Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The VO BOSS podcast blends solid, actionable business advice with a dose of inspiration for today’s voiceover talent. Each week, host Anne Ganguzza focuses on a specific topic to help you grow your #VO Business. Featuring guest interviews with industry movers & shakers, VO BOSS covers every facet of the voice landscape, from creating your business plan to choosing the best marketing tactics & tools. So tune in, listen up, and learn how to further your VO career!

Jul 25, 2023

In this episode, Anne is joined by special guest Tom Dheere, the Vo Strategist. With over 25 years of experience, Tom knows how to ride the waves of ever-changing technology and market shifts. Discover the secrets to driving traffic to your website through social media, blogging, and top-notch content to keep you ahead of the pack. They share how old-school tactics like cold calling and email marketing might not be cutting it anymore. Boost your confidence with Tom's killer advice on negotiating rates like a BOSS and flipping your approach to snag the rates you truly deserve. Plus, we unveil the controversial truth about Fiverr and how this billion-dollar beast can actually help you charge industry-standard rates…


0:00:01 - Anne
Hey, hey everyone, Welcome to the VO Boss podcast. I'm your host, Anne Ganguzza, and today I am excited to welcome voiceover business and marketing consultant and VO strategist, Tom Dheere, to the show. As a voice actor with over 25 years of experience, Tom brings a wealth of voiceover knowledge to the table In his one-on-one strategy sessions, diagnostic sessions those sound interesting and his mentorship program, As well as speaker appearances at industry conferences. Tom, I am so excited to have you here today. Thanks for joining me. 
0:00:34 - Tom
Thanks for having me. It's always a pleasure to chat with you, Anne. 
0:00:37 - Anne
Tom, you know it's chaotic out there. 
I'll tell you what there's disruption, There's, I say, mass panic, and I think that today more than ever, as entrepreneurs and business owners, we need a strategy more than ever. So I am super duper glad that we are here talking to you about that. So let's get a feel for your take on the industry, because you've been in the industry for gosh over 25 years and I'm sure you've seen it evolve, kind of like myself. Talk a little bit about your experience in this industry and how it's evolved over the years. 
0:01:20 - Tom
Okay, well, i decided I wanted to be a voice actor in 1994, so I was a graduate school dropout, so I got my. I decided in late 94, got most of my. I got my training in my voiceover demo in 95, which is a cassette tape. I still have it here in the drawer. And then when I got that demo, my coach gave me a little certificate and gave me a stack of Xerox copies of production company listings and said you know, start your good, your cold calling good luck. Because in 1995, there was I mean there was an internet and some websites, but there was no. 
0:01:57 - Anne
Yeah, there was no social media. 
0:01:59 - Tom
There was no online casting sites, there was no home recording, there was no digital delivery of audio files, there was no phone patch, there was ISDN. But like, who had that besides? like the, the, the rate, you know the major TV networks, you know. So you had to buy cold called and I called, called for a year until I got my first gig, so until I joined voice 123 in 2006,. That was pretty much, that was pretty much the only way to do it, and also I was going into New York city once a week. Voiceover is unlimited and you'd pay whatever was $35 for a 10 minute meet. 
Meet up with a casting director or an agent or a manager which is how I got my, my first manager, who I still have to this day, 17, 18 years later. So my cassette turned into a CD which I was duplicating, burning you know. Oh God, the my post office hated my guts. 
0:03:04 - Anne
Now mail. Yes, cause. 
0:03:06 - Tom
I had a long a lawn bag of padded mailers and they'd be like, oh geez, here comes Tom again and like, all right, everybody just gets to the side and just tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick you know cause? 
0:03:15 - Anne
I was just constantly sending it out, yeah, and then that evolved into MP threes. So let's, let's, let's start. I think that there's, there's something, there's a parallel here, a disruption right. Some disruption in the industry right. So it evolved from a tape into a CD, into today, which is all digital right. 
0:03:36 - Tom
Right And then and then pay a voice bank and voicescom and voice 123 disrupted the voiceover again, again and you know, and now AI is disrupting the voiceover industry. But this is what I say and all my students. 
0:03:52 - Anne
A pattern Tom. A pattern Tom. Yes, there is a pattern throughout the years, so I don't think that disruption is going to stop anytime soon. 
0:04:00 - Tom
No, it's going to keep going, and what I like to say is that when the light bulb was invented, it disrupted the candle making industry and nobody cared about the candle makers, except for the candle makers. 
