Cast a wide net? Or pursue your niche?

brennanellis Member, Voices_Premium
Name Dropper First Answer First Comment

Hi everybody!

So, I am relatively new here at - I signed up in July. All in all, it has been a good experience. I love the user-friendly interface, the simple payment protocol, and all of you guys have been so welcoming, helpful, and nice as I've set out on this journey. So thank you! I have not auditioned as much as I would like to, and I haven't gotten booked or shortlisted yet. But, my demos and auditions have at least gotten a fair amount of listens, so that's a good sign, I suppose.

Actually jumping in there and submitting auditions has taught me so much more than endless theorizing about "someday" doing voice over. It's amazing, the questions that develop after actually DOING IT. So without further ado, I have a few questions/observations, and I hope you guys will be able to weigh in:

1.) TIMING: Does the order of submission matter? Like many (most?) talent here, I'm not a full timer. I have a day job, and two young children. (And, even for the full time talent, I'm guessing that the vast majority probably started off part time.) I'm limited to working on VO after they are in bed, or in the early morning hours before work. I do check the app multiple times a day, and save those jobs which I'm interested in, but I can't just drop everything and audition at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. Does this put me at a disadvantage? I'd like to think that if I were the client, I'd want to give all submissions a fair chance, whether they were submitted within minutes of posting, or one minute before the posted deadline.

2.) Obviously, the words "conversational" and "guy/girl next door" get thrown around a lot in this business - with good reason. Those are the coveted voices that would be at home in any Fortune 500 commercial. They are versatile, relatable, universally pleasing to the ears, and non-controversial.

BUT, what happens if after a number of failed attempts to land the usual corporate-type work, you conclude that maybe, your voice is in more of a niche market? Perhaps you have a particularly raspy voice. Maybe you're the epitome of the "Southern gentleman" accent (I call it the "Challston accent.") No, you're probably never going to be booked for an Apple commercial or a Coca-Cola HR tutorial video -- but you can OWN the voice you have, and work on being the best in the world at your particular niche, no? I guess what I'm trying to say is, do you cast the wide net and hope that statistically, you'll get booked -- or stop trying to be all things to all people, and just focus on your specialty? I mean, I'm guessing that all of the descriptors on the demos exist FOR A REASON, and even "Deadpan" is an option, which implies that somewhere out there, someone is making money with a monotone style of delivery, haha! I just wondered if anyone else has had this experience.

3.)The only way to really know where the market for your voice is, is to get it out there. I'm learning that in this business, you don't fail because you didn't get booked. I'm guessing that even the top talent here probably "lose" far more than they "win" if we are defining wins and losses as getting booked vs. not getting booked. The only failure is not to try, and you will always miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take. With every audition, you get a little better, a little more efficient. And eventually, you'll get there. 😁

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading! I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Have a great day!


  • Andrew Zuber
    Andrew Zuber Administrator
    100 Comments 25 Likes First Answer Photogenic

    Great piece @brennanellis!

    This push-and-pull, especially when starting out, is central to the core of the career path of basically every vocal talent that uses our platform. A common strategy for a beginner is to cast the widest net possible and apply to absolutely everything in an attempt to get any work possible. As you grow and develop as a talent you will learn naturally -- through both what you book and simply what doesn't feel right -- where your lanes are and where you will find success.

    What I'd say is the best sign of future success for you is that you are thinking deeply and critically about your voice, your sound, and your strengths. Being able to think about your self and your work like this will be paramount in learning what you can do to improve and where you can make your money in the short term.

  • brennanellis
    brennanellis Member, Voices_Premium
    Name Dropper First Answer First Comment

    I appreciate the kind words and the encouragement, @Andrew Zuber. Have a great day! 👍️

  • ekgabriel
    ekgabriel Member, Voices_Platinum
    25 Likes 10 Comments 5 Agrees Name Dropper

    1...sometimes, yes, timing matters. As with everything these days, a lot of the projects want to be done yesterday, but still audition if you are a match for the spot, reading is always a good thing and some clients listen to all 150 submissions. I started off "part-time" as well and I auditioned when I had time and that lead to, erm, um, well, full time.

    2...keep "failing". If you know you have a good read, keep at it. If you are unsure, hire a coach...plenty of 'em out there. Most auditions have descriptors that are spot on to what they want...but let the script guide you most of the way. Read EVERYTHING you want to get don't have to send the audition, but reading things outside of your norm will help you with every read you currently do and help build your "toolbox" of voices for the future.

    3...yes, I get rejected way, way , waaaaayyyy, more than I book.

    Best of luck!

  • nathanricks
    nathanricks Member, Voices_Premium
    Photogenic First Comment

    keep on doing great work you will land aVO