So where are the dominos?

The other day I posted some thoughts that flowed from a Seth Godin blog piece at The Domino Project about luck and work and the old way of doing things in the publishing business. I made the analogy that auditioning for voiceover work is, in some ways, similar to the way the publishing business was run.

Now, I have nothing against auditioning as a way of getting voiceover work. I audition for things myself and in fact book work from auditions multiple times each year. But, auditioning is a process that leaves only one person with a job when many applied for it.

It’s much better when the work comes directly, without an audition, through relationships all ready established; or through relationships based on referrals from existing clients. This works very well for those of us who have been doing voiceovers for a while. But, as one of my good friends pointed out the other day, what about those who are just getting started? They don’t have a pool of existing clients from whom to get work or referrals.

Those comments from my friend have led me to think about this subject quite a bit in the last few days. I certainly don’t want to leave anyone with the impression that building relationships and getting work repeatedly from clients happens by magic or just by thinking about it.

Actually, thinking about it is important. But, after the thinking comes the doing.

For example, are there things you could do based on your own creativity that can lead to work? One friend came up with an idea to market her voiceover services directly to a category of businesses in her area. Made some phone calls. Put in some effort turning her idea into something practical and useful to those businesses. It didn’t happen overnight and it took some concerted effort and persistence, but it paid off.

Or, are there people who write about marketing (on a blog or in a freely distributed newsletter for example) from whom you can draw some ideas that you can implement yourself? Now, people writing for the general marketplace probably won’t offer an idea that can be used directly. You’ll probably have to think about how to adapt their ideas to the world of voiceover, but you’re a creative, intelligent person. You can do this.

What are the businesses that hire the kind of work you do or want to do? For example, let’s say you want to narrate audiobooks. There are a few big players that you can find with little effort; but what about the other publishers who are in the second or third tier of the business? It may take some extra digging to find those companies and, having found them, to learn how to submit to them. Everyone wants the low-hanging fruit. Your goal is to find the fruit that’s not so easy to pick.

I hope these few random observations help you start thinking about what you can do to move forward. And I’d love to hear how you make strides. Comments are always open.


  1. You’re so right. I’ve been in the business for about a year now and although I’ve booked some great clients and they’ve returned for future work, it doesn’t just roll in everyday like most people think. Building relationships and a clientele will take me years. And unfortunately, auditioning is one of the main ways to get that initial connection. You might have an agent, but not all agents care about getting you work. Marketing efforts like you described are needed.

    Comment by Jonathan Steiner — September 12, 2011 @ 10:18 am

  2. Jonathan,

    Thank you for your comments.

    Be well,

    Comment by Bob — September 12, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

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