0:04:13 - Anne
People were saying Oh good I can. 
0:04:15 - Tom
I can read a book at night without my house burning down. Like that's where everybody was coming from. It's like okay. So the candle makers had a choice They could go to Congress to try to get light bulbs outlawed, they could go la, la, la, la la which a lot of voice actors have been doing especially literally today, this week, on the voiceover groups. Or they could adjust to their candle making industry to accommodate certain parts of the light bulb industry, or they could convert their candle making factory into a light bulb making factory. 
So, you can either fight it, ignore it, adapt to it or embrace it. And the voice actors that are going to still be standing for lack of a better term on the other side of AI and whatever the next disruption is, the ones that are adapting, evolving learning, growing, operating from a position of abundance as opposed to a position of scarcity, and not shouting at the rain. They're the ones that are still going to have a viable voiceover career. Yeah. 
0:05:08 - Anne
Yeah, i'll tell you, it has really it has really wreaked havoc, and I think that you know, gosh, you know, and I've been following it and following it And you know, two years ago on the VO Bus podcast, i mean, i think that you and I can both agree to do due diligence and educate yourself on, you know, evolving technologies or disruptive technologies that can affect your business, and that is so very important that we, you know, truly educate ourselves. And I had done a series of interviews, of which I'm still doing periodically, with you know, large companies, people that are working in synthetic voices, ai companies to kind of get to ask those tough questions like Hey, what's happening here? And are you, you know, is there transparency? You know, what are your ethics? You know, do you have, you know, objectives in terms of protecting? 
you know, voices as you go, and I think it's been an educational journey for not just me as a business owner and a voice artist, but for the AI companies as well. I think we are all learning and evolving with technology as we go, and I've had experience doing that myself, you know, working in technology for over 20 years, and I still consider myself working in technology. So, in terms of you know your, your students and and your clients. What is your? what is your biggest tip now for, let's say, people coming into the industry, how to get a handle on this industry and be successful. 
0:06:43 - Tom
Do as much research as you possibly can. Work with professional coaches who are boots on the ground blue collar voice actors as well like who are actively engaged in the voiceover industry. That's not to say that there's not genre coaches out there, like Mary Lynn Wissner, for example, who is not a voice actor but is an amazing coach. 
There are only a handful of people like that, as you know and but people who are actively, who have to continue to grow and evolve with the industry to maintain relevance in the industry And be better than the AIs on a storytelling level as quickly as you possibly can. 
0:07:23 - Anne
0:07:24 - Tom
Because they are getting better and better almost daily. Are they going to completely take over the entire voiceover industry? No, Are they going to. you know, take away a percentage of certain jobs of certain genres, mostly for entry level voice actors Yes, yeah. The trick is how do you get good enough that, when you're starting your voiceover journey, that you're already better than the AIs, so you can kind of leap over? 
that hurdle and be a human narrator as quickly as possible. That's going to be the challenge. What I think that means is the people that are more naturally talented, the people who have theater training, the people who have on-camera film and TV training, improv training, those people coming into the industry which are all parts of what defines a better actor are going to have a better chance than people just coming at it from other sectors. Frankly, i mean, a registered nurse has every right to stop being a nurse and try to do medical narration for a living, and I encourage that. I've trained people like that, you've trained people like that over the years, but it's going to get harder and harder if they don't have natural storytelling billing, natural storytelling ability, or they haven't been trained in non-voiceover storytelling. So get as many acting classes as you can under your belt. Get as many improv classes under your belt so you can learn how to make strong choices quickly, which is a key to being a good narrator. Understand the technology and maybe get your voice cloned as quickly as possible. 
0:09:05 - Anne
That's very interesting. I'm finding that I do have some people, because I did the series and I've been investigating and educating myself with AI companies for the past few years, i've had people ask me, and not all of them want to shout the rafters saying, oh, i'm out there trying to figure out how to get my voice cloned or how to get a synthetic voice. But what's interesting is that synthetic voice, the companies that are creating synthetic voices. They're also evolving and changing on a daily basis, and so it's really important that, as voice actors, you keep up with that, and I'm always a big proponent of if you have a business, you want to understand the market in which you're selling And so part of that market. If the market is changing. And, tom, as a business person, you're all about researching and looking at the market as it evolves over the years. And where do you see the market heading in terms of voiceover casting? Where are we going to be able to get these jobs, or where can voiceover talent find work? And I know that's the golden question, right. 
