Voice-Over: Is It A Coach You Need or A Mentor?

There is a real difference between a voiceover coach and mentor.  Both the mentor and the coach use the same set of skills but the differences between them are about the relationship.

In voice-over, there can be a need to have both a mentor and a coach.  In fact, there may be a need or a desire to have more than just one.  You could need a coach to show you how to deliver a script.  Another coach to teach you how to do characters.  Yet another coach to show you how to use your DAW and do audio processing.

Many of us have sought out a voice over coach.  I mean, we hear all the time how we need to be coached in voiceover.

Is this really true?

Now here is where for some of you I go left.  However, for another set of new age voice-over artists, this is going to be gold!

First, let's take a look at what you need to be a voice over artists.  It comes down to just a few things.

  • Talent
  • Technical Skill
  • Above average marketing and sales ability

Talent is an easy one. 

Either you have it or you don't.  Sure you can learn what you need to learn about how to interpret a script and voice inflections and transitions.  Throw in some mic techniques and a little attitude when needed and you are about 95% there.

Talent is either enate or you must develop it.  Either way, you need to practice and continue to learn and improve.  I mean, Michael Jordan never stopped practicing no matter how great he was.

Technical skill

If there may be a roadblock, this is where it will be.  I am known for saying that, "the home studio is the future."

By 2020 if you are not a competent audio engineer you will not be able to do voiceover.  A decent voiceover with the ability to make their own demo and produce completely edited, processed, and mastered audio will the ones that get the work.

Think about this.  Right now we have the freelance sites, the p2p sites, and the agents.  20 years ago, it was all about having the right agent.  By 2006  the p2p sites were all the rage and right along with them the freelance sites like fiverr, Upwork, and others became the promise for the voiceover artists.

What this did, however, was flood the industry with cheap, inexperienced voiceover talent.  Many of the people on these sites today really have no training, little talent, and use cheap non-pro equipment and gear. (Please note I said many, not all).

Let me pause here for a moment and say this.  Many of the 'old guard' in voiceover are walking around butthurt because of what I just expressed about inexperienced voiceover talent.

The truth of the matter is this.  The voice over industry has changed and will continue to change.  Just like in any other industry, you have to learn how to adjust or get run over.  

No sense in complaining about competition.  The radio can't complain about the TV.  The TV can't complain about the smartphone or Netflix.  You can not complain about the market.  You adapt adjust and move on.

Things will always evolve and change.  The market is the market.  Pick your piece of it and stop complaining.  It helps no one.  Least of all YOU.

Sales and Marketing Ability

This is where the rubber meets the road.  The voiceover artists that masters this will never be hungry.  Your #1 Job as a voiceover is to GET CLIENTS.  

PERIOD!

If you can not get clients, I don't care how great you are in voiceover or audio production if you don't know how to market and sell your services, you lose.

Marketing and sales are the lifeblood of the voiceover.  Not the agent, not the coach, not the mentor.

If there is going to be a decision in who to hire as a coach or a mentor in voiceover.  Hire or align yourself with the one that not only shows you the craft of voiceover, but...

The one that can teach you sales and marketing.  

Hint:

Many voiceover coaches no nothing about sales and marketing in 2020.  They are 10 to 20 years behind the times. 

Look to the future of sales and marketing online.  Look to the people on the cutting edge of Facebook marketing, Instagram marketing, email marketing, and yes Snapchat.

While you are sitting there saying that none of that will ever work.  I just got another client.

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