we're answering this question for Mario, this is actually a good question, you know, a good topic, I think, for for a lot of people.

So, you know, Mario is actually a former student of ours, um, you know, from, uh, I think about four or five years ago now, maybe three or four years ago now. So it's been a little bit. So, yeah. You know, it doesn't have to be a student of ours or anything like that. It's just someone who has an older demo and hasn't really done much with it recently.

So the first thing you want to know is, is that demo still usable? Is it still relevant? Is it still good? Is it still something that you want to have representing you? Right? So the first thing you want to make sure is. You know, what's the format like? Is it, does it, does it fit into what, you know, current accepted formats are for a demo?

And we've talked about demos here on this program. Um, and obviously, you know, they're, they're fairly short, right? Uh, commercial narrative, you know, whatever demo it might be, the only about a minute 15, they're fairly short. This was not always the case, right? They used to be much longer, sometimes upwards of five minutes or more.

So. You know, depending on how long ago the demo was recorded, we want to kind of take into consideration. Does the format still work? So, you know, if it's, you know, a minute, minute 15, even if it's a minute and a half, that's not too, too bad. Um, but somewhere in that vicinity, then you're probably okay. Um, then.

You know, obviously if it's extraordinarily long, then it's going to have to be edited down because you're not going to want to, to send that out just because that's not really the accepted, uh, kind of format of it at this point. So, uh, so we're kind of looking there now. Now, the next thing we're going to look at are the pieces, right?

The pieces that make up the demo. Are they relevant enough is what I would say, right? Um. You know, they don't have to be, you know, super relevant, but are they relevant enough in that, you know, do they sound dated, right? Are they for products and services that just don't exist anymore? Um, and, you know, obviously with the rise of technology, those things happen quickly, right?

Those, you know, are we talking about flip phones and beepers? Um, if you guys remember what those are, are we talking about pay phones? Um, you know, then maybe we want to update it a little bit. I'll give you an example. I was doing a demo, this was years ago now, but... I was doing a demo with a, uh, with a woman, and she, uh, worked in IT, and we were looking at pieces to do, and one of the pieces that we had in our copy library at the time was on, um, computer hacking, and, you know, she said that, that she wanted to have something like that in her demo, because that's, that's what she, you know, she worked in that kind of field, and having, you know, something like that, she could present to her company, uh, to potentially do work for, for them, but what she said was, The technology, the, the, the terminologies that were used in there were so outdated that if she played this for her colleagues or for her, her bosses, they would laugh.

They would laugh. And, you know, to our, you know. A tour defense I know I am don't have a background in technology and actually sat down with her and we were able to update it so that it did match, you know, what made more sense. So, you know, do those, you know, do the pieces still make sense? Do they still sound relevant so those are kind of things.

We want to look at from the demo perspective, and the other thing is. You know, does it still represent you? Does it still represent you and what your interests are and what you want to do and what your skills are? You know, our voices do change. So, you know, if it's been, you know, if it's only been a few years and, you know, you haven't really done much since, then they probably still are an accurate representation of you.

But maybe not. Maybe your voice has changed in some degree or form. That needs to be looked into. right? If it no longer represents what your voice is, right? What your voice is at its best, then, you know, they're going to want to be updated. So those are things that we really need to look at as far as the demo itself is concerned before we look into even getting it out there.

Is this a demo that is still? Relevant, still in the proper formatting, and still representative of you, and still something that you are confident and willing and want to put out there to represent yourself. Right? So if any of those are a no, then the demo needs to be either re edited or redone. Right? If it's just too long, then sure, it can be edited down, um, but if the pieces are no longer relevant, if it does not represent your voice anymore, then those are things that it's going to need to be redone.

It's going to need to be redone, whether it's, you know, just a quick touch up or whether it's, you know, completely blowing it up and doing a new one, you know, that that is yet to be seen. But, you know, it would be something that at that point you would need to have, you know, completely redone. So that's kind of the first part of it.

The the the demo part of it, and then regardless, make sure you get it off a CD. Make sure you get the digital file for that. And you can rip that from a CD, uh, onto your computer, but make sure you have the digital file of that because we don't really send out CDs too much anymore. I was joking about, you know, uh, what you can do with CDs.

You can, I don't know. I was a kid. I used to put them in the microwave. Don't do that, by the way. Don't do that. That's that. It, it's cool looking. I will be honest with you. It's cool looking, but you could break your microwave and I don't want you to do it. Go set your house on fire. I don't want you to do that either.

