How a Voice-Over Actress Can Approach New Producers

Part 2 of An Interview with Marketing Expert, Cheril Hendry of Brandtailers

Professional Voice-Over Actress Debbie Grattan chats with Marketing Exec Cheril Hendry of Brandtailers about how a voice-over actress can best position herself to take advantage of the current marketing trends (discussed in Part 1 of this interview) and good ways voice over talent can approach new producers with whom they’d like to form a working relationship.

Cheril Hendry, CEO of Brandtailers

Cheril Hendry is CEO and owner of Brandtailers, a digital-focused marketing firm that started as a traditional advertising agency 21 years ago. Today, she spends most of her time helping clients move into the new and often challenging world of online marketing and brand management.

Over the years Cheril and her team of agency professionals have worked with clients of all sizes, using their expertise in brand-tailing (the combining of brand messages with retail marketing for better ROI). From national work with automotive clients including Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Infiniti and more, to marketing campaigns for Red Robin, San Diego Chargers, MagLite, Carls’ Jr, Ikea, Wahoo’s and more, Hendry’s experience brings together a strong history of marketing focus on the consumer.

Voice-Over Actress Debbie Grattan: How do you see Voiceover Talent Services fitting into this new marketing paradigm?

Marketing Exec, Cheril Hendry: I can answer that two ways… From a creative perspective, what I’m really seeing is the style of messaging is becoming a lot more down home, natural, that focus on truth, trust and transparency. It’s less slice-of-life in narrative versus trying to make something feel real.

So from a voice-over actress perspective, there’s a certain quality that good voice talent has these days which is, “Don’t give me the announcer voice, give me a voice that tells me you’re talking to me like a real person talking to a real person.” And we’re seeing a lot more spots coming to fruition that way and being more successful.

Debbie Grattan: I know that at Brandtailers you do a lot of automotive advertising, which traditionally tends to have a more hard sell announcer voice over style. So, are you seeing this trend even in the automotive industry?

Cheril Hendry: Not as quickly as we’d like! We’re trying to lead that charge. But, it’s interesting, when you look at almost any automotive manufacturer at the national level these days, it’s always a celebrity that’s the voice over talent. And, they’re very low key, very natural. You usually have to listen to the spot a few times to even recognize who it is. They’re trying to use the credibility of who the celebrity is and then just do a natural low key spot.

Debbie Grattan: Let’s talk about a voice over talent in relationship to producers like yourself. I presume you have a stable of “go to” voice talent that you work with more frequently, but for a voice over actress who has never worked with your company before, what’s the best way for them to approach you as a new producer?

Cheril Hendry: What advertisers and people like me want to know is, did the prospective voice over talent take the time to really search us out? Do they really know what we’re about and what we might be looking for?

So, instead of doing the generic email that looks like it’s been sent to a giant list of producers, to really take the time to scope out who Brandtailers is, the types of clients we have. Send me an email from that direction with some kind of a teaser saying, “I really think my voice over style, my type of performance would work well with your type of clients.” It’s a more personal approach. An email and then follow it up with a phone call. That’s good enough for me. That will get me to listen to their voice over demo at least.

Debbie Grattan: How many voice over actress and actor inquiries do you receive? Is it a fairly regular thing or not so much?

Cheril Hendry: Not so much. I think it’s gotten into a mode where a lot of the voice over talent just posts their content on the right places online on the web and they let it be found rather than going out and pursuing production company contacts.

Debbie Grattan: Does that work for you if you’re looking for a specific voice over actress that you don’t already have in your talent pool? How would you go about searching for the right voice?

Cheril Hendry: Usually, we do the John and Joe thing (discussed in part 1 of this interview “Marketing Trends to Watch for Voice Over Talent“). I would call you and ask you who you might recommend as a good voice over actress or actor talent. I would call our producer and ask him who he would recommend. And we might go to a few of the different websites and listen. But, you’re right, we do have our slew of voice over talent we’ve found we like over the years. But it’s always nice to get a fresh voice and hear something new. And, that type of person needs to be a little more proactive in getting their information to us.

Read parts 1 and 3 of this interview:

Part 1: “Marketing Trends to Watch for Voice-Over Talent

Part 3: “Voice Over Actor Marketing Do’s & Don’ts