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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Does it Pay to Niche Yourself in Voice Over?

Voice over is a profession of many paths, with plenty of opportunity for you to change directions, backtrack, or speed ahead - and everyone’s course is different. However, there’s one fork in the road that nearly every actor faces, and that’s whether to settle into a niche or try to be more of an “all-in-one” kind of actor. Frankly, I don't believe the latter will be sustainable for a career.

Here’s an analogy: let’s say you want to buy a new tv. You’ve got a few options, two of the biggest being a general retailer, like Wal-Mart, or a more specialized electronics store, like Best Buy. Which one will you go to? Well, many people will choose Best Buy, because there might be more options, the salespeople might be more knowledgeable, etc. One the other hand, Wal-Mart will appeal to another segment of tv shoppers, who may think they might get a better deal or who are also in the market for other items that Best Buy won’t have.

Me? I’d choose Best Buy, because I want to buy my tv from someone who specializes in tvs. It’s no different with voice actors, in my opinion. When you niche yourself, you’re telling  your clients, “this is my area of expertise.” This is appealing to many clients because 1) they know what they’re after in terms of their target market and the “sound” that they’re looking for, and 2) they want an expert to handle their project.

So, to answer the original question at hand: does it pay to niche yourself in voice over? I’m of the opinion that, yes, it most certainly does. When you hone in on a specific skill, and you take that skillset and cultivate it, and brand it, and market it, you’re tapping into a specific segment of clients who you know will be interested in YOU. Your chances of better pay, repeat work, and just an overall better working experience are, in my opinion, greatly increased once you’ve zeroed in on your own niche. 

I've created my own niche along with a slogan I can abruptly back up with purity... "The Voice of Americana! Serving the basic industries that keep America moving." I've centralized my thinking and my marketing. And I can tell you honestly, it has been working quite well now for the last 9 years.

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