I realised from the outset of when I decided to dabble into the world of voice over, that to get really noticed, having demo reels would be an important part of my overall marketing strategy. So back in 2009, I did some market research into the top demo producers in London at the time, where I could get a corporate, commercial and narrative reel. By 2010, I got each of the reels professionally recorded, edited, with all the music and special effects. Whilst at the time I was very pleased with the end product, I was still uncertain as to whether or not I would be able to get any voice work. With a bit of effective email marketing to local, regional and national clients, networking at local events, I slowly began to see progress in my own voice over business. However, surprisingly, it was not in the corporate, commercial or narration genres, but rather I was getting work across the radio and e-learning markets. So whilst there was a steady growth in corporate voice over work, I thought to myself, let me continue to target more radio and e-learning clients and then re-invest the money in order to get specific radio and e-learning demo reels developed. It was one of the best moves that I made at the time, because as I result of these reels, I began to land more national and overseas radio and e-learning work. One prime example was a client from India, who found me on Linkedin and I continue to receive on-going voice work, for nearly 6 years.
I also do quite a bit of accent work and decided to create a specific accent reel, which had a Jamaican, Russian, Nigerian and Cockney voice clips. Each of those accents, has landed me both national and global work and I firmly believe that you never quite know when your demo reels will come in handy for a potential client.
Whilst the demo reel is a key part of your marketing strategy, there are other factors that are also very important too, like your ability to take direction well, being technically competent, being reliable and working to very tight schedules.
So, demo reels are really important in the world of voice-over, but as one mentor used to say to me, always continue to work on your craft, by keeping yourself relevant.