Marketing – Who Is Your Demo For?

Your demo isn’t like a painting or a photograph – it’s not art, it’s a promotional tool. But are you treating it as one? Are you seeking validation from the wrong audience? Who did you make that demo for anyway? See who has the soap and who has the box in this week’s episode. Join us as The Bosses talk demos.


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Proper demo practices and standards should be followed.

  2. A demo should be made for a very particular audience and its job is to get you work.

  3. All demo audiences are singular and have different wants and needs.

  4. Voiceover actors love to listen to each other’s demos.

  5. But the opinion of another actor isn’t necessary helpful.

  6. You have to put the right demo into the hands of the right person.

  7. Ask for feedback carefully. Does this individual know the target market and audience?

  8. Hire and trust producers who know the genre and understand the market.

  9. Seek the experts in a particular field.

  10. Range& variety vary greatly depending on the type of demo you are making.

  11. Diversity of sound is not as diverse as it was in years past.

  12. Acting range and character voice range are not the same thing.

  13. New casting and new platforms are creating new, specific, industry demos that are only for that one platform.

  14. Even talent agents don’t need ALL your demos.

  15. Clients can and do still book you directly from your demo.

  16. Clients listen to a demo for application – are you displaying an application they need?

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

  1. Voiceover Demo Production by Anne

  2. Recorded on ipDTL

Full Episode Transcript

>> Today’s voiceover talent is more than just a pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Today’s voiceover talent has to be a BOSS.

>> BOSS.

>> A BOSS.

>> A BOSS.

>> Join us each week for business owner strategies and success with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabrielle Nistico, along with some of the strongest voices in our industry.

>> Rock your business.

>> Rock your business.

>> Rock your business.

>> Like a BOSS.

>> Like a BOSS.

>> Rock your business like a BOSS.

>> Rock your business like a BOSS.




Anne: Hey, guys. Before we start today’s episode, I want to talk to you about a product that has been just killing it out there. It is our Book-out Builder, a way for you to communicate with your potential clients on a monthly or a quarterly basis.

Gabby: OK, I – [laughs] I don’t think Anne and I thought clearly when we launched this because we didn’t realize how popular it was gonna be.

Anne: Yeah.

Gabby: It is, it’s keeping us busy, that’s an understatement.

Anne: Oh yeah.

Gabby: One of the reasons I think we continue to see so much interest in it is because every single time we build these lists for people, they’re fully customized. So you’re not getting the same product as the next voice actor, or the next, or the next.

Anne: No two lists are the same.

Gabby: Never.

Anne: They’re custom-developed just for you.

Gabby: Yep.

Anne: And it’s a way for you to keep that top of mind.

Gabby: That’s what everybody’s after. Right? It’s how do we stay in front of our clients, how do we stay relevant, how do we not bug them, and how do we provide something that’s actually valuable to them? Well, this is it.

Anne: Book-Out Builder, guys. You want to find out more, go to the website,, click on the shop tab, and go to the monthly blasts tab, and you’re going to find out all you need to know about the Book-Out Builder and how you can sign up for top-of-mind marketing every month, every quarter, whatever you decide. Make sure you check it out.

Gabby: And if you still have questions, there’s also an option to go ahead and book a 15-minute consult with me and Anne on it. We’d love to do that for you.

Anne: Thanks, guys. Hey, everybody. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my VO BOSS bestie, Gabby Nistico. Hey, Gabby.

Gabby: Yo!

Anne: How are you today?

Gabby: I’m good. I’m Captain Morganing right now.

Anne: Oooh.

Gabby: I’ve got my leg up on a stool, in my booth, and I’m doing like the Captain Morgan pose.

Anne: Oh, I thought –

Gabby: It’s fun.

Anne: I thought you had a glass in your hand and –

Gabby: No, not yet. Not yet. 45 minutes more.

Anne: That happens later. That happens later.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: It’s 5:00 somewhere.

Gabby: True. True, true.

Anne: Almost 5:00 in your neck of the woods, actually.

Gabby: It is, exactly. No, right now it’s like booth yoga.

