How to Sign Radio Clients or The Reality – by…
I have plenty of friends in the biz who are forever asking how to get radio station clients – they’d love to be an Image Voice and receive those monthly retainer checks. Where do you begin? As with everything, it’s much harder nowadays due to all of the consolidation. If you’ve never voiced a station before, this will be a huge challenge. Typically, you’ll need a friend in the Program Director’s chair that can give you a shot – or at least let you start voicing a few promos here and there to spice things up as a secondary voice to the image voice that’s already under contract. You’ll use those promos or sweepers to make a demo and try to land other stations…sounds easy? Ha! While my goal is to encourage and help – I must first give you the reality of the situation. By the time someone becomes a PD, they usually have someone they’ve worked with before that they would like to work with again – or there’s someone they’ve always wanted to work with and now they’re in a position to possibly hire that big name VO talent. It’s a very tough sell to a PD to convince them to take a chance on someone who isn’t already a known commodity. If you were in their shoes – wouldn’t you love to say to your GM and your staff – “Hey, we’re getting (insert big name here) to be our new station voice!” Or would you rather say, “I’d like to hire this really cool guy/girl – we’ll be one of their first stations ever.” It’s a very hard thing to break through. Obviously, it can be done. It takes time, persistence and a lot of networking. You’ll probably have to work on the cheap to get your first clients. While none of us who are established want the rates in the biz to be driven down any further by inexperienced talent, sometimes there’s no choice and no one will fault you – and no one should even know!
Now many of my friends who are unemployed ask me about this because they are understandably in need of quick money. This is not a way to make quick money. All the effort and energy you would have to put in to making an imaging demo and then pounding on doors to try to land a client would best be spent trying to land commercial VO work if you truly need to make money immediately. I’ll pick up with that next time around!
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions – don’t hesitate!