Um, so I don't want you to say you set your house on fire because of voice coaches radio. That would be unpleasant. No, but you know, what can you do with, with them? Make sure that you get the files off of them because when you do disseminate those. files. It's going to be, you know, either by way of emails or you can upload those files to a website.

So those are kind of your options. So say that, you know, the demo is relevant enough and does, you know, still represent you and you did get the digital file off or say that, you know, that wasn't the case and you redid it, whatever it might be, but you have a demo, you know, that, uh, you have the digital file of the demo that you're ready to use and ready to, uh, to get yourself out there.

Now, here is. The second half of this, what are we doing to get ourselves out there? So the first thing I would say is, you know, take a look at what you've done so far, right? Have you, you know, even a few years ago started to get yourself out there, started to implement a marketing plan, see what you've done, what worked, what didn't write, what you were comfortable with, what you weren't.

And start to build from there. Now say that you hadn't done anything, which it does happen. Right? It does happen, right? Life gets in the way. We never get a chance to, you know, to actually put plans into action there. Well, at that point, we really want to take a step back and put together a marketing plan.

Put together a plan of what we want to do and how we want to do this. And this is true for anybody who's getting started. I would almost say, you know, if it's been a few years or more than a few years, then, you know, Don't look at it as if, you know, your demo was recorded a few years ago. Look at it as if you're just getting your demo today.

Right? You're just getting your demo today. You just finished it and you're ready to get yourself out there. So what that it was a few years ago? It happens. It happens. But let's start fresh. Let's start fresh. I was talking about with um, You know, those New Year's resolutions, like, well, what's the big deal about January 1st?

Just another day. It's just another day, but it's a day that we apply significance to that gives us the kind of extra push to try something, whatever it might be, whether it's, you know, whatever our, our, you know, um, resolutions might be. Well, you know what? Sure. The day that you get your demo, that's an important day, but, you know, so is the day that you actually commit to start.

Marketing yourself. And so, I don't care what day it is. I don't care if it's been five years. Who cares? That doesn't matter. What matters is that you're now putting in that effort. So I want you to not think of it as, you know, uh, you doing this three years later. No. This is day one. Whatever day it is, this is day one.

We're starting from the beginning and that's okay. That's where we all start. That's where we all start. So don't think that you're behind. You're not. You're not. You just put a little pause in there, and now you're ready to go. And the truth of the matter is, if you hadn't put in the work over the past few years, it's probably because you weren't ready to.

But now you are. So it's better that you didn't at that point, because it probably wouldn't have worked out, because you wouldn't have had that follow through. But now that you've come back around, now that you're ready to attack this, now we want to get that marketing plan in place. We want to tell people about this, right?

We want to put it up. You know, um, on our, on our social media platforms, we want to get the word out there. We want to start researching companies in our areas, looking into different places that we could send this to places that have, you know, audio visual departments, places that have, you know, HR departments, places that have, um, you know, marketing companies, marketing positions, marketing, um, you know, uh, We want to start to reach out to those places.

Start to get our, our, our demo out there. Start to get our name out there. When you're starting at the beginning, again, and I tell people this after they finished their demo, this is not something that's going to happen right away. It takes some time, right? You're laying down a foundation. You're laying down a foundation.

It took me four months to get my first, uh, my first job after I finished my demo. And I started marketing myself, which was not, by the way, right after I finished my demo, I should say. I took some time, you know, and didn't do it either. So it can take some time. And again, we're starting from scratch, and that's okay.

That's where we start. That's where we start. But don't assume it's going to happen right away. You're going to have to have that stick to itiveness that is necessary, right? Because again, We are small businesses, right? That's how we look at ourselves. We are small businesses and we are in sales, right? We need to start getting the word out there, right?

Look into your local chamber of commerce. Look into your local small business association. Now, I know most of those places aren't having meetings right now, which is unfortunate, right? Because those are great places to go out and, you know, meet people and shake hands and tell them what you do. But you know what you do get?

When you sign up for a chamber, you get a book and that book has the list of all the different other companies and what they do in that book. Everyone who's in the chamber and contact information and you reach out to all of them. Introduce yourself. Hey, I'm new to the chamber. This is what I do. Don't know if you need, but if you ever do, let me know.

We're making contacts, right? It's networking, it's relationship building, and we got to start that somewhere. We got to start that somewhere. Look, most, you know, a good portion of companies need these services. They don't need them all the time. So it, you know, don't expect that you're gonna reach out to someone right away and they're gonna be like, Yeah, we need you.

