So you have your demo, now what?

Why isn’t the work just coming in.  You were told to get a killer demo –  you spent the time and money to do that, and now you’re shopping it out to ‘EVERYWHERE’ and nothing!

Perhaps you’re getting a bit of work but no new bites coming in?

There are many reasons that contribute to your demo response.  The first to consider of course is if it’s current with today’s market needs.  Did your demo team understand your needs for the marketplace you are seeking, or their local market only?

Your demo length, style and content are very important and creating just the right demo material is nearly an art in itself.

The second thing to consider is if it’s captured enough of your unique personalities while still bringing out your signature personality?  Is there variety?

The third consideration is the demo quality.  Sometimes you can get a really good production team that truly knows production, but that doesn’t always mean they know how to showcase the talent more than the production.

The forth, and one of the most important is whether the talent is ready for their demo.  Many of you will produce your demo before your ready.  Even back in 1990 when I took my broadcasting course, we had to do the entire thing before we were even close to ready.  And that was 5 days a week training for a full school year.   So being ready is one of the biggest mistakes talent will make.  Knowing you’re ready is very important and not always easy.

The fifth possible reason is your marketing.  How are you getting this demo out to the world?  You have to fight your way in these days and be connected to just the right people to find work.  Waiting for your agents to find you work, or for agents to find you is not going to produce you the results you intend.  They can only do so much.  You must be aggressive with your career.

Here is the thing, there are many talent who aren’t very well trained and they are finding work somehow.  This is a hard industry to make a full time wage in…so a lot of these talent are not making a fortune, but they are getting work.  So they are doing something right.  Now if you do it all right, get yourself ready, find the right team, get your demo done right the first time, market your bananas off, you will find work.

Much like the film industry, if you want to be a big celebrity  – it is a long road and rare for most to actually make it all the way.  But many actors work steady and schlep themselves out there and push their way through.  Some enjoy that risky journey, while others might not, but perseverance is the only way to prove yourself worthy of your ultimate prize.  Is it to be famous and make a ton of money in this?  Great, but it takes a ton of experience to get there.  If it’s to make a career out of it – then make sure you invest right the first time.

It’s like ANY business, the more you invest, the more you are worth.I don’t mean SPEND more on your demo, but many times you get what you pay for.   So how much time and investment went into your training prior to your demo?  Did you go to a company that truly cares about your results and was only willing to do it for you when you were ready, or did you go to Jungle Jim’s after X amount of lessons and this much money – I will get you a demo?

I love talking and I love hosting webinars.  It’s one of the most cost effective ways to get good information.  I am hosting a skype webinar on this very topic July 31st and will take this opportunity to critique all the talent’s demos that join in on the webinar.  It’s my opinion only of course, based on what has been taught to me through all these years.  But it’s very important to get different opinions and have a chance to listen to other demos and the variety of styles, etc.  You will be overwhelmed at the varied demos that we’ll get to hear.

A sixth thing to consider is how old the demo is.  Many decision makers are new that are hearing your demo, but there are also many agents etc. that will know if you have a new demo or not.  Some of the top talents reproduce their demos every 6 months, and these demos are not cheap.  They can get more expensive as you grow as a talent.   This just becomes part of the cost.  I myself am guilty of having a stale (yet brilliant) demo.

There are MANY other things that could be contributing to your demo return, but these are some of the most common issues.  Either way, take all these things into consideration as you take training for your demos or are shopping your demo out to the world hoping to obtain work.  It could be you need a good old-fashioned overhaul.  It’s time for me to do an overhaul and continue to add to my client rosters so I can maintain a full time living in this industry.   It’s a never-ending process that you can’t let go of.  This is a constant in your career, so prepare for the expense, time and efforts needed to maintain freshness within your demos and your training.

*As you grow you will be able to use actual jobs (should they be demo worthy), but in the beginning these demos will have to be fabricated, and everyone has their own opinion, their own budget and their own methods, so make sure you research this daunting domain!  Also be sure to work with your demo team prior to recording your demo so they can pull out your true personality.

Don’t be afraid of producing demos remotely.  I direct, write and produce demo monthly for several talent.   Some come to me directly and voice at my studio, while others live in Thailand, Japan, the US and beyond and travel isn’t an option.  The work you produce from a home studio should match the quality that you offer on your demo.  We make sure and test out your sound and make it the best it can be.  Once that’s approved, all you need to do is be able to record on your end, send us the files and we’ll take over from there.  I also find talent are most comfortable when working from their home studio, so it helps alleviate the nerves a bit.

So let’s find out why your demo isn’t giving you the return on investment you had hoped for.  Be warned, I will tell you like it is, at least how I see it, if I love it, I will happily admit it and guide you in what direction you need to focus on to get more work, but if I don’t like it, I’m going to tell you that to……

I look forward to hearing from you either way!  Be ready.  Get a Killer Demo.  Then get your demos out there and quit waiting for the work to come to you.

Until next time everyone
All my best
Vo Chef Deb