As a VO Talent and Self-Marketer, you may know the types of places you should be reaching out to in hopes of landing work (Video Production Companies, Animation Studios, E-Learning Companies, etc...) But do you know who the best people are to contact at these companies?
Sometimes you may find a number of contacts listed on the website for a potential lead, and you don't want to send a mass email to a bunch of people at the company all at once, but you also want to be sure you make contact with the person most likely to hire you for a gig.
In this post, let's take a look at the 5 types of people you should be looking to contact when marketing yourself as a VO Talent, in order of likeliness to be the person handling voice-over at the company, and thus, the best one to contact.
1. Casting Director
Many of the production companies and other leads you contact won't have someone with this title - in fact, most probably won't. But when you do come across leads in your marketing efforts that have a Casting Director on board, that is the person you want to contact.
This typically means that the company does a high volume of casting talent for their projects and therefore have a dedicated person on board to handle it. A Casting Director is in charge of working with the Directors and other creatives at the company to provide them with talent best suited for roles in their productions. They arrange auditions, are the main source of contact between talent and the company, and also maintain and update the company's talent roster if they have one.
Different companies have different naming conventions and titles for their employees, below are some alternate titles and similar positions you may come across for Casting Directors.
Alternate & Similar Positions: Head of Casting, Casting Assistant
2. Creative Director
If a company doesn't have a Casting professional on board, the next title you'd want to look for is a Creative Director.
Creative Directors lead the creative vision for projects which encompasses everything from the visual style, copy, music, and you guessed it - Voice Over. They oversee the team of other professionals working on the project and make sure everything is in line with the overall vision. They often hire voice talent themselves or have the final say in the talent used on their projects and are therefore a great person to contact when marketing yourself as a VO talent.
Alternate & Similar Positions: Director, Executive Creative Director, President or VP Creative, Chief Creative Officer
3. Executive Producer
If a Creative Director can't be found, the next in line should be an Executive Producer, or EP.
EP's will oftentimes handle many different responsibilities at a Production Company and that's why they are often the ones listed on a company's "Contact" page. They oversee the creation of a project from beginning to end and have responsibilities including administrative aspects of the production, writing and editing content, hiring cast, crew, and outside vendors (this is where you come in) as well as creating schedules and making sure budgets are adhered to.
Alternate & Similar Positions: Producer, Associate Producer, Creative Producer, Integrated Producer, Project Manager
4. Studio Manager/Assistant
So by now we've hit the big 3, in terms of people you would want to contact. If none of the 3 titles listed above can be found, a Studio Manager or Assistant is where you should look next.
Studio Managers/Assistants will typically handle administrative tasks at the company which may include maintaining a roster of talent and outside vendors for the company to hire. While they are not often the ones making the final decisions on which talent to use in projects, they oftentimes serve as a first point of contact for a company, and funnel incoming messages to the right people. So even though they are not the ones who would be hiring you directly, they will get your message to the person who would.
Alternate & Similar Positions: Receptionist, Administrative Assistant, Coordinator
5. Generic Contact
Alright, so this one's not really a person, but it's still a viable way to make contact with a company you'd like to work with. It's always best to contact someone at a company directly, but when none of the above can be found, it is still better to make contact with a potential lead through a generic email address or contact form, rather than not attempt to make contact at all.
Many companies will have generic contact emails on their "Contact" or "About" pages along the lines of "firstname.lastname@example.org", "email@example.com", or "firstname.lastname@example.org". If you don't have the contact info for an actual person, then fire off your marketing email to this address instead.
If the company has a contact form on their site rather than an email address, you can also copy and paste your marketing email into this form.
When marketing yourself to companies you'd like to work with, it is always preferable to contact an actual person at the company directly. In your search for who to contact, look for Casting Directors, Creative Directors, Executive Producers, Studio Managers or Assistants, and Generic Contact Addresses - in that order. Also be aware of the similar and alternate titles some companies use for these positions.
In your marketing efforts for this week - try to contact 5 actual people at a potential lead company each day, and go down the list when assessing who you should contact. This will mean that by the end of a full work week, you will have contacted 25 potential leads while at the same time familiarizing yourself with the order of job titles you should be looking for when marketing.
Have you reached out to people with these job titles in the past during your marketing efforts? Let me know who you seem to get the best responses from and any other job titles you look for when marketing, in the comment section below.
And if you'd like, you can download a free resource package for this post by clicking the button below, which includes a PDF version of the post, as well as a reference guide you can use during your marketing.
Start contacting the right people! Best of luck, talk soon!