We were just looking for a voice actor. That doesn't really happen. But what does happen is you make a connection, you network yourself, right? You make that relationship and then when they do need that, when they do need that service, You're the person they think of because you've stayed current with them.

You followed up with them. Okay, that's what we need to start doing. Basically, take it from day one. So Mario, that would be my, my suggestion. First, you know, first take a, take a good hard look at your demo, right? Make sure that it's still, you know, usable. It's still something you want to use. And if it's not, obviously make sure that that's something that, you know, you take care of.

But once you have that and you're ready to go. Start, just start, just go, just tell people, get business cards, right, um, you know, uh, get a, get a website that you can put your stuff on, right, there are plenty of places you can do that, you can do that through us, you can do that, you know, for any, any number of places, um, uh, my website that I have is through, uh, is through Squarespace, I've had it for a decade at least, so, I mean there are plenty of places you can do that, right, but start getting the word out there.

Right, today is the first day of your marketing of your company. And your company is you, it's your voice, it's Mario. Or anyone. So if you are in a position where you, you know, look, you wanted to do this, you got your demos, you were ready to go, and it just never happened. And you're not alone, right? And Mario, I'm telling you, man, you're not alone.

Not even close. Not even close. I'm sure there are a lot of people who are listening to this who are in the same situation. Right? Who had the best of intentions and it just didn't work out. Right? Life got in the way. Oh, you got busy. Things happen. Look around us. Life gets in the way a lot. Alright? But, if you're ready to make that commitment now, Again, make sure that your demo is, is, is good and ready and that it's, you know, what you, what you want to represent you.

And then once you have that, put that foot forward, right? Take that first step. Tell people you do this, get the word out there, start to research companies, start to reach out, put together a marketing plan, stay organized, okay? And stick with us. Give us a call. Right? If you need questions. Right? Mario, you emailed me, email me again.

Right? And anybody can do that. Josh at VoiceCoaches. com, that's the best way to get in touch with me. Whether it's something you want us to discuss on the podcast, or whether it's something you just, you know, have a question about. It's fine. You can always reach out to me. You can always reach out to me.

Again, Josh at voicecoaches. com. It's the best way to get in touch with me. If you do have a topic or something you want to discuss or talk about, let me know. Let me know. All right. Happy to do so. I've had some great questions over the last few weeks. They've had a chance to discuss. Hopefully they've been helpful for not only the people who've asked them, but, but for others as well, because I'm sure, you know, Mario, I'm sure there people who are thinking the same thing that you are, who are in a position where, you know, they've done something, they wanted to do this and it just never happened.

And now they want to know how to get started. The best answer is, just get started, my friend. Just get started. Take that first step. Take that first step. Start to tell people. Start to get the word out there. Start to send out your demo. Okay? Start to follow up. Be persistent. Stay positive, but be persistent.

And be prepared for it to take some time, because it can. It can. Right? But stay consistent. Every week do it. Every week. Right? Put in some time doing this. Researching. Calling. E mailing. Following up. Thank you notes. Whatever it might be. Alright, whatever it might be, and you don't have to spend a lot of time, half an hour, an hour, fifteen minutes a week, who knows, whatever you can spare.

That's what you want to start doing, but start moving forward, right? I'm a big proponent of, uh, of momentum, right? An object in motion tends to stay in motion, so get moving, get moving, right? Whatever it is, take that first step, take that first step, and then, you know, Adapt as you go along, and that's what we're here to help.

Alright, so again, I hope that helps Mario, and I hope that helps for anybody else who, uh, who is in that situation, because I'm sure there are, I'm sure there's, there's, uh, there's more than one. I'm sure there's more than one. So, uh, if you do have a question, however, that you want me to discuss on the podcast, or, you know, just want to ask, joshatvoicecoaches.

com is the best way to get in touch with me. Uh, thank you to Mario for, uh, for sending in that question. Again, thanks to everyone who's been reaching out recently with questions. Uh, they've been fantastic. And, um, But like I said, reach on out with whatever you need and, uh, and let me know what we can talk about.

Cause it's not just our podcast. It's also yours. All right. So hopefully everyone's doing well, staying healthy, staying warm, and, uh, yeah, we will be back with you next week. So until then, so long everyone. Visit voicecoaches. com for more voiceover news and information.

Josh goes into the mailbag to answer a listener’s question. Mario recorded a demo a number of years ago but never did anything with. Now, he wants to actively pursue his voice acting career, but doesn’t know how to get started back up again.