Reels Not Wanted

The interesting thing that has changed about working online is that voice talent need not worry so much anymore about “getting a reel”, but should be more concerned with a getting a quality copy of the final work.  “I need to record a few jobs to put a reel together” was something I used to say, and hear, but it is not a requirement any longer. Why?

Attention spans that are shorter are more demanding of instant gratification. That 120-second reel you have should be uploaded by ‘spot’ with a targeted description, so when that person clicks ‘Play’, they will hear what you claim the job is for the person to decide within 5 to 20 seconds, if they agree. Therefore, the quality must be there instantly. If you have a reel, you are in luck. Edit or upload each separate spot because “more to upload” means “more web exposure”. Your quality upload, along with things called “meta-tags”, which is basically the text used to describe the demo, are a combination of “being heard the right way” and “being found on Google”. Everything you upload, and the words used to describe it, becomes your online spokesperson 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Make that time count and when they do not have to listen to 40 seconds of your reel to hear the commercial you stated you could do, you are secretly saying to the possible client, ‘Hey, I know you are busy. I will save you the time and let you know now, I am a professional, and this job proves it with no wait or hassle.’

What I have just explained, in short, is a bit of the psychology behind why clients hire voice talent online. The next time you are wondering, “Is my demo good enough?”, keep in mind it is equally important to pay attention to how you market your demo. If it is showing up in odd Google search results, there may be a disconnect between what you think you sell, and what people actually are thinking of you. Regardless, reels on their own are way too long to be efficient ways to “get heard”.



  • Jazzy T Williams

    January 14, 2012 at 3:48 pm Reply

    Ok so what is the difference between a reel and a demo?

  • Steven

    January 14, 2012 at 11:56 pm Reply

    Hey Jazzy!
    A reel is a compilation of various different types of work that cover several different types of voiceover work. It is technically a demo.

    My point being is that when you compile such things, you lose the ability to market yourself online by putting several products in one link.

    Thanks for the question!

    • Rita Angle

      June 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm Reply

      I have been out of the VO business since I moved across the country. I have been encouraged to get back to it by working online with Voice 123 by former agencies/clients and a couple people I have met in my new location. My problem is that I have a demo that I suppose would be labeled a “reel” (and am skeptical about whether or not I can get access to all of the ads in their entirety) however, the demo is short and a pretty good representation of my “brand”. Can I start an online VO business using this demo and slowly upgrade as I get more jobs?

  • Jewel

    January 25, 2013 at 1:20 am Reply

    Hey Steve are voice123 and voicebunny owned by the same umbrella?

  • Jessica Liu

    November 7, 2016 at 3:38 pm Reply

    If we’re a newbie how do we start?

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