Okay, I admit… I was feeling a bit “crabby” yesterday. Why? Sunday happens to be the day I clean up and go back to all the remaining emails of the previous workweek. Keep in mind, I personally get over 200 emails a day and obviously have to prioritize. Within those thousand weekly emails, 20-30 talent a week will solicit ACM and my last task for the week is to listen to their demos. So what has my “panties in a bunch” so to speak? Simply put… the lack of effort I’m witnessing with unsolicited emails. If someone wants ACM’s and my attention, why wouldn’t he/she want to present himself/herself in the best light? I will admit that agency representation may seem more casual than a job interview but, in effect, they are the same so here is my recommendations so you can put your best foot forward with the majority of voice agents and managers. Here are my 3 things everyone should know or do prior to soliciting a VO Agent or Manager.
1) Do some research. Everyone has the web. Use it. If someone want to know who or what ACM is… google it. If you want to know the difference between an agent and a manager…try Wikipedia. If you want to craft an inquiry directly to a specific department… go to the firm’s website and find out who is who. Finally, if you still aren’t getting the answers you are looking for… call and ask. Almost every receptionist, assistant and even agents/managers will answer a question or two if they pickup your call. What does this accomplish? You can now write an informed cover letter/email that makes me believe you are serious about being represented by us.
2) I wrote a bit about demos last week but make sure your demo is top notch. Sounds pretty simple yet most demos are substandard. I’ll be writing extensively on the dynamics of demos but I will reiterate this simple point… the web is your friend. If you want to send your demo to CESD, go to their website and play the demos of their current clients. If you don’t think your demo stacks up… maybe now is not the time to solicit them. Either pay to put together a better demo or wait until you have enough quality spots to add to your current demo.
3) Make sure you have a positive web/social media presence. I’m not saying that every agent/manager is going to do a background check on you but I know the first thing I do when I find a demo I like is to see if you have a website. If I like the website, the next thing I'm going to do is check you out on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. If there are no red flags my final step is to call and have a casual phone interview. Only after that point, when I decide I like the demo and I like the person do I consider a performer for representation and even then, for dozens of reason, it may not be a good fit for us. Don’t make it easy for me to eliminate you as a potential client because you like to be “provocative” on Twitter or think your 2010 week in Cancun should be posted on Facebook for everyone to see.
Finally, what does following these steps accomplish? If I had to bet, you’ll increase your odds two-fold. Conversely, if you can’t follow these steps, resist pressing send and be mindful you will be saving yourself the frustration of wondering why you never received back a response.