In the voiceover space, there are a lot of opinions floating around when it comes to Pay to Play (P2P) sites.
But why? And what do they even offer the solopreneur Voice Actor?
First, let’s talk about what a P2P site is.
A Pay to Pay (P2P) site is exactly what it sounds like - a site where voice talent pay a membership fee (monthly or annually) to have access to a marketplace of auditions.
A few of the most common P2P sites for voiceover are Voices.com, Voice123, and Bodalgo. Each site offers different membership pricing points, but they all supply current auditions that companies from around the world post on a daily basis.
One of the essential tools in any voiceover business is having a place to audition, and one of the main pros of P2P sites is that you don’t have to have any past experience to sign up and start auditioning (you just need a voiceover demo showcasing your abilities). This allows new talent the chance to audition for jobs they otherwise wouldn't have access to. This is huge! Especially in an industry that used to be super exclusive. It just goes to show how wide the voiceover landscape is and how it’s ever-changing.
P2P sites act as marketplaces to connect media companies, studios, agencies, and individuals with voice talent from across the globe.
Since a vast array of industries are looking to hire voice talent for all kinds of projects from training courses, to website promo videos, to the in-store voices you hear at Home Depot and Target, and even to the commercials you see in the Super Bowl, there are lots of opportunities available to voice talent on a daily basis from a variety of sources.
One of the more overlooked pros of P2P sites is that talent are viewing and auditioning for jobs that are actively airing or being shared in their respective markets (i.e. TV, internet, websites, etc.).
Meaning, these jobs give talent an inside look into what clients are looking for and what is currently selling or reaching a particular company’s audience. Trends change across time, so it’s a great opportunity for any talent to see what’s being hired for as well as the type of styles and tones they might want to include in their demos (hint, hint).
While P2P sites offer a uniquely modern opportunity for talent of all levels across the world access to jobs, it’s important to note that P2P sites shouldn’t be the end all be all for running a voiceover business. Why? Because if those sites ever go down, every talent on those sites is SOL if their entire business is running solely because of them.
Here are some tips for utilizing Pay to Play sites to the best of your ability.
Get your name and voice out there with as many potential clients as you can.
I have turned clients from Voices.com into my own clients many times over due to follow up and good communication.
This is its own tip because beginners don’t necessarily understand how valuable this is. Pay to Play sites provide you with potential client leads each and every day, which means that if you get to work with just one of them and they have a good experience with you, and they give you the chance to follow up with them (i.e. check in for more work later on) that one client could because an ongoing client time and time again outside of the platform.
Again, Pay to Play sites offer an incredible amount of leads, so if you’ve auditioned for a job, down the line make a note of that person and their company info. Follow them on social, share their stuff, and maybe eventually connect on LinkedIn to see if they’re in need of your services.
If you Google ‘Pay to Play Sites’, you’ll find a ton of articles each with their own opinions on the subject, but as voice talent, and as a business owner, you get to decide which tools you use in your business.
A good rule of thumb is to utilize Pay to Play sites for finding work, getting paid, and adding jobs and clients to your portfolio, but Voice Actors should not rely solely on a them for their entire voiceover business (or any one avenue, for that matter). The saying ‘don't’ put all your eggs in one basket’ applies here.
NOTE: Personally, I’ve been using Voices as a tool in my business since the beginning of my voiceover career, and it has been instrumental in growing my voiceover business since I don’t currently have an agent and am a one woman show. If you’re interested in checking out Voices in particular, you can use my promo code MELANIESINSIDER for $50 off your annual membership.