People like they expect a five-minute answer from me. Where can I get voiceover work? But where do you see that evolving and heading as we move on in the future? 
0:10:27 - Tom
That's a great question, Anne. There will still always be a place for needing agents, managers and casting directors for high end work, class A national commercials, high end video games and cartoons, high end promo, high end in show narration. I don't think that's ever. I don't think that's ever going to change. Casting sites are going to continue to be as relevant as ever and is still the the most effective way for new voice actors to onboard into the industry. Because you can. All you need is a credit card and you could just join the casting site and start auditioning immediately. 
The interesting part is going to be the direct marketing part which. I learned the hard way when all of my direct marketing strategies, which worked like gangbusters in 2013, 14, 15, 16, all of a sudden stopped working because, so many of those production companies recording studios that I had worked with through direct marketing strategies have moved to online casting sites just because it's easier for them to curate a roster, manage talent, manage projects. 
So, um, ai is going to take a chunk out of online casting sites. It's going to take a chunk out of direct marketing clients the low end stuff and stuff that would never normally get like there's audio books out there that will never get produced unless it's an AI voice. 
0:11:51 - Anne
It's going to do it out of interest or ergonomics or just sure, whatever that sure whatever the rights holder can, um, can afford. 
0:11:57 - Tom
So you also new students, when it comes to this kind of strategies, need to figure out what. How does what a success look like for them, Which genres do they want to be successful in And which portals do they need to access to become successful in said genres? So if you want to be on the next Pixar film or be in the next fallout video game, you need to get a lot of training, you need to get a top notch demo, you need to get high end agents and you're going to eventually need to join SAG-AFTRA. That's not. That's not changing for everybody else. You know the pendulum is going to swing, stuff's going to move or stuff's going to move around, but you're still going to need you're still going to need the aforementioned good training, good demo good website, good home recording. 
Um, and the ability to keep up with industry's trends by reading blogs, watching podcasts like this um, working with coaches like, like you and me. Um, it's going to what, what percentage of what genre is going to get lost and where you're going to need to go for each of it. I mean, who can? who can say, but if you have, if, if online casting sites stigmatize you, get over it get in there develop your skills develop your auditioning skills. 
0:13:10 - Anne
That was it. That was the nugget of the day. That was awesome Sound right of the day. Yeah. 
0:13:14 - Tom
Because online casting sites like I'm. I know because I'm on voice 123. I audition every day and I regularly see clients that are posting casting notices that I used to work with five, six, seven, eight, 10 years ago, who won't take my phone calls anymore because they're on casting sites. That's the only way they'll talk to me And I'm totally fine with that, because you said you got to go where the buyers are. you got to go where the market is going. That's where they are. That's where you need to be. 
0:13:41 - Anne
I think there's something to say If we just tell every boss out there, you know, first of all, um, be a boss, right And understand that you really have to stop. And I think, take a uh, uh, take a look at the bigger picture. The bigger picture is we're providing a product, uh, to a market, the market. You have to evolve with the market. It's not about you know, uh, oh, my gosh, it's, it's, it's you know your voice over business and your craft and your and your art, which I completely, yes, it is. But honestly, you know, at the end of the day, right, i want to pay my mortgage, right, and if I want to have a business, it always amazes me, tom, how you know you go to conferences and I know you know when, when, cause I used to, i used to teach business classes as well. Whenever you go to see which classes fill up first, it's always the performance classes, it's always the cartoon and video game. 
Always those because, well, okay, so they're fine, they they allow the creativity. But, honestly, you know, beyond the fun and the creativity in the booth, you've got to be able to run a business that will make a profit. If you want to write, if you want to do this as a business and you want and you're serious about it I mean, if it's you know, if it's a hobby, that's a difference, that's a different podcast. Sure, you know, and I think that you know what you offer, you know, to people as a, a VO strategist or even just a business strategist, is invaluable. And I truly think, bosses out there, you've got to step back. 
Um, and yes, of course you know, create the product that the market is demanding Right, and and also know how to run your business right. And so I love your story that you know the people that used to take your calls no longer will take your calls. You know your calls and now you have to work with them on the platform, and mostly because it's easy and more convenient And I will be the first person to ask any of you bosses out there if you're using any form of AI to do anything. Let's say, create a blog post or, you know, maybe play around and change your headshot And you're using the technology to make your jobs better, more efficient, then you cannot be the person that gets upset if you're not, let's say, evolving along with the synthetic voice aspect of it. 
