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

Sunday, August 7, 2016

What is a VO worth?

As I've mentioned before, I do this stuff full time, and I make a reasonable living from it. Well, reasonable enough that I can cover my bills and the occasional bout in rehab (which, on an annual basis, actually costs more than the booze that causes these little "sabbaticals in the first place"). The business has its ups and downs of course... sometime it delivers a nice little five-figure campaign, and another time it leaves you scrabbling around for a $500 corporate gig. Oh well... c'est la vie... or more accurately, c'est la guerre! OK... no more French, I promise.

OK, back on the horse that is social media, and I'm absolutely dumbstruck by the amount of idiots out there selling themselves on Fiverr. A two-hundred word VO job, recorded, edited and delivered for $5? Sorry... that's probably $3.92 by the time you've coughed-up for the Fiverr and Paypal fees. That's not even going to buy half a pint of beer. HALF an elfin' pint!

Seriously... not even this much!
So, who are these people? It's OK, you don't have to tell me because I think I've worked it out for myself. First of all, let's make the assumption that they have a modicum of talent and a halfway reasonable mic and recording space (because the guy with zero skill and a $50 USB mic in his bathroom ain't getting the gig... even for $5).

The dilettante & the dabbler. I guess these are the same, but using "dilettante" makes me sound so much more intelligent. They somehow think that recording someone's voicemail greeting in a silly voice for $5 puts them in show business. They are an ac-tor and can hold court at the bar, surrounded by their burger-flipping friends. Bragging rights!

The serial entrepreneur. This one is dangerous because he just doesn't know how bad he is. He's been told since pre-school that he could be anything he wanted. He has a fine collection of trophies for "attendance" & "participation". Look closely, and you'll find that he also does graphic design, copywriting, car maintenance, and dog-walking. One day something will work for him. Or not.

The marketing whiz-kid. This one is usually more honest with themselves... they know they're crap, but believe that they can market the hell out of anything and be successful. This one has drank the Kool-Aid... he's just paid his $299 for a training course on "How To Succeed in Voiceovers" ... and he's armed with his VO marketing strategy bible and will now use saturation bombing techniques worthy of a night-run on Hanoi as he blankets Twitter with his self-promotional bullshit. He doesn't have the sense to realize that he's the patsy here. It wasn't the gold miners that made the money, it was the smart guy that sold them the tools.

Actually, the list goes on, but you can be sure that any voice worth listening to is not going to sell himself for less than the price of half a pint of beer. These guys don't have any effect on my business, but they as annoying as mosquitos as they buzz around the industry cross-promoting each other like they're the new Messiahs indulging in one massive circle-jerk.

Hey you kids! Get off my Twitter feed!!!

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