I had a call last week from a company who thought they may have worked with me a while back and needed the voiceover updating. The original employee had moved on, they knew the voiceover was called Mel but didn’t know who exactly. Then, after a quick Google search, they found their way to me. Great stuff you’d’ve thought, let’s get this video updated! But unfortunately, once the original audio came through, it very clearly wasn’t me.
A very nicely done corporate piece, but a character role – with a recognisable accent. The company however had asked if it wasn’t me could I still help them out, replicate the voice perhaps? Again….great stuff you’d’ve thought, let’s get this video updated!
But no. Help them out I could but not by replicating the voice but by passing it on.
You see over the years one of the many things I brought across from my previous work life is to play to your strengths. Have the confidence to say no thanks to the stuff you genuinely know you’re not the best at. The voiceover industry has so many genres to work within that it can be tempting to spread your wings and try them all, but quite honestly, there are only a few (very talented!) individuals out there that could truly say they are brilliant at them all. So I focus my business on what I know I’m good at and say no thanks to the work that I know I’m not. Much better for your business in the long run.
My main strengths, and therefore most of my work, is supporting the corporate sector. The B2B videos, product or service promos and explainers, staff training – that kind of stuff. And of course commercial work, which I’m increasingly enjoying more bookings for. Character voices and most certainly accents are not really my thing. So I’ll leave that for now to the umpteen other brilliant voiceover artists out there that enjoy playing with their vocals to turn themselves into someone or something else!
Know your skillset and use it wisely I say – don’t waste your time (or others) dabbling with something that you can delegate!
Oh, and helping them out by the way was still playing to my strengths – always doing what I can to be helpful. I too did a little detective work and found another voiceover Mel. She sounded pretty similar to the sample but had character voices/accents in her arsenal so was perhaps much better placed to try and replicate the voice if not!
And a happy ending all round it was. Turns out it wasn’t the other Mel either, but she was able to help (as I had hoped) and was grateful for the referral. And the company came back to me too advising they’ve added me to their list of voiceovers regardless! A win-win all round I’d say.
Be happy to pass it on folks – it’s best all round.