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Why Your Voice Over Demos Need To Be In The Cloud

Yesterday I ran a casting call for a client in need of a female voice. Something I’m still unable to do myself.

The casting was simple enough, “Looking for a North American Female voice. Please send me an MP3 copy of your narration demo by 11pm EST.”

Doesn’t get much easier than that, right?

Except, you’d be surprised how many people were unable to do this because, for one reason or another, they weren’t at home and had no access to their voice over demos.

All of their demos only existed on their studio computer.

For this reason, they missed out on a shot at an easy $200 – $300 project.

Why Your Voice Over Demos Need To Be In The Cloud

It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing, you need to ALWAYS have access to your demos. Whether you’re at home, on the road, in a hotel, staying at your folks, sitting in the waiting room at your dentist or grabbing sammich at Arby’s.

Get your #voiceover demos in the Cloud. You must ALWAYS have access to your demos.
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You ALWAYS need access to your voice over demos.

You need to be able to send them fast and make it easy!

I have my demos stored in a Dropbox folder.

I have my demos stored in Google Drive.

I have my demos in my iCloud Drive.

I have my demos stored in an FTP folder on my server.

I have my demos in my VoiceZam Player.

I have my demos on YouTube.

I have my demos in SoundCloud.

No matter where I am. No matter what device I’m using. I’ve always got access to my demos and can send them to anyone in the world at any given moment.

Oh, and every one of those places I have them stored (save for VoiceZam) is free!

If you can’t do the same, you better make that a priority project for this weekend.

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The Rise of the 6-Second Commercial; J Michael Collins

This is literally how the conversation went down…

“I’m sitting here watching the World Series on Fox, and they keep taking breaks for six second commercials, which are blowing Joe Buck and John Smoltz’s minds. Each time I see one, I think to myself, J. Michael has talked about this coming for a while now. Would you be interested in writing a blog about it?”

“Yup, I’m watching too. I’d be happy to guest blog.”

And with this… I give you a guest post by J. Michael Collins on one of the new hot trends in the voice over industry.

The Rise of the 6-Second Commercial

If you’ve been watching the World Series over the past week or two, you may have noticed a new advertising technique during the games. Traditionally, pitcher/catcher conferences and manager/pitcher conferences were accompanied only by the (sometimes) insightful commentary of the play-by-play guys. In this year’s Series, however, these conferences were interrupted by a split-screen 6-second commercial for one of a few major brands. Duracell seemed to be the most prominent, with the spots often accompanied by a short voiceover.

This may be new to baseball, but the 6-second commercial spot has been trending online for over a year now. As advertisers scramble to connect with younger audiences who are demanding shorter ads, (see this Forbes article: the 6-second commercial has become a go-to method of condensing a commercial message into an effective short burst. Fortunately for voice actors, these spots frequently incorporate a quick VO, meaning a new sub-genre of work has opened up for us.

“The 6-second commercial spot has been trending online for over a year now.” @JMCDemos
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The best news is that this trend is now moving into national network TV. From baseball, to the NFL, and even The Walking Dead, major broadcasts are now starting to incorporate this advertising style, and at a premium price point, (

What does this mean for you as a voice actor? Keep an eye out for 6-second spots popping up from your agents or online casting sites. Importantly, remember that these are national TV spots in many cases, and the ad buy is just as expensive as longer spots, so you should not be charging any less for these than you would for a national :15. Also remember that even if the spot is only used on the Internet, that doesn’t mean it is worth less. Internet ads often get just as many eyeballs as TV spots, and should be paid accordingly. Don’t let buyers use the length as an excuse to sell you short.

You might want to consider updating your current commercial demo with a few of these spots, or, like me, produce a full demo in the 6-second Commercial genre.

In today’s advertising world, brevity and impact are key. Prepare yourself for how this will change your approach to VO, and watch out for further evolutions in the commercial space.

~ J. Michael Collins

Keep Up With the Trends

A few years ago I saw a significant rise in the amount of animated explainer videos being produced and carved out a nice niche for myself in that genre.

Part of success in this business is identifying trends and keeping up with them. The 6-second commercial is the shiny new toy of the advertising industry, and one that is only going to get bigger!

Are you ready for it?

Interested in getting a 6-second commercial demo produced for yourself? Need a little coaching to help you prepare for this trend? J. Michael Collins is one of the most respected and trusted names in our industry. I’ve personally coached with him and vouch for his character, wisdom and the value he brings to his students. Find out more at

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How To Use Pinterest For Your Voice Over Business

Have you ever questioned whether you’re a voice actor or a social media manger? I know sometimes it can probably feel like the latter. After all, with so many different social networks out there, and with the benefits of maintaining a presence on them, it can become quite time consuming!

