Tips When Submitting to Agents

Lately, we’ve received more emails from people thinking we’re an agency and asking for representation, and including their demo.
Whenever I (Mike) get an email like that, I usually want to reply with a sarcastic comment – my attempt at humor. But we all know how that can come across on the other end, when you can’t “read” tone. And if they don’t know my sense of humor, I come out looking like a bonehead.
But this is why God gave me Heidi. She graciously reminds me to start thinking, “how can we help turn this into a teachable moment for our students?”. And then I don’t look like a bonehead. 🙂
So that said, here are some tips for when you’re looking for representation:
1) DON’T just send an email to an agency, or some place you THINK is an agency but is NOT (like the Atlanta Voiceover S T U D I O). Due your due diligence and check out the website. Surf the site and see what they actually do.
If you surfed the Atlanta Voiceover Studio website, you’d clearly see that we’re a teaching studio that offers demo production, workshops and times you can schedule to record your own auditions. Any emails we receive, get deleted. Time is valuable. While we’d love to answer every email we receive like that and help them out, our first priority is to our students – that’s where our energy is directed.
2) When you do the background research, (which, normally should only take you 5 minutes!), look for something on the agency site that says SUBMISSIONS. It’ll save you a world of time and answer ALL your questions about what to do to submit AND what to include.
Again, time is valuable. Their priority is to the actors and voiceover actors they already represent. Agents don’t have time to listen to everything that comes in their inbox from who knows where. So they have a process that streamlines it for them. The good news for you, is that it’ll be a dedicated place where you KNOW they’ll get it. And THEY’LL know you can follow directions. This leads me to…
3) Why is showing them that you can follow directions important? Because they want to know you’re a professional!
If you can’t follow a basic submission process, then how can they know you’ll be professional enough to a) get your auditions sent in in time; b) follow labeling instructions precisely (so that they don’t have to spend time doing it themselves when it’s your job)?
4) Make the submission email short and sweet….AND PROFESSIONAL. If they have what they want you to include in the email submission and include it. If not, less is more.
Recently, we received an email like this:

Hello,

My name is _____. I am a voice over talent. I am currently looking for representation. I am confident that I can be a great addition to your agency. Below is my Voice Over Demo. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a good day!

Okay, sure. Outside of the fact that they didn’t do their homework to see we’re not an agency and don’t have a roster, it’s a short and sweet email.

But tell me, would you want to answer someone who didn’t spend a even a minute searching to find out what your name is, to include it in the email? The funny thing is, he has my email. The name…is…right…there!

Secondly, I’d want to know WHY you were confident you’d be a great addition to my agency. Again, homework comes into play here. Go to the agency site. LISTEN to as many demos as you can to see if you WOULD be a good addition. You MAY be. You MAY NOT be. Does the agency have someone or some people who already sound like you?
What’s your background? What training have you had? Are you continuing your training? (That’s where we come in.) Show you’re a person, and give them a brief summary of you and what you have to offer.
5) And finally, after you make it that far and you’ve submitted. Wait. Then follow up. Not after a day. Not after a week. A month is the perfect amount of time to wait. They’re busy repping. Don’t worry – they have your submission. And if you don’t hear from them, you’ll know you need to follow-up!
And while you wait to hear back from them, continue your training. Like professional athletes train to stay competitive, it’s no different in the voiceover world. The Atlanta Voiceover Studio is here to help. For classes and workshops, check out www.atlantavoiceoverstudio.com.
Mike & Heidi
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