Getting rejected by an agent is not Armageddon. We’ve all been there. We continue to be there. Even though I’ve been in the industry for more than 20 years, I still get turned down by the occasional agent around the country. It happens to everybody and it happens a lot, especially when you’re first starting out. You could have a killer demo and still get turned down. Do me a favor and don’t be offended by this, because this is a big part of the industry. Don’t be a glass half empty person when you get turned down by an agent. Be a glass half full person and do something about it. If you get rejected from an agent either just move on to another agent or figure out different ways to get voice over work on your own – for example through networking through Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. We’re very lucky that we have all of these tools that we can use today through the Internet.
As I’ve said before, 15 years ago the only way to get a voice over job was if you were booked by an agent. So don’t sulk if you get turned down. It’s not Armageddon. There are plenty of other opportunities to get voice over work without the help of an agent. Sometimes when you do get turned down, it doesn’t mean that your demo is awful or your voice is awful. The agent may have loved everything on the demo, it’s just that they might have a voice that’s already similar to yours and they just didn’t have a place for you right now. That’s actually a pretty common response from agents who have enough talent and just are not willing to take any more on.
So don’t just sit there all wounded like you can’t do anything about it. Just because you don’t have an agent doesn’t mean you can’t succeed in this industry. I get along with agents pretty well and I still consider them a big player in the game. They’re just not the ONLY player. Some will tell you that. Some will not. They’re not going to tell you there are other ways to get voice over work other than through them. They’re not going to go into all of the different ways you can network on social media. They’re not going to tell you to call major corporations and ask to speak to the audio-visual director to see if they need voice talent. They’re not going to tell you to join your local Chamber of Commerce or local business MeetUp groups where you can network by passing out your business cards, meeting business owners and marketers who might potentially need your voice. Agents aren’t going to tell you that if you have an enormous web presence that clients are going to come to YOU looking for voice work.
Again, agents are wonderful people and I consider some of them to be my friends but If I had to depend on them to make a living doing voice over work, I would seriously be living on the street. So again, if you get rejected by an agent, don’t think of it as the end of the world. There are still other opportunities out there where you can get voice over work.
Now is it possible to go back to the agent who rejected you? Well of course! As a matter of fact, they should be leaving the door wide open for you to do that. If they didn’t like your demo or if they just didn’t feel a need for your voice, they should normally leave an open invitation for you to contact them maybe a few months down the road. Or if they had certain problems with your demo and they wanted a couple of things switched around, once you get that done, you should be able to go back to them with a revised demo and set up another meeting. In the meantime, take advantage of these membership sites like Voices.com, VOPlanet.com, Voice123.com, Bodalgo.com. Sure you have to pay to be a member of those sites but your guaranteed to get auditions sent to your inbox practically on a daily basis.
This is a great way to start your client pool. You get a few jobs here and there. Then you get a referral from somebody. Then you get a couple of clients who want to use you for another project, so they contact you again. This is how you start your voice over business. You start with just a handful of clients who could potentially grow to a dozen maybe two dozen clients a few months later. It’s like any other entrepreneurial business. You have to start from the ground up.