Anne: So you know, you and I have different genres that we specialize in.

Gabby: True.

Anne: And I see questions practically on a daily basis on the forums about what constitutes a good demo.

Gabby: Mmm… yes.

Anne: And what goes into a good demo and how much variety should your demo have in it, how much range should your demo have on it, and I figured we should maybe talk about that. Because we both specialize in these different areas, and I have my, my very staunch opinions on what goes into a good corporate narration demo or an e-learning demo, and I’m sure you have some wonderful opinions on yours as well.

Gabby: Well, yeah. Yeah. I think all demo creators, producers that have been doing this for a long time, we all usually agree. You know, we kind of come together on those finer points of what a demo should or should not, regardless of the genre. So yeah, I think it’s kind of fun to explore, but also look at all of the similarities that are there.

Anne: Well, I think first and foremost, we should probably establish that a demo is made for a very specific purpose. And my goal –

Gabby: [laughs] Well, it should be. [laughs]

Anne: My goal, right, the demo’s being made so that you can get work, so that people can listen to it and say, “ooh, I like that voice. Let’s hire that voice.” So I think a demo, its ultimate goal should be to get a person work.

Gabby: In this specific area that the demo was created for.

Anne: Yes. You make a very important addendum to that. Yes, in the specific genre that, yeah, the demo is intended. So a commercial demo has a very different target audience than let’s say a corporate narration demo.

Gabby: Oh God, yes.

Anne: Compared to a radio imaging demo, right?

Gabby: Compared to a promo demo, compared to a commercial demo. We could play that game all day long. Every buyer has their own specific wants, needs, viewpoint.

Anne: So therefore what goes in to that demo, what goes into the copy that goes into that demo, the spots that go into that demo, the performance that goes into that demo has to be targeted to that specific, to that specific audience. So I, I would say that, you know, one of the issues that I see a lot is that voice talent like to listen to each other’s demos all the time. So if a new demo comes out, you know, people will –

Gabby: Well, sure.

Anne: – post it and say, “hey, what do you think?” They will get feedback on their demo. I think one thing that you have to be very careful about is to understand that maybe not everyone is familiar with the target audience for that demo.

Gabby: [laughs]

Anne: So if they’re going to make a judgment one way or the other, whether they think it has enough variety or it’s performance driven –

Gabby: Mm-hmm.

Anne: – in the right vein, I think that we have to take that into consideration.

Gabby: It’s people in general, it’s the audience in general. Who are you putting your demo into the hands of and why? You know, this goes back to that story, I know I have told it once before where, years ago, I had given my radio imaging demo to a commercial casting director. And it was like, you could hear crickets. They were just –

Anne: Yup.

Gabby: – like, “what the hell is this?” [laughs]

Anne: Exactly, exactly.

Gabby: And it’s because that I put the wrong demo into the hands of a buyer who didn’t care about the genre. So lesson learned. But you’re right, we see that now sort of in reverse where it’s “oh, here’s my brand-new demo. Let me play it for other voice actors, my colleagues,” you know whatever.

Anne: Be careful with that, guys.

Gabby: You’re going to get a gajillion opinions. None of them are actually coming from people who pay you money.

Anne: That’s the thing, they’re not the ones hiring you.

Gabby: Right.

Anne: So I say with a grain of salt, ask for people’s feedback but also understand that they’re not necessarily the ones that are hiring you. So sure, they can give feedback, but understand that an intended audience – and I say this because I think that our genres have evolved very, very distinctly and differently over the years, right? There never was – you know, years ago there never was a corporate narration demo. It was either business-industrial narration, and that’s what it was. There was like one size fits all.

Gabby: Right.

Anne: Now we have super targeted demos, and just as we market our businesses to target markets, we also market our demos. And so therefore the performance requirements for a corporate narration demo may not be what you think, or may not be – because you’re not necessarily familiar with the market. So I say get out there and research the market that you’re going to prepare your demo for. And make sure that you’re very familiar with what it is that they’re requiring.

Gabby: Yeah, but how about trust your freaking producer?