0:16:06 - Tom
You know, absolutely. 
0:16:08 - Anne
I mean. So, as we talk to peer to peer, i think, or pay to play platforms, i think online casting is absolutely. What about Tom? let's talk about what about your website, your online platform, your online storefront? What do you think about that in terms of being able to market your business? 
0:16:29 - Tom
Okay, it's funny because people coming into the industry, you know most of them realize they need some kind of training and then they realize, oh, i need to record from home. You know I need a demo. And then almost all of them think, well, i need some kind of website. But they don't know why they need a website. They don't know how to build a website and they don't know what is necessary to create an effective website. What I tell my students is that no one is gonna find your website nobody. 
There are literally tens of thousands of voice actor websites out there. The odds of them typing in some stuff on Google, bing, yahoo and finding you is virtually impossible. I mean, tomdeercom is over 20 years old and I've been blogging for 14 years, so I've got really good SEO and I rarely get found on it. Anyway, the point is, your job as a voice actor is to drive traffic to your website, and you do that by being on social media, blogging, creating a presence, creating conversations, creating quality content to get them to notice you. And then there's email marketing and cold calling, which I'm sure you realize that they don't work a fraction as well as they used to, because why should they answer the phone of some voice actor trying to talk about themselves, when they're just gonna go to an online casting site to cast their next project. They're already more than halfway down the sales funnel anyway on an online casting site, as opposed to trying to get them into the sales funnel through cold calling and all that. 
So driving traffic to your website is extremely important, and then get them to do the most important thing, which is download your demos. 
0:18:12 - Anne
Everything else, is irrelevant Or click it back. I mean, everything else is secondary to downloading the demo. Right, yeah, but now downloading the demo? now we've got there's the fear. There's now there's some fear that if we allow our audio, you know, freely out there and I, you know I have podcast, you have podcast. Anybody can download this podcast I've been doing it for six years and potentially turn it into a voice. 
0:18:40 - Tom
Okay, Look everybody. I've been doing this for 25 years. I have done thousands and thousands of voiceover projects. I've probably done tens of thousands of auditions over the years, I guarantee my voice has been cloned without my knowledge many times over. 
I guarantee that auditions that I have you, that I have done, has been used for broadcast without my consent or without compensation. Every website that exists is going to get hacked at some point. None of our data is safe, it's just not. All you can do is do the best you can to mitigate your risk. try to be secure. I can't worry about submitting my demo and worrying about it getting cloned. 
I mean if I, if I was worried about that, i wouldn't have a career. I would. I'd be quadruple bolting the door and hiding in the bathtub. There's just nothing you can do about it. So don't worry about don't worry about that. Put the demo out there. I mean because the the the odds of it happening are extremely slim, but the longer you're here, the more likely it's going to happen. It's just you know well. 
0:19:45 - Anne
Tom, i mean, i think I think really again, we we talk about that bad actors, um, which is so interesting in our industry. Now, the term bad actor, right. Had I not really delved in deep to talking to people outside of my own industry, i would not have known what the bad actor meant. Um, outside of, like the literal meaning of it, right, but the bad actors meaning those companies, right, or those people that may take advantage, unfair advantage, um, with the in in clone voices, without permission, create deep fakes, all of those things. There's always that possibility And I had such an interesting conversation the other day with Shyamala Praga, who is very well known in the AI industry. 
Um, regarding, you know, laws and regulations and and instead of being reactive which is what we typically are right, reactive, something bad happens and then a law or you know some sort of policy is is established that then, you know, takes care of it. Um, really trying to again educate all of us, not just in our industry but everywhere, that, um, these things could potentially happen and we need to protect ourselves from bad things. Um, you know, what are your thoughts about? I mean, i, like, i really love your, your, your perspective on you can't be worrying about that all the time, but are there any steps that you would recommend to to, let's say, to protect um or to be cautious about that? I mean, i certainly am not going to make my demo not downloadable because I want it to be convenient for people to listen and buy. 
