It's nice to have a niche
Find your niche. I’m sure you’ve heard it before. Perhaps you’ve even thought, “Well, voiceovers are pretty niche in themselves aren’t they? It’s a very specialized industry. And I just want to work using my voice for whoever will have me!”
The thing is, finding your niche gives you a level of freedom. It means you can totally focus on honing your skill, talent, and demos towards a given market. Say for example that you decide you have an appealing voice for on-hold phone and IVR work and that you really want to make a go of that, then you can tailor make your demos and marketing efforts for the many on-hold audio companies too. You can step away from the pressure of feeling like you need to apply for every itty-bitty job on P2P sites, because you know that ultimately your efforts will pay off.
If animation is your thing, you can focus on excelling at your character work, you can spend time learning about the developments both in the UK and the rest of the world, and get to grips with who casts what and how. You can ensure that you keep up your skills up to date by taking regular classes in character and accent work and you find clever ways to market yourself to those few who are responsible for making casting decisions. You can seek out up and coming animation production companies, and make it your business to know who is who and the best places to network with them. You can make sure you are reading whichever blogs, articles and productions are relevant to animation.
The same hold true if voicing for games is your bag. You can fully immersive yourself in the advances in technology and the current trends in gaming, and know that in doing so you are making a fantastic decision for your career and your business. And if gaming is your things, you can spend hours getting to grips with all the top games, just so you are abreast of what’s happening in the industry, You can ensure your demos cater for the gaming market, and learn who is responsible for creating what kind of content and where in the world that happens. You can make it your business to be at any Gaming Awards ceremonies that happen. And it is important that you do, because you want to be the one who is seen and acknowledged as specialized.
Perhaps it’s your accent. Perhaps you come from a part of the world where there aren’t so many VOs with that accent. So take that as your niche and flog it for all it is worth. It doesn’t mean you won’t get other work in a more neutral accent, but it makes you memorable.
My niche is audio book narration. I found my flow and I went for it. I still get other work; corporate, commercial, IVR, and lots of it, but my focus is on books. Why? Because I recognise that:
- I am good at them
- There was a gap in the market
- I knew it was something I could be 100% passionate about.
There are many, many voices out there. Why choose you? Why should a casting director or a producer choose you? Make it easy for them. Make yourself an expert in the field of your choice and you won’t look back. So go on, find your niche.