Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

December 9, 2011

Be Picky!

Filed under: Auditioning, Marketing, Musings, Negotiating — connieterwilliger @ 7:36 pm

I pay to play on Voice123. And as each month passes, I am more and more picky about the time I spend auditioning. And yet, I am still auditioning a bit more than all Voice123 Premium Subscribers that also speak English – North American.

I just counted up the auditions I’ve done in the past 6 months…63 auditions. I think I’ve had 2 bookings – could be more, I’d have to do a little database research. A lot of Finalist rankings, but the phone hasn’t rung yet with the gig – and maybe never will. Too soon to tell on some of them and relationships are bubbling I am sure.

Frankly I would be thrilled to have 10 auditions a month from my agents. I’m up to about 8 per month with one agent and the others? Not even close. Of course, I do get booked through agents without auditioning, which is the ideal situation. And for that I am grateful.

But times have changed, online casting is here to stay. You can’t un-ring this bell. But I think we need to do some analysis on our personal ROI when it comes to the P2P sites. For some it pencils out nicely, for others, their time may be better spent elsewhere.

The advice from Voice123 about being picky is really good advice. Our agents used to do this part of the process. They didn’t send all of us out for everything. Of course this led to the occasional call as to WHY we didn’t get sent out.

You would think that getting an audition in your email would be a good thing, but when it comes to the P2P sites, the first thing I did a while back – a long while back – was shut off the lead emails. I have done the same for Facebook. I have turned off the auto-notifications. I need to do that with LinkedIn, because I get lots of email when a thread is active.

I go to the V123 site when I have the time and scan the open leads. I will immediately delete a lead if the amount is under $300. Despite this rigorous “training of the algorithm” I still get $100 leads. Hope they work that out sometime, or at least allow the ability to simply not receive leads under a certain level. It’s not that I won’t work for less than $300, I do – depends on the project.

I then start looking at the highest dollar leads – or jobs that say Union Rates.

If the lead is for a middle-aged female with ISDN, that is my first priority. If there are too many different ages and both genders specified in the lead and the lead is for a single voice – I’ll delete those. If the lead is riddled with grammatical errors, or the copy is awkward – those get deleted. If the lead is for a national broadcast commercial and the rate is less than $300 – or $500, those get deleted.

If I think I am right for the project and the rate is in the ballpark, I’ll check out the client (as much as possible) and I’ll see how many people have already auditioned and if any of those have been opened. Too many people – delete. No more auditions opened after 6 for 6 hours – delete.

When I do decide to actually turn on the mic and record an audition, I have found myself more frequently ultimately deciding not to submit. Malaise? Insecurity? Good judgment? Not exactly sure, but in retrospect, it takes quite a bit of time to scan the leads, weigh the factors, record, edit, compose a response and then send the audition.

The time I spend on this might actually be put to better use. My contact database is filled with good and happy clients who have been neglected lately!

So, be picky my friends. Only you know what bell will ring in the best ROI for you.

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2 Comments »

  1. Hey Connie…
    Great points about V123. I’ve had some great success on V123, so I’m always a little leery to say anything about them. They’re never that excited to get feedback on their Smartcast system. Personally, I think it could use a tweak or 2…. or 10, but I dare not say anything. I’ve already been banned from the Forum for asking some questions about how and why their algorithms works. I’ve asked to be allowed back in but no one will respond to me. That was a year ago. i have some great emails if you’re interested in some wonderful reading.

    A couple of question for you…
    1. have you found that deleting the less palatable invitations helps the Smartcast system send better, more suited invites your way?
    2. Are finding you’re always submitting upwards of 250% more auditions than other premium talent?
    I’ve been as high as 500% more and not felt like I was over doing it. Apparently they say this happens with many talent around holiday season.

    Of the last 40 invites I’ve received, I’ve responded to 8 (20%) which I think is fairly reasonable/picky. Here are a few stats form the last 10 auditions I’ve sent.
    – 2 gigs landed
    – 2 finalists (no other finalist, so here’s hoping they call. I’m waiting by the phone)
    – 2 not yet listened to

    Still I’m at 255% more auditions than other talent. I don’t know how that can be. Then when I see the kinds of jobs I didn’t get invites for, some that pay quite decently, I’m a little frustrated.

    All of this to say, if you’ve found some strategies that help you find better paying jobs from the P2P sites, I would love to share some ideas with you.

    Thanks again. I’ll be looking back at your blog whenever I can.

    All the best… none of the worst,
    Dave Pettitt

    Comment by Male Voice Talent - Dave Pettitt — December 11, 2011 @ 11:08 pm

  2. Regarding your questions. I THINK that deleting the lower dollar leads is SUPPOSED to train the system, but I still see $100 leads. That being said, I haven’t looked at all of the leads and compared them to the ones that show up in my In Box, that would take a lot of time and I just don’t care that much!

    I am only submitting about 25% more than others (well as of today – 32%). If I was at 250% or 500%, I think I wouldn’t have time to do anything else! How does this affect your overall percentage? At the moment I’m up over 80%. That figure also affects the leads that show up in your In Box.

    I would analyze the jobs you landed closely and see if you can figure out some commonalities. And try not to worry so much about this one avenue of potential work! Take some time off – really put yourself on a diet when it comes to auditioning through V123. Audition of only the highest dollar and least saturated gender and age mix. Concentrate on the jobs that look like fun. See what happens.

    Bottom line – stop worrying about it!

    Comment by connieterwilliger — December 12, 2011 @ 9:00 am


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