0:21:20 - Tom
You have to have it. It has to be downloadable because, when it comes to your direct marketing strategies and driving traffic to your website, the odds of them having a voiceover project for you right now, at the time that you have marketed to them successfully and they've actually gone to your website to review your demos, the odds of them actually having a gig for you is infinitesimally small. I can count, i think, on two fingers in 25 years that that's actually happened. Representation and online casting insights are for opportunities now. Direct marketing, driving traffic to your website is for opportunities. 
later They're not going to remember you once they leave that website of yours You need to have. They need to walk away with the demo, so they stick it in a folder somewhere in their cloud or on their desktop, so when an opportunity comes along that you may be right, for your demo was right there for them to review, or if again another thing that I always like- to say is that, no matter what in a marketplace and I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, there are I will pay for things that make my life easier and make my life more convenient. 
0:22:25 - Anne
So, for example, i hate, i always use this my lipstick. So my lipstick is reliable, dependable, stays on all day, i don't have to put it on again And I you know I use that as an example product. I pay a lot of money for this lipstick. Now I certainly feel that no matter. Look AI, you know pay to play sites, you know driving down, you know rates. I no matter what. If somebody likes and gangooza right and likes her product, they're going to pay the money and they're going to remember me and they're going to buy it again and again. I'd love to hear your thoughts. 
0:22:58 - Tom
You go to a department store and there's five pairs of shoes on on the shelf and four of them cost, you know, $75 and one of them cost $800. 
Everybody immediately goes and looks at oh, what's this? What's the value of this? Why is it worth $800? Well, if they says it's worth $800, then clearly it must be worth $800. So I will happily spend $800 on this pair of shoes. So most people coming into the voiceover industry are broke and perceive themselves as an employee or a starving artist. They are already immediately devaluing themselves and training voice seekers to devalue them. 
So it's a systems of, it's a systems of thought problem. And I'm not going to sit here and blow sunshine up everybody's butt and say you're special, you're wonderful, you're, you're going to. All your dreams are going to come true, because that's not what the VOStratigist does. This VOStratigist does not sell dreams. The VOStratigist sells reality. 
My job is to give you objective data so you can set, you can make informed decisions about your voiceover career. But you want to do everything you can to set yourself up for success And the first step one is mindset. Know your worth. Know your worth based on your pure talent, know your worth based on your training, know your worth based on your experience. And know your worth based on what the industry standards are. 
Sag After over here GVAA over there, Know what your worth is and comport yourself And it's maybe it's a little fake it till you make it. I don't. I'm not sure you can do that. Having confidence and being confident in your training and your talent and your understanding of the rates, That should empower you to make sure that people aren't buying stuff from you that are shopping in the wrong aisle. 
0:24:56 - Anne
And also, i would say, as a as a talent just coming in, i don't think you can expect to get into or to become a top tier you know, professional without making an investment. I mean, that's the other thing too. I cannot tell you how many people they'll be like. You know, i really need coaching, but I just I don't have any. You know, they don't have the budget they don't have And, and so in reality, there has to be those things in place. You can't expect to go in and make a ton of money without investing in yourself and investing in that, in that coaching that's going to help you to be the most human voice actor that you can be. 
0:25:37 - Tom
Patience is one of the most important skills that you need to have as a new voice actor. Everyone wants to start talking for money as quickly as possible and using their funny cartoon voices that their dentist told them is hilarious And that's all. That's all great, but if you can't afford the training yet, build a budget create a savings plan. 
be patient, find community theaters or summer theater programs that have free acting and improv training, and develop your foundation of storytelling skills while you're saving money to work with a professional coach like Anne, or work with a VO strategist you know a business marketing consultant like me. There's a ton of things that you can do. But if you dive in when you're not ready or you go with the first demo coach that you can afford and submit to that demo to those agents for the first time, it's not gonna go well. 
It's not gonna go well. So I'll never tell anybody not to pursue their dreams, but I will tell everybody to be smart about pursuing their dreams by having. This is what I like to say no matter what you're doing in life, do it with both hands and on a flat surface. Be smart about it, i learned that when I tried to open an Amazon box with a pair of open scissors like this, which we've all done, Oh, yeah, yeah, not yeah. Both hands flat surface. 
0:26:58 - Anne
Very guilty of that. So then, let me talk a little. let's talk a little bit about rates, because what is your best advice for those actors who might be struggling to find work at their desired rates when you know there is this perceived? you know, race to the bottom, with technology disrupting What, how can they pivot their approach to succeed and get rates that they deserved? 
0:27:21 - Tom
Learn how to negotiate. And it's not like a Middle East Bazaar where you're haggling over the price of, you know, a goat or something. 
