”Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one, is hard work.” – Stephen King
So, you’ve just completed an AMAZING demo. Now what? As veteran coaches, Anne and Gabby know exactly what! In this episode they give examples, starter ideas and a step by step guide on what you should be doing even BEFORE you think about recording a demo.
Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:
Think BEYOND the demo
If you have a dream with no goal, you have a wish
Mailers? Contact List? Agents?
Who is the buyer of your demo?
Don’t sit in the back seat and let someone else drive your future
Start contact/agent lists before you even make your demo
No one buys a product that’s not on the shelves yet
Share ideas with your own network ++
Referenced in this Episode
Direct links to things we brought up ++
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Full Episode Transcript
VO: Today’s voiceover talent is more than just a pretty voice. Today’s voiceover talent has to be a boss, a VO BOSS. Set yourself up with business owner strategies and success with your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with some of the strongest voices in our industry. Rock your business like a boss, a VO BOSS.
Anne: Hey, guys. Before we get started on today’s episode, we want to share some bossolutions and some of the ways you can have more boss in your life.
Gabby: Oh, come on. You can never have too much boss, my little entreprenerds.
Anne: [laughs] Entreprenerds, I love that. Did you think about that all by yourself?
Gabby: No, not at all. No. I kind of, I kind of borrowed that.
Gabby: Let’s tell everybody about some of the BOSS merchandise that you can get your hands on.
Anne: We have a cool brand, Gabby. Isn’t it great to be working at the brand that you love?
Anne: We have some really awesome T’s. We have got some great mugs.
Gabby: There’s all kinds of fun like techy gadgets and things that you can get. The T-shirts are really incredible. They draw a lot of attention. Just fun stuff that you guys can get your hands on to get out there and show your bossness to the world.
Anne: That’s right. Proclaim your bossness, your VO BOSSness. Go to voboss.com and just click on the shop tab. So simple. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my bosstie, bestie, BFF, Gabby Nistico. Hey, Gabby.
Gabby: Hello. [laughs]
Anne: So Gabby, a question that comes up all the time for me, and I’m sure you too with your students, is, once they have their demos, now what? What do we do with them? What, how, how do we go get work? We have this great demo. Now what do we do? So I think we should talk about that today.
Gabby: Yeah, I like that a lot. Our industry as a whole puts so much focus and so much attention on having great demos, which –
Gabby: Yes, don’t get me wrong, super important. Really, really critical thing.
Anne: But yeah, you got to have one.
Gabby: But –
Gabby: Well, you got to have many, but there is a point where I think a lot of people are sort of forgetting about that critical business side, which is once I have the demo –
Gabby: Now what?
Anne: Yeah, how am I gonna –
Gabby: What do I do with this thing?
Anne: Yeah, what do I do, where do I put it, where do I submit it, what do I — you know, how are you going to get that demo in front of the people that need to hear it, and so that they can hire you? That is a, that is the question.
Gabby: I find it fascinating that in our industry, people are guilty of doing this all the time.
I don’t know of any other industry where a business owner will spend thousands of dollars on a product and not have a plan for implementation.
Anne: That is a good point.
Gabby: Nobody does that.
Anne: Or it is a second thought.
Anne: Or it is a second thought, which I think is what most people, they are like, oh my God. I’m getting coaching, I’m getting a demo, and I don’t think they even think beyond the point of what happens — what then? And then what happens is, they will try to – in my experience because we have been — you and I have both been teaching this in marketing for years —
Anne: It’s the last thing there thinking about in terms of how are they going to market themselves and market their demo now that they have this great demo.
Gabby: It is, and both as a coach and when I was doing casting, it’s a very common problem to see really, really, I mean talented people with some killer chops and an amazing demo literally just sitting there.
Anne: Yeah, and they don’t want to invest money. Or they don’t agree that money should be invested in terms of being able to market that. And that is, I think, that I think is what is so frustrating. You know, Gabby. I sat down the other day, and I looked at, you know, my money coming in, money going out. I spend money [laughs] I spend money marketing myself. And it’s, it’s more than I think people think, you know? I think with the marketing, they’re like, oh, it’s easy, I can just do it. I just put it on the Internet or — and they don’t really have a concrete plan. I think that they are not, I guess, understanding that there needs to be a little bit of investment, not just of money but money and time and strategy, planning on how you are going to, to do this.
