10 reasons why you didn’t book that voiceover job

The stars were aligning, there was a really exciting, financially rewarding potential Voiceover job in your inbox.

You seemed to fit the brief perfectly, you did an audition you were proud of, you sent it in on time. The client said thank you – that sounds great.

Then silence. Nothing. This is normal in Voiceover – it’s one of those jobs that sometimes you can feel so ghosted that it’s like halloween all the time.

Then you hear that job on TV or where ever and you didn’t get it. Why not?!

It’s very annoying but a fact of VO life. Here are a few reasons why that job could have slipped through your fingers

  1. Timing

Maybe someone else submitted their audition sooner, via your agent or through another. I know from experience that the same job can come from different agents with a whole selection of deadlines

  1. Didn’t fit the brief

You thought you did, many of us think we fit what a client is after when in fact maybe we don’t. Maybe the way you pronounced a word irritated the client and they couldn’t get past that. Could be as simple as that.

  1. Price

Perhaps it was simply that they found someone who would do the job for cheaper. Lose no sleep over this. It’s no badge of honour to win work because you are cheaper.

If you are cheaper you are undervaluing what you do – and the rest of us working in the industry. Not cool. Be GREAT VALUE in what you offer, but that doesn’t mean be cheap. Be the right price or a bit on the pricey side and BE WORTH IT.

  1. Deadlines

Maybe you just weren’t available like yesterday to record the job. These things happen. Be gracious and keep in touch with the client – you’d be top of mind time next time

  1. Interpretation

Sometimes there isn’t much of a brief – which allows us to be creative in how we audition – sometimes that’s brilliant and we deliver something that is either exactly what the client wanted or even better – it’s totally not what the client could even have imagined but it’s even BETTER.

Fantastic. Then again sometimes it’s so far from what the client had “playing in their head” that you missed the mark.

  1. Your studio

It is a fact of VO life these days that your home based studio has to sound as good as London studios. With a bit of know how and budget this is possible.

If you submitted an audio file that was kind of fine performance wise yet your sound and studio quality wasn’t as good as someone else’s – whose performance was comparable – then I think the client will opt for the better studio option. Sorry.

  1. Mic technique

Voiceover isn’t just about performance acting wise, its’s also about how you use the mic.. your distance from it.. your know how on working with it to create the sound you want to isn’t necessarily obvious but it’s VERY important.

Skill up on this if you don’t come from an audio tech background. Your mic technique could very well be standing in between you and your dream VO job.

  1. Changed their minds

The brief may have clearly been for a female, a male or non binary voice. They may have totally decided this was not negotiable. But guess what – they changed their minds. It’s not you, it’s them. There’s nothing you can do about this apart from be gracious and understanding

  1. Your reel

If the casting took place based on your reels and yours wasn’t up to scratch.

Make sure you have genre specific reels, make sure they show your natural and performed sounds, that they stand out, that they reflect you and that you can replicate what’s in them and apply those sounds to real life jobs.

This is an ongoing VO task, it’s rarely finished! Always keep your reels under review. Voiceover showreels are your shop window!

  1. You

The Voiceover world, and your career within it, is based on relationships first and work and talent after that. Maybe you aren’t connected to the right people or perhaps that last email you sent to someone wasn’t as nice as it might have been?

Every interaction you have for work influences your opportunity for success in this business. Remember this and be excellent to each other (thanks Bill and Ted).

As annoying as some of these points are, some are within your control and others are not.

In Voiceover, part of our job is to remove those obstacles to success that we can control – your technique, how you read the brief, your studio sound, your promptness, the quality of your demos… above all be good to work with. Be gracious and respectful and open to feedback.

Once you have removed the sticking points you can control, your chances of success increase.

Dust yourself off and keep going!