It's just the better that you can understand the rate structure of voiceover on a session level and on a usage level, the better, the more empowered you are to educate your clients or potential clients, because for so many casting notices that I see, or so many emails hey, i found you on Google, whatever they've never cast a voiceover in their life. 
They haven't the faintest idea what the ergonomics are, what project management is involved or what the rate structure is. Being experienced it's not necessarily a correlation between being professional and experienced. You don't have to be experienced to be professional To understand there is a rate structure. I understand what the rate structure is and I'm able to articulate it to somebody who has no idea how the voiceover industry works. The more that you can do that, the more empowered you are to get industry standard rates and the more empowered you are to educate voice seekers to value you and not let them use cheap rates. Well, i paid this guy five bucks. I'm gonna leverage it to get you to pay you five bucks where you say no, you don't do that You gotta think long term. 
You have to value yourself and your fellow voice actors, because every time you accept a ratty rate, you're making it harder for everybody else. Every time you accept an industry standard rate, you're making it easier for everybody else. 
0:28:51 - Anne
Now, but okay. So then here's the question. Yes, i agree that there should be the thought process about the industry as a whole. However, you will always have those voice actors that it is their business, right? I'm a big proponent of saying mind your own business. That means, don't worry about how other people get their business. In that respect, though, do you know what I'm saying? I truly believe I want people to understand their worth in order to make a bold and take the challenge to actually negotiate that worth with a potential client. So, speaking of five bucks, i know that you had talked to me a little bit about an experiment that you had conducted using the online pay to play the F word, fiverr. 
And I personally, i'm one of those people that thinks we need to talk about this because it is a viable marketplace in the well viable it exists in our industry. Let's put it that way you may not agree with it and you may not feel that it values your worth, but what were your findings? What do you think about Fiverr? 
0:29:58 - Tom
Okay, it had been coming up so much in conversations with my students, with my fellow voice actors, fellow coaches, producers, panelists at conferences And, like I said, my job as a video strategist is to collect objective data so I can help my students make thoughtful, informed decisions about how to move their voiceover business forward. Fiverr is real, it is here. It's a billion dollar company. There are thousands and thousands of voice actors on it. So I needed to understand what exactly it is, why it is and how it works. So I created an account, I followed the tutorials, i looked at YouTube videos, i built a profile and then you build what are called gigs And a gig is basically broken down by genre. 
I will narrate I'm an American voice actor who will narrate your explainer video or e-learning module or whatever And then what you do is you build the rate, but you're breaking it down bit by bit. So This is what really fascinated me about it is if someone said to you and I've got an explainer video, how much do you charge? and you probably charge what? 400, 500, whatever sometime around there But if you actually broke down by dollar, how much it costs for you to record the video, how much it costs to edit the video, to clean up, process, format, save, deliver. Do retakes give you permission to use the video in a certain way on a certain platform? if you chop up that $400 into all those little individual things, that's basically what you're doing on Fiverr. So it could say base price $5, but then if you add deliver as a wave file, deliver it within 24 hours you know, we'll only get two retakes. 
Mvp, I'll move you up to the front of the line, If you, then if you go da-da-da-da, then the total can be $400. It can be an industry standard rate. Fiverr saying oh, we get everything's for five bucks. 
0:32:05 - Anne
It's more of a marketing position than anything else. And if you think about that in reality, right, if they're going for that market for the people who don't right, who don't have a lot of money to spend and they want to go for lower priced, saying Fiverr and marketing themselves as Fiverr, get affordable, then absolutely I mean as a business they built for a market where there was a hole And yeah, and now of course, because they have so many voice artists on it right. 
that increases their SEO value, which increases, you know, ease, convenience, of use, and so that's what makes them you know the force that they are in the industry. 
0:32:49 - Tom
Right. So there's three levels on Fiverr And if you earn a certain amount of money and a certain amount of timing, get a certain amount of ratings in a certain amount of time, then you go to the next level and then the top level and the people at the top level charge industry standard rates and they do fine. The trick is kind of punching through that membrane from the first level to the second, in the second to the third. I feel like that's where it can be challenging. 
0:33:12 - Anne
Yeah, and I feel like you'd have to work that, because I think you have to earn that right, you have to get so many ratings, and I feel like you'd have to actually work the platform for a bit so that you could get up the ratings, so that you could climb up the ladder, so that you could charge industry rates. But, although not impossible, it's a very interesting concept. And because we are talking about it, bosses, doesn't necessarily mean we are condoning that platform, i mean. But if you look at it from a business standpoint, it absolutely, you know it covered a hole in the market and logically I can see how that works. 