Gabby: Well, if you have a dream, and the dream doesn’t have a goal, then really what you have is a wish.
Gabby: And that’s, I think, what happens to a lot of people here.
Gabby: They get a demo done, and there is this wish that as soon as the demo is complete, wonderful things are gonna happen.
Anne: Right. People will come and hire them. Yeah. [laughs]
Gabby: Agents are gonna fall from the sky. Amazing things, doors are gonna open, people are gonna somehow miraculously find them. And that’s just not true. It, it really doesn’t happen that way, and I think that there is a little bit of ego involved in it that we, we think somewhere like, you know, I am that good. That people should just find me. [laughs]
Anne: Well, I think that, I think that there has to be — there can be parallel planning. And I have a lot of people that come to me and say, well, you know, I’m going to come to you after I get my demo done.
Anne: And we are gonna work on, you know, a plan, you know, for my website. And I, I always say to them, first of all, a website is not just something that you can typically put in — you know, do overnight. I mean, you want to put I think a little more planning into that. It is something you can do in parallel as you are preparing and coaching and getting ready for that demo. You can absolutely be strategizing and planning for how you’re going to distribute that demo. And you know, the most obvious place is to have a website to put that demo on.
Anne: And I think that, and that is something that — again, it is not one of those, oh, last-minute, I am just going to throw something up on Wix or, or whatever it is. There really needs to be a little more thought [laughs] put into, OK, what is your brand, you know, what is your — where are you going to have it hosted? And how are you going to get that demo in front of us? It is not just even the website. It is how are you going to market it in your online profiles, let’s say, for casting sites? Where are you — are you going to send out a mailer? Do you have a contact list that you are going to send that demo to?
You know, do you have agents that you are going to update your agents with your new demo? What is it that you are going to do? And sit down, I would say, sit down as you are coaching, as you are getting ready for the demo, and absolutely start making that plan.
Gabby: I also think a piece to add to that is the who. Who is the demo being built for? Who is that buyer, and what do they look like? Because not everything correlates, you know. I see talent a lot submitting demos to talent agents that sort of leave the agent baffled. Like, why did you send me this? I don’t, I don’t rep for that. I don’t do that. So this, this particular demo doesn’t do me any good. And we see the opposite with, you know, production houses, because people don’t necessarily do the research to find out exactly what sort of clientele a company is serving. And you, you have to. Those are all critical, critical steps. So it is planning and mapping how you are going to get the demo into people’s hands but also whose hands and why.
Anne: And you have to start thinking about that sooner [laughs] rather than –
Anne: After the fact. While you are, while you are coaching, you know, talk to your coach about your plans, your goals, and you know, who is this? What is the ultimate — when I sit down with a student, I am always asking them about their goals. That is one of their first homework assignments is, what are your goals? Ultimately there is probably a demo at the end of that, and, and now that we’re talking about a demo, OK, what type of demo, and who is going to be your client? And are you vocally branded, in what industries, umm, and where is that demo going? Is it going to be a commercial demo that you are probably going to submit to agents? Is it a medical narration demo that you are going to be having on a particular website, maybe a pay to play, or you are you going to have it on your own website, or have it on a website that is completely dedicated to just that genre? So I think there is a lot of things you can talk about early on with your coach to find these things out, and it can help to really start to strategize your plan for being able to deliver that demo once it is made.
Gabby: It can, most definitely. And I think that the worst case scenario for any coach, and it is something that I work with people on from day one, if there isn’t a two-way communication between you and the coach and the person who is building that demo to really construct the marketing plan and the target audience, then the demo is always going to fall a little flat. The demo is never really going to achieve all of what it could have achieved for you.
Anne: Yeah, and you are not going to even know [laughs] you know, if you are not thinking about it. So…
Gabby: No. Yeah, and sadly there are far too many coaches and demo producers who are happy to just take your money and do what they think is right for you. But it may or may not align with what you want.
