Demos! You’ve gotta have ‘em and they’ve gotta be awesome! So what does it take to get an awesome demo? First, understand what a demo is and what it isn’t. A demo is a critical tool, and without it, you’re not in business. It’s your calling card; it’s what gets you in the door! A demo is not just a bunch of spots thrown together and it’s definitely not something to skimp on or cut corners in producing. Your demo reflects your level of professionalism, your range, and the value you have to offer the client. It should provide just enough of a sampling to whet their appetite, draw them in, and leave them wanting for more, and should showcase your range and versatility.
All of this takes proper preparation and training. No amount of producing or background music will cover a talent’s inability to effectively deliver a variety of scripts. Get proper training and coaching before you cut your demo!
Every spot on your demo should be unique with the goal of highlighting your range and vocal abilities. Additionally, each spot should sound real, as if it were a paid gig. Pay attention to detail in your takes, the client most certainly will! The goal should be to make them want you!
Keep your demos clean and keep them up to date. Your demos need to be an accurate representation of you and your abilities. If your demos are outdated, the perception is that you are too! Be authentically you and be your best!
Invest in professionally produced demos! Work with a coach and director who is also a voice talent and producer, who understands the importance of a proper demo, someone who will be brutally honest with you, who is reputable, and knows how to produce awesome demos! You should be able to listen to samples of their previous demos. Is the music appropriate? Do the spots flow well? Does it sound clean or over-produced? Can you depict the versatility of the voice talent in the demo or is it just same voice, different background music? Be critical!
Demo production is definitely an investment and much of the expense is due to production costs. Licensed music can be very expensive. The time to properly edit and mix the audio tracks of the demo and add the music is also quite time consuming. Producers who are worth the price are also voice talents and coaches who have earned the ability to command a decent rate for their services, as the opportunity cost is that of paid gigs they could also be doing. This also accounts for the wide range of prices for demo production.
Look for the value not just the price! You get what you pay for and the most expensive is not always the best. This is an investment in your business that requires due diligence on your part. Your demo speaks for you. What is yours saying?