The standard networks most voice talents seem to use are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Let me ask you, have you ever considered using Pinterest?

More Than Just Recipes

marc-scott-explainer-pinterestI’ll admit that I avoided Pinterest for years. In fact, I felt fortunate that it was an “unnecessary” social network for me. It meant it was one less website demanding my time!

As far as I could tell, it was a great place to share recipes, craft ideas, fashion photos and ideas for hairstyles. Beyond that, there was seemingly no benefit to me as a voice actor.

Turns out, it’s more than just recipes!

How To Use Pinterest For Your Voice Over Business

I’ve only been on Pinterest for a month or two. However, I’ve already got a few different boards set up. A few of them, I believe, will be of great benefit to my voice over business!

I have a board set up for my demos – Follow It

I have a board for my Explainer Videos – Follow It

I have a board for my other voice work – Follow It

I have a board for voice over “stuff” – Follow It

One Benefit Of Pinterest

One of the great things about Pinterest is that it gives me a place to collect all my content in one place.

I specialize in voice over work for animated explainer videos. If a client asks to hear samples of my work, I can send them to my Pinterest board and many of my projects are there! Easy.

If you specialize in a few different niche areas, you could set up a board for each one.

Is It Time Consuming?


Adding samples of your voice over work to Pinterest is as simple as copying links from YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud or wherever else your content is posted.

It might take a little time to set up your boards initially. However, once they’re done, it’s a few minutes here and there each time you want to add something new.

Unlike other social networks, you don’t need to be on Pinterest daily to make it useful and enjoy the benefits.

If you’d like to check out my Pinterest account to get some ideas visit

Happy pinning!

For Comment: Do you use Pinterest? Why or why not?

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5 Tips For Your YouTube Video Voice Over Demos

I’m a big fan of taking advantage of every option out there to promote my voice over demos. It just so happens that YouTube is one of the nets biggest search engines. If you’re not using it, you’re missing out. Big time!

More and more I see talent creating video demos to publish to the site, and I think that’s fantastic. They don’t need to be fancy. They just need to be effective.

5 Tips For YouTube Voice Over Video Demos

1) Brand Consistency: This is a really big deal. You want to make sure your videos are consistent with your online presence. That means keeping consistency with your web site and your other social networks as well. Use the same colours, the same head shot, the same logo, the same font. Everything needs to tie together.

youtube2) Tag Well: One of the great features of YouTube is the ability to tag. When you do it, do it well. Tag your videos like crazy. Everything you think is relevant. As a bonus tip, if you have a name with multiple spellings tag the video with each of them. My name is Marc Scott but people searching for me often spell my name Mark Scott. So I tag my videos both ways.

3) Create A Playlist: If you’re using YouTube to post all kinds of videos, then you need to create a playlist exclusive to your demos. This way, when you’re promoting your video demos or sending links to clients, they can find them all in one place. No searching through other stuff on your channel that may not be relevant. My link –

4) Don’t Monetize: I know this might be hard to hear, but I strongly advise against monetizing your video demos. Here’s why… there’s a very good chance, especially if you tag your demos well, that the ads that display over your demos will be for other voice actors or voice casting sites. One click and you just gave work away.

Monetizing your video demos could actually send voice over work to other talent! Click To Tweet

5) Description Link: The very first thing in your description should be a link to your web site or landing page. Write a great description. Load it up with keywords, but absolutely include the link first. That way it’s guaranteed to be displayed when somebody clicks onto your video page.

Promote Yourself

You don’t need to be a video producer or creative genius to create a video demo. You just need some software (Windows Movie Maker will do), a little bit of time, and the willingness to learn something fun and new.

With that, your voice over demos will instantly become available to the tens of millions of people who are searching YouTube on a daily basis!

For Comment: Do you have video demos? Got any additional tips?


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Add Demos To Your Linked In Profile

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post titled 5 Ways To Improve Your LinkedIn Profile. One of the tips I recommended was adding demos to your Experience section. Since that post, I’ve had a few people email to ask me how to do that. So I thought I’d write a quick post to show you.

Add Demos To Your Linked In Profile

The first think you need to do is access your LinkedIn profile and get it into edit mode.


Once you’re in edit mode scroll down to the Experience section of your profile.

From there you’ll click the icon to add a link or upload a file. I’ve created YouTube videos for all my voice over demos, so I just add the links to those demos. You can do the same or you can upload actual files.


After you’ve added your link or uploaded your file your profile will look something like this. There doesn’t appear to be a limit to the number of demos you can add. I currently have seven videos listed.

linkedin-profile-screen-3Let’s Link

Are we connected on LinkedIn yet? If not, send me a request. I’ll happily add you to my network. Check out my profile at

For Comment: Has LinkedIn generated work for you?