I absolutely can see how that works Now, do I love that? it makes voiceover seem cheap? No, not at all. And I think to each and everyone out there, it is up to you to make that decision whether you want your brand associated with that brand, because that's a whole other way of doing business, right? So, again, you're almost working for the platform And then that platform represents your brand versus, let's say, for me, i've always been let's do it myself, and you know, seo for me. 
I've been online for years and it's worked in my favor And I've built up a great clientele list And I'm very fortunate that I'm able to continue on that. And while I am a member of a lot of pay to place, i don't have time to actually audition. And you know, for me, email marketing well, it's probably not quite as effective. Well, it's hard to say. I still believe that there's effectiveness in email marketing if you've got the right message and you have the right subject line, because people have less and less of an attention span. But it's one of the reasons why I built the VO Boss Blast. It was a way to help direct market talent, so that they didn't, you know, and I basically started it for myself. Isn't that like every company. 
0:35:05 - Tom
Right, if you create a product you want, help You do it to serve your needs. 
0:35:09 - Anne
I did it because I was like I don't have time. I want to do the podcast, i want to do VOPs, i want to be you know, i'm coaching, so I don't have a ton of time, so let me just create a direct marketing product that I can use. And then, of course, i shared that. 
0:35:24 - Tom
I do want to say for the record I have not booked anything on Fiverr. I set up my gig, i made adjustments to my rates because you're supposed to refresh it and try to feed the algorithm. I couldn't. I also did the same exercise on Upwork and it worked similarly and I got the same results. I could not. I could not book anything. I guess that just means I'm not a particularly good voice actor. 
0:35:47 - Anne
No, I think it's because you didn't have 100% of your right time to really devote to it. I mean, that's what. I think That's a part of it. 
0:35:55 - Tom
And the other thing is understanding the economies of the voice seekers, absolutely. 
0:35:59 - Anne
Diversify the economies and understanding of you know, money and how it works, of the country of origin of the voice actor too, absolutely, and Tom, i'll be the first one to say I mean, we've been in this business a long time. If you were on Voice 123 in 2006, right, you remember? Freelancer. 
0:36:17 - Tom
Oh, i was on Freelancer. Oh good, so was I. And Elanzen and Guru, yeah, i was on all of them. 
0:36:22 - Anne
So all of those evolved into Fiverr. 
Really, that's really it was that it was like who could bid the lowest right? And I will tell you that, as a you know, entering into the online space, i mean that's where I did get some jobs. Now, did I take jobs that were probably not what I was worth? Yeah, I did, i did, but I learned quickly, you know, and it was a tough, it was a tight, it was frustrating because it was always people under bidding And so you get that type of client, but what you do is you learn about where those clients right, those are the clients that don't value your product Not necessarily you but they don't value the product enough to pay the price right. 
0:37:01 - Tom
They want to pay the cheapest, the biggest of the pain they are. 
0:37:04 - Anne
Exactly, exactly So. Wow, what a great conversation, tom. This has been so wonderful and enlightening for the bosses out there. I'm quite sure, tom, how can people get in touch with you and work with you? 
0:37:17 - Tom
Oh, go to vostrategistcom. I encourage you to book a free 15 minute consult. We can talk about any part of the voiceover industry that you want. I also have a video shop where I've got closing in on 30 different videos covering everything in the voiceover industry, from time management to workflow to genre exploration to managing your finances. I also have a great mentorship program where you can do 30 minute check-ins with me once a week, once a month or twice a month. It also gives you access to some of those videos for free. But, yeah, book a session with me, free session with me at vostrategistcom, and I'd love to chat with you. 
0:37:50 - Anne
Good stuff, tom. Yeah, bosses, today more than ever we need a strategy for moving forward in our business. So go to it, tom. Thank you again. I would like to talk to you bosses about. As individuals, you know, it can seem difficult to make a huge impact, but as a group, we can contribute to the growth of our communities in ways that we never thought possible. Visit 100voiceswhocareorg to learn how And a big shout out to our sponsor, ipdtl You too can connect in network like bosses like Tom and myself. Find out more at IPDTLcom. You guys have an amazing week and we'll see you next week. Bye-bye. 
Transcribed by