The voice over audition

realitytv-american-idol-san-antonio-auditions-1Apparently, the lifespan of a tweet is a mere 18 minutes. That is to say that within those first 18 minutes, all of the retweets, likes and regrettable trolling will have reached its zenith, and all that’s left is 140 characters about something that you once thought. It doesn’t so much die, as just stop living.

I wonder what the lifespan of this blog post will be. You see, right after I post them, a clever piece of code automatically posts them for me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. After that, a surge of as many as 25 people come and read it, and some of them even put in the gargantuan effort of clicking on the Like button.

Does getting Likes actually make a difference? In the grand scheme of things, if you ‘Like’ a brand but don’t actually buy it, are the manufacturers just as satisfied for your input? I suspect not.

Now I get the value of social networking to promote a brand. I regard my voice over business as just that – a business, and as such, I am always looking for my next customer, whilst simultaneously keeping in touch with my existing ones. It’s a tricky juggling act, because too many emails will quickly turn you from an enthusiastic supplier into a pest, yet too few and you may well just slip off of the radar, and in an already quite crowded marketplace, that’s a dangerous thing to do.

Fortunately, there is a solution for people like me (I mean voice overs, not overweight bald guys) and that is the wonderful world of auditions. There are a number of subscriber sites where voice seekers can post a sample script, a brief idea of what they feel they’d like to hear and set just how many auditions they would like to receive.

Many voice over artists view these auditions as a chance to land a particular job, and of course they would be right. However, many of them may well be missing what is an obvious opportunity. The audition that they submit may not prove right for the job in question, but if it’s being posted by a production company, is it not possible that they could use that voice for something else in future?

Obviously, the answer is yes. On more than one occasion I have been contacted by someone who will have heard an audition of mine, sometimes well over a year ago, and who would now like to speak with me about a new project. It’s a form of repeat business which is just a little different, and I welcome it every time.

You see, just like every Facebook friend or LinkedIn connection, every audition is what’s known as a ‘touch point’, and research tells us that the average buyer needs seven touch points from a supplier before they commit to doing business. And here’s the interesting bit – those seven points don’t all need to come from the same person. In fact, the average sales person gives up at just three. So if person number 1 has his three tries, and then person number 2 has her three tries, guess what’s likely to happen on the first try of person number 3?

It’s certainly not an exact science, and in the subjective world of voice over, it’s even harder to apply those numbers. That’s why I audition and blog and tweet and link and like and even occasionally pick up the phone, because every single one of those actions brings me closer to the magic 7.

Have you been counting? How many have I had with you so far?