What do great voice over agents really want?

By Susan Berkley

A little bit of background before we get into today’s Inside Voice Over lesson

If you’ve been following me for awhile you know that one of the things I teach is that the traditional model of trying to find an agent and then thinking that your voice over marketing is done when you get one is a recipe for voice over disaster.

The reason is that the primary function of an agent is to get you auditions and an audition is not a lead. Why? Because you’ve only got one shot to close the deal! That’s almost impossible to do.

In any other business, it takes weeks, months and even years of nurturing the customer and repeated follow up before they’ll buy. Yet many talents seem to miss this point. When all you do is audition, you often can’t do any follow up at all because you don’t have the prospects contact information. You are also at a disadvantage because they’re comparing you to many others. I like to develop relationships with prospects where I am a category of one. (See the home study version of my 6 Figure Shortcut Voice Over Success Marketing Roadmap for details on exactly how to do this

Nevertheless, you still want to get up to bat and have good agents represent you in addition to using all the other ways of growing your voice over business I teach.

If you book something, great! It’s like found money, and some of these bookings can be substantial. Auditions are also great practice. And sometimes a customer who comes through an agent will book you from the agent’s house reel and you wont need to audition at all.

Bottom line? In conjunction with other marketing methods, great agents are very good partners to have. But what do they really want?

Valerie Bittner of Heyman Talent said she looks for three key things in every talent she signs: diversity, a home studio, and a phone patch. I’ll explain:

1. Diversity

Valerie likes to see talent with lots of range. But this doesn’t mean you should lump a lot of different voice over styles all together on the same demo. She wants to hear separate demos that feature voices appropriate for each niche so it makes it easy for her to cast. In other words, when she’s looking for a character type, she doesn’t want to wade through your corporate narrations or phone prompts. You don’t need to go crazy. A short one minute demo for each voice type is fine. On the Heyman Talent website, talent can upload up to 5 different demo types.

2. A Home Studio

You need to be able to do a good quality audition from home and turn these auditions around fast. I call this a Level One Studio. If you book a job, you can rent time in an outside studio but you have to work with your agent to factor the outside studio rental into the fee and this isn’t always possible. After you book your first few jobs, consider an upgrade to a Level Two Studio where you can record broadcast quality at home. (Need help? See my Home Studio How To course at

3. A Phone Patch

Also called an audio interface or home patch, a phone patch allows your customer to direct an actual recording session when you are recording from home. This piece of equipment not necessary if you have a Level One audition-only studio but it’s a must when you upgrade to broadcast quality. Many talents are using a free SKYPE hookup as a phone patch.

By the way, you can meet and audition for Matt Ambrosia from Paradigm Agency
at my next Voice Over Bootcamp in NYC December 2-4. Matt is one of the top agents in the country and this is the ONLY Bootcamp I ‘m doing where you can meet him. Even if you’re a new beginner this is a valuable chance to get advice and guidance from an expert so I encourage you to do whatever you can to come join us.
To make it easier for you, I’m offering a $500 discount on your tuition when you register by 4 PM this Friday November 11. Details at Questions? Contact Bill in my office at 800-333-8108 x229 or But hurry! Offer ends this Friday

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Susan Berkley is a top voice over artist and founder of The Great Voice Company, a company devoted to teaching great voices around the world how to become successful voice over actors. The Great Voice Company is an international leader in voice over training and in providing top quality voice over recordings in all languages to discerning businesses and marketers. For additional information visit

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