Promo Hustle

with Kesha Monk

Do you dream of being the “voice” of a show? Anne and guest co-host Kesha Monk will help you rock your promo business like a #VOBOSS. In this episode, you’ll learn how to listen to promos, what you need to know before trying to break into the genre, plus take away some innovative networking ideas. Grab, grasp, and open the door to this insightful episode!



Takeaways

Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Kesha does steady promo work for PBS, as the promo voice for POV

  2. Turning on the TV and listening to promo work is one of the best ways to learn about the genre

  3. You have to be educated on the delivery of promo, it is unique. You must listen with a different ear to all of the promos that are on television 

  4. You must know the shows that you are promoting. The delivery is dependent on the show and brand audience they are trying to capture 

  5. Once you get a promo job, ask the producers for clips of the show, and the music that will go under the spot

  6. Most network promo work is booked through agencies

  7. Smaller, streaming network promo business may be obtained through self-marketing

  8. Figuring out who is behind the production and networking with them can be a source for new promo work

  9. Clubhouse is one way to network with heavy hitters that may be able to get you into promo

  10. A friend of a friend is a great way to get your foot in the door, rather than using cold contact methods

  11. Make sure you craft a professional way to reach out to your clients on social media

  12. Think about how you can create a more personal connection with potential clients. This will help you stand out

  13. Humanize your marketing efforts and you will start to see results

  14. Promo work requires quick turnarounds. You have to be available to record immediately

  15. Once producers are familiar with your work, you may continue to get hired without auditioning

  16. Being available and accessible at all times will help you book more promo work

  17. When clients love you because you’re dependable, accurate, and easy to work with, they will become repeat clients


Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

  1. KESHA

  2. VOICEOVER

  3. LIVE ANNOUNCER

  4. Recorded on ipDTL


Transcript

>> It’s time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premiere Business Owner Strategies and Successes being utilized by the industry’s top talent today. Rock your business like a boss, a VO BOSS! Now let’s welcome your host, Anne Ganguzza.

Anne: Hey everyone, welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my amazing, wonderful guest cohost, Miss Kesha Monk.

Kesha: Ladies and gentlemen, she’s been changing the way —

Anne: Oh!

Kesha: — people podcast. She puts the “cast” in podcast since 2015. Ladies and gentlemen, Anne Ganguzza.

Anne: Ooh Kesha! I love that! Wow! Thank you!

Kesha: That actually sucked, but hey.

[both laugh]

Anne: Wow, Kesha, you know, I think you have a little bit of experience. You sound like you have some experience doing a little bit of promo work there.

Kesha: Keyword “little bit.”

Anne: [laughs] Well, I know right now you are doing some steady promo work for PBS, is that not correct?

Kesha: I totally am.

Anne: That’s pretty awesome. That’s a genre that I am not as familiar with, I don’t do much work in. I think our BOSS listeners would love to hear a little bit about that genre.

Kesha: It’s crazy. I actually got that gig because somebody on Facebook saw that I did voiceover, and they saw like a, I don’t know, a want ad somewhere. I don’t know if it was on Craigslist or whatever, but [laughs] you know, they gave me [laughs] they gave me, you know, a lead. And at the time, I really didn’t have a promo demo. So I just kind of faked one a little bit, to just give them a little bit of sample —

Anne: Sure.

Kesha: — and they hired me. And I’ve been doing — this is my like my, I’m going into my fifth season next year.

Anne: Wow, that’s amazing! So, and are you doing one or two series? Tell me what you’ve done in the past.

Kesha: What it is is I am the promo voice for POV. POV is a documentary series that airs on PBS. I think they’ve probably been doing it since like ’88, so I don’t know how long that is, 30 years, 30 something, 30 years? So yeah, they kind of liked what I did. And it’s been interesting. I really had to self-teach though because again I hadn’t had any promo experience. And so you know, I got a little friend, I got a little friends who do certain things in the industry. Peep, peep, Randy Thomas.

Anne: I was just gonna say, did Randy have something to help, help you out with that?

Kesha: Of course. And I try not to be too, you know, heavy leaning on getting help. I really try to self-help as much as possible.

Anne: Sure.

Kesha: Of course I got a coach, and I listened to promos with a different ear.

Anne: You know, that’s, that’s so interesting, because I had Randy guest host a couple of times for my VO Peeps group, and I’ve also had some other promo classes with other guest directors. And one of the biggest things is for you to just listen to, to turn that television on and listen, and listen, and listen, and get to know the show.

Kesha: Yes.

Anne: So what would be some important things that you would have to know before you get into promo? Like how, like how would somebody get into promo first of all if they wanted to?

Kesha: Well first of all, just like when you want to get into voiceover, you kind of have to educate yourself and really know what promo is. Promo is a completely different delivery. It’s not like commercial, it’s not like narration, and it’s something that I really can’t explain. I mean you really just have to listen again with a different ear to all of the promos that are on television, and again, just like any other way that you approach copy, is to know what you’re promoting. It doesn’t help —

Anne: Know the show.

Kesha: Know the show. And that’s very important to me, by the way.

Anne: I was gonna say, I would think that the delivery really is dependent on the show and the brand audience that they’re trying to capture. Well, I would imagine they want to capture everybody, but there is a certain audience that they are probably trying to target. And that would have to really have a lot to do with the sound, I would imagine, when you are doing the promo or you’re auditioning.

Kesha: Of course. I wouldn’t read a Nickelodeon promo the same that I would read, you know, an OWN or a Lifetime promo, you know what I’m saying?

Anne: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Kesha: Know the audience. And you know the other thing, Anne? Don’t be afraid to — well, once you get your feet in — don’t be afraid to ask questions. Because even though I have a little bit of experience, whenever I do get the opportunity to do a promo, I’ll ask them. I’ll say, you know, “can you send me the instrumental that you’re gonna use under my voice? Are there any pictures that can help me visualize exactly what I’m — it really, really helps me to know what I’m promoting. And that’s really how I’ve been able to succeed at it.

Anne: And so what you’re saying to me, Kesha, is that you don’t necessarily need an agent to get promo?

Kesha: Mmm I ain’t sayin’ that at all.

Anne: Ok.

Kesha: I’ve never… well, PBS is different, because that’s like listener-supported tele — listener, listener supported! — viewer supported television.

Anne: Yes, and I say that because I had a commercial on PBS, and the way that I acquired it was very, very different, was —

Kesha: Of course.

Anne: Yeah, and it ran… so you deal with different people, and they’re not necessarily working through agents.

Kesha: Right, right.

Anne: So I guess it depends then on the network?

Kesha: It totally does, but here’s this, check this out. Because we’re in this age of streaming, there are promos that are created outside of network television. There are all kinds of programming, you know, online programming, that need promo voices. So it’s not impossible to go after that kind of work. The network stuff is probably what you won’t get exposed to unless you have an agent.

Anne: Right. And so, but now what isn’t being streamed these days?

Kesha: Exactly.

Anne: Th