Please know that no one ever walked into a studio, and created a golden demo in one try. Most who are willing to produce a demo, offer some sort of class schedule leading up to the final production of a demo. You may see voice over coaches offering this as a service, for example. Yet, always remember these important tips below:
- Avoid those more concerned with you paying than explaining what they will offer you.
- Ask to see a website, and copies of work they have produced in the past.
- Make sure they can produce a demo for the type of work you want to achieve.
- Ask to see if they have a curriculum, class schedule, or course plan.
- Ask for an explanation detailing exactly how things will proceed.
- Ask who they have made demos for in the past, and if these demos turned into work.
- Ask for a consultation at no, or low cost, to find out ‘where you stand’.
- Get a second opinion on that consultation from someone who gets voice work.
The biggest red flag is a demo producer who is forceful. If he/she does not take into account that you are just doing business to get the best results, and does not listen to your opinions (right or wrong), they may just be using your money to stay in business and take care of other bills. If they are professional they will respect your diligence, even if they disagree. If you feel something is not sounding right…SAY something! My first demo was a monumental disaster because I tried to be too nice, and did not speak up when I should have, even though I paid them to make it.
Advice and Motivation: Back in 1999 – 2000, I had a brief job burning demo cd’s for a voice over coach. I listened to each demo all the way through to make sure it burned correctly. What I learned from that experience is that when a voice talent did the research, spoke up about creative issues on the demo, and was easy to work with, the demos were amazing. The demos by students who rushed the process always sounded ‘rushed’, and the demos made by those too nervous to express a creative opinion…sounded nervous. If you think about it, if you are going to spend the money on it, you might as well do it right! This industry is not going anywhere, and has been around for decades. It is only growing now. You have the time to make sure your demo is perfect, and the first time you book work, you will know it was worth it.
Please, do not rush this process. At some point, you will pay for a bad demo in ways you may never see. Again…A bad demo online is a 24/7 ‘anti-campaign’ against yourself, and getting work. After your demo is created, you can focus on the next chapter: Online marketing skills!