If you're unfamiliar with P2P sites, they are audition services that charge voice actors a yearly fee to submit auditions for commercials and all genres of voiceover work. They can be an excellent tool to get several clients but newcomers tend to skip the coaching process and sign up for P2P sites in hopes of making a living doing voiceovers. Is it possible? Hell yes! Anything is possible but if you're not skillful in delivering professional performances, you will have an arduous time booking work.
Professional demos are also a must when you're on a P2P site or just marketing from your own personal website. A professional presentation is a must if you want to be taken seriously and book work. Even on P2P sites, I see talents with no demos who add minimal information on their P2P site profile. While I understand the mindset of cutting corners, I can't stress enough how important the coaching process is. Occasionally, I get accused of pushing coaching because I am a coach but if you called up every talent agency in the country, they would highly recommend it. Remember, it's the performance that books you work and if you're starting off with zero acting experience, learning how to execute a script is vital. Buying a cheap mic and joining a P2P site is not the way to build a voiceover career.
Some professionals frown on P2P services because of some low-rate projects clients post on the site. While this can be aggravating, plenty of clients also post projects for industry standard rates. I Have several VO friends who make a decent living booking from Voice123 and Bodalgo. Armin Hierstetter is the owner of Bodalgo and he's a class act. He runs a highly professional business and doesn't put up with low rates from clients. He cares about the talents on his site unlike a few other P2P sites, which are all about nickel and diming their talents to death.
I've mentioned this in a few other blogs but direct marketing is something you should never push aside just because you're on a P2P site. You would be astonished by the results you would get if you spent several hours weekly on direct marketing. There are VO buyers everywhere. Production companies, media departments in corporations, explainer video/eLearning businesses and video game companies! 80% of my annual income from VO comes from direct marketing. It doesn't mean you shouldn't try your hand at the P2P game but don't put all your eggs in that basket.
When your pro demos and website are finished and you're ready to start marketing your business, lay out a plan and timeline. For example, maybe Mondays are an excellent day to do a few P2P auditions. Tuesdays are suitable for cold calling and emailing marketing because you're chances of getting a hold of the decision maker are more significant than if you would have tried on Monday!
Keep a good spreadsheet of everyone you call or email. Even the ones who don't return your calls or emails. You never know when you might hear from them. Last week, I received a call from a client I marketed to four years ago! It was an excellent gig too! There is no such thing as a dead lead! Keep all your contact information in one place because you may also get a call from a client you contacted years ago. Realistic expectations will keep you from going crazy! It's OK to have aggressive goals but don't plan on making thousands and thousands of dollars after only marketing for a few months. This will take some time, patience and perseverance. It could even take a year or more to get your business going in the right direction. Have we had students who found success quickly? Absolutely! But we also have students who don't get their first client or two for several months. I know we hear this cliche all the time but this is a marathon not a sprint kind of business. If you think getting into voiceovers will be a quick way to make a lot of money, you shouldn't do it. You would be better off buying lottery tickets. Amazing things can happen if you train hard, work hard and never give up. Good luck!