Improve your online casting success rate

Smarter auditioning

When auditioning for a voice over job online, you are up against dozens if not more competing talents. To increase your success rate you need to know what's most important to come out first…

You probably have heard that bodalgo never limits talents regarding the number of jobs they can audition for. This approach comes with side effects: 1. Talents face more competition. 2. Clients might end up with more auditions than they might be able to handle.

The solution to these challenges is easy: You need to be selective about the jobs you audition for.

There is a valuable insight here (or an inconvenient truth, depending on how you want to look at it): Unlike other voice over online casting websites, bodalgo does not accept amateurs. That means that the average quality of auditions is way higher than with any other online casting website we know of. And while it might be a splendid idea to audition for every single job posted on sites that welcome anybody with a microphone and – more importantly – a credit card, this approach will definitely not work with bodalgo. Auditioning for jobs that you do not excel in is nothing short of wasting both your and the client's time. Nobody wins.

Uploading vs. choosing from existing demos

Now and then, I receive E-Mails asking if I could add a feature enabling talents to select a demo from your profile to audition for a job (instead of uploading one every time). The answer has been consistent in the last twelve years and there is an excellent reason for this: bodalgo wants talents to audition for jobs because they feel they are the right choice. And not because it's as simple as clicking a button. There is an exception to this rule, though: Because iOS devices like the iPhone and the iPad do not allow uploading music files, you can choose from your profile demos to audition. We do not recommend this, though.

Also, by "forcing" voice talents to upload a demo, bodalgo makes sure that they spend a second thinking about the right choice, which results in more relevant demos. That's good for voice talents because it increases the chance of winning the job. At the same time, the clients receive better auditions. Everybody wins.

Custom demos

If the job comes with a script attached, many talents will go the extra mile and record a custom demo as it doubtlessly increases their chances. There are a few things to say about this:

1. Make sure the technical quality is absolutely flawless! No hiss! No background noise! I know this should go without saying, but the sad truth is: 50 percent of all talents have issues with their audio without them knowing. So better listen to your recordings with decent headphones (beyerdynamic dt-770 pro are an excellent choice and all-time classic widely used in the voice over industry). Checking your audio quality using monitor speakers is not sufficient.

2. Set yourself a minimum budget level a job needs to "deserve" a custom demo. In other words: Only record custom demos for the higher-paying jobs.

3. Don't listen to what others tell you: Do not slate unless the client specifically asks for it in the job's description. Your name is right in front of them, next to the play button of your audition.

4. Talents often ask: "How do I prevent the client from using the demo without paying?" We, first of all: Most of the clients have no intention of not paying you. The world is a good place. But if you are desperate, there are a few things you can do: Don't read the entire script (which you should not do in the first place; one or two paragraphs are enough). Leave essential words out. Add repeating sounds (like beeps) to the audio (audible, but not in the face), a process called "watermarking." bodalgo does not recommend any of those actions, though.

The "cover letter"

Try walking in the buyer's shoes: Finding the perfect voice for a project is just one of the zillion other things their boss wants them to have done by yesterday. There is not the time to read to a long message, no matter how well written. In fact, your message might not be read at all. And surely not when it is more than two paragraphs. Take my word for it.

So let's help your potential client. Sell yourself in three sentences maximum, including the following bits of information:

1. A personalized salutation

2. Relevant, differentiating benefit working with you

3. Your contact details

Numbers 1 and 3 look pretty obvious. Did you know that bodalgo offers a signature that is automatically added to auditions. In case you have not set it up yet, do so now (go to the dashboard and look for the section Signature & Templates). The signature should include all important contact details like E-Mail, phone, and mobile. A postal address is not necessary – welcome to the 21st century.

Number 2, the relevant, differentiating benefit needs a bit more attention: Relevant means that your message needs to take into account the buyer's specific requirements regarding this particular job. A good example would be lots of experience in the area the client needs. So if somebody wants a hard sell pro and you already did commercials that put Steve Balmer's appearances in those very first commercials for "Windows" to shame (which is quite a task, to be honest), you should point that out in your offer. Look for modesty in different places.

Differentiating means that you offer something that (ideally) no one else but you can. Your unique voice is one of your strongest differentiating benefits you can provide. Still, there might be a few more: Those could include certified translation skills, mixing skills, ability to add royalty-free music or sound f/x. Whatever it might be, always keep in mind that it needs to be relevant as well, i.e., telling a voice seeker about your singing skills is pointless when auditioning for an e-learning course.

Being relevant also implies that you should not use the same copy for every cover letter as they will not be relevant anymore. So depending on what's being asked for, you can build a set of templates you can choose from. Every time you send a new audition, you can tell bodalgo to save the message as a new template that you can use next time a similar job shuffles in.

Finally, add a price tag (remember to stick to your rates), and you are good to go.

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tl;dr - Summary

Improve your success rate by only auditioning for jobs you excel in. Stop wasting your (and the client's) time auditioning for jobs you have little experience in. Bad audio quality is more widespread than you think! Use headphones (not monitor speakers!) to make sure your recording is flawless. Your offer should always include a personal salutation, a precise rate according to your personal rate card and relevant, differentiating benefit.

voice over auditions  success