I mean... it's just talking isn't it? ... and mine's a Guinness.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

How Do You Position Yourself?

OK, it's a rates thing again. Not all that cheap Fiverr crap... I think enough has been said about that for the moment. If that's what you want to do, then there's nothing I can say that will change your opinion... and by that I mean the extremely low opinion you have of yourself and your ability. Oh, except in those cases where you are truly worth only five bucks... in that case, knock yourself out.
Worth $5?

Today, Shit-For-Brains (he who prefers to be called "my agent") called me and asked if I wanted a quick $200. At first I thought he wanted me to run him out to his cabin in the woods. I'm not proud, and since he lost his license he's got that Mercedes sitting in his garage doing nothing. I run him around occasionally... it's a symbiotic relationship (I have the license and no car, he has the car and no license). He's pissed that I refuse to wear the chauffeur's hat... but there are limits. Anyway, I digress. It was for a VO job. I think I mentioned before that SFB has been looking at the cheaper jobs and started pushing them out to his roster. I've told him that I'm not interested, but he keeps trying. He tells me it'll only take five minutes, and the client really likes my reel... no audition, just knock it out.

I've tried to explain it to him, but he just doesn't get it. Usually, I can walk into a group of peers... that bunch of barflies who consist of other VOs and a good smattering of studio engineers, producers, and casting directors and someone will chime in with something like, "Loved that deodorant spot you did, darling!" "Why thank you... and that restless-leg pharma thing of yours was absolutely divine... mine's a Guinness!" You see how that works? No one tells everyone what they're doing (we're not on bloody Facebook), but believe me, your voice is your trademark. You may think you are anonymous, but if you've been in the business a while, you are recognizable by other VOs, and more importantly, the people who sign the checks!

The aim is to get big numbers here!

So, you do a spot for a quick under-the-table $200 and the chances are someone will end up recognizing you... and if they're on the production side, they'll probably know the ad agency, the producer, and more importantly, the budget. The next time your name comes up in connection with a prime job, it will be almost impossible for them not to remember that you sold your soul for half a case of domestic Merlot. They'll either try and get you cheap (remember, you just reset the bar to a lower level) or they'll discount you altogether because you do cheap shit. Of course, SFB doesn't see it that way as all those commissions add up and he's got a cash-flow issue (multiple alimony payments I think... I don't ask... we have boundaries).

My aim in life is to spend as little time in the booth as possible for the maximum return. I do what I do. I do it well... why the hell should I cheapen my brand?

1 comment:

  1. Hiyya. I'm looking to break in to VO and found your opinion refreshing. Its strategic and I like it. Would you recommend some resources to help a person get started?

    I got a Blue Yeti, I've learned to use Audacity but now I face doing my starter work on fiver. That may be fine because I'm already at the bottom. I am a raw untested talent but I do not doubt I have something to work with.

    I'd welcome your thoughts. Pcendeavorsny@hotmail.com

    Best regards,
    Ross Baker