Gabby: So it is something you absolutely have to be very hands-on about, and you cannot simply take that stance of, oh, well they know better than me. No, no they don’t. [laughs]
Anne: You know what, I love that you said that. That is such an important — like, I think if, if listeners take anything away from that, it is that. Please don’t sit in the back seat umm and let somebody else drive your future. I want you to really take charge and strategize. Ask questions. It is so, so important. You know, communicate. Communicate what your, what your plans are, what your dreams are, and what you hope. Like, I am always wanting to know what is it that you expect from me as a coach, and what is it that you expect — what is it that you want to do for your business? How are you planning on, is this going to be a hobby? Is it going to be a full-time business? I am always asking my students that just so that I can help brand them better. But it is definitely a two way street.
It is something that you need to bring up to your coach and just communicate that, so that they have a better sense of, of first of all how to construct that demo, and then you’ll also have a better sense of what you are going to do with it once you get it. What are you — where are you going to put it?
Anne: Obviously I think you should have a website. I think everybody — I think everybody should have a website. That, that’s just like, that’s a given. But how else are you going to distribute that? Are you going to have it on a profile, on a pay to play? Are you going to have a SoundCloud account? Are you going to have — whatever it is, however you can distribute it.
Gabby: Instead of talking in terms of questions, let’s talk about actions. Let’s actually kind of map this out, because I feel like it’s going to get overwhelming, you know,bcause that is it. There are so many questions from where you or I sit as a coach.
Gabby: But the individual might be going, oh my God, I don’t know. I don’t, I don’t know. I didn’t think of any of that. So first thing that I think we’re both saying that is super important here is that marketing and your demo and your website as well, it all needs to be done in tandem.
Gabby: If you are trying to do your demo first and your marketing second, then you are trying to force the demo to fit into a hole where it may or may not belong.
Gabby: It doesn’t always work, so, so really they have to be a side-by-side effort. The next step, and I do this with my students, Anne, and I am sure you do something similar, is that long before the demo is even built, when you are still taking classes and prepping for creating that demo, I have my students starting to make contact lists and specific email file folders for once their demo is complete.
Anne: Oh, absolutely. I have my students have a running list of, of, of clients they want, of agents they want to submit to, all of that is, is within, within their plan. There is an actual form I have them fill out.
Gabby: Yeah. And same thing, all of that research and all of that actionable stuff is done long before because to me, here, here is how I look at it. When you have a demo made, right, we all know the demos have a shelf life, and it’s not a very long one. We get like a year or two out of a demo on average. That’s a very short amount of time.
Gabby: So I want to be able to, when I have a brand new demo, hit the ground running with marketing that demo and distributing that demo and not waiting. If you have the demo made, and then you are worrying about marketing, and then you are putting contact lists together, you can have a four to six month gap from when the demo was made and when you actually start getting the demo out.
Anne: I can’t tell you how many students umm I have seen in the past or spoken to in the past that literally, they have had their demo for months. And they, they are like, so –
Gabby: Just sitting there.
Anne: It is just sitting there. It is not on a website, they are not presenting it to anybody. They are not, you know, they are not actively really seeking clients to send that demo to.
Anne: And they are like, okay, so, you know, what do I do now, or why am I not getting any work? And of course, you know, that is, that is the question. Why, why are you not getting work? Well, now we need to do the work to market your — that demo. And you need to have probably already thought about what you have — how you were going to do that back when you were coaching. So yeah.
Gabby: If you view the demo as a tangible product, it is just like having a storefront. You can’t create an manufacture something and go, well, why is nobody buying it? Well, is it on the shelves?
Gabby: Is it available? Are you advertising it? Do people know it is there? Do you have a lovely display kiosk for it? Because if not, that is why no one is buying it. So with that list generating, and some of that, it, it is, it is research, right? I mean, at the end of the day, that is really all it is. It is doing a lot of research, sitting down with contact gathering and starting to make connections with people who you will later submit your demo to. Any, any tips or things that you advise people on there?
Anne: Well, I am going to say first of all depending on the genre, right, the genre of the demo that you have, whether it be commercial, or it could be, you know, promo, narration, the clients that are going to be listening to that demo are very different.
Anne: For the most part, a commercial, somebody listening to a promo demo is going to be different than the person listening to your commercial demo, is going to be different than the person listening to your corporate narration demo. So make sure that you research the genre. Again, this should be something that you do while you are coaching, while you are prepping for the demo. Research the genre that you are interested in. A lot of people say, oh, you know, I always did these great voices when I was younger, and I like characters.
Anne: And I am like, that is great, that is awesome. Let’s work out a plan, right? Because to get to that point may or may not be a good first part of the plan, umm but it may come later. There could be things that work in parallel. So really research the genre of the demo that you’re producing, number one, because you have got to know who that client is, as you mentioned in the beginning. Who is the client that you are going to be presenting that to? Is it going to be an agent? Is it going to be a direct customer? Is it going to be an advertising agency? Who is that? Research who they are and how they accept demos.
Gabby: It, it is a lot of legwork, right?
Anne: Yeah, it is.
Gabby: I don’t think people always understand that, and they get a little bit maybe shy because of it, because they go, oh, man, that is not what I wanted to do as a voice actor.
Well, yeah, but it is what you have to do as a business owner. Us talking about this reminds me of my early days. And one of my major bonehead moves early on, I had all this time spent in radio imaging, and I had this really killer imaging demo when I, when I first came into voiceover. And I was so proud of this thing. And unfortunately I didn’t comprehend the fact that it was not a universally well-received demo, and that other clientele wouldn’t really respond to it or know what it was. And so I was sending it everywhere. I was sending it to talent agents. I was sending it to add agencies. And I, I really, I was baffled. I was like, why isn’t it getting any traction? Why is, why is nobody super impressed by this?
Gabby: And one day I had a producer — man, it was like somebody just you know took a pin and burst my balloon. And he listens to it, and he goes, yeah, I mean, it’s good if you like that sort of thing.
Gabby: And I, you know, and then after picking my jaw up off the floor, I realized the mistake I had made because he didn’t even understand what it was. He, he –
Gabby: Couldn’t find an application anywhere in his workday to use me, because of what I was presenting him with. And I was like, okay, well, all right. That is good to know. Let’s, let’s re-strategize.
Anne: It could be like sending a medical narration demo to, you know, an agent, thinking –
Anne: That doesn’t deal with that. It’s just, you really have to know who is going to be the intended recipient and research that.
Anne: And ask if you don’t know. You can ask obviously um your coach or your — somebody in the industry that can help you to figure that out. But it is something that you definitely have to have the education and the knowledge. And it is going to work for you in the end, for sure.
Gabby: Totally. I say shoot for 100 recipients —
Gabby: That literally the day your demo is done, the day it is approved, and you are like, get, this is it — yep, this is it. We are golden — that you should have 100 contacts ready to go that you can send that demo to.
Anne: Well, you know, Gabby, we also, knowing this, you know, we also have a great product that can help you to do that as well.
Gabby: Yes, we do.
Anne: [laughs] Called the BOSS Blast. And it is absolutely targeted depending on what genre and what market you are looking for. So, you know, that is an avenue for you guys to think about in terms of how to distribute your demo to the right target audience.
Gabby: Yeah, it’s not for everybody. It’s definitely a more of a commercially geared product. But we have already seen great amounts of success for the talent who have purchased it. We have used it ourselves with great success.
Gabby: It is a really killer way to get your name out to many, many, many more people than you would be able to do on your own just harvesting and searching and looking and trying to come up with all those people.
Anne: So, guys, have a plan.
Anne: Educate yourself, have a plan. Know your genre, know who that demo’s getting out to, and that will get you started in terms of what to do with that demo, once you get it.
But be, be, be ready for it once you get that demo. Big thanks to our sponsor ipDTL for this quality connection. Gabby, you sound amazing.
Gabby: So do you.
Anne: Thank you. You guys can find out more at ipdtl.com.
Gabby: And for all things BOSS, oh my goodness, you have a plethora of options.
All of the social media channels, including YouTube, and of course our amazing website, voboss.com. If you haven’t been to the site yet, it’s pretty killer. There’s a lot of great stuff there. There’s swag that you can buy.
Ellen: Good stuff.
Gabby: You can show off your bossness with all kinds of fun things including T-shirts and bracelets and mugs. And it is also a way for you to communicate with us. We want to hear from you. You can record messages for us that we can air on a future episode. And you can also of course email us and send us questions.
Anne: Thanks, guys. See you next week.
VO: Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabby Nistico. All rights reserved, Anne Ganguzza Voice Talent in association with Three Moon Media. Redistribution with permission. Coast-to-coast